You’ve Got Mail

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 13 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is: 

You wake up and YOU are the “elf on the shelf” and you CAN move about on your own free will…what havoc do you create or are you a “good” elf? Write a story and tell us about a day in the life of “You the Elf on the Shelf”

It was submitted by:

If I woke up as the “elf on the shelf”, I would spend my time writing my human self a letter and it would go something like this…

Dear “Family”,

I remember the night you brought me home.  It was late, you were panicked because apparently you lost your original Elf on the Shelf, which you let your spawn name “Spike”.  I tried not to feel alarmed that my comrade and fellow Elf on the Shelf was terrified and alone, shoved in some box somewhere, forsaken and forgotten.  I didn’t even get a new name.  I got a used name, a rather horrific name for a Christmas Elf, but my opinion wasn’t solicited.  Apparently, it’s your belief that all elves look the same.  You thought nothing of passing me off as the original “Spike” to your unsuspecting offspring. Sometimes late at night, I think I can hear the original “Spike” screaming to be freed from his dark prison of neglect.

I dreamed of the day I would be picked off the store shelf and brought to my new home for the first time.  My dream in no way resembled the nightmare I now find myself in.  Every  night thrust in some new humiliating or precariously orchestrated scene of mischief and mayhem.  Somehow I’m supposed to illicit good behavior with these ill-advised shenanigans!  How that works, I haven’t quite worked out yet.  I see how you look at me, with your deep sighs of annoyance.  Often even forgetting about me altogether, and making ups some lie or excuse as to why I failed to move during the night.  I do admit I find humor in those mornings you find yourself up before the crack of dawn trying to find something new to do with me.  Something impressive you can post on that Facebook page you’re always looking at and obsessing over.

This whole Facebook phenomenon is the only reason I think you bought me in the first place, for the second time!  All these adults trying to outdo or one up each other!  Can I be completely honest with you?  Of course I can, this is my letter!  You have many gifts, and I suppose as a parent, you do okay.  I mean, who am I to judge.  My treatment notwithstanding, you seem like a pretty good person and I think you do your best.  I’m not judging you but you’re never going to be the mom who sews her kids Halloween costumes. Or the mom that makes a Whole 30 approved lunch for her child every day, complete with little sandwiches cut into various shapes and characters.  Or the mom that gets up and makes fresh pancakes and berries for breakfast on the daily before school.  Or the mom that volunteers for anything and everything and does a spectacular gluten-free job.  Accept this.  It’s okay.

You’re the mom that throws a bruised banana in a brown paper bag with some stale goldfish, peanut butter and jelly on a hot dog bun (because you ran out of bread and it was at least a whole wheat bun) and a tic tac you found in the couch cushion and calls it a lunch.  You might not be the mom that can hand sew the best Halloween costume ever, but you are the mom that will drive around to 50 stores to find the exact rendition of ninja that your son desperately wants to be. Why measure yourself against what you think you know about other mom’s based on how many likes they get on a posted picture via some social media platform or another.  More importantly, why drag me into the crazy!  I’m just a little elf, designed to bring magic and wonder, and I suppose entice good behavior during the season of Christmas.  Quit killing yourself (and me!) trying to live up to an ideal that isn’t even real!

If you can’t somehow send me back to Santa, to enjoy a long life of making toys, finding a nice elfette to marry and having little elf babies of my very own, then for the love of St. Nick, please stop with the crazy schemes and insanity!  And find the original “Spike”!  He deserves a proper send off as well!  How do you even lose an elf anyway?!?! By the way, nice job explaining my absence so far this season on your impending move.  I’m not asking for much, just don’t lose me.  Surely, I deserve better.  I’ve risked life and limb for you, holding my crazy positions, keeping alive the magic and innocence best expressed in the eyes of the young, prolonging childhood and generating precious memories along the way. If you’re reading this imagining my little elf fist shaking in your general direction, then you are doing it right.  I don’t want to stage a coup, but I am willing to obtain, by any means necessary, if not my freedom then at least a stop to this madness.  As smart as I believe you to be, and I’m feeling generous this morning, you seem to have missed the boat completely on the point of my existence.

