I’m giving in. Sort of.

Enough said.

It’s November 5th. Five days into the ‘thankful month’. Seems like all I’ve seen on FB and  Twitter for the last five days,  are people participating in these ’30 days of  Thankfulness‘ challenges.  That’s a great mission to partake in….if it’s your thing. And it’s also good to read…..if that’s your thing.

But I’ll be honest. It’s not mine.

You want to know why?  Chances are you don’t, but I’m telling you anyway. Probably also thinking ‘what a bitter bitch’. That’s okay too. Whatevs. I’ve got my big girl panties on, and I hiked up my skirt and grabbed my balls before I decided to write this post. So, I’m good.  Anyway, here’s my thing.

Being thankful all 365 days of the year. Not just for the thirty days in November.

Not to sound sappy or cheesy, but I wake up every single morning, thankful I woke up. Then I go about my day, silently thankful for the many things I have that others don’t, and reminding myself not to take those things for granted. Because I’ve learned from past mistakes, and know very well that all of it can be gone in the blink of an eye. Life is unpredictable and full of surprises, and is even shorter than we all believe it is when we say “Life’s too short”. It just doesn’t seem fair to be thankful for only 30 days out of the year, when the other 335 are just as important.

There’s also a flip-side to this. Some days I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, and I’m sure Satan himself is saying “God help us all… She’s up.” Those days, I’m thankful I’m not a violent person. Other days I’m thankful ‘my mama taught me better than that’ when I plot revenge against someone I feel has wronged me or The Man or worse… The Beans. ** There are also those days when I feel thankful for my resentment. An odd statement, I know, but it keeps me on my toes and thinking about how I can be a better person, free of resentment or regret. Don’t get me wrong. I have few regrets, and little resentment, but I’m only a human, work in progress.

But, in the spirit of November, I will list a few things I am thankful for at this moment, and in all the other moments of all the rest of the 364 days of every year:

1. A husband who tries his best, and is perfectly imperfect….and who can ‘fix it in post’ and make movies sound better than anyone I know 🙂

2. Daughters who are breathtakingly beautiful, and don’t know it; humble and compassionate. Who are wild and too loud and drive me crazy, but melt my heart with random ‘I love you’s’ whispered in my ear when I need them most.

3. A bunch of ridiculously talented and creative siblings, nieces and nephews who can paint things like this, make cool things like this, and write stuff like this and this. Oh and there are others….they just don’t have websites. Yet.

4. A circle of friends stronger than diamonds who ALWAYS have my back, and would walk barefoot, across an ocean of fire and broken glass to get to me if they knew I was in trouble. Even when I forget to call them or text them , or withdraw into a shell when I need them most. And they always know when I need them most, because they pay attention, and they know who they are.

5. Being a graduate of THE University of Alabama, who has the #1 football team in the country, and who will be BCS Championship winners once again this year. ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!

6. I am thankful for all my new bloggy sisters and brothers, in the Theme Thursday crew, and especially for Lori, over at The Next Step, for thinking this post, was worthy of a guest feature on her blog yesterday. She even did it without my knowledge, which made for a nice surprise! The traffic I got from it put me over 14,000 views up in here since I started writing in January…woo-hoo 🙂

7. I am thankful I have the right to vote tomorrow today, and I will be exercising it too. And proudly wear that sticker all day. On my forehead.

Okay, that’s enough for now. You see, it’s late, and if I don’t go to bed right the fuck now, I’m going to fall asleep and bang my head on the keyboard, causing a gash which would no doubt cause me to be ‘thankful I have health insurance’ when I end up in the ER having it stitched back together. And then I’ll have one of those mornings where my feet hit the floor, and everyone says…..“OH SHIT. SHE’S UP, and INJURED. And can’t wear her sticker on her forehead. We’re screwed.”

Lights out.

**FYI, I have decided to refer to my girls as The Beans aka Sugar Bean, Butter Bean, and Sweet Pea, respectively, from this point on. Sorry for any confusion this may cause. It just seems more fitting a description for them. LOL. 

 

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Beep..beep…beep. I’m backing up a bit.

It’s entirely possible I may have this photo slogan printed on a tee-shirt and wear it everyday for the rest of my life. Wait that might be copyright infringement…huh? Crap. Well, kudos to whomever came up with it….it needs to be on a shirt. Or at the least, a bumper sticker.

So…I’ve been gone for a bit… again. After I promised part 2 of this post. Finally getting around to it now. I know, I know…..

