Category Archives: This Thing Called Life

Pet Me?

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He waits for me to wake up each morning. He sits next to my bed

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, staring at me, sometimes with a stuffed animal in his mouth. Sometimes he’ll make this noise that sounds like a growl but is more of a pssst, I’m here, wake up and play with me! When I finally open my eyes, his little tail starts wagging, he starts panting and running around in circles. I’ll hit my bed and say “Here, boy!” He tries to jump up, but he usually doesn’t make it up until the third or fourth try. Once he makes it, he runs straight for my face to give me doggy kisses. Then he cuddles next to me and waits for me to pet him.

And he never wants me to stop petting him for the rest of the day.


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, sweet little Choco.

The Day My Husband Did Something Awesome (Because He IS Awesome.)

Today I shared something on Facebook that I wanted to share here as well. I hope you don’t mind but I’m just going to copy and paste what I wrote there.

Yesterday my husband did something pretty awesome and I have to share.

While driving home from work, he was sitting at a red light. He heard a sound of an engine revving but couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. He then realized something bad was happening. He got out of his car and realized that the man in the car in front of him was having a seizure and was stepping on the gas. The car had rammed into the SUV in front of it. Tony ran to the SUV and told the lady (who he said was terrifed) what was happening. He told her “do NOT take your foot off of the brake!” Then

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, Tony started screaming to the cars around him that he needed a crow bar. A man in a car nearby had one. Tony told him to break out the passenger side window. Once the man did that

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, Tony unlocked the door, jumped in and put the car in park and shut the engine off. He reached around and unlocked the driver’s side door so that the paramedics could get into the car. He said the driver had blood coming out of his mouth (most likely from biting his tongue.) Just as he unlocked the door, the paramedics arrived and took over.

I hope that man is okay. I’m so glad Tony was there to help. I’m so proud of him.

I’m sharing this because my husband goes out of his way to help people every day. He is kind, he is thoughtful, he is selfless. I am so proud of him for not only deciding to jump in to action to help, but for having the presence of mind to do so in a calm and effective manner. I just wanted to shine the light on his goodness today because I can.

He is my hero.

I Promise I Will Not Allow This to Become The I Lost My Job Blog.

I finished all of my laundry today and it felt freaking awesome. While I was hanging up the last t-shirt

, I was all “look at you! You are so brave and strong! That degree from The University of Teenage Marriage is really paying off! YOU’VE GOT THIS!”

But seriously, folks.

I had a rough weekend because losing your job really sucks.

(^^ Me. All Weekend. ^^)

But I’m realizing that it’s not the end of the world. It may be the beginning of some Life Suckage

, but life doesn’t end. I have options, connections and some pretty awesome plans. I just have to get past the fear to make things happen.

And I will.

I’m giving myself a week off, to just enjoy not working, my children and quite possibly all of the cheese sticks from Trader Joe’s.

And then, it’s SO on.

It’s Going to Be Okay. But Only After I Get Very Drunk and Cry A Lot.

Today is one of the worst days of my life.

I’m in shock. I’m scared. And unsure of my future.

My position with the company I’ve loved and been loyal to for over 6 years has been eliminated effective immediately.

I do not know my next steps will be at the moment. But I can tell you that I plan to drink a lot of wine this weekend, wallow in the suck and then get to work on Monday to figure my life out.

I keep telling myself that I will be okay, but I’m not so sure how bills will get paid and how I will take care of my family after the savings runs out.

One thing I’ve learned about myself over the past six years is that I’m smarter than I believed

, I am stronger than I think and that I am surrounded by wonderful people who I know will be here for me

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, to help me find my way.

Getting Settled In

Moving is hard.

Moving is SUPER hard.

Moving sucks.

Moving is The Worst.

Moving day was June 30th. It was 104 outside that day. With the exception of my brother for a couple of hours, we had no one to help us. Everyone was working, or out of town, or just jerks. (j/k. No one was a jerk. Everyone just happened to be out of town or working that day.)

While Tony and Ethan moved boxes and furniture, I cleaned each room to perfection in the hopes of getting every dime of our deposit back.

That day was one of the most, if not THE most miserable day of our lives.

But we got through it and at 2am, all of our furniture and belongings were moved and the house was spotless.

The next day, we met with the landlord to do a walk through and boy, was he impressed. In the 6 years we had been there, he hadn’t come to look at the house once, not even when we had asked him to fix all of the things that were breaking/needed repaired. (Which is why we had to move.) He told us he was sad we were leaving. He told us the leasing agent explained to him that if he had fixed All Of The Things, we never would have moved and he asked us if that was true. (DUH, of course it’s true.) Then he apologized for not fixing All Of The Things. “It’s just… out of sight, out of mind, I guess.” So, because HE didn’t have to live with broken things, he wasn’t bothered at all to fix them. If we had made more stink about it, he totally would have done it! Truthfully, he is a really nice guy. He just wasn’t very smart when it came to keeping good tenants in his house. Anyway, he was so impressed with the way we left the house, he gave us all $2500 of our deposit back three days later. So, that was nice.

