When Goofy Met Chainsaw

Hey, it’s Thursday…. and you know what that means!

Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies  who will dazzle you with insight on various topics.  After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

For this week, Melissa ‘s choice:  Friend matchmaking:  Tell us about a time you were “set up” for a friendship with someone.  Or a time you matched two friends together.  (Or both.)  Please keep it to “in person” friendships only since it’s way too easy to connect people online these days.

I moved around a lot as a kid. We were always skirting around the Salem, OR area but traveling from one school district to the next. During my elementary years alone I’d gone to 5 schools. My 5th grade year was spent at Swegle Elementary school (Swegle Eagles, yo!) and I became friends with a girl who we’ll call Robin. She was a beautiful little thing with long blond hair and green eyes, and I don’t think there was a single person who didn’t think she was wonderful, boys and girls included. I counted her as one of my best friends.

Then we moved. Again. We went from the north area of Salem to West Salem. I started a new school my 6th grade year, Robin long gone but not entirely forgotten. I’d think of her on occasion, along with my other classmates who I knew I’d never see again. Moving schools as often as I had, I knew the score even at 11.

When I started high school, I walked into my Concert Choir class and ran right into Robin! She was still beautiful, still had an adorable dimple in her left chin when she smiled, and we picked right back up where we’d left off. We’d have lunch together, we’d write notes to one another. She was a lot more adventurous and daring, I was more reserved and cautious. She brought out the best in me, and she brought out the worst in me. She was the first person I skipped school with, and the first person I smoked weed with. I met my first boyfriend through her, and we’d go on double dates. Our boyfriends worked together at a local 76 gas station so we’d always go and visit with them during the late night shifts. It felt as though things were falling nicely into place.

I felt the shift shortly after my boyfriend and I had been dating a few months. Looking back on the situation, I can see that Robin was a tad bit jealous of all the time I was spending apart from her. If I evaluated it further, I’d see that really, Robin became territorial over a lot of people in her life. She would say a lot of hurtful things about my new relationship, how wrong we were for each other, how I should break things off. I felt like she was making me choose between the two of them. When I told her I didn’t see things her way, she retaliated. I’d get an invite for a weekend stay at her house, and after I’d get dropped off at her door step, I’d find out that Robin had “forgotten” about our plans and was staying over at someone else’s house. She totally set me up! The first couple of times I brushed it off, but the third time I didn’t have it in me to tell my Grandma who had taken the time to drive me over to Robin’s house that plans were cancelled, yet again. Plus, I was starting to feel like a moron. And a loser. When Robin’s sister Goofy opened the door and invited me to stay the weekend with her, (you can read all about our nicknames and why we have them) I was more than grateful. Goofy was really laid back and calm. She was super nice and a lot of fun to hang with, and even when an age difference of a year and a half might be detrimental to a friendship when you are teenagers (not to mention she was the sister of my supposed “best friend”), it didn’t matter. We became fast friends.


After a lot of drama and a lot of fighting, Robin and I “broke up”. We drifted apart and we haven’t talked to one another in years. I’ll see her on occasion, though. Whenever I visit my hometown, I always visit Goofy and there have been times when Robin is around, too. We are cordial but there is definite distance between us. She put me through the wringer during my teen years, but I am so glad I met her. If I’d never met Robin, I would have never met Goofy. She was so important to my well-being when I was a kid and she still is today. She’s like a sister to me, and I appreciate having her in my life.


Along with her husband- they were our witnesses when we got married. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.



Love, Lies and Lemon Cake: A Book Review

Love this book! Take a look!

It’s the End of the Line….

Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies  who will dazzle you with insight on various topics.  After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

I was making dinner when my husband told me the news about Robin Williams. My immediate response was, “Is that for real?” I know some people like to add false reports to the online rumor mill, and often a celebrity has “passed away” who is in fact alive and well in Tinseltown. After he confirmed that Williams had in fact passed away, my second response was, “I’m shocked, but I’m not surprised.” Not that I’m an expert on human behavior or a licensed psychologist, but he acted erratically a lot of the time, and his attention seemed to always be on making others laugh and making others feel good, bypassing his own happiness. I think he was a man in immense pain, a pain no one could really fathom or understand. The news made me feel somber and introspective, and of course like probably everyone else out there, I started to Google Williams and check out random videos from charity events and speaking engagements and movie clips. I wanted to feel as though someone I’d practically grown up with, someone who had entertained me, made me cry, made me laugh and did such wonderful things for humanity was still there, was still a part of my world.

I dwelled on other celebrities who had passed away shockingly in my lifetime, the ones I took great pause for when initially hearing the news. For this week: Robin Williams’ death has shocked the world.  What celebrity deaths have you found most shocking, and why?

I was in the third grade when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded during its flight, killing all seven crew members on board, including a teacher named  Christa McAuliffe. She was part of the Teacher in Space Project, and was the first teacher launched into space. A television had been brought into my classroom for the special event, and we watched with anticipation, only to become a witness to tragedy. I bet most of the people from my generation remember that day in 1986.

A few years earlier (1981), John Walsh was desperately looking for his son, Adam. Adam had been abducted from a Sears store in Florida, and later found slain. Even though I was only a few years old, I remember this. At the time, John wasn’t a celebrity. He worked in hotel management during the time of his son’s abduction, but afterwards he strove to ensure that no other child would go through what his son had gone through. John became the host of America’s Most Wanted to help catch criminals. Code Adam, a missing children’s safety program created by Walmart went into effect in 1994, locking down department stores throughout the country if there was a potential abduction. It’s still used nation-wide to this day.

Where were you in ’94 when you heard that Kurt Cobain was dead? I was in high school, and couldn’t believe it. Nirvana had been my favorite band. I still have every CD, even the ones where Kurt is mostly screaming. I’m the girl who was dancing to Smells Like Teen Spirit during a middle school dance while everyone else just stood around watching me in bemusement. There were a lot of conspiracy theories, but it all led to the same consensus: a true talent was gone.

I love Saturday Night Live, and two of the alums, Chris Farley (d.1997) and Phil Hartman (d. 1998) were like shining stars, with lights that faded out way too soon.  So incredibly sad.

I love all sorts of music and have always been partial to Tupac’s. There was something about him, a tough gangster who was on the verge of becoming a super star. He always sang about his reality, even if it didn’t fit into what was right for everyone else. Shot multiple times in a drive-by shooting in 1998, his potential on this Earth had been cut too short.

I was visiting my hometown of Salem, OR when I heard the news about Aaliyah (d.2001). It was on the drive over, and all the radio stations were broadcasting the tragedy. The small plane she’d chartered during an overseas trip for a music video had crashed, and everyone on board perished. I remember feeling incredibly shocked at the news. I loved her music.

Britney Murphy… I thought she was great in Clueless, her breakout movie and the indie movie Drop Dead Gorgeous. I feel she was just getting started before passing away from cardiac arrest in 2009.

In more recent years, the deaths of Philip Seymore Hoffman (d.2014) and Paul Walker (d.2013)  presented shocking scenarios. Walker died from a car accident. Hoffman from a drug overdose. Both men were too young, as are the rest of the people on my list. I think it’s always more of a shock when it turns out to be someone who never got to live as long of a life as you’d anticipate. It doesn’t seem fair and that makes it all the more tragic.

So, what celebrity deaths have shocked you the most?


Check Out Oakland’s Junkapalooza (And Win Free Tickets!)


Are you someone who enjoys a good run to the local antique store? Do you get all sorts of giddy when you’ve found a unique treasure, the kind you set center stage on the mantel? Or, are you a crafty person who enjoys making art with your hands? Even if you don’t, but want a nice, relaxing way to spend a weekend, you need to check out Junkapalooza!

Hosted by: Nishna Heritage Museum

When is it: September 13th and 14th, 2014

Where: Oakland, IA- more specifically, Main Street Oakland, IA (click here for a map)

What time: 9am-7pm Saturday and 9am-4pm Sunday

Cost: $4 for adults, $2 for kids and free to those 2 and under (discounted coupons will be available prior to September 1st if you pick them up at the museum and sign the guestbook)

Want to showcase your own special treasures? Contact Gayle Strickland at gstrick_76@frontiernet.net or 712-482-3436 for vendor opportunities.

You’ll find all things retro, vintage, antique, new and never seen before. Repurposed, unique, or items that might just compliment your own masterpiece in the making! Local musicians will play over the course of the 2-day event, and free balloons for the kiddies! Proceeds go to the Nishna Heritage Agricultural Gardens, for the town of Oakland.

Enter to win two free tickets! Simply comment with your e-mail address on this post, and you’ll be entered into a drawing through RandomPicker.  Drawing will be held on Friday, September 5th. I’ll contact you via your e-mail address if you are the winner!

Happy junking!


What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Stronger… But It Can Hurt Like Hell.

Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies  who will dazzle you with insight on various topics.  After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

For this week, Denise chose: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Man, ain’t that the truth? I mean, something good has to come out of a truly difficult situation. The silver lining better be there, somewhere, otherwise, what’s the point? A good friend of mine once said that making the right choice most likely will be the hardest road you have to walk on, and for good reason. That’s how life lessons are made and how we build that thick outer skin required to survive on God’s green earth. While I’ve seen plenty of sunshiny days with a life filled with happiness, I’ve also seen a lot that makes me want to clutch at my chest in pain and agony.

What hasn’t killed me but made me stronger?

1. Having my kids. It all started with a fear of needles. I don’t do needles, not unless absolutely necessary, so you can imagine the answer I gave when asked if I wanted to have an epidural. I freaked out when a shunt was placed into my hand. The nurses made me do it, just in case I needed fluids or something. My firstborn’s delivery pales in comparison to the second. I won’t ever forget the pain, which was worse after he was already out of my body. I had severe cramping, and you better believe I was asking for pain meds then, but I wasn’t listed in the hospital’s “system” yet to receive any drugs, and I ended up waiting with excruciating pain for over 90 minutes. I felt I was dying, pale and shaking. I was like an addict whenever a nurse walked in, grabbing at their scrubs, begging for relief. I know, that doesn’t sound like a very good experience, but leading up to that I think it went pretty well. I don’t begrudge anyone’s personal choice when it comes to their own babies- epidural or otherwise. Delivering a baby in and of itself can be equatable to running a marathon, but I have to admit I’m proud of myself and the choice I made to go natural. Even if it did hurt like hell.


2. The death of a loved one. When my friend Jill died, it killed me. I think to some extent I am still recovering from it and always will be. There are moments where I want to visit her or share something with her, and I can’t do that. And I’m no good with not being allowed to do something I want to do. It makes me want to do it all the more, and while I know I can talk to her in spirit, I can’t see those obnoxious facial expressions she’d make when she thought I was doing something stupid, or hear her voice when she’d laugh at me for doing something stupid. As much as we picked on each other, I know we loved each other a whole lot. People will always enter and exit my life but few make a life-long lasting impression on me, and she did that. Not just for my life but for everyone who knew her. Whether that impression was good or bad, no one can forget or ever will forget Jill. She was tough and kicked ass, and when I’m feeling doubt about a situation I say to myself, “What would Jill Erin do?” I channel some of that toughness.


3. Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks. My sister and I were recently reminiscing about our childhoods. It was so different when were young whippersnappers. I was allowed to go and do whatever I wanted, little sis in tow. We didn’t live in the best of neighborhoods. There were drugs, there was drinking, there were scary people in and out of our lives and we witnessed more than two little girls should ever be privy to. Yet two things happened. One, we figured out how to survive our environment. And two, we got out. Our focus has always been on how to be better than what we saw as children, swearing never to be like that with our own. While I am glad my boys have it good, I appreciate where I came from. It made me adaptable, appreciable, and strong.


4. Running a marathon. Years ago, I was watching Road Rules/Real World on MTV. It was an episode where the challenge was running a race, and the girl running was someone who was used to doing 5K’s and what not. I remember watching her and thinking she was NUTS! It didn’t look fun or like anything I’d ever want to do, not ever. NEVER. Fast forward roughly fifteen years, and there I was at the Omaha marathon, at mile 20, forcing myself to continue on. I thought for sure I’d have to stop and lie down. There were plenty of medics around who could assist me onto their golf carts and whisk me away to someplace with shade, preferably air conditioning. That became a dream for me, the thought of a place where I could just sit with air conditioning. My body was screaming at me, upset that I’d ever embarked on the journey to run 26.2 miles, but in the end I did it. I wasn’t going to complete 20 miles and give up. I ran it in over 5 hours, with a lot of walking sprinkled in, but I finished it and that’s all that mattered to me. I worked hard, I trained hard, and I could finally say I ran a marathon.

sara run

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” -Arnold Schwarzenegger

What hasn’t killed you but made you stronger? 



Why I Haven’t Run In Weeks… And I’m Okay With That…

So, Friday morning I went grocery shopping and one of the store clerks assisted me out to my car. Normally I can push my own cart full of groceries, but this week I had a lot more bags than I usually do, and the little guy couldn’t sit up front in the cart like he normally would. The clerk notices the two bumper stickers I have on the back of my car.

This is the 2nd 13.1 sticker I've had to get. They never stick.

This is the 2nd 13.1 sticker I’ve had to get. They never stick.

“So, you’ve run a marathon?”

I always get a little weird when people ask me that. I know, I have two stickers proclaiming it on the back of my car. If I’m going to have those stickers on the back of my car, I have to anticipate that somewhere, on occasion, people will actually ask about the stickers. And yes, I have BOTH. A half-marathon is just as important and takes a lot of effort and totally counts in my book, even though I’ve had people ask me why I have both showcased on my car, as though once I’ve run a full marathon it should totally negate the half.

“Yep, I sure have.” I tell the clerk this while helping him load bags into the trunk.

“That’s pretty cool. My son is training for a full right now. He’s at 23 miles.”

“That’s awesome!”

He continues assisting me and telling me about his son and how hard he’s worked, and while he talks to me I start to feel a little envious. It’s been a long time, a really, really long time since I’ve trained for a race. All the races I’ve worked myself up for this year were either rained out or cancelled. Or went bankrupt. Except for one, and it was a 5K.

As the last bag gets tossed in and the trunk door slammed shut, he asks me where I ran my marathon.

“I did Omaha, and Des Moines.”

More congrats were in order, and I wished his son luck while he encouraged me to get back onto the marathon training horse and continue on with what my original plan had been all along: to run a marathon in every state.

I dwelled a lot on the conversation while driving home. The way it felt to get another mile out of the way. Keeping to a strict training schedule, feeling accomplished. I do miss that from time to time, especially with how nice the weather has been this summer, how perfect running conditions would be for me. It was sort of “my thing”, you know? “Hey, you know that Sara girl… yeah, she runs marathons“. It doesn’t even matter how fast  I run them or how well I run them, it’s a certain bizarre prestige that comes with being that crazy marathon running girl.

Meh. (You can’t see it, but I just shrugged).

Running will always be in my blood. I will never truly walk (or run) away from it. And when I’m ready to return, I know that I’ll be welcomed back with open arms. There will always be an exciting race around the corner. This year though, my plan has been to seek out other avenues. I’ve had a lot present itself, a lot that has forced me to look at fitness from an entirely new perspective. That maybe running isn’t the end all to fitness and that maybe it’s okay to be a little bit more well-balanced in my approach. After training for the now defunct Hard Charge race, I stopped caring so much about the end result and cared more about how the training made me feel. What an eye opener! I did some research and found a website that gave a lot of information regarding reverse dieting and strength training, something I’ve never really put a lot of effort into other than the barbell classes I’d take with friends when I had a gym membership. My husband purchased a barbell and weight set for me, for my birthday- which fit perfectly into the strength training I want to incorporate, along with the yoga competition training. It’s not that I’ve entirely given up on cardiovascular workouts. I know they still have a place in my life, but as far as race training is concerned, I’m taking a break from that to pursue other interests. And really, why the hell not? In the end, it’s still about being healthy and feeling good, inside as well as out. Ultimately, isn’t that the goal?

Maybe this should be my next bumper sticker?


The Ten Little Ladybugs

Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies  who will dazzle you with insight on various topics.  After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

For this week, Tracey’s topic choice is: Family.

My eldest son received this book as a gift many years ago, when he was still in diapers. I don’t remember who gifted it or what the occasion. It’s provided hours of entertainment, and it’s been passed down to my youngest. So, if you’re the gifter and you happen to be reading my blog post for today, a big thank you.

The book is falling apart. Upon opening, you’ll notice the spine has completely pulled away from the pages. It’s holding on as much as it can, given the fact it’s been boyhandled for close to a decade. Not to mention any of the random kids I’ve babysat who wanted to find out what happens to these cute little ladybugs and the many interactions with insects and various creatures along their journey. This book has been loved. A lot.

I don’t just read the book. I sing it. I created the melody years ago and it stuck. We do the ladybug countdown and when each one encounters a bumblebee or a bird or fish or caterpillar, I pause and wait for my son to fill in the blank. “Ten little ladybugs sitting on a vine, along came a ____________ (wait for him to say it, which in this case is a butterfly), then there were….”  The book continues counting down until there’s only one ladybug left. And when that ladybug is swept up in a breeze, we find out that all of the other ladybugs have been waiting for him, waiting for him to come “home”. (If you’ve never read this book, sorry for the spoiler!)

While reading to my youngest the other night, there was no need for dramatic pauses. I didn’t have to wait for him to fill in the blanks. He knows this book so well he’s singing right along with me, and when I decide to stop singing he continues on and does it so well, my heart fills with pride. Not to mention how adorable he sounds. I like little moments like that. I can plan elaborate trips in an effort to bond with my kids, yet something so simple as reading a book could bond us even tighter than any amusement park or trip to the zoo could.

A morning read:


What’s In A Girl Crush?

Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies  who will dazzle you with insight on various topics.  After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

For this week, Melissa’s pick: Girl crushes.

What is a girl crush, exactly? For me, I believe it represents feeling giddy or excited when you see that person, whether they are up close and personal, or through the television and/or on the big screen. Someone you admire and look up to. I imagine it’s someone I could meet up with (if that were to ever happen) and have an awesome conversation. Someone who undeniably rocks.

My image of celebrities has been skewed. This stems from an unfortunate meeting with someone famous (not a female) who I had imagined would be a lot more friendly and a lot less drunk. He was signing autographs and had become belligerent. He didn’t want to be there. I was 14 at the time, and I knew after that encounter what you see isn’t always what you’re gonna get with a celebrity. I went to high school with someone who is now famous (Jon Heder), and he started out like the rest of us. A super nice, normal, everyday, average person. (Although he was a different breed. I must admit, I’ve always liked the a/v geeks). I figure in the end, everyone (even famous people) puts their pants on one leg at a time (or two if they are in a hurry).