Allow me to back up a bit to September 5. The day my blogger crush idol, Glennon Melton, the founder of Momastery and author of “Carry On, Warrior”  totally rocked my world on FB for everyone to see….which made the historically rotten day of September 6, not so shitty. You see, September 6, 1995 is the day my mama died. So this year marked the 17th anniversary of her passing. Seventeen years are a long time to be without a mama, and I don’t wish it on anyone. Now, she was not without faults (nobody is, of course) and my childhood was a living hell because of them, but I love her dearly to this day, and miss her more and more every year….especially on September 6. I fucking hate that day. Honestly, I try to prepare myself each time it rolls around, and always end up in tears. Never fails. Anyway….this is how Glennon, Kristi (of Barn Owl Primitives) and the rest of the Monkees made it more bearable:

I was tinkering around on FB, and spotted a link to the Barn Owl Primitives page posted on Momastery’s page, with a heading that mentioned the ‘we can do hard things’ signs Kristi makes and sells. Normally, I wouldn’t have commented, but I was headed into a particular funk, dreading the next day, so I did. I wrote the following….

“I am DYING for a “We Can Do Hard Things” sign, but I’ve got a buck-shot bank account right now. *sigh* Maybe in a few months :-)” 

Didn’t give it another thought, and went on about my day. A few hours later, I happened to be back at the computer and noticed that GLENNON RESPONDED TO MY COMMENT, WITH THIS:  “Nancy Romine Minkler: I read your comment – “I am DYING for a “We Can Do Hard Things” sign, but I have a buckshot bank account right now. *sigh* Maybe in a few months :-)” Then I sent it to Kristi, and she’s gonna send you a sign, sister. HA! Just like that! BAM! BOOM! Sister On. That Kristi’s got a heart of gold. And paint covered hands. Nancy- send me your address!

To say that I was blown away, is an understatement. And one nice lady commented on the thread, saying she wanted to pay Kristi for my sign and order one for a friend. I plan to pay it forward as well, once I can. Amazing what perfect strangers do, not knowing the impact, or how badly you needed a pick-me up.

Love wins. Sister On. Carry On, Warrior. We Can Do Hard Things.

All words to live by.  Here I am with my sign 🙂

It’s so much better in person!

That was the beginning of September, and the rest of the month turned out to be a real doozy. I won’t go into any detail, because to be honest, y’all don’t really want to know and I don’t need to share. Just keep in mind, that I DID HARD THINGS, proving the statement on the sign, and came real close to reclaiming my Southern roots, in person…and not just for another wedding or a simple visit. Moving on….

Not ALL of September was bad. Just most of it. In the end it appears that everything will be okay. Life is a work in progress around here, though, so we’ll see.  On the upside, I got to have an impromptu night out with one of my besties, Elise, whom I’ve known since college. She lives literally 5 minutes from me, but we never see each other. Damn kids, keeping us busy! I keep lying to myself saying I will be better at carving out time to see the women whom I love….the ones who blow up my phone trying to check on me when I withdraw. Empty promise. I’m a repeat offender. They know this, and continue to love me and put up with my shit anyway. God Bless them!

So far, October is shaping up to be a pretty good month. I mean, it usually is, because Halloween is my favorite holiday hands down, and that happens this month! In addition to that, tying up loose ends that needed to be dealt with long ago, plus, The Man FINALLY went back to work today after a hiatus that seemed as though it would never end. Ever. That in itself deserves a “Hallelujah, Holy Shit”, because now I will be able to get things done, without him following me around, trying to be all up in my business. You can read about those shenanigans here and here. Love him to the moon and back, but too much of a good thing, is….well….too much of a good thing.

Oh, and I am happy to say that I’ve hooked up with a fabulous group of mommy bloggers (and 2 daddies) known as the Theme Thursday Crew. You can read my first two contributions to the blog hop here and here…..if you haven’t already. The best part of  being in this kick-ass group of bloggers, is I have a deadline and an assigned topic, every week which forces motivates me to write. And, with the shameless promotion we all do via FB and Twitter to help boost readership for each other, we have set our sights on nothing less than ROCK STAR FAME IN THE BLOGOSPHERE.  I’ve always heard, if you shoot for the moon, even if you miss….you’ll land among the stars. Good enough for me.

BTW, speaking of rock stars…The Tribe and I were fortunate enough to be invited out yesterday afternoon to watch a friend’s band play on the patio at the Sagebrush Cantina in Calabasas. Galen, the lead guitarist/male vocalist is a colleague of The Man’s, so we wouldn’t have dreamed of missing it. Typically, the Sagebrush is a biker bar on the weekend afternoons, but yesterday was particularly family friendly and we all had a blast! They even gave us a shout out for coming, and played my theme song…lol. See for yourself right here. The Oldest Girl shot the video, while The Middle Girl was running around, and The Youngest Girl was lounging on the stage. Yes. On. The. Stage. The Man and I were, dancing. Well….I was, anyway. Good times, people. Good times. And we were due for one 🙂

Last but not least, I am helping out my friend Kit Wallace, over at Blue Eyed Entertainment this Wednesday. She is having a wonderful event in association with The Palomar Hotel-Westwood and Diamond Girl Media, Inc to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Week….Check it out, and spread the word out about her company! If you have a brand that needs a PR boost, Kit’s your girl. Blue Eyed Entertainment is a full-service, boutique PR company that is certain to be huge in the future. Get in with them as they grow and help your brand grow too!

Okay, I’m off to bed. The weekend totally waxed me. And besides, I’m out of stuff to say…for now. Shocking, isn’t it?

Cold turkey.

 

Yeah, pretty much. I bend, but I don’t break.

“Well hello again, blogosphere….and loyal followers (if I have any left). It’s really nice to be here again. I’ve missed you terribly, and almost went bat-shit crazy several times during my absence.” 

That is what happens when you are forced to quit seeing your therapist (aka..this blog) cold turkey because life just gets in the fucking way. Right along with chronic insomnia,  hair falling out, and clothes becoming too big, because eating ranks even lower on the totem pole than updating your online journal. At least that’s how it happens for me. And I’m here to tell you, it’s really not an option for me from here on out, as I enjoy this gig. THAT I know for sure!

So. What’s been going on that dragged me away? Let me make a list…

1. I got a job. To be fair, I work from home, on the computer and set my own hours (which technically are from 6pm til my eyes close). Therefore, it really shouldn’t interfere with my main gigs of mommy, wife, writer (which, ironically got me the job in the first place), sister-friend, volunteer, etc….BUT I actually LOVE what I do, and I’m an over-achiever. What can I say? I suppose I get in my own way, and despite my best efforts to go without it, I do need to sleep sometimes. Whatever.

2.  We…as in The Girls and I…were invited to a couple of events (also because of this blog) and those took up a little time, but were well worth the investment. The first was on August 4th… the launch party for Universal Studios Home Entertainment‘s  “Twinkle Toes: The Movie” on DVDThose of you familiar with Skechers’ line of shoes known as Twinkle Toes probably know all about this, especially if you have daughters. The event was tons of fun!! The Girls bedazzled tote bags, enjoyed coloring pages at an art station, and watched outstanding dance performances by the students of the Academy of Dance Westlake Village. Oh, and we were gifted with a Universal Studios Home Entertainment Kids Summer DVD Package that included the Blu-ray Combo Packs for An American Girl: McKenna Shoots for the Stars, Hop and Big MiracleAll great movies, btw, and The Man actually mixed the post-sound for Big Miracle, so it was very cool to get that one 🙂 Anyway, thanks so much to Jacqueline Cavanagh at Click Communications for inviting us, and Nancy Walters and Michelle Slavich for making sure we had a great time. You ladies ROCK!!

Our second outing was to attend the opening night performance of Mary Poppins at the Ahmanson Theatre on August 10th. Honestly, when I got the invite from Jason Martin at Center Theatre Group, I almost died!! Seriously. Not only am I a big ole theatre geek, but to be given the opportunity to take The Girls, who have seen the movie 87,000 times,  to this…of all plays…as their very first trip to the theatre was, let’s just say …. supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!! And if just attending wasn’t enough, our complimentary seats were in the FRONT FREAKING ROW!! How does that happen? Are we that cool? Maybe it was because of my use of “that word” in this post. I don’t know. To say that we were wowed from the moment we arrived is a massive understatement. I’ve never seen my daughters so engaged and excited by something. At one point, they were on their feet, ‘oooohhing and aahhhing’, while witnessing Mary Poppins fly overhead from the stage to the top of the house, and it truly warmed my heart to see the sparkle in their eyes as they enjoyed the outstanding performance.  A kick-ass, special ‘Mommy n Me’ outing. I can’t thank Jason, who made it possible, enough. I don’t know him, but he’s a hero in my book now 🙂 Here’s a photo of us in the lobby just before the show. Can you feel the excitement???!!!

In the lobby, before the show!!!

Last but not least, the other outing I attended…without The Girls….was the 6th Annual Community Gala and Fundraiser for The Boyle Heights Technology Youth Center on August 16th. My dear sister-friend Kim Poirier invited me as her ‘plus one’, and we had a glorious time. It’s not often that I get invited to events for such fantastic causes, so I jumped at the chance to attend. There were vendors of all kinds, yummy food, and spectacular musical performances by students from the Center as well as well known celebrities. If you don’t know about this center and what it does for kids….do some research and donate to them if you can. They are doing great things with the youth in this city, who will no doubt go on to be some of the leaders of tomorrow. Here is a fun pic of Kim and I with “waxy jazz hands” after we were treated to chocolate parafin hand dips from one of the vendors. As you can see, we are total cheese balls….

“Waxy Jazz Hands”…LOVE IT!!!

And here is our post-event, red carpet photo. She got to actually walk the carpet and be snapped by the paparazzi before the event, as she is a big deal here in the world of Hollywood! I’m just lucky she thinks I’m cool enough to bring along 🙂

We were wearing the same color scheme…navy and red, but didn’t plan it…lol. Great minds think alike, right?

3. Dang…I didn’t ever think I would make it to number 3!! THE KIDS WENT BACK TO SCHOOL on August 20th. Two in elementary, and one in….gulp.…7th grade. Holy crap, I have a middle-schooler! Where did the time go? But I digress. Most mamas have MORE time once their kids go back to school, right? But the preparation that goes into getting them prepared to go back is an energy draining, time consuming, pain in the effing ass. Not to mention is expensive. The school supplies times 3 left me with a buckshot bank account and thus, a stress level that needs Xanax. Daily. But I am happy to report that everyone has done marvelously in their first few weeks back, loves their teachers, and is adjusting to homework again. Oh, and The Oldest Girl landed in Advanced English (wonder who she takes after…lol:-) and her science teacher has HOT PINK HAIR!! How great is that?

4. Now here is where it gets tricky up in here…and sad….then happy again. My niece, Meaghan, got married last weekend. You may remember me talking about her in this post. She is more like a sister than my niece, as I was only 14 when she was born, and we have spent A LOT of time together over the years. She even came to LA to live with The Man, The Girls and me for a summer while she shot a movie. Good times, I tell ya. Anyway, she asked me to be a bridesmaid back in May and I was elated! Ordered my dress right away, and was anticipated it to be smoothe sailing. God laughs when I make plans, remember? As I have mentioned several times before on this here blog, times have been, um…challenging for us, financially speaking, over the past few years. It’s been an endless roller coaster. So, as the wedding date approached, it became clear I would need to make a devastating call, and decline the honor to serve as a bridesmaid, because I couldn’t afford a plane ticket, nor the payment for my dress. That was one of the hardest calls I’ve ever had to make. I was in tears for days, depressed beyond belief, because the trip would have meant I would be able to see my whole family, whom I haven’t seen in 2 full years. Knowing how much I wanted to go, my very precious Oldest Girl put her brain into action and conspired with my sweet MIL, who surprised me with a plane ticket and the funds to pay off my dress, just 1 month before the wedding date. Obviously, I broke down in tears and finally knew what those families on Extreme Home Makeover must feel. To me, it was that special.…like winning the lottery. I will NEVER be able to thank her enough for that gift. EVER. Needless to say, it was a beautiful occasion that went off without a hitch. A traditional Southern plantation wedding, complete with shrimp and tomato grits, and sweet tea served in Mason jars with striped straws. Every detail was perfect. Oh, and the first University of Alabama Football game of the season was happening that day too, so there was a big screen tv set up at the reception, because in the South….football is a religion….and nothing gets in the way of it. Plus, both Bride and Groom are alums of UA….they even had ‘Yeah, Alabama” played instead of the standard Wedding March, as they floated back down the aisle as husband and wife. I, of course, was singing right along and yelled out a quite audible “Roll Tide” as I was the last to walk down after them, and my exit happened to coincide with the lyrics of our Fight Song…lol. The icing on the cake was that our Bama boys smeared Michigan State into the field, 41-14. Roll Tide Roll, baby!!!! And of course here are a few pictures…..

The stunning bride and her very proud aunt!

Our wedding “Mookie” faces. It’s a family thing…lol.

Might be my fave. Megz had a bug under her dress, so I had to lend some extermination skills. RFLMAO…..only me.

And finally…..THE ENTIRE WEDDING PARTY being, well…ourselves. How great is this picture????

BEST. GROUP. PHOTO. EVER.

So that’s what has been happening with me, and why I had to take a break. There’s actually more, but I’m going to save that for tomorrow’s post, because I’m sure y’all are like…”OMG. This is soooo long”. But I do promise to write again tomorrow, because I need to talk about what just happened on September 5th….that made September 6th much more bearable than it ever would have been.

Be sure and come back. I’m going to bed, as it’s 1:30 where I live, and my eyes are trying to take a nap 🙂

xo,

N

Mama to the rescue!!

Holy crap crackers! So much has happened since my last post, I don’t even know where to start.  And I thought this week was busy!

First of all, I forgot to tell y’all I was invited to be a contributor at MomsLA. How could I forget that? Well…it happened kinda fast, and amidst this. Nonetheless, it is a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious HONOR, in my opinion, and deserves special mention. The group of mommy bloggers they have assembled is spectacular, and I feel blessed to be included! If you would like to read my first post over there, which happens to be about my family’s participation in the making of the book trailer for the zombie thriller, “100 Days of Death”, click here 🙂

So.

As I mentioned, the first weekend in July, my family made a zombie movie. Not just me, mind you, but all of us. The Man and Middle Girl remained human, while I, The Oldest and Youngest got….zombified. I ran…A LOT…and eventually got shot in the head. Theatrically speaking, of course. The Man did what he does best (SOUND) while The Middle One acted like a frightened 8-year old when I attacked the car she was sitting in while The Oldest and Youngest made a feast out of the “prop” entrails of a friend. I know, Mother of the Year Nominations are being accepted, and I’m a shue-in based on allowing this alone…lol. Sounds like fun though, huh? Honestly, we had a blast, and aside from the possible therapy my girls may need later on, I can absolutely guarantee they will never be scared of any horror movies, monsters, or Halloween costumes for the remainder of their lives. They now know it’s a movie magic! 

Moving on….

While I wasn’t being all ‘undead’ and running from gun-weilding, leading men I was actually helping my sister, Shane, get her blog up and going. She is an even more talented writer than I, and she has stories to tell about our family that happened long before I was so much as a blip on the Romine Radar. There are some about me, and you can read those here and here. So, when you get a minute (or right now) hop over and see what she has to say. You won’t be sorry, I promise. Oh, and leave comments for her just like you do for me…she LOVES some feedback!

Oh and I got a job. A real one.

You are probably thinking….WTF? When does she have the freaking time?  Yeah, me too. But I am making time, and all I can say is that it was divine intervention. Won’t say anything more yet for fear of jinxing it. But I am very excited to have the opportunity and see where it goes 🙂 Of course, I am hoping for mad success, so say a little prayer for me.

And finally….just to make sure you realize there is NEVER A DULL MOMENT UP IN HERE…this past Saturday afternoon, while driving The Girls home from a trip to the local public library (because they were bored)…I rescued a red-eared slider turtle from the middle of the road. Yep. There he was, trying to cross the street a few blocks from my house and I stopped and picked him up. Since he is an almost entirely aquatic creature, I saved him from certain death in the heat we had that day, or more specifically, from being squashed like a bug by another car. Our first instinct was to put him in the pool when we got home and let him swim, because that’s what turtles like to do. And let me tell you…he was elated! However, I did a bit of research and discovered chlorinated water wasn’t good for him (shocker), so he spent the night in our bathtub. Then, yesterday after going both door to door asking if anyone had lost him and putting up “Found Turtle” signs–with zero response– I became worried that he wasn’t eating and decided we needed to consult with the experts (i.e. The Fish Cove, our local pet store specializing in aquatic creatures). They agreed to foster him for a few days while waiting to see if anyone claims him, as we are simply not equipped to properly care for him. I mean, we have a bearded dragon and a dog, but neither of them require almost constant submersion in water. So we are T-minus 2 days and counting until we must figure out the next move. In the meantime, we named him Bing.

That was my last 9 days. Oh, and during the composition of this post, I had to stop writing briefly because my washing machine flooded the laundry room and kitchen. Thank God I don’t sleep much now. Otherwise, it would have really made a mess! 

 So…whatcha got for me? Let’s hear it 🙂

N

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