We are slowly making this house into our home. But I do mean slowly.

We still have a ton of boxes that we need to empty. I still do not know where a lot of things are (but I found the wine opener last week

, you guys! IMPORTANT THINGS.) We still need to buy new furniture and decorate and I’m just a little bit stressed about that because we’re having Gabriella’s birthday party here in a few days. But people will understand that we just moved in, right? I should stop stressing about that, yes?

I do love our new place. It is clean, it is pretty, it is comfortable and I get to get ready in this bathroom every day.


I feel so much more comfortable and peaceful here. It makes such a difference living in a space that you love and aren’t ashamed of. It’ not a super fancy house

, but it is lovely and perfect for us. I feel grateful to be here and look forward to making many memories with my family and friends here.


Almost six years ago, we moved into a new place in my dream neighborhood.

In less than a month, we will be moving out and into a new place.

This house has been good to us, but this house is starting to fall apart and the landlord won’t fix a thing. For example, over two years ago, strong winds knocked a huge tree in our backyard to the ground, knocking down a huge portion of the brick retaining wall with it. To this day the wall remains broken, even though we’ve asked him on more than one occasion to please have it fixed. And that is just one thing of many things. Also? The very large backyard is a giant hassle to take care of. As much as I love this neighborhood and the World’s Best Neighbors, it’s time to move on.

We found a beautiful, yet simple home just a few miles down the road that is perfect for our family.

I’m struggling with feelings of sadness over leaving this place. We’ve made many wonderful memories here. But I believe this move is absolutely the right thing for our family. Change is good. I do look forward to making new memories with my family and our friends at the new place.

Let’s just hope that my marriage can survive The Moving Process. Because The Moving Process is an evil whore.

Sweet Bandit.

“Let me get him a puppy.” My mom said, shortly after we had to put our dog Willie to sleep in 2007.

I didn’t think I was ready to even entertain the idea of a new puppy. But my mom felt a new dog was just what Ethan needed. You see, Ethan and Willie were very bust buddies. The days after Willie died, Ethan’s heart was broken. He couldn’t bear to go in the backyard, too many reminders of Willie were lingering back there for his tender little (broken) heart handle.

I wasn’t ready for another puppy, but I was overcome with sadness for my son, so I agreed to let my mother find a puppy for our grieving family. It just so happened shortly after this conversation with my mother, a friend of the family mentioned that she was getting a puppy from a woman whose lab had puppies, TOO many puppies (I believe it was 13 puppies? Nuts.) She invited me to come with her if I was interested in getting a puppy. Perfect timing.

“Pick the biggest puppy.” My husband said as I walked out the door.

I found the biggest puppy and he was the cutest thing I had ever seen. I picked him up and instantly fell in love.

I brought the little guy home and Ethan was smitten.

“What do you want to name him?” I asked.

“I want to name him Bandit, because he has stole my heart.”

It was a rough few weeks for me. Bandit was very young and so he was very needy. I slept with him every night on the couch for the first week. I would get up to take him potty and to pet him when he would cry. And OHMYGOD

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, how he would cry. Sometimes? I’d cry because it was just like having a newborn baby all over again. But man, I would do anything for my children’s happiness and dammit, I loved that puppy.

Bandit grew up to be a huge dog. He was so large and weighed so much, he could knock you on your butt. When he’d come running towards you, you would have to brace yourself, plant your feet firmly in the ground and hope for the best. But that dog was so amazing, he would never run towards the little kids. He would always approach them gently. I loved that about him.

Such a beautiful, fun loving, dorky, hyper, dog.

A few weeks ago, we knew something was wrong with Bandit. There was a growth on his nose. Then, we heard that one of his brothers had cancer. When I heard that, my heart sank. I knew the news wouldn’t be good for Bandit.

Our fears were confirmed by the vet. Cancer. Nothing they could do.

We had to have him put to sleep.

I didn’t go with Tony the night we put him to sleep. I couldn’t bear it. I just couldn’t. But when I got the call that it was over, that he was gone. I just lost it.

It was a sad night for our family. And it was especially sad for his best buddy, our other lab, Luke. He howled for hours the morning after and still to this day, he’ll run to the gate on the side yard and cry. It’s awful.

Bandit was only 6 years old. Seems so unfair he had such a short life. But I am grateful we had him in our lives for those 6 years. He was such a funny, loving, loyal, pretty dog. I’ll miss him forever. We all will.

How I Plan to Save For Next Christmas.

This Christmas was the first Christmas in a long time that I didn’t make a single charge to a credit card for gifts or our Holiday party. Everything was paid for with cash and damn

, it felt good waking up the day after Christmas knowing I wouldn’t be paying for it months down the road.