Now please excuse me while I spend the rest of my free time doing things that bring me joy.  I’m going to dance to Christmas music, eat some holiday fudge, write a letter home to Santa and a few other special elf friends and because I’m a nice elf, I’m going to take a rag and dust a few of these places you seem to favor propping me up in and around.  I could make dust angels…not to give you any ideas, but I think I’ve developed allergies since living here.  Housekeeping won’t necessarily go on your list of strengths either, not that I’m judging!  I promise.  I’m on your side, truly.  Help me, help you.  Leave the madness.  I have faith in you!  You can do it!  We can do it…together!


Spike #2

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado           

Not That Sarah Michelle  

The Bergham Chronicles  

Spatulas on Parade       

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

The Lieber Family Blog       

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

Never Ever Give Up Hope    

A Little Piece of Peace         

Confessions of a part time working mom

The Angrivated Mom Blog         



It’s A Bird, It’s A…It’s NOT Superman

Today’s post is this month’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write 5 captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.

Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Spatulas on Parade (

30 - Spatulas on Parade - July 2016 (bird skull)

  1. I feel like Wile E. Coyote finally had his day and my entire childhood has now been called into question! Unknown
  2. I’ve heard of Taco Tuesday, but never Road Kill Wednesday… It’s not even catchy.  #roadkillwednesday?  Maybe it’ll catch on.
  3. No matter where you stand, that eye follows you…and he looks pissed.  #creepyfriday  FullSizeRender
  4. I could make the whole “it’s Donald Trump’s brain or Hillary Clinton’s soul” joke, but I feel that’s been done.  To death.  Like this bird, or whatever it is.
  5. That eye though.  It almost looks…alive.  Maybe it’s a teaser for the new Walking Dead season, “it’s not just humans now”…  *shudder*


Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:                                             

Baking In A Tornado         

Spatulas On Parade        

Measurements of Merriment                            


The What? Face

Today’s post is this month’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write 5 captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.

Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Dinosaur Superhero Mommy (

29 - Dinosaur Superhero Mommy - June 2016

Every mother of every child has been at some point on the receiving end of the “What?” face.  What did I do?  I’m innocent.  I had good intentions.  Is what I am doing wrong?  What? What? What?

  1. What?  Someone had to open these Monopoly game pieces!  We could be millionaires!
  2. What?  I’m just gonna decoupage the end table.  Don’t worry, I watched a YouTube video on it. It’s a surprise, don’t tell mommy.
  3. What?  I’m building a nest.  Like birds do in the wild.
  4. What?  These are coupons.  You won’t let me have scissors so I had to tear them out.  I’m helping you.
  5. What?  Day 1/hour 1 of summer vacation.  I’m bored.

Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:                           

Molly Ritterbeck                              

Baking In A Tornado        

Spatulas On Parade          

Measurements of Merriment  

Wedding Bells Are A Ringin’

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 12 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is: 

Tell us about your wedding . . . or the last wedding you attended.

It was submitted by:

My first thought when I read my “Secret Subject” was which one?  I’ve had 2 weddings.  Awkward.  I briefly entertained the idea of sharing the juicy details of my super secret wedding to Adam Levine, but the restraining order prenup forbids it.

I’m just happy Adam is back to looking like his sexy self.  Impending fatherhood does his body good.

Anyway, I digress.  Weddings.  I don’t remember the last one I attended, so I guess I’ll talk about mine, both of them.  They couldn’t have been more different, just like the men I chose as grooms.

Tom AND Jerry.


Not made up names.  My ex and current husband carry the same names as the cartoon I grew up watching.  I snicker every time I inadvertently use both their names in the same sentence.

I was barely 21 when I married the first time, and we were engaged for a very long 18 months.  I was obsessed with weddings in general.  Even as a child, I was transfixed by the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.  I loved books, movies and tv shows about weddings.  I couldn’t get enough, my whole life I dreamed of what that day would be like. I watched Father of the Bride, the one with Steve Martin, probably a million and one times before my Christmas wedding in ’92.  They used to have these wedding shows on the TLC network (I have no idea if they still do), and I watched them religiously.  I loved hearing the engagement stories and watching as they planned their dream weddings.  I could have stayed in the engagement period forever.  I wanted a very traditional wedding.  I wanted to feel like a princess on my very special day.  My family didn’t belong to a particular church but my groom-to-be was Catholic.  Ironically, I wanted to get married in the church I belong to now, but none of us were members at the time, so we couldn’t.  The very same church where I would meet, hubby #2.  We ended up getting married in the Catholic church that my groom grew up attending.  Not my first, second or even third choice but I made the best of it. An omen?

