The Time Lottery

I won the lottery!

No, not the billion dollar Powerball (though not for lack of trying), but it could quite possibly feel very similar to finding that mythical matching ticket.  I feel light. I have a bounce to my step, and I’m smiling a Mona Lisa-style grin that has other people wondering at my secret. 

Luckily for you, I’ve decided to share because I am so excited, I can’t keep it in any longer…

I have won a minimum of 52 hours a year…FOR. LIFE!

As of this weekend, I have more time than I thought I had when the week started, and if all goes well, this will be the start of a trend that will last as long as I do. 

I have discovered that my friendly neighborhood Kroger offers ClickList!

  
Yes! 

Finally, someone has created a grocery shopping alternative for the busy (and not-so-busy) mommas (and probably some daddies) who have a strong dislike for (aka hate with a burning passion) having to spend precious hours pushing a heavy cart through crowded aisles week after endless week when they’d rather be at home trolling the Internet for shoe sales. 

I just add items to my cart on the big K’s website or app, select a pick up time, click submit and go back to Zappos.com. Meanwhile, a Kroger worker bee fills a real cart with the items in my virtual cart.  I go to the Young One’s soccer game, cheer like a good momma should, and stop at Kroger on the way home like I do any other weekend. 

GroceriesInstead of going into the craziness of the store though, I now drive around to a designated spot, hand over my credit card (yeah, that part doesn’t go away), and supervise another worker bee who loads my wholesome goodness into the back of my car. 

Then I head home…at least an hour earlier than I did before. Yes, I still have to lug it all into the house and put it away, but afterward, I have extra time to read with the Young One, kill some zombies with the Hubs, talk with the Older One or spend some quality time with the blog. 

*sigh*

*smile*

I am a happy momma…a happy momma with more of the most valuable thing there is–time. 

**Today’s post was brought to you by Five Minute Friday and the very appropriate word “time”. 

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Refuse to Dwell

I refuse to dwell on negatives and the things I cannot change. 

  
Part of the reason I took a blogging break earlier this year is because the only thoughts I had were once that induced worry and stress, and I didn’t want to give precious blog space to things that don’t warrant it. 

Will we find a house in our new city?

Will the Young One make new friends?

Will the Older One visit once he’s out on his own?

Will he be able to feed himself if I’m not there to do the cooking?

I can’t dwell on these things. Worrying about them won’t change them. 

We moved. 

She made friends. 

He visits, and he seems well-fed. 

Life goes on. I can’t change its pace.  

The only thing within my control is how I react to the obstacles in my path. I can stand still and dwell on how I cannot possibly hurdle it or I can look beyond it, focus on the positive and move on. 

I choose to move on. 

Today’s post is brought to you by Five Minute Friday and the word “dwell”. 

Red Cups and Date Rape Marketing

I am weary of the Red Cup controversy. I am cringing as I type because I have avoided the topic all week. Now that I’m faced with the writing prompt “weary”, though, I have realized that I’m not tired about much except how much time the media has spent on a cup that will find itself in a trash can or recycling bin an hour or less after its purchase.

I really think we have bigger things to worry about this holiday season than what graphics are or are not on a paper coffee cup. Let’s talk about ISIS or global warming or politics (but please not about Donald Trump or his opinions on the cup).

Kudos, though, to Starbucks for a non-marketing strategy that got people talking about their over-priced coffee. I say that with the utmost affection since (full disclosure ahead) my gold-level status is something of which I am quite proud. Now, let’s all agree to draw our own depiction of the holidays on our cups and move on.

I’m more offended by this stellar piece of marketing from the hopefully fired marketing director at Bloomingdales. 

   

While Bloomindales has apologized for the ad that appeared in their holiday catalog, they have not offered an explanation for how this endorsement of date rape got through the approval process. I am hopeful we’ll find out it was the case of an over-worked marketing executive who scrolled too quickly through the proofs and didn’t take the time to read every word or examine every picture.

That is not an excuse to be taken lightly, but the alternatives are disheartening. Either someone at Bloomingdales believes drugging your female friend is the key to a happy holiday or someone at Bloomingdales was affected by the scenario depicted here and finds that combatting rape culture is a lost cause. Both are frightening and cause me great concern for the world my daughter will step into when she is a teenager.

On the bright side, should I ever grow weary of marketing my current employer’s products, I may have to send my resume to both Starbucks and Bloomingdales, especially if I am looking to dial down my marketing efforts. At one, you don’t have to put much thought into marketing concepts. At the other you don’t have to think at all.

***Today’s post was brought to you today by Five Minute Friday and the word “weary”.  

The Dance of a Confident Girl

DanceLike most moms of girls, I once had visions of my little princess twirling on stage in a pretty pink tutu. I heard tap shoes in my dreams and saw piles of sequined leotards in my future.

The Young One did try dance class once upon a time, and when requested, she would give us all a living room performance of what she had learned. She also went through a Justin Bieber phase where she would crank up the iPod and pretend she was one of the thousands of screaming, dancing fans at his latest concert. Fortunately, that crush was short-lived.

However, once she set foot on the soccer field, her interest in dance performance also faded.

Now, instead of tap shoes and ballet slippers, she wears cleats and tennis shoes. She flies down the field with her pony tail bouncing behind her, and she is happy…happier than she ever seemed while trying to master the complex steps of the latest dance routine.

Soccer

Instead of teaching her Barbies to plié, she uses her teddy bear as a football and rushes in for the winning touchdown.

My princess is an athlete, a sporty girl, a wonder. She has found her identity on the sports field, and it fits perfectly with my image of the strong confident girl I have always hoped she’d be.

***Today’s post is brought to you today by Five Minute Friday and the word “dance”. Stop by Kate Motaung’s site to read more interpretations of “dance” or link up your own!

Do They Notice?

I wonder if they notice when I’m not there.

NoticeAfter I leave the house for the day, do they miss me? Do they walk the rooms looking for me? Do they stare in confusion at my empty chair? Do they wonder why the television is silent and why the dings coming from the iPad on the counter go unanswered? Do they ponder the lack of clicking keystrokes from the computer?

Sometimes as I make the return commute, I wonder if they will notice I am home.

Will they lift their heads at the sound of the garage door opening? Will they come to see who has walked through the door? Will they greet me with enthusiasm or apathy?

I turn the door knob and face the unknown.

Greeting

Now, that’s a happy pup who notices his momma is home!

Suddenly I am attacked from the front! Paws pound against my thighs and a frantic swishing of tails stirs the air around me. I go down on my knees, and my face takes the next onslaught as pink tongues dash out in welcome. The silence breaks with the joyous yips of reunion.

Yes! They missed me! My puppies missed me while I was gone for the day. They noticed my absence, and they are happy to have me home!

**Today’s post is brought to you by Five Minute Friday and the word “Notice”. Check out other musings on the prompt or post one of your own at Kate Motaung’s site.

Still a Birthday Girl

I still enjoy birthdays.

StillI don’t enjoy the getting older part of birthdays, but the anticipation and celebration of one day made special just for me is still pretty high on the list of things I enjoy. I like them even more when I can stretch the celebration out over a few days or even a week.

Tomorrow I’ll celebrate the official day with family and friends.  The Young One has had a special present picked out and wrapped up for three weeks now, and she has tried very hard to keep it a secret. However, she has asked if she can give it to me every day since the Hubs took her shopping, and sometimes she slips and hints at what is buried inside the gift bag under a mound of tissue paper.

But that’s tomorrow. We still have today to kickoff the festivities.

Today, we’ll start the celebration with an afternoon just for girls. I’ll read to the Young One’s class and then spend the rest of the afternoon with her at the mall. She has basketball tryouts tomorrow morning and insists she needs high-tops on her feet, so the coaches know she really does play basketball. She’s been using my iPad and Siri to Google these coveted shoes, and she grew frustrated with me yesterday when I dared to use my iPad to listen to music while I worked from home.

She stamped her foot, and shook her head at me. “But Momma,” she pouted, “shoes are more important than music!” She may yearn for high-tops like I never have, but she is still my daughter.  I have taught her well.

So, today we read, and then we shoe shop–two of my favorite things. Tomorrow I’ll finally get that present along with a few hugs and kisses, and I’ll remember why I still enjoy birthdays.

Five Minute Friday**Today’s post was brought to you by Five Minute Friday and the word “still”. Check out more great posts on the prompt at Kate Motaung’s site.

Turning a Page

Next week, I turn a year older, and I have big plans to celebrate.

The Hubs thinks my excited anticipation comes from the limo he’s renting to take us and a select group of friends to an adults only celebration, but really the excitement is for the event I have planned for the day before my actual birthday.

I’ll be stopping by the Young One’s school to read to her class. She’s been excited about this since I signed up for the task during Back-to-School Orientation in August. I picked the November reading session mostly because it was the day before my birthday, and I figured I had less of a chance of forgetting the appointment if I planned it around a significant date.

On the first day of school, she started asking me how many days until my birthday and telling me how excited she was to celebrate with me. I was pretty quick to catch on that she was more interested in the date because of my performance in her classroom than in helping me celebrate my big day.

Pirate Princess

The Young One’s depiction of The Pirate Princess.

In mid-September we started planning which books I’d bring to share with her friends. By the end of the month, we had settled on our two favorites, Stanley’s Wild Ride and The Pirate Princess. Each of these is on heavy rotation for our nightly story time.