Yesterday I saw a photo being circulated on Facebook titled “52 week savings plan.”

I knew the minute I saw it that I was going to do this and title it “Christmas 2013 Fund.”

And I knew I had to share it here with you.

(photo credit: Rosa Chykur)

So simple, right?

You’re welcome.

Because Embarrassing Bathroom Stories are Fun to Read!

From the archives, Originally posted September, 2003.

I was reading Joelles post about pooping in public restrooms and it reminded me of one of my most embarrassing moments in life.

When Tony and I first got married, he wanted to go to Tijuana to visit his grandparents. I wasn’t too thrilled with the idea. When I was a young girl, I had to go there with my parents are part of their church ministry and I know what the “bathroom situation” is like in most places. The idea of staying somewhere for more than a day where I might possibly have to take a dump in a box with a hole cut out didn’t appeal to me at all. (I have bathroom issues.) He swore to me that his grandparents lived in a modern house, with running water and an actual toilet. I fought the idea of going, but I realized I was acting like a spoiled rotten brat and agreed to go. However, I wasn’t thrilled about it.

We arrived and I was thrilled to see that yes, they had a toilet! However, the toilet was in the middle of the living room. There were four pieces of wood surrounding the toilet that went about halfway up to the ceiling. So, while you technically had “privacy”, there was really no barriers to keep the sounds/smells confined to the bathroom area. I was slightly mortified, but hey! it was a real toilet that I could flush! And besides, it was just us and his grandparents at the house. I could totally deal with that.

A few hours after we arrived, Tony’s grandmother began making chocolate milkshakes for us to drink. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings by saying “no thank you.” So, I had a milkshake. But then, she made another one and then, another one and you guys! I kept drinking them so as not to offend her. Later that night, my stomach started to hurt really bad. Uh, oh. I thought to myself. I know what’s about to happen and it’s not going to be pretty.

I was laying in bed with severe stomach cramps when I heard people start coming through the front door. The started to file in, one, two, three at a time. Before you know it, the entire living room was filled with people. And these people were ALL MEN.

“What the hell is happening here?” I asked my husband. He went to talk to his grandma to find out.

Apparently, his grandfather was very active in Mexican politics and that night he was hosting A TOWN MEETING! In his living room! The same living room that had the only toilet in the house right in the middle of it! With only four boards around it so no one could see you, but everyone could hear and smell you!

Oh hell no. This was not happening. Except, it was happening! OH MY GOD IT WAS HAPPENING.

I tried to fight it, but I couldn’t. I ran to the living room. After making my way past two thousand Mexican men, I made it to the “bathroom.”


And then. It happened.

Sitting on a toilet

, shitting out dozens of milkshakes in the middle of a mofo TOWN MEETING. It was loud in the room, so that helped to calm my anxiety about what was happening just a little bit. Until THE ROOM GOT QUIET. I sat there, crying, asking Jesus to JUST KILL ME NOW PLEASE because I had no idea how I was going to find the strength to exit that bathroom after what I had just done.

I sat there until I figured out an exit strategy. I was going to walk out of there with my head held high, like, YEAH, I JUST DID THAT… WHAT??! But that’s not what happened. I walked out of there, saw the line of people waiting to use the same toilet I had just tore the hell up, and ran out of there– tears streaming down my face– as fast as I could.

So there you have it. My Most Embarrassing Bathroom Story.

Care to share yours?

On second thought, DON’T! I don’t want to hear it!

A Post About Loading the Dishwasher. (Seriously.)

There is a very specific way in which I load my dishwasher. Not because I’m a control freak, but because this way works for getting the most dishes possible in the dishwasher so as not to waste precious water.

I’ve showed my husband countless times how to properly load our dishwashers and honestly? It’s super easy! Cups and glasses on side top rack. Bowls in the middle

, plates at the bottom, DISHWASHER LOADING BASICS. And yet, every single time he loads the dishwasher, he puts everything in the wrong place. This wouldn’t be a big deal if he was able to fit most of the dishes, but the way he stacks it, he only can fit about 8 things. I end up having to go rearrange everything to make more room.

“Why don’t you load it the way I’ve showed you 500 times?”

His response is always something along the lines of “Well, if you don’t like it, why don’t you load it yourself?”

Which, give me a break. I DO the load the dishwasher myself most of the time. The few times you do load it, WHY CAN’T YOU DO IT THE RIGHT WAY? Or even the sort of right way?

Is he doing this on purpose? Is he just trying to annoy me? Is it possibly he has a Dish Washing Impairment? Or am I the one with the problem? Do I need to just let him stack that crap anyway he wants to and not worry about all of the water that will be wasted because of his refusal to DO IT RIGHT?

I don’t know man. I just don’t know.

This post has been brought to you by 22 years of marriage.