Halloween Confessions

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/Confession #1:  We are not carving pumpkins this year because I don’t like the mess and can’t justify spending $30 on 5 pumpkins.  Also, I have to do most of the carving and cleaning and that is murder on the carpal tunnel.   Go ahead and say it.  I’m a terrible mom.  I’m totally okay with that.

Confession #2:  We are not handing out candy.  We have 5 children.  Does anyone expect me to take them out by myself so that my husband can sit at home and hand out candy?  Not happening.  Maybe we’ll get egged.  Whatever.  At least there won’t be pumpkins to smash.  (Note:  I did hand out candy at my church’s Trunk or Treat.  I’m not a complete ogre.)

Confession #3:  I will raid my kids’ bags when they are sleeping.  My candy of choice?  Snickers, Starburst, and Sweet Tarts.  I have a thing for candies beginning in “S.”

From The Thing (1982) Hilarious.

Confession #4: I don’t watch scary movies on Halloween because I’m honestly scared to death of them.  I can handle the really bad ones with cheesy special effects, but Paranormal Activity?  No stinkin’ way.  The Ring still gives me nightmares.  The Exorcist?  Help.  Masks, mirrors, and Gregorian chants give me the creeps.  I hide behind a pillow when I “watch” scary movies.

Sparkly vampires are more my style.  (Wait.  I think that counts as another confession. Consider that Confession #5, then.)

"Real Vampires Don't Sparkle." Um, "Real Vampires" don't exist.

Okay, now that the confessions are over, I thought it’d be fun to share some of my own “scary stories.”  Enjoy!

Happy Halloween!

The Ultimatum

I’m Thinking of Growing a Beard 

The Secret

A Scary Text

The Test

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Growing a Blog

Image via Wikipedia

In a surreal moment this week,  someone asked me for blogging advice.  Me.  The techno-phobe who still sweats buckets every time I hit the publish button.  I was flattered.

In her request for advice, she said something very interesting:

It seems like yours [blog] grew enormously in a short amount of time.

Has it really been a short time?  Sometimes it feels like I’ve been blogging forever.  So I went back and checked the date of my first post. No, it hasn’t been forever.  It’s been almost exactly 9 months–long enough to grow a baby, my blog baby.

In January 2011, I was terrified nobody would read my blog.  Or worse, they’d read it and hate it.  That didn’t happen.  I blogged religiously for 2 solid months, with only friends and family giving me feedback, before I got my first “real” commenter (sorry friends and family, you don’t count.  Obligation and all that.)  Not only my first commenter, but my first “internet” friend.**  It was me and her for the longest time.  I kept at it for two more months and steadily gained more commenters and subscribers.  More friends.

**I adore her and her story, which you can find at Love Versus Goliath.  Thank you so much, Robyn.

People scoff at the idea of “internet friends.”  Well, everyone is entitled to their opinion.  I have had so much love and support from people on Momfog.  When my house burned down, the offers of help were phenomenal.  One lovely woman sent me a care package from the Netherlands with local foods and some handmade cards and ornaments from her and her children.  When I decorate my tree, I’ll know “internet friends” are “real friends.”

Aren't they cute?

So, has my blog “grown enormously?”  Based on my expectations on January 24, I’d have to say yes.  I have more subscribers than I ever thought possible and I have loyal commenters whom I love.  But it’s not only about the numbers.

The writing has changed.  In the beginning, I was excited and nervous.  The posts were safe: kids, housecleaning, parenting, spa days.  Then I found Write On Edge (formerly the red dress club.)  They inspired me to branch out, try writing a fiction piece now and then, focus my writing on a particular subject and keep to a word count.  If I was nervous before, I was on the verge of a breakdown then.  Again, the support of other awesome bloggers got me through it.

Now what?  Do I sit back and relax?  Keep doing what I’m doing?  After all, someone asked me for blogging advice.

Of course not!

The Blog is still growing.  I’m fielding offers.  I’m doing book reviews.  I’m hosting giveaways.  I’m starting a weekly feature.  Who knows what else I’ll come up with?

Nine months can grow a baby, but it takes time and effort to grow a mature adult.  I’ve only just begun.

 

Tuck Your Skirt In Your Panties And Run

On November 1, author Lucy Adams is making a stop on Momfog to promote her book, Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run.   If you’re southern, want to be southern, or simply like to laugh at with southerners, it’s definitely the book for you.   It is hilarious.

I’ll have a full review up next week.

In honor of Miss Lucy’s visit, I’m hosting my very first giveaway.  I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m sure I’ll be able to pick a winner and mail out the item in a timely manner.  But we’re going to keep it simple, just in case.

First of all, the prize.

Tuck Your Skirt Tote Bag

Close-Up

Now, what do you have to do?  I could make you “Like” me on Facebook, “Follow Me” on Twitter, link to me, promise me a kidney if I ever need one, etc.  But really, it’s a tote bag.  So, just leave a comment and you’re entered. (Note:  It wouldn’t kill you to tweet, stumble, or share.  Help me out, here.)

As for my super duper scientific method of choosing a winner, it’s this:

I will write down all your names on a piece of paper, cut them out very neatly, and place them in a hat, or a ziplock bag, or a big bowl.  One of my children, probably the 6-year-old, will remove one of the slips of paper and hand it to me.  I will read it.  The name I read is the winner.  Sound fair?

The giveaway starts Tuesday, October 24 at 10:00 PM (EST) and ends Wednesday, November 2 at 11:59 PM (EST).  I will draw on Thursday, November 9 at “whenever I find the time (EST)” and contact you.

Don’t forget to check out Lucy Adams appearance on November 1!

Leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway!  Good luck!