In Stanley’s Wild Ride, Stanley and his canine friends break out of their yards and highjack all kinds of things with wheels for a joy ride through town. I turn the page where the cops join the action and she supplies the siren sound effects.

Her favorite part of The Pirate Princess isn’t when the heroine discovers gold and becomes a true pirate. Instead, it’s the part where young Princess Bea’s motion sickness gets the best of her. This is when my own pirate princess starts giggling.

I can’t wait for my birthday! I get to be the star of the show and watch my child’s eyes light up as I turn the pages of her favorite stories. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate!

Five Minute Friday***This post was brought to you today by  Five Minute Friday and the word “Turn”.  Join the party over at Kate Motaug’s blog for more great posts inspired by “Turn”.

A Dear Joe Letter

My Dearest Café Caffe,

I know I’ve seemed distant lately. I walk past you with a longing look and a sigh on my lips, but in all fairness to you I have to tell you the truth…I cannot begin my day like this anymore.

Coffee

Cafe Caffe just isn’t doing it for me anymore.

We’ve only been together for a few months, but taking a break from you while I was with my family on vacation has made me realize that making you a part of my life has been like pouring acid down my throat. Your darkness is too much for me right now. Just being with you leaves a foul taste in my mouth, and the more time I spend with you, the more my stomach churns and burns with the havoc you wreak.

Our relationship lacks the freshness I crave, and quite honestly, you’ve been cold lately. No sooner are we together than I feel a chill creep in that makes me rush through those precious mid-morning encounters, and I find myself longing for the heat we used to share.

Please don’t take this personally. I put all the blame on me. I never should have started this. I know I need something lighter in my life, something a little smoother and sweeter.

French Press

My new love is French (pressed)!

And yes, the rumors are true. I’ve found someone new, and he is all the things I have been longing for. I love his richness and his gentle warmth. His splash of energy has made my days so much more enjoyable.

Please don’t be bitter. You will be fine without me. You are never at a loss for companionship. You are always included in conversations and road trips with the guys.

You will move on, just not with me. Our office romance is over. I have a new coffee now, and it’s time to begin a new day.

Love always,

Stiletto Momma

Five Minute Friday**Today’s post was brought to you by Five Minute Friday and the word “begin”.

A Choice Between Thing or Cat

Cat in the Hat

Hey, look at that! It’s the Cat in the Hat!

The day was quite windy, and the trees were all swaying

When Young One brought home a note clearly saying:

A birthday for someone we’ll soon celebrate.

This person is special. He simply is great!

To parade around school, all the kids should be dressed.

This called for a costume, but not one like the rest.

So many choices.

Oh! What what would she do?

A Lorax or Horton?

Or maybe a Who?

All her girlfriends, they begged her, “Just do what we do.

You have to come dressed as Thing One or Thing Two!”

To lead or to follow? The choice tore her apart.

Her momma’s advice was, “Just go with your heart.”

All night sat her momma awaiting the news.

Oh, what will she do today? Which will she choose?

“They want me to be someone who’s simply not me.

The leader is someone I’d much rather be.

So I have decided,” she said as she sat,

“I’m going to school as the Cat in the Hat!”

Five Minute Friday*Today’s post was brought to you today by Five Minute Friday, the word “Choose” and the birthday celebration of the great Dr. Seuss. My personal favorite from the creator of The Cat in the Hat is Dr Seuss’s ABCs. I read it so often to The Older One that even 20 years later, I can still recite it without opening the book!

What’s your favorite Dr. Seuss book or character?

I Want To Write

This is my dream…the number one on my bucket list…the one written in all caps in bold black marker, underlined, circled and boxed and then circled again.

Keyboard

I want to write all the words on the page.

My dream is to write–not just 10 minutes a day or 500 words a post. I want to write all day, every day.

I want to spend my days writing–writing until the pages are full and the story is all out and my fingers hurt and my shoulders pinch and my heading is swimming and my heart rejoices.

I want to look at a blank screen, wonder where to start and magically find the beginning.

I want the story out there for the world to see and read and share.

I want to revel in accomplishment and feel the satisfaction of a job well done.

I want to put aside the excuses and the fears and shut out the voice that taunts, “You can’t.”

I want to shout, “I did it!” instead of whispering, “I wish I had.”

I want to tell a story and build a world full of characters who are brave and heroic, funny and smart, lovable and despised.

I want my work to be my passion and passion be my work. I want to stop saying some day and make today the day.

I want to live the dream. I want to write.

Five Minute Friday**Today’s post was brought to you by Five Minute Friday and word “Write” Do you have what it takes to put it all out there in five minutes of frantic blogging? Check out Lisa-Jo Baker’s site and give it a try.