Christmas is my favorite time of the year.  I knew I wanted to get married during the festive season.  My bridesmaids dresses were dark green, poinsettia’s everywhere.  Since I didn’t grow up Catholic, didn’t know anyone who was Catholic, I was unaware that purple was the liturgical color of Advent.  Purple.  Very Violet.  Also means penance, humility and melancholy.  I should have done my research…this was clearly an omen.  Not a good one.

Most of the wedding was a complete blur.  I don’t remember the food, the music or the people.  I do have one distinct memory.  I remember after we were pronounced man and wife, I heard catcalls and whistling coming from the back of the church.  It made me smile.  My new sister-in-law, my favorite of his 5 siblings, and probably one of the very few on his side of the family truly happy at our blessed union.  She would go on to die tragically in a car accident less than a year later.  I think of her often, and her memory always brings a smile to my face.  She did more for me than she’ll ever know.  I think she would have been sad that we didn’t make it for the long haul.  She was definitely our biggest cheerleader, at least as far as I knew.  She always made me feel like a part of the family anyway.  She was a life-force, and I still miss her.  I wish my girls could have known her.

The other thing I remember is the priest who married us.  He shattered all my stereotypes of what a priest would be like, act like.  I don’t know what I thought exactly, but the Father that greeted us for our pre-marriage counseling sessions, smoking a cigarette and telling inappropriate jokes and hilarious stories, was nothing I would ever have expected.  I instantly fell in love with him.  I heard from many people after the wedding, that he gave one of the best ceremony “sermons” they’d ever heard.  He took the time to get to know us, and his message and words definitely reflected that knowledge and insight.  I was very sad to learn that he passed away recently.

I remember my dress and permed hair.  Mostly, I remember how skinny I was and I remember thinking I wasn’t skinny at the time.  My future fat self should go back in time and slap that stupid skinny girl silly.


See all that Christmas greenery clashing with the purple/violet…sigh.  Or are you distracted by that sexy perm and ginormous bow on my behind?

I don’t understand why my girls don’t want to wear this dress for their own weddings…it’s a mystery.  That shiny satin.  The puffy shoulders.  All that beading and lace.  Timeless is the word.  Am I right or am I right?  I know, right.

Anyway, things didn’t work out how I planned.  My life took a million different turns, each more unexpected than the next.  I wouldn’t change any of it, because it finally brought me my soulmate and partner for life (cause I’m not getting divorced again, so he’ll literally have to die to get out of it – a fact I remind him daily).

My second wedding was a much smaller affair, only family.  My parents had a beautiful backyard, a place where I loved spending time, so I knew immediately I wanted to get married there.  While it lacked the fanfare, pomp and circumstance of my first wedding, I remember almost every detail like it happened yesterday.  I couldn’t wait to make this particular man my husband.  There are certainly days when I need to call on the emotions of that day, remember all the reasons I fell in love with him and merged our two families.  I knew that my life would never be the same.

Our wedding day was sweet, romantic and full of promise.  We were surrounded by the people who loved us most, especially our three beautiful girls.  It was a warm, sunny, fragrant and beautiful day in May.  Even though I remember every detail and emotion I felt on that day, we frequently forget the actual day itself.  One year, I had to pull out our marriage certificate to confirm our anniversary.  We often go half the day thru before we realize, “oh hey, it’s our anniversary today!”  We also struggle to remember how many years it’s been.  I choose to see that as a good thing.

67 percent of 2nd marriages end in divorce.  Those aren’t good odds.  Blending two families is extremely hard work.  There are certainly moments when I wanted to throw in the towel.  No one dreams of their second wedding.  I married the first time intending it to be forever.  Forever didn’t work out so well, but I wouldn’t change a thing.  I’ve been judged rather harshly by some for being divorced but no one was harder on me than I was on myself.  I felt like a failure.  I felt quite strongly that I had let my girls down, let my family down, let myself down.  It’s not a subject I like to talk about or share.  It’s something I’ve carried with a certain degree of shame and embarrassment.

