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Old School Blogging: ABCs

Tonya from Letters for Lucas tagged me, so I’m happily playing along with Old School Blogging! This month’s topic is ABC’s. Elaine of The Miss Elaine-ous Life is hosting with Jennifer. Link up, if you want to play along too.

Alphabet Meme

A. Attached or Single?
Happily attached and married!

B. Best Friend(s)?
Yes, I’ve got those. Thank God.

C. Cake or pie?
Cake, cake, cake. I prefer chocolate and raspberry. I also like cheesecake. With raspberry.

D. Day of choice?
A vacation day or a sunny day.

E. Essential Item?
iPhone, mascara, o-gloss, reading glasses, Kindle…oh my, do I have to pick just one? I’m higher maintenance then I thought.

F. Favorite color?
Blue. I like blue. But I mostly wear gray.

G. Gummy bears or worms?
Gummy bears

H. Hometown?
Danville, California is where I grew up. Now I reside in Orange.

I. Favorite Indulgence?
I heart red vines.

J. January or July?
January is my firstborn’s birthday month, my annual girls trip to the Sundance Film Festival, and the first of the year. July is my husband’s birthday month, Del Mar opening day, my folks wedding anniversary and it’s sunny. I can’t decide between the two.

K. Kids?

I have a boy and a girl. My son is 6 and my daughter is 3.

My blessings. Mine are the baseball player and the cute girl. The littlest guy in this picture is my nephew.

My blessings. Mine are the baseball player and the cute girl. The littlest guy in this picture is my nephew.I have a boy and a girl. My blessings. My son is 6 and my daughter is 3.












L. Life isn’t complete without?

My family.

M. Marriage date?
October 28, 2000.









N. Number of brothers/sisters?
I have a baby brother. Ok, he’s not a baby (we are only 13 months apart) but that’s what I call him. My baby bro. He actually signs my birthday cards like that too: Love, Baby bro. And I’m adopted so I also have three bio-sisters who I adore and two bio-brothers. One I adore the other I’ve only met once, but he’s nice.

O. Oranges or Apples.

P. Phobias?
I really don’t like leaving the house with the bed unmade. If I do, it’s not going to rattle me all day but I prefer a made bed to come home to. I’m also not afraid of heights but I prefer both feet on the ground. And don’t even think about coming near my eyes with your fingers. I can touch my eyes, but I’m weird about other people coming near my eyes. Makes my eye doctor appointments a little stressful.

Q. Quotes?
I’m a quote person. I love quotes. “Always start from hope” is a favorite. I also like Joss Whedon’s “Always be yourself…unless you suck”.

R. Reasons to smile?

My family. My husband and kids make me smile (98% of the time). Damnyouautocorrect.com also makes me smile. Seriously, it’s funny shit. Watching my dog endlessly chase a tennis ball makes me smile. Kindness, the little things like someone opening a door for you always makes me smile.

S. Season of choice?

Summer. I like sunny.

T. Tag 5 People.

I got nothing…

U. Unknown fact about me?

I love movie soundtracks. My favorite is Elizabethtown. I keep that CD in my car, and it’s also on my iPod.

V. Vegetable?

My favorite is green beans but I eat most all veggies.

W. Worst habit?

I have a bit of a potty mouth. And I can be as lazy as I am productive.

X. Xray or Ultrasound?

Ultrasound, if I have to chose.

Y. Your favorite food?

No favorites but I love Mexican food. I also love hot & sour soup.

Z. Zodiac sign?



Six Word Memoir

Six words to describe something significant in my life. Um, how does a long-winded, soap-box type do that? Not easily. So I wrote six. Six Six Word Memoirs of six words each.

Husband, two kids. Employed, healthy, blessed.

I overaccessorize with stress and exhaustion.

Sometimes I am so over myself.

My family is my whole world.

Adopted. Awesome family. Awesome biological family.

Mama needs a vacation soon, please!

Written for Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop. Prompt 1.) Six Word Memoir: Write about a significant time in your life in just six words.