Because of this, I don’t think I develop huge crushes on celebrities in general. But I do admire them. And I’m not saying I wouldn’t get excited and practically pee my pants if I met a celebrity in person, but my criteria would still stand. Are they cool? Are they decent human beings, who haven’t forgotten where they come from? Could we have a conversation and be real with one another? That’s what I look for in general, and that’s what I would look for in a girl crush.

When I was a kid it was all about Madonna. It’s probably not appropriate for a 6 year old’s favorite song to be “Like a Virgin”, but it was. Since then, she’s always been a favorite of mine. She pushes the envelope and has paved the way for many other female performers (think Lady Gaga). I remember listening to the entire Erotica album and feeling blown away, not only by the sheer nakedness and rawness of it, but how out there Madonna was. It felt forbidden, which made her music all the more exciting to listen to. Shirley Manson, front woman for Garbage  is uh-mazing. I’ve seen the band in concert twice, and have been thoroughly entertained both times. I drove out to Colorado to see them live when they opened for No Doubt, and not that I don’t love No Doubt and Gwen, but I was really there for Shirley. She took her time conversing with the audience. There was no rush. And she is sexy as all get out!

Jennifer Lopez was someone I looked up to a lot in my early 20’s. I was built with a little waist and big ol’ booty, and at that time I was surrounded by a lot of other people who weren’t made the same way I had been. I worked in an office full of ladies, and I was known as “the girl with the big ass”. I was looking through a magazine and had seen a photo of her- I thought she looked so gorgeous WITH those curves! I realized that everyone is different, differently shaped, different sizes. I’ve really come to appreciate my own curves and I am not at all ashamed of my backside!

I love Kevin Smith movies. I looked forward to seeing Joey Lauren Adams after seeing her in Mallrats and Chasing Amy, one of my favorites.  I’d imagine she’s someone who you can shoot the shit with at any given moment, and I bet she’d give it to you straight, too. She’s got one of those likable personalities that you’d want to surround yourself with.

My newest crush is on Tatiana Maslany. My husband introduced me to Orphan Black and I’ve been hooked since the first episode! What comes to mind when I look at her is just how genuine she is! I don’t think she’s got a pretentious bone in her body, which is refreshing. I’d love to meet her some day.  I’m reading Judy Greer‘s book,  I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star. She is seriously funny, and appears to be another one who is down to earth and very grounded. She talks a lot in her book about shopping at Target, and she loves hitting up 24-hour drugstores like CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens. I like that she takes her co-star lifestyle in stride and finds happiness in where she’s at in life. She realizes she is blessed, and you can tell how humble she is.  Betty White is another one who I would love to meet in person and spend time with. She’s got a no bullshit approach to life and says what’s on her mind. She reminds me a lot of my grandma, likely the biggest reason I’m such a fan of hers. She is a lovely woman.

It’s not just celebrities and musicians I have a mad girl crush on. I love fitness, so people who accomplish a lot in this realm really inspire me! Who can forget Kacy Catazaro as she became the first female participant to complete American Ninja Warrior? It took her two years to train, and countless hours, but she fulfilled her dream! I’ve also started following Corina Nielsen, a woman who has inspired me to try new avenues of fitness and a new way of thinking when it comes to how I choose to stay in shape and stay healthy.

Now that I’ve blabbed about my own girl crushes, who are some of yours?

The Proposal




Today is our anniversary. Five years.

I know, the number five doesn’t sound like very much. Plenty of people have been married a lot longer than we have, but I know just how far we’ve come and how much we’ve been through in such a short amount of time. For me, five is a whole lot.

I had originally requested that he wait before popping the big question. We’d skirt the issue and delve a little bit into the marriage waters, but I was afraid. This wasn’t the first time at the rodeo for either of us. I was fairly certain he’d get tired of me after five years, considering that was the length of time I was involved with my former husbands from start to finish, and everything turned sour around the five-year mark. So, when he would bring it up, I’d say, “Ask me again in five years.” I wanted to make sure he’d stick around.

