Talking to Your Kids About Sex – Hugs, Kisses and Friends Chat Show

April 22, 2014

talking to your kids about sex

Yes, you read that right.  I’m entering the phase of parenting where we are talking to your kids about sex is a real thing.  No longer is it off in the horizon where I don’t really need to think about it.  This is real, people.    

What?  

Yes!  

But your oldest is only 9!

I know, right? 

It all started a couple of months ago when Addison was wondering how he and Dear Husband were actually related.  He knew that he and his brother came out of me so we were definitely related.  No doubt.  But he and his brother did NOT come out of Dear Husband, sooooooo.

One thing led to another and before you know it Dear Husband is explaining the workings of how a baby is made.  One of my fears is that he would hear all of this from some idiot 5th grader on the school playground and get his head filled with a lot of bazaar and not accurate information.  One thing I knew for sure, he needed to hear it from us first.

Turns out it was a good thing we had this conversation.  Since recording this chat show we had an interesting dinner conversation.  It just so happens that one of the neighborhood friends that he hangs out with had a book stashed away and he and his buddies have been studying it; like their SAT scores depend on it.  Before you gasp in horror, it was a legit birds and bees book that the parents had bought to teach their son about sex.  We now know that page 13 is a very interesting page.

A few weeks ago when Mari from Mari Quite Contrary was here chatting about blogging, we also did a separate chat show about talking to your kids about sex.  She has two kids, one of whom is entering tween-hood.  Blegh.  We had a great time sharing our stories.  We want to hear yours.  Have you had to have “the talk” with your kids?  

 

My Writing Process Blog Tour

April 21, 2014

Today I’m participating in a writing process blog tour.  It’s kinda like Tour de France except I’m not in a bike race, or riding a bike, nor am I in France.  Really the only similarity is that they both have the word “tour” in the name.

A writing tour is when you get invited by another blogger to describe your writing style.  My bloggy friend, Brandi Barnett, asked me to participate in the writing tour.  She is a lovely Oklahoma woman who blogs about life and writing plus she was a Listen To Your Mother cast member in 2013, so you know she is legit.

On to why we’re here:

What are you working on? This.  This blog is what I’m working on.  I have all these stories in my head that I need to tell.  I need to continue the story of how we created our 2nd son via IVF, and I have a great story of the time I went to England with my grandmother.  There are all these real life stories swimming around in my head that want to be told.  Actually taking the time to put them down can be a problem.

How does my work differ from others in it’s genre?  I’ve never really thought about which category I fall into.  At first glance you could say that I’m a mommy blogger but I don’t just write about being a mommy.  Lifestyle blogger would be a better choice for what I’m doing here.  I’m resistant to being called a mommy blogger because I write about more than just parenting.  My life experiences play a large role in what I write about.  That being said my personal experience is what makes me different than other lifestyle bloggers.  I’m the only one who could tell my story because I’m the only one who has experienced it fully.  That is what makes mommy bloggers and lifestyle bloggers all unique.  We all have a unique story to tell.

Why do I write what I do?  See above.  My life is what I know best.  I’ve always thought it would be wonderful to write fiction since I love reading it but to be honest I don’t think I could.  When I think about what it would be like to write someone else’s story, describe circumstances and experiences that I don’t have first hand experience in…I can’t really wrap my head around it.  I am in awe of authors who can create complex characters, settings, worlds, languages and emotions out of nothing.  

How does your writing process work?  Most of the time I just sit down and start typing.  I just imagine that I’m telling myself a story or something funny.  You know those times when you have full conversations in the mirror with the person you wish you told off or could be brutally honest with but never would?  Or told a hilarious antidote to or practiced what you would say if you were a guest on Ellen?  (I hope I’m not the only person who does that.)  Sometimes writing is like that.  I get to have all those conversations but instead of the mirror it is right here on my blog.

There are times when I actually have to write something, not because I want to but because I’ve promised someone I would.  Those are often the hardest times to say exactly what I mean.  If I have to write about something but can’t exactly find my voice I find it easiest if I just start typing.  Eventually what needs to be said finds it’s way here.  

If I have an idea I better get some of it into the computer or I will quickly loose it.  Unfortunately, lightbulbs go off over my head when I’m away from the computer; in the shower, walking the dog, etc.  If I don’t either make a note about it or start a draft then it will get shuffled to the bottom of my to-do list.  PTA meetings, dinner, activities, family life will take precedence and soon I’ll forget all about it.  I’m pretty sure I’ve lost some brilliant posts to my own procrastination and “oh well” attitude.