Giraffe Cake

I have so many posts in draft that I could finish, but it’s 11:30 on Sunday night and I don’t feel like thinking.  Besides, tomorrow is Monday.  Who feels like reading on a Monday?  So, for your pleasure and mine, a cake.  Cake is always a good idea.

It’s not the best cake I’ve ever done, but I think it’s cute.  I drew the giraffe free-hand and it wasn’t my idea to make it blue with neon green spots.  However, the color palette is my favorite part about this cake.  All the colors were vibrant and cheerful and my client (and her daughter) were happy.  Success!

In other cake news, I’m doing a wedding cake in December.  I always get nervous doing wedding cakes.  A wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event (theoretically) and the cake needs to be perfect.  Ach, wish me luck.

A Scary Text

OMG I am freaking out. What do I do? My dad is gonna kill Jason and my mom will kill me. I’m not telling them until after prom.  What if I’m showing before then?

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Write On Edge Writing Prompt:

For this week’s Red Writing Hood prompt, we’re inviting you to truly scare us.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

Compose a post in the form of a text160 characters.

Your text must elicit or express fear.

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I have two girls and I’m terrified.  How about you?

“The Feeling” (Part I)

I had “the feeling.”  Rather than waiting and fretting, I headed to the Dollar General Store to buy the pregnancy test.  I was a Pro, no need for a $15 test when the $1 one worked just as well.  It would probably be negative anyway.  Other than “the feeling,” I had no reason to suspect anything.  It was too early.

I got the results in record time.  It took 4 seconds for two lines to appear. Oh me.  I dialed my husband’s work number, waited long enough for him to say hello and broke the news gently.  “I’m pregnant.”

“Oooomph.”  I had knocked the wind out of him.  The rest of the conversation proceeded in cheesy sitcom fashion.  Lots of “ooohs” and “ohs” and “ahs” and “okays” broken up by stunned silences.   What was the big deal?  It was only our 5th baby.

We broke the news to his mom.  “What?!” followed by the most pitiful look I’d ever received.  She recovered quickly.  She apologized and gave me a hug, the kind you give someone who has suffered a trauma.  It was appropriate.

Next on the list was my father-in-law.  He was rendered speechless.  It was the first miracle I’d ever witnessed.

Finally, I called my mom.  She wasn’t shocked.  She’d had a dream I was pregnant.  I made her tell my dad.  I always had trouble telling my dad I was pregnant.  I know he knows how I got that way, and wouldn’t all dads prefer not to be reminded that their daughters are doing “that”?

I enjoyed the pregnancy, my last. Sure my nose swelled up and spanned almost ear to ear, but I could wear maternity jeans.  Maternity jeans are the absolute best thing about being pregnant.  I wore them for about a year and a half, until I discovered yoga pants.  I didn’t get morning sickness.  I ate whatever and whenever I wanted.  I was living the dream, baby.

I scheduled my delivery.   I planned on doing it without an epidural.  Not because I wanted a beautiful, fulfilling birthing experience, but because I hated the idea of not being able to move my legs.  I hated being heaved in and out of bed by an irate nurse.  I panicked when I thought of being paralyzed from the waist down.  Semi-natural was my choice.  Bring on the Demoral.

I was doing really well until my coach said the worst thing she could possibly say.  “You only have to do this for a couple of more hours.”

TWO HOURS of this horrendous, awful, terrible, gut-wrenching Pain?  I started to whimper and called for the epidural.

It took several pricks in my spine to get it in and it only worked on one side, but I could feel my legs.  Then, I passed out.  Anesthesia, or any drugs for that matter, knock me out.

Then my blood pressure dropped, making me even more sleepy.  I don’t remember much after that, except for overhearing the nurses talking to the family of a laboring woman.  “…pressure too low…needs to improve…we may need to do a C-Section…”  Poor girl, I thought, not realizing the poor girl was me.  I found out later the nurse told my husband to keep nudging me and not to worry as long as I responded.  Nice.

Time passed and I opened my eyes, suddenly wide awake.  I saw my mother-in-law praying, and said, “I think I need to go to the bathroom.”  The nurse checked me.  Nature was calling, but not in the way I thought.

The delivery room sprang to life.  Tools laid out, lights positioned, baby incubator wheeled in, and the big, fat, exhausted soon-to-be-not-pregnant lady in the stirrups.  The doctor was set to receive and the play was in motion.

A few pushes later (I am an excellent pusher) and Anna Grace entered the world, re-dividing my heart from four parts into five.

Autumn Is…

Autumn is…

Image via stock.xchngThe bite in the air, the smell of pumpkin.

A time of harvest and thanksgiving.

Warm colors and changing leaves.

Blah, blah, blah.

I love fall.  It’s my favorite season.  But if I’m being honest…

Fall is…

Clothes that cover up my ever-expanding body.

The only time of the year it’s acceptable to eat your feelings as much as you want because it’s the holidays.

The end of making excuses why we can’t go to the beach or the pool and I can leave the bathing suit on the top shelf of the closet where it belongs.

The Ladies Retreat–a weekend with no men and no children and no responsibilities.  Just God and us women, feeling loved and appreciated.

Coloring my hair the perfect shade of dark chocolate with just a hint of red.

Not shaving my legs every stinking day.

Not sweating.

And that is why I really love Fall.

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Crisp apples, picked from the orchard, and brilliant leaves blending into the sunset along the horizon mean autumn has arrived in Michigan.

If you’re in one of the areas of the country still sweltering in summer-like temperatures, perhaps George Eliot can help bring some autumnal memories to the surface:

Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it,
and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive
autumns. ~George Eliot

For you, what does autumn evoke?