The two of us, though, we’re like glue.

He’s my best friend. He makes me laugh, he’s cool and he’s for real. He believes in family and wants what is best for me and the boys. Time has gone by and that hasn’t changed. Not to say we’ve had a perfect marriage. We’ve had trials and adjustments and moments that have evolved who we are as individuals and as a couple, but this man is a GOOD man, with a big heart.

Which is why my protective walls began to crumble.

My oldest son was 3 at the time. I walked into his bedroom, ready to read a bedtime story. It was what we always did. It was suggested that my son grab a book from the top of his toy chest, and sitting there was a pink elephant, ring tied around its snout with string. Instantly, my eyes welled up with tears. I knew what was coming. This was going to be a moment I would never forget, and I had no reservations. This was what I wanted to do, whole-heartedly. Imagine my surprise when my son grabbed a book I’d never seen before. The cover was a photo of him with his soon-to-be step dad, and that’s when I lost it.

(I had to take photos of the book, so forgive the bad images)















So much has happened since the proposal. We got married the following year, surrounded by our family and close friends. The year after that, our little guy was born and he changed our family dynamic for the better. Jobs changed. The kids either already started or are starting school this year (little guy will finally hit the preschool big leagues). We’ve lost loved ones. We’ve had our rough patches. Yet through it all, we love each other deeply and are a support for one another. A family.

And it all started with this one proposal.


boys in the sun room of our rental house

My husband and I


You Want Speed Racer? Sure, If I Can Have Sex and the City!

Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies  who will dazzle you with insight on various topics.  After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

For this week, I chose: What are some of your deal breakers when it comes to relationships/friendships/etc?

I came up with the idea after Melissa shared this article regarding deal breaker movies in a relationship. I thought of the pact my husband and I had made, the one where we wouldn’t purchase movies that both of us hated with a passion. For me, it’s Speed Racer. I had the unfortunate experience of seeing Speed Racer in the theatre. Puke. I like the actors in the movie. Usually that can help a stinkbomb, but not this time. The plot was all over the place, and I felt the directors put in a lot of special effects to try to balance it all out. In retaliation, I dragged my husband kicking and screaming to see Sex and the CityHe was one of three males in the theatre; the other women had most likely made empty promises to get their spouses out of the house. Of course, he hated it.

Months later, while strolling through a Blockbuster video, Speed Racer was poking out from beneath a pile of discounted videos for sale. The pact went into effect. No buying Speed Racer. If he broke our pact, I would have no choice but to purchase Sex and the City, and of course roles would be reversed if I bought my banned movie first.  

We currently own both movies. He cracked first.

On a more serious note, there are definite deal breakers for me in terms of relationships in general. Most people would cite cheating and abuse, and those two things are on my list too. This can apply to friendships as well. I don’t want to be in a relationship with anyone who doesn’t respect me or value me. Catty women who talk about you behind your back or divulge your secrets to others. People who put you down and say terrible things in an attempt to merely be vicious. I’ve had relationships like that in the past and have made every effort to move on. I don’t have the time or the room in my life for that kind of negativity.

If someone is lacking in the sense of humor department, it’s a deal breaker for me. I know we can’t have fun all the time, and there are moments where a stoic response is appropriate. However, I don’t do well with people who have trouble cracking a smile every once in a while. I have a few friends who are more serious, and even they know how to laugh!

I have a hard time with anyone who can’t be tolerant of others. We’re all different and come from various life experiences. Many don’t believe or live the way I choose to, and as long as it doesn’t hurt me (or them) in the process, I let it be. I chalk it up to a difference in opinion. I strive to be respectful. It really bothers me when someone bashes on religious differences, or take issue with another human being because they don’t come from the same social background. I love that the friends I have are all different. They provide me with such an interesting outlook on life because each one bring something unique to the table, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

So, there you have it. My deal breakers. Now it’s your turn. What are some of your deal breakers? 



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