This last bit wasn’t part of the blog tour interview, just my own two cents.  I find it funny that someone would think of me as a writer.  I was a average student in high school and college.  I wasn’t the dumbest kid in the class but I certainly wasn’t vying for the position of Valedictorian.  I didn’t even get to sit up at the front of the graduation line with the top 10% of the class.  I just had to sit back in alphabetical order with all the other yahoos.  Writing a book always sounded appealing but there was always someone way smarter than me and people who wrote books were smart.  I didn’t see myself as that kind of smart.  It’s amusing that this blog has evolved into something that can at times, be considered “writing”.  It just goes to show that you should always give yourself more credit than you think you deserve.

Color Me Rad Discount and Giveaway

April 18, 2014

Color Me Rad Discount

(source)

Color Me Rad will be back in Oklahoma City on May 10th!  Better yet, I’m back with another Color Me Rad discount and giveaway!

If you don’t know about Color Me Rad by now you have been a couch potato.  These running geeks have been taking the country by storm and leaving us all in a cloud of purple dust.  What is it like to run in Color Me Rad?  It’s like the Easter Bunny ate a huge jelly bean burrito and then let out an enormous fart.  What better way to show your mom you love her by signing her up for the OKC race and running through an Easter Bunny fart with her on May 10th?

You know what is even more awesome than an Easter Bunny fart?  A 20% discount.

Here is your OKC Color Me Rad Discount: HUGSKISSESSNOT20

Here’s what you need to know about this discount:

  • This discount is only good for the Oklahoma City run on May 10th
  • You must register on the Color Me Rad website.  Use the discount HUGSKISSESSNOT20 when checking out.
  • Be prepared for your teeth to turn pink (don’t worry, it will come off when you brush)
  • Prepare to be awesome.

And now for a giveaway

I have two (2) free race entries to give to you, dear reader/runner.  These freebies are for the Oklahoma City race only.  To enter leave a comment below telling me what you love best about the Color Me Rad race.  The giveaway will be open until midnight (Central Standard Time) Friday.  The winner will be announced Saturday, April 26th.

Good luck and God speed.

Color Me Rad Discount

Parenting Hack – The Dinner Table

April 17, 2014

Today I’m blogging over at Oklahoma Women Bloggers.  Did I mention that I’m taking a role in helping administrate that site and facilitate connections with the women bloggers of Oklahoma? My partner in crime is Mari Farthing.  You may remember her from the Hugs, Kisses and Friends Chat Show we did together about blogging.

Come on over and read my confession about my parenting hack at the dinner table.  

 

Oklahoma Women Bloggers

It happened again this week.  I had to walk away from the dinner table in frustration.  That day I had planned, shopped and cooked.  I felt good about my week’s dinner menu.  On Monday night I prepared a Mexican rice casserole.  It had beans in it and I knew my 9 year old would turn his nose up at the beans.  The first 3 years of his life I made his dinner and then I made ours.  Then one day I realized how ridiculous and disastrous this habit was becoming.  I made the decision years ago that I would no longer limit my dinner preparations according to his picky desires.  If it were up to him our nightly dinner would rotate between plain pasta, beef tacos, Raising Canes chicken and cheese pizza.  

Read the rest of my parenting hack at Oklahoma Women Bloggers.

 

Hugs, Kisses and Friends talks about Marriage

April 16, 2014

marriage

I’m back with another episode of Hugs, Kisses and Friends Chat Show.   Have you been enjoying it?  Feed back is welcome.  If there is a topic you would like to see discussed I’m open to suggestions.

This time Shel Harrington is with me taking about marriage, why people get divorced and staying married.  Shel is a divorce attorney and also a blogger.  She blogs about marriage and how to stay married.  Although she is a divorce attorney she would prefer to see couples stay together.  Obviously there are many circumstances that call for divorce.  Abuse, addiction, infidelity, all reasons why Shel sees clients come into her office.  However, Shel sees couples who use divorce casually.  They would rather get a divorce than go through the difficult process of working out their differences and remembering how to love each other.

 

Thanks for watching!
 

Forgiveness and Reconciliation

April 11, 2014

forgiveness and reconciliation

(source)

This week marks the 20th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda.

Twenty years ago I was preparing to graduate from high school.  I’m ashamed to say that 20 years ago I knew nothing of what was taking place on the other side of the world.  I was 18 and selfish, entitled, and self-centered.  If it wasn’t happening to me directly, it may have been happening on Neptune for all I cared.  My world was consumed with my boyfriend, preparing for college, wondering how I was going to survive at college without my boyfriend, going to Sonic with my friends, making out with my boyfriend, thinking I was the shit, watching TV with my boyfriend, wondering what clothes to take to college, riding around in my new car…with my boyfriend.  

It was all.  about.  me.

I never really even understood the magnitude of what happened in Rwanda until watched Hotel Rwanda many years later.  Even then I had a hard time understanding how something like this could have happened right under my nose.  Because, things like genocide were reserved for the Holocaust, and we weren’t ever going to let anything like that happen again.  But it did.