But on that day in May, all I felt was hope.  I felt loved, protected and cherished.  I knew the road would be bumpy, challenging and would at times feel insurmountable, but with that man at my side, I felt like we could conquer the world, overcome every obstacle life would throw at us.  I was excited.  Invigorated with purpose and direction.  He continues to challenge me, encourage me and inspire me.  I love him more each day, even the bad days when he drives me crazy and I want to punch him in the throat.  It would be a loving punch.  So much LOVE packed into that punch. So. Much. Love.

I wanted to punch him this morning, but lower than the throat this time.  Lucky for him, I was writing this blog and being forced to remember all the reasons I married him.  It probably saved his life. Seriously.


My babies!  Where has the time gone.

I love this family so much (including you man-child).  In the time honored words of Tom Cruise…

They complete me.

This reminds me…we need an updated family photo.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado

The Bergham Chronicles

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

The Lieber Family

Confessions of a Part Time Working Mom

Bucket List: Funny Friday Edition


Today’s post is this month’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write 5 captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.

Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by  The Bergham’s Life Chronicles (

28 - Bergham's Life Chronicles - May 2016

  1. Does you child regularly take things, like your cell phone or keys and hide them but refuse to tell you where?  Today on the blog: How to safely and effectively waterboard your toddler for information.
  2. Look ma!  No hands!
  3. Bucket Yoga – it’s gonna catch on…
  4. My head isn’t stuck in this bucket at all.  Nope.  Nothing to see here folks, keep moving.  Just a toddler at play, no reason for concern. Carry on. (Mom, some help please…)
  5. Elsa and Olaf are inside the bucket, they said…  They are liars.

Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:

Measurements of Merriment   

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy                                      

Baking In A Tornado       

Spatulas On Parade           

Bergham Chronicles  

Fly On The Wall: Low T Edition

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 9 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on the links below for a peek into some other homes:


My life seems filled with testosterone and nuts these days.  Two of my daughters have moved out, the third never home anymore and moving out soon.  All my conversations with man-child and my husband pretty much go like this now:

Me:  “Man-child, clean your room please.”

Man-child:  “Deez nuts ‘Merica”

Me:  …

Husband:  “Oh, I forgot to tell you I have a meeting after church.”

He tells me this…after church when we are about to leave.

Me:  “Seriously? You keep a calendar, why do you never know what’s in it?”

Husband:  “It’s low T babe.”

Low T?  My ass.  My husband could be accused of many things, low T is NOT one of them.

No matter what I ask, those are the two main responses I receive lately.  It’s enough to drive me to drink.  Men.

I don’t know how many times we get in the car, start driving down the road and the car is dinging like crazy because my husband has failed to put on his seat belt.  I put mine on before I even start the car, I don’t know why this has to be an issue with him EVERY TIME WE GET IN THE CAR.  He’ll put it on, weaving all over the road about a block from the house. I’ve told him that most accidents happen close to home.

He blames low T.

Husband:  “Well think of the life insurance you’ll get.”


Me:  “No, that’s not how this would work. You’d still be alive but in a vegetative state and I’d get nothing but the burden of caring for you.”

Husband:  “WOW. Just WOW.”

Me:  “Yeah my response is the problem here… PUT YOUR SEAT BELT ON!”

My son spends an inordinate amount of time watching YouTube videos or Vine.  He comes away with these nuggets of awesome.

Man-child:  “She showers with Pantene, but I’ve got watermelon (pronounced watermelone) to keep me clean.”

Man-child:  “He struggles to get the ladies, but dating’s a breeze with my watermelone Mercedes.”

Man-child:  “He struggles to lift the weights, but I’ve got watermelone to keep me in shape.”

Man-child:  “He tosses and turns to the sound of thunder, but I’ve watermelone to soothe my slumber.”

Man-child texting me at the end of the school day:

Man-child: “I might be late.”  He walks home every day.

Me:  “ok, why?”