Four things on my mind (ok bugging me) today

Fuur things about being a parent that nobody told/warned me about

1. Morning “wood”. The first experience Fussypants had with this where he was aware of it was when he was not quite two and I was getting him dressed. Apparently I smushed his dingding with the diaper because he exclaimed, “Ow, my dingding is crooked”. I tried not to laugh or make a big deal out of it and we went on our way. Fast-forward two years. At four, Fussypants now thinks it’s hilarious to wiggle and waggle his alertness at me and say, “Heeelllloooo”. Thankfully this does not happen often as he gets himself dressed most mornings, but, as a girl, I don’t have a whole lot of experience with this morning phenom and just plain don’t want to deal with it first thing in the morning. This is so my hubby’s territory.

2. Crap and junk in, on and around the car.  Oh.My.God. will my car ever be clean again? Even when I wash it (or have it washed), it only stays that way for six minutes. Spilt milk and formula (which does not clean off leather easily), cheerios, crayons, 1/2 a napkin, toys, feathers from art projects, a sock, lollipop sticks, you name it, I’ve found it. And it’s disconcerting, the shelf life of a cheerio. They petrify and wedge themselves into the nooks and crannies and stay there. Forever.

3. The “last” five pounds. I know, as women, our weight fluctuates, seemingly moment to moment. Even your skinniest day can be sidelined after a cup of coffee and a vitamin but what is it about those last few pounds? Why are they so hard to lose? With all the running around I do chasing after a toddler and all the picking up of toys you’d think I’d be a twig.

4. Potty privacy. I JUST want to go to the bathroom by myself, in my own home! Why is that too much to ask? Fussypants does not stand guard at the door when his dad is in the bathroom, nor does he find him when he’s on the toilet to ask him inane and irrelevant to the moment questions, like “how do mosquitoes suck blood? Do they make a hole with their nose or do they have a special tool?” (Yes, that was Sunday’s burst into the bathroom burning question).

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Have you ever…

Left the house wearing slippers but didn’t realize it until it was too late to turn back? Taken your son to school without his shoes on him? Dropped your son off at school, got all the way home and realized his lunch box was still  in the front seat of your car? Called your husband by your son’s name, the dog by your husband’s name and your son by the dog’s name? Lost the word you were about to use, mid-sentence? Gone into the garage so you could yell and scream without any witnesses? Hidden red vines in your baby bag for stress-eating moments? Wanted to laugh and cry at the same time? Left a party early, when you’ve had an overnight babysitter, not to have private time with your spouse but to catch up on sleep? Eaten cereal for dinner out of the box? Walked around Costco wearing a plastic fire hat because it made your son happy? Cut your spouse’s food into small bites? Taken the exit to your kid’s school, when you don’t have them in the car with you? Changed your baby’s outfit 10 times in an hour because the clothes are so stinking cute? Spent all day with your shirt on inside out? Walked around with one of your child’s stickers stuck to your bum and nobody told you?


Me either.


If you really knew me…

If you really knew me, you would know that…

1. I always read the last page of the book first.

2. I back-packed around New Zealand by myself.

3. I do not like surprises.

4. Family missing milestones is hot button for me.

5. I can tie a cherry stem into a knot with my tongue.

6. My math skills are comically bad and my hand-writing is worse.

7. I have no patience for small talk so I’ll ask lots of questions to get you to talk about yourself. Because you know you want to anyway.

8. I consider raisins to be dead grapes.

9. I have a temper. I work hard at keeping it under control. Some days, I can feel it simmering below the surface. Yoga breaths help. 

10. I crave the sun.

11. TV/movies are my escapism. I’m intimate with my DVR.

If you really knew me, you would also know that…

1. My family is my numero uno, top-priority, love of my life, and I am feircely loyal and protective of them.

2. I’m a fixer. I am always going to try to make it better.

3. I’m an optimist and do my best not to terrible-lize things.

3. I do not believe in creating problems where they don’t exist, or worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet. Mostly because I don’t have the energy to waste.

4. I pray.

5. I can be exceptionally patient.

6. Home, to me, is anywhere with my husband and kids.

7. There is a silly word that always makes me laugh, and my husband knows it. He can always get me to smile.

8. My brain and my heart sometimes forget my age. I still feel 22.

9. I like to stand on furniture to get a different perspective.

10. I’m an advocate for networking.

11. I will always have your back. You can count on me.

This post was written for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.


10 things my mother taught me

Have you had that moment where you realize you sound like your mother? Then did you have the moment where you smiled because you realized that your mother was right and sounding like her made you even more proud to be her child?

I was adopted at birth and I’ve always felt the person I am is a product of my environment, nurture over nature. In 2008 I met most of my birth family and came to realize that while I am my parent’s daughter, there are parts of me that also came from my biological parents. It makes me feel very well rounded, to be such a nice mix of nurture and nature. And it makes me feel very lucky to have an amazing family and now an amazing extended family. The story of finding my birth family is a good one and I’ve been working on putting it in writing, which I hope to share soon.

Because of an unselfish act by a young woman not ready to be a mother, I was blessed with an amazing family and a mom who has, basically, taught me everything I know.

Even with my penchant for being long-winded, there is no way I can possibly capture all the wisdom, gifts, gems and advice she has passed on to me but for Mama Kat’s Writer’s workshop, I am going to share my top ten.

10 Things My Mother Taught Me (in no particular order)

1. “If you don’t know what a word means, look it up in the dictionary, use it in a sentence and then it will be yours forever.” My mom said this to me on many occasion as I was growing up and it works.

2. How to drive a stick shift. She had me stop on a hill (going up), take off my shoe and feel the clutch with my bare foot. We were there for a long time, it was incredibly frustrating for both of us, but I can drive a stick shift.

3. Patience is a virtue. Was she always patient with us? No. But she taught me the value of patience and how having it and exercising it rather than flying off the handle makes just about any situation bearable and allows you to really enjoy the things life has to offer.

4. Kids thrive on structure. My brother and I are only 13 months apart, my dad traveled for business and my mom worked. Maybe the structure was as much for her benefit as for ours but we had a set dinnertime, a set bedtime, chores and certain household rules we had to follow. Now that I have kids of my own, I realize how much smoother life is when structure and discipline is involved in the daily routine.

5. Manners matter. My brother and I addressed adults as Mr. and Mrs. XXX, and to this day I still address some of my folks friends that way. We answered the phone “Gunnarson Residence” until we were in college, we had to ask to be excused from the table, we said please, thank you, excuse me and pardon me. It may seem like a little thing but it’s so noticeable when you are around kids who do not have manners and it is so nice when someone tells you how polite your child is.

6. Use babysitters. Parents need downtime, married couples need adult alone time, dads need boy’s nights, moms need girl’s nights and sometimes you just need to be alone. If you don’t have family to help, hire someone.

7. Be present and make the time. With my dad’s travel schedule and two kids in sports and other extracurricular activities it wasn’t easy for my mom to be in two places at the same time but she always did her best and never made me feel as though she was choosing one kid over the other. And she always, always, always answered the phone or came to where ever I was, if I needed her right then and there.

8. Listen/hear. Listening and really hearing what people are saying is an important skill. I can always count on my mom to listen to me and to just know what I need without me even having to say it.
9. Experience as much as you can. We were exposed to so many different things and traveled so many places as children and although we didn’t love everything, having the opportunities to experience so much has made me a better person. So be it travel, reading, plays, sports, food, music, whatever; the world is exciting and meant to be explored.

10. Always believe in yourself. My mom is one of the strongest people I know, she is smart, dignified, capable, funny and just knows how to figure stuff out. She’s taught me to be strong, independent and self-assured and I hope I can pass all that along to my children.

And a few others for good measure…don’t smack your gum, boys don’t like girls who swear, don’t rush growing up, if you don’t like something about yourself, then change it, wear lipstick, say your prayers, and always wash your face and brush your teeth before bed. :)

I love you mommy!

(of course, my dad, brother, husband, aunt, cousins and certain friends (you know who you are) also had a hand in helping shape me into the person I am today, so know you are important to me, but this post is about my mommy).