This week The New York Times posted an article called Portraits of Reconciliation.  It is a collection of photographs and stories of victims and perpetrators of the genocide who are granting and receiving forgiveness and reconciliation. Here’s the part that stops me in my tracks…the victims are granting forgiveness and finding ways to live and work alongside those who wounded them so deeply.  

“If I am not stubborn, life moves forward. When someone comes close to you without hatred, although horrible things happened, you welcome him and grant what he is looking for from you. Forgiveness equals mercy.”

I couldn’t help but think about the people who I know who are broken.  Broken because they have been hurt by someone they loved.  Hurt so badly that they don’t feel worthy of love, have a difficult time giving love freely or both.  Broken because they did the hurting and don’t know how to ask for forgiveness.  They are ashamed of what they have done and no longer feel worthy of love and have forgotten how to show love.

So often we allow the hurt to define us.  We cling to it so tightly we wouldn’t really know how to act or be without it.  Pain and shame become a metal of honor; too precious to let go.  So precious we mount it in a shadow box and hang it by the front door of our heart.  When someone gets too close we can show them our pain.  See this?  This pain is who I am.

Then along comes something like what happened in Rwanda and we think; surely there is no forgiveness for them in this lifetime.  

Our pain is safe.  If someone is hurt so deeply that the very fiber of their being is altered how can we expect them to forgive?  We give them a pass and in so doing give ourselves a pass.  Maybe, just maybe, we could forgive; but we could never forget.  Forgetting would mean we have to move on, we would have to take down that medal of honor and throw it away.  If we can’t dwell on our pain, then who would we be?  What would we become?

Then something crazy happens.  Those who were hurt beyond repair…forgive.  And not just forgive but seek reconciliation.  Reconciliation is forgetting part of the equation.  Not just forgetting, but moving forward.  They may never be the same again, but are seeking ways to fill the empty void with something other than pain.  The amazing thing is this goes for both sides.  

All that being said; if the people of Rwanda can seek and grant forgiveness and reconciliation…why not us?  What makes our pain so much more severe and precious that we won’t let it go?  This is not to belittle someone’s suffering but to shine new light on it.  Look at it though new lenses so that possibly we can allow it to turn to ash and be blown away.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.

When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;

the flames will not set you ablaze.”

Isaiah 43:2

  

 

Chat Show: Oklahoma Women Bloggers

April 10, 2014

It’s another chat show!  Last time on Hugs, Kisses and Friends, Mari and I talked a lot about blogging in general.

This time we are talking about something specific: connection.  

Making connections in the online world is really important.  Sometimes you hear it as “finding your tribe”.  Oklahoma Women Bloggers is  a great place to make connections.  

Oklahoma Women Bloggers

 

If you are a blogger in Oklahoma I invite you to check it out.  Visit the Oklahoma Women Bloggers site, register your blog on the directory, join the FB group and start engaging.  Sometimes its hard to put yourself out there but I’ve always found that it pays off.  There are opportunities to feature your photos and writing or be featured as a blogger of the month.  We can’t always stay in our comfort zone.  It’s okay to put a baby toe outside the comfort zone line now and then.  It’s worth it, I promise.

Medieval Fair 2014

April 9, 2014

It’s that time of year again!  Medieval Fair!  If you read last year’s Medieval Fair post you will know that this fair is a highlight of my year.  The turkey legs, the crazy costumes, the corsets, the mermaids.  The fairy wings!  For the love, the fairy wings.   It’s all incredible.

This year the boys and I set off with BFF and another good friend and her kids to see what insanity the fair had in store for us.  It did not disappoint.  I went with the goal of finding the most crazy costumes and corset cleavage and boy, oh boy did I find some gems.  This year was boobalicious.  

We started the afternoon off at the food vendors.  I had a brisket baked potato as big as my plate with a big gulp worthy lemonade to wash it down.  Once I had that rock in my stomach I was ready to hit the archery tent and then ye olde tilt-a-whirl.

medieval fair

medieval fair

Since we had a little girl among our numbers we had to stop at every fairy wing and princess headband tent.  I didn’t mind that one bit because one of the tents had dragon wings.  This smart lady knew there would be moms of little boys out there who would love to put some sort of mythical wing on their kid.  When I saw these dragon wings I made a bee line to show Harry.  He was all over them.  

Medieval fair

medieval fair

Best purchase of the day.

This year Addison announced that he was going to do the “big trampoline thingy”.  We didn’t do it last year and I think he has been planning this day ever since.  I paid the $8 then handed my first born over to a lady with several missing teeth to fit him for a harness.  These are carnies, folks.  No sugar coating it.  If you make a living by traveling around the state setting up and taking down a rickety thrill ride, live in a camper and operate on a cash only basis; you’re a carnie.  

So, I allowed a troupe of fair travelers to attached my child to several rubber bands and then fling him 50 feet in the air.  

His excitement was palatable.  He couldn’t stand still as he watched the kids in front of him bounce to heights that only someone with a death wish could dream of.  Red Bull should get in on this.

Beaming, super excited

Medieval fair

Still really excited.

medieval fair

It only took one unintentional flip for the happiness to turn to terror.

medieval fair

 Not so much fun any more. 

medieval fair

Terrified

Medieval fair

 Really ready to get off.

I was really proud of him.  He was clearly terrified but he kept it together throughout the whole experience.  Upon exiting the trampoline he let me know that he was about to pee his pants so we power walked it over to the port-a-potties.

Okay, now that we have dispensed with the family fun let’s move on to what we are really here for.  

Bring on the crazy.

Oh, hello Gandalf.  I’ll go with Middle Earth as an acceptable Medieval Fair fodder.

medieval fair

 Medieval fair chick holding a turkey leg.  Every nerd’s dream.

medieval fair

 Who needs an entire costume when you have a hat with 3 foot antelope horns?

medieval fair

You know what I love?  This woman’s confidence.  You go girl.

medieval fair

Now THAT’s what I’m talking about.

medieval fair 

Somebody let this guy know that he’s missing most of his armor.  The jousting tourney is not going to go well for him.

Medieval fair

 I think this girl was lost.  She obviously thought she was attending Comic Con but somehow found herself in the middle of a Renaissance festival in mid America.

Medieval fair

Oooooooo a Medieval angel.  Please turn around, please turn around, please turn around…

Medieval fair

 Oh, it’s a dude.  Even better.

medieval fair

The prize for most amazing fur trimmed bra goes to this gal.  I apologize for not having a better picture of this lovely lady.  I tried and tried to get a good shot of this magnificent costume, but it proved difficult.   Take my word for it when I say she was worthy of a call back for casting in Game of Thrones.

medieval fair

Don’t knock the child leash until you’ve had to keep track of a speedy toddler in a crowded place.  I’ve been there and I’ve used one.  There’s no shame here.  I just wish I had the Scottish outfit to complete the look.

medieval fair

   Two words:  Boob.  Shelf.

medieval fair

 

The family that geeks out together…well, you get the idea.

medieval fair 

The Medieval Fair wouldn’t be complete with out a visit to the mermaids.

medieval fair 

Here’s case of someone really wanting to dress up for the fair but not having access to a corset and billowy skirts.  Last year’s Halloween costume will do in a pinch.

medieval fair

 Punk festival, Medieval Fair.  Whatever.  Same difference.

medieval fair

 

And the Medieval Fair award goes to….

medieval fair

 

Holy Lanisters!  This couple was in it to win it.  Their Medieval motto is; go big or go home.  If that guy didn’t poke someone’s eye out before the weekend was over then I’m amazed.  

Until next year, keep your corsets laced up and your mead at room temp.

Chat Show: Let’s Talk About Blogging

April 4, 2014

talk about blogging

I’m back with another Hugs, Kisses and Friends Chat Show.  This time around my friend Mari Farthing from Mari Quite Contrary is visiting and we talk about blogging.  There are a lot of mysteries in the blogosphere.  How to make money blogging, blogging SEO,  writing authentically, increasing readership.  The list goes on and on.  Google those topics and you will find umpteen-million blog posts trying to disyper the magic code.

I often get asked if I make any money blogging.  The answer is not yet.  Just because you start writing a blog doesn’t mean that money begins magically appearing in your paypal account.  People who do make money blogging have several different streams of revenue.  Speaking engagements, book deals, selling an ebook, free lance writing for other blogs and publications, ads, product reviews.  And bloggers who make money through these means have been blogging for a long time.  You definitely have to be passionate about it.

Mari and I have some thoughts on the subject of blogging.  So, let’s talk about blogging.  

What do you think?  If you are a blogger, have you made money yet?  Do you worry about SEO?  Do you obsess over stats and likes?  Tell us about it.

West Texas Easter Egg Hunt

April 2, 2014

Last week my boys and I headed to visit my parents in West Texas.  My mom likes to have a Easter Egg hunt for the kids at her church, in the neighborhood and her grandsons.  They have a big yard and it’s the perfect place for hunting eggs.  

This year dying the eggs seemed to be a big hit with the boys.  They were a little too cool for school for crafts so creating Mindcraft themed eggs was big fun.  Then Addison taught them all a new game…egg toss and smash.  All of the smashed eggs went into the creek behind their house.  The raccoons will clean up that mess.

Donnie Darko, I mean, the Easter Bunny made a brief appearance. (shhhhh, it was my dad).  I was even able to squeeze in a little brotherly love photo shoot.

easter egg hunt

easter egg hunt

easter egg hunt

easter egg hunt

easter egg hunt

easter egg hunt

easter egg hunt

easter egg hunt

easter egg hunt

easter egg hunt

easter egg hunt

easter egg hunt