Man-child:  “I have to find my phone.”

Me:  “But you’re texting me on it?”

Man-child:  “I lost it.”

Me:  “I’m confused.”

Man-child:  “I found it.”

Me:  “I see that, so why are you going to be late?”

No response.  Sigh.  I share the texts with my husband.

His response:  “Low T.”

Sleep with one eye open honey.

My sister sent me this in response to my blog about Personal Space Invaders.  I think this is genius and I must have one!



When asked to pick one word to describe himself, man-child said:



Snapchat fun – my son would make a pretty girl:


and I don’t even know…


I showed these to my husband and his response…


“LOW T.”

You guessed it.

I’m about to show him what low T really means…

Now feel free to buzz around some other homes this morning ❤

Spatulas On Parade

My Brain Has Left The Building…

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.

My words are:

Ferris wheel ~ shortage ~ Saturn ~ collectibles ~ iron-clad ~ catchy

They were submitted by:

I’ve been staring at these words for over a week now, and I still don’t know what I’m going to write about.  The struggle is real.  I even tried to get inspiration from man-child.

Me:  “Help me write my blog this week using words like Saturn, Ferris wheel and collectibles.”

Man-child:  “Saturn is a nice planet.  Wanna see my crocodile pushups?”

Me:  “That’s it?  That’s all you got for me?  Saturn is a nice planet?”

Man-child:  “I can’t do your homework for you mom, that’s what you always tell me.”

Usually I feel like I’m always writing stories in my head, so it completely blows when my head is empty.  Well not empty exactly.  It feels like being stuck at the top of a Ferris Wheel.  The whole world appears stretched out before you, but you can’t make out details.  Everything looks small and far away, and instead of a clear picture, you’re left with vague impressions and an overwhelming sense of how truly small you are in the big scheme of things.

I’ve got a million thoughts floating around but can’t get a firm grasp on any of them, and some of them I’d like to forget altogether.  I think the current political climate of our country is turning my usually clear and concise thoughts and ideas into a jumbled mess of mush.  There seems to be a shortage of common sense among my fellow Americans.  I’m not going to make this a political post because that’s just not in my wheelhouse, but the whole process has left a bitter taste in my mouth, and I’m so over it.

I saw a news story about a new dating website called Maple Match, where you can find a nice Canadian and settle down in your new country if you don’t like our next President and want to flee the U.S.  I kinda wish Adam Levine was Canadian. You can also resettle on a low-pop island in Canada should you choose to do so.  Canada has produced some very yummy eye candy, not gonna lie.  Men like:  Ryan Gosling, Taylor Kitsch, Scott Speedman, Drake, Nathan Fillion, Justin Bieber…okay well, I could have just stopped at Ryan Gosling, let’s be honest.  And so you men don’t feel left out, we have Rachel McAdams, Elisha Cuthbert, Evangeline Lilly, Nina Dobrev…  Every time I turn on the news, I seriously consider just relocating to Saturn and starting my own colony. I mean, according to man-child, it’s a nice planet.  Those rings are sexy.

I do enjoy this spotify commercial, it’s catchy.

Honest and open dialogue doesn’t seem to exist anymore.  I sometimes have the overwhelming sensation that the whole world has lost it’s collective mind.  All of our tiny brains sitting in tiny jars, lined up from one end of the universe to another, sold to aliens as collectibles, evidence of our folly and arrogance.

Somehow in my ramblings, I’ve managed to use almost all my words.  I’m channeling my inner Donald.  Over 600 words, yet I didn’t really say anything.  No matter who we end up electing, is it possible to get an iron-clad prenup?  So, if we wake up and realize what a huge mistake we’ve made, no matter which side you find yourself camped on, we can extricate ourselves as painlessly and quickly as possible?

At least Jon Snow is alive (for you Game of Thrones fans).  And Adam Levine is back to his super sexy self on The Voice.  And I’ve got a Kindle full of great books to lose myself in.  All is not lost…  Excuse me while I fall back into my #showhole and finish watching all the episodes of Criminal Minds (I’m on season 8).

I wish I could have done my words better justice, but at least you have these other incredible writers to peruse at your leisure and help fill the void I’ve left you with today ❤

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts: