shtuff

up at 4

make breakfast

drive aj to work

james 1

sleeping past the alarm

zucchini stirfry

hot car

gym

lunch with AJ

home

nap for her

laundry for me

over the river and though the woods

to Grandmother’s house we go

make zucchini bread

pick up AJ

shopping at marshalls

dinner with my family

(i didn’t want to cook)

drive home following the moon

playing on the bed with Violet

blogging

bible

bed

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For the last time!

Again does not rhyme with rain, Spain, or plain.  I’m sorry, it just doesn’t.

At least not around here it doesn’t. I suppose there is the possibility that someone could be misled to the point where they think again and gain are supposed to rhyme and then someone had the cute idea of calling it an accent, but…no. I do like accents though..except for some canadian accents (in some parts of canada) where a word like mauve rhymes with drove instead of suave.

A few summers ago, AJ and I were walking through St. James park on London with our couchsurfing hosts who had just moved to London after growing up in Australia. We asked them what kind of things were different about the UK compared to Australia and they mentioned that there were these funny little rodents everywhere that they had never seen before. Funny little rodents? They told us that the rodents were apparently known as “Squills” and after a couple moments of confusion they saw one under a tree and pointed it out to us. “Ohhhh, Squirrels!” “Yeh, Squills…isn’t that wot oi sed?”

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There’s one in every room

That’s right. You’ve just walked into an air-conditioned room; glistening with sweat and looking like you’ve just been run over by a steam iron. “It‘s Soo hot outside,” you say to no one in particular. “Really? I actually love this weather! I just wish I wasn’t stuck in an air-conditioned building and could get out in the sun!” You give the chipper receptionist a withering look. “You! Get. Out. Now! I don’t care if I’m your boss or not! You go outside and you stay outside until you’re sorry you ever wished for hot weather.”

I’m convinced that it’s the people that get to stay inside all day with air conditioning and were raised in California that secretly pray for hot weather all summer just to make the rest of us miserable.

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Supreme or Pepperoni?

“But I thought you liked all the sausage and peppers and stuff?”

My dad shrugged nonchalantly as I scrutinized his face in search of some hidden clue that would tell me which piece of pizza he really wanted. ]

It was such a simple gesture, but I remember so clearly the way it impacted my hope to one day be as good a parent as he was. I was out running errands with my dad one weekend when I was in highschool, and we’d swung by Costco for lunch where he grabbed a piece of supreme and a piece of pepperoni pizza. I think he thought I would prefer the pepperoni,  but as soon as we were out to the car he asked me to pick which one I wanted, and I picked the supreme, but only after I was sure he actually prefered the pepperoni.

It wasn’t until the pizza was all eaten and we were almost home that it occurred to me that my dad had pulled a fast one on me. Of course he preferred supreme to pepperoni. Besides the obvious fact that the pepperoni used on pizzas may or may not actually be a meat product, no self-respecting Borthwick is going to take a pizza with thin rounds of meat for topping when you can choose from one that has thin rounds of meat, plus peppers, sausage, olives, and onions, etc.

I remember thinking to myself that someday I wanted to be just like that. It definately takes help from the Man upstairs to perfect the art of selflessness.

I didn’t really have anything else meaning full to say. I was sitting at a stoplight this afternoon when I remembered that story and the way I felt the day my father beat me at my own selfless game.

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“world famous” goat trick

There’s a farm near our house the sells fruits and vegetables and they have a petting farm. They have a sign on the side of the road that advertises their “World Famous Goat Trick” so we decided to stop by today to show Violet the goats.

I took a very grainy and dark video with my cell phone so you could see, but since it’s so bad, i’ll describe what happens after you watch the video.

Anyway, there’s a pygmy goat that climbs the stairs to get to this balcony overhead where there is a rope pulley system with a tin can attached. You put .25 into a candy machine that spits out goat food and then you pour it into the can. As soon as you do, the goat starts biting on the rope to pull the can up where he can eat it. Violet was nonplussed, considering she had just been to the fair with her grandparents and there was a gaggle of chicks eating the goatfood leftovers at our feet.

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this is what you get when i stay up way too late

Five Things You’re Probably Not Doing With Five Things You Probably Have

Fifth thing: Hydrogen peroxide. This can be used for just about any cleaning/deodorizing thing you can think of. Here are just a few ideas.

  1. rinse your toothbrush to keep it clean and kill germs.
  2. add some to the wash to boost whitening.
  3. add 1/4 cup to a sink full of cold water before rinsing veggies to keep them fresh longer.
  4. use as a mouthwash to whiten and clean.
  5. kill mold by spraying or wiping directly.

yay, it rained. i was beginning to miss the rain.

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One of the ways AJ is a great dad

The following was overheard during story time.

“No! don’t eat me” said the gingerbread man to the fox. “Instead, lets go back to my house and the old man and the old woman will make us tons and tons of gingerbread people for us to eat in a cannibalistic feast!”.

1. AJ likes to paraphrase story books.

2. He especially likes to paraphrase them when they change the original ending of the nursery story to being something PC and cheesy.

If i was making a list of awesome things, the Santa Claus Mellon would definately be on it. It was the most amazing mellon I have ever had in my entire life. I bought it this afternoon at schuh farms in stanwood. Here’s a picture I found online. Go buy one. Seriously. Now.

Ok, so I know I missed yesterday’s entry for the

Five Things You’re Probably Not Doing With Five Things You Probably Have

So I’m doing three and four today. Here goes.

Third thing: Baking soda.

  1. Sprinkle, let sit, and then vacuum off of carpets and upholstery in place of carpet freshener.
  2. Sprinkle in bath for softer skin.
  3. Make a paste with water and apply to bug bites for relief.
  4. Sprinkle (again) into the laundry basket to keep odors at bay before you wash.
  5. 1 teaspoon of baking soda for 4 cups of water to keep cut flowers fresh longer.

Fourth thing: Lemons/Lemon juice.

  1. Spray or wipe lemon juice on the inside of your shower or bath and let sit 15 minutes at least to dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits.
  2. 1/2 cup into the clothes washer to brighten without bleaching.
  3. Dab on a blemish to help it clear up quicker.
  4. Rub a cut lemon on wooden cutting boards to remove strong odors.
  5. Throw lemon peels and ice cubes down garbage disposal to freshen and clean.
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The Fly Must Die

the hunt is on

for the dirty fly;

the dastardly con

that goes whizzing by.

in defense of all things good and right,

my mighty sword is a haggen ad.

while a fly in the house (to you) may seem trite,

to me it is nothing but gross and bad.

I miss not once,

but three times or more.

I look like a dunce,

but I  will settle this score.

“Land! land!” I scream in my head

and suddenly you do…on a balloon.

When the thwack of destiny leaves you dead,

I realize my daughter now thinks I’m a goon.

Not only do I

look like a crazed loon,

but I just finished beating

her smiley-faced balloon.

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this, that, and the other

In today’s edition of

Just ‘Cause You Used Spell Check, Don’t Mean it’s Right

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All New! Trail Mix for Lawyers.

Five Things You’re Probably Not Doing With Five Things You Probably Have

Second thing: Table Salt. I know you have this; no excuses.

Here’s five things you can do:

  1. dump a teaspoon or so on the bottom of that pot while you’re scrubbing it to add scouring power.
  2. pour one cup into your waste disposal and start the water and the motor to freshen and remove deposits.
  3. Amazing stain remover (like on those pit-stains). 2 tablespoons salt to 1 cup hot water.
  4. body scrub: salt alone or mixed with an essential oil and olive oil to scrub your body in the tub.
  5. apparently it absorbs oil. pour some into that oily pan before washing, wait a few minutes and then scrape into the waste.

So, you know how when you begin entering your search terms into google, it shows you a drop down box with possible options? I was having trouble remembering some of the things you can use salt for, so I began to google  household things you can do with salt. By the time I had typed in  household things, here’s what the drop down box showed.

household things that get you high

household things to smoke

household things you can smoke

household things to smoke out of

household things to get high

household things that can get you high

household things that you can get high off of

household things that you can smoke to get high

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Quote of the Day and other random points of non-pertinence

“Noooooooooo, dat!”

Today’s Quote of the Day comes courtesy of miss Violet. I was feeding her baby food from two different jars; one she liked, and one she did not. I kept slipping in bites from the gross jar until she gave in to her indignation and and pointed blatantly at the yummy jar when she said, “dat!”

Also, she now has five teeth–the fifth one coming in under the radar, so I have no idea when…

Here’s a funny little blogging phenomenon I’ve noticed; people in my life read my blog, which allows them a chance to get to know me better, but I don’t  know who is reading  my blog, so when they react differently towards me in real life based on something I’ve written–it’s weird. Case in point: I met someone this week through a friend that reads my blog, and they seemed so excited to see me. “Oh! You must be Pearl! I’m so glad to finally meet you!” Of course my first reaction is to think, creepy! doesn’t this person know we’ve never actually talked, and that until we establish a basic relationship things should be slightly more formal and awkward? Not that I’m condoning formal and awkward, but that’s just how things are. Once I realized that she probably reads my blog I thought to myself crap! did I just scare off my paparazzi? must act cooler, must act cooler, must act cooler…

Last but not least, this week I’ll be featuring a column called:

Five Things You’re Probably Not Doing With Five Things You Probably Have

First thing: White Vinegar. Okay, you might not have this in your house, but it’s so stinking cheap and available, you have no excuse.

Here’s five things you can do:

  1. wash windows (cut with water and use in place of glass cleaner)
  2. use in dishwasher in place of rinse aid.
  3. put in mister to spray (lightly) your house or car in place of febreeze
  4. dab on bug bites or mild sunburns for relief
  5. repel ants (cut with water and spray or wipe)


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“I belive I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky. I think about it every night and day, spread my wings and fly away…”

yes, the quotation marks are there to make sure you know I didn’t actually make that title up.

Anyway, what does an old camper canopy, a patio umbrella, and Mary Poppins have in common?

Magic, my friends…pure magic.

One summer afternoon the summer I was seven, a moving truck went past our house and a patio umbrella fell out of the back. My mom tried to flag them down, but they were long gone. Either way, by the time the patio umbrella got carried up into the front yard my imagination had already changed it’s title to teepee/playhouse/carousel tent/fashionable accessory, and most important of all–a parachute. I figured, Hey, airplanes weigh hundreds of pounds and they can fly–the only thing that’s keeping me on the ground is the lack of a giant umbrella. Needless to say, I spent the rest of the summer climbing up on top of the truck camper canopy and jumping off while holding onto the umbrella. I was confident that if I could just perfect my technique, the umbrella would catch a gust of wind and I’d be flying around the neighborhood. It never worked, but i’m pretty sure that’s only because the camper top wasn’t high enough.

in case you’re wondering, i stole these pictures from various websites.

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yes, I like the cold.

Yes, I realize I live in Washington and that my state touches Canada, and that we are in no danger of getting any closer to the Equator. However, I love my air conditioner.

My perfect temperature is 67 degrees with a slight wind, and blue skies with patchy mounds of clouds. Translation? 80 degrees makes me want to sit in an ice-bath with all the lights turned off. The only downside to appreciating cooler weather, is that my body knows my aversion to direct sunlight and promptly refuses to tan.

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Ritual

The Lord bless you and keep you,

The Lord make His face shine upon you,

and give you peace, and give you peace, and give you peace forever

Tonight, like every night, I watch Violet try to find the best spot in her crib to curl up as we sing her to sleep. She tries several different positions before settling on her favorite; legs pulled up underneath her, head to the side, and on her stomach. We rub her back while crooning softly this Aaronic blessing that has been sung many times before over the past centuries. Rituals are important when they connect humanity with God and remind us of the bigger picture that we have only just now been painted into.

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Not once, mind you

Today I burned dinner. twice.

I feel it necessary to defend myself here and say that my memory has gone downhill since I became a mother, but in truth…I’m a chronic food burner. I will go out on a limb here and confess that I find myself to be an amazing cook (so humble, yes, thank you), but unfortunately a creative cook does not a clock watcher make.

I burnt dinner the first time when I had pinto beans on the stove soaking. I was heading out for a walk with Violet to the library and I decided that while we got ready I would turn the beans on to get the cooking process started. As soon as we were ready to leave, I then turned off the beans and put the lid on. Wait, I lied. I actually just walked out the door to return a hour later to a house full of smoke while holding a sleeping baby. Once every door and window was open (which isn’t saying a lot when you live in a condo) I went and sat on the patio holding the still-sleeping baby so that we could wait out the smoke that was billowing from the windows.

If you’ve ever cooked beans from scratch, you know how bad they smell when they burn. real real bad.

Anyway, by this time it was too late to start the beans over again, so I switched directions and decided to cook some brown rice instead. I filled up the pot with the rice and water, turned on the stove and went upstairs to change Violet. A little while later, we went back downstairs just in time to try some perfectly steamed rice with soy sauce. Actually, I realized that the burnt bean smell was getting worse and worse until it occurred to me that the smell was more like burnt rice. that’s right, I came downstairs to see smoke billowing from the top of the second dinner of the day.

Needless to say, I didn’t turn on the stove again and let AJ cook tomato basil soup for dinner when he got home.

the worst part? my house reeks. reeks (reeks.) Here’s how bad; when we were leaving the gym tonight and I opened my locker to pull my bag out, the locker smelt like smokey burnt beans and rice.  Any bright ideas here? I’ve already misted the whole house with white vinegar and febreeze…

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Violet is quite possibly the cutest thing ever…

3 things:

first, that post about the “Fat Monkey” was the fruition of a dream. that dream being the submission of an original creation to thisiswhyyourefat.com. Just wanted to clarify, we aren’t actually wanton gluttons.

second, yesterday was Violet’s first birthday (as if you didn’t know, right?) and I have some pretty cute birthday pictures, but you’ll have to wait until i go get the camera from downstairs…tomorrow.

Third, yesterday on a walk, I saw a bumper sticker on a cop car that read, “My next police car will have a hemi.”

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birth day

Violet was born with her eyes open.

“Okay, this is it, no more waiting!

My breath was coming in ragged gasps now that the oxygen mask had fallen off. The room was suddenly full of people waiting and watching.

The cord must be getting mashed; the baby’s heart rate keeps dropping.”

“Are you ready to move to the ICU as soon as it’s born?

“Get that oxygen over here, now!”

The dull buzz of conversation was secondary to the hammering of my heartbeat as I fought to control the waves of pain, fear, and fear of pain. Only moments ago, there had just been the three of us in this room, but now that my baby’s heart rate was fluttering erratically, the nurse had hit the alarm button and every specialist on staff had raced to our room.

Listen to me now, you can’t push just with the contractions any longer–don’t stop pushing.”

The urgency in my nurse’s voice fueled my determination as I willed my body to do everything necessary to keep my baby safe. Never mind that I had just re-realized that what goes up must come down, or in this case–what grows to be 6 pounds, 6 ounces, must now physically traumatize my body.

I had always wanted to be a mother, growing up with seven younger siblings. Not that I always liked my siblings, but I just figured that it’d definitely be something I’d like to do someday. That someday became a someday soon after AJ and I had been married for a couple of years, and realized that we wanted to look into the eyes of someone that was a perfect mix of the two of us. There’s probably an instance in every new parents’ life where they look at their baby and then each other, and exclaim, “Look what we made!”

I could feel the blood vessels in my eyes straining with my efforts. I knew my face must have been completely purple because they told me to hold my breath when I was pushing, in order to make it more effective.

“Push harder!”

I turned my head to look at the male pediatrician who was waiting in case there was a problem as he spoke. Oh really? you wanna come over here and show me how it’s done? I thought to myself as I glared back at him. It’s funny to me (now) that I could have actually been mad at that moment, because every cell of my body was convinced that this was the moment of my death, and (newsflash!) death hurts–real bad.

In the next second, I realized three things. One, the worst was over and I was not dead. Two, everyone was silent. And three, Violet’s eyes were open and looking around in curiosity. I gave a final heave of effort, and was greeted with a flurry of activity as Violet started crying and the pediatrician and other NNICU specialists hurried to make sure all her vital signs were present and accounted for.

5:47 pm

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The Fat Monkey

Let me explain…

Tonight I had the most amazing dessert I have EVER EVER EVER had in my whole entire life. I do not exaggerate here. It was the most complete perfection of crunchy, chewy, chocolatey, gooey goodness there has ever been.

Here’s a story in pictures.

First, I made unbelievably amazing chocolate chip banana bread.

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Next, I took two frozen slices of said bread, and sandwiched cut bananas in between with Nutella on one side and marshmallow cream on the other side.

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Then, I dipped the entire sandwich into yellow cake batter until the whole thing was drenched.

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After that, I deep fried it.

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Here’s what it looked like afterwards:

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Yes, there’s more. The whole thing gets covered in melted chocolate.

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Then I covered it in toasted coconut and almonds. Here it is after the chocolate set.

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Finished! Now, you can do one of two things; you can either go into your kitchen and make one of your own, or you can order one from me and I will make you one. Each large two person serving (shown) will be $10, or you can order a half portion for $5. AJ and I just finished splitting a half-portion (amazing).

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So much for that…

Ok, so I know I said I was going to post a real blog today, but the internet got the better of me. Today’s blog goes out to ThereIFixedIt.com

This, this, and this, are all shining examples of human ingenuity. Also, shining examples of people you may not want contributing to the gene pool.

In Baby News, I was at Gap today and Violet was growling at strangers. She did walk on the 4th, but being the sharp little cracker she is, she has now pretended to forget her earlier achievement so that we can still carry her everywhere.

Anyway, today’s blog is really about pet peeves. Specifically, drive through banking and how it affects the person behind you. I hate waiting as much as the next person, but I do find it perfectly acceptable to wait in line behind someone while they fill out their deposit slip instead of having it on them and filled out before they got to the window. My sister and I were talking about people that have made us mad lately, and we discovered that both of us have recently been chewed out by women old enough to be our mom and should therefore know better; because we were taking too long in the drive through lane. In my case, the lady rolled down her window (she was in the opposite lane) and proceeded to inform me of proper drive-though etiquette.My sister’s case was funnier though, because once she was done with her transaction and driving through the parking lot, the lady behind her had gotten out of line, and walked over to yell at her for taking “3-5 minutes for the transaction instead of the normal 1-2.” We agreed that we’re not mad at them anymore; menopause probably sucks.

Which brings me to this:

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If I had a super power…

It would be dirty looks. I know, maybe not the greatest skill in the books, but I use it frequently when out and about with Violet in the stroller. I call it my “super power” because I get results every time. I figure, worst case scenario–the driver gets offended, but at least I get their attention.

(I may or may not use said super power when driving, or when someone tries to cut in line…)

tomorrow i will post a real blog, i promise.

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Repeat Offender

Violet pooped in the tub…again. This is officially the third time. It was cute the first time. Actually, it was cute this time too, because she pooped and then saw her poop in the water and got scared of it.

The not cute part? getting her cleaned up so fast and downstairs for the rest of the day so that I forgot to clean the tub. till now. it dried

she pooped

while splashing in the tub

i laughed

and bundled her in a towel

after a dip in the sink

dressed and clean

mom forgot

the poop was still there

suprise!

it dries…

there, a mock haiku.

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It’s fitting, really

Today is the fourth of July. Violet was due a year ago today, so I guess it’s fitting that she should decide to start walking. It’s very very cute.

I also wanted to gloat about buying cheese to support my cheese obsession. I took a picture to prove to you that in my fridge right now, I have pepper jack, colby jack, aged white cheddar, medium cheddar, colby–all two pounders, all tillamook. I can’t refuse a good deal when it has to do with cheese. (the picture is still on my camera because it’s downstairs and i’m lazy)

I wish I had the time an energy to blog about the significance of this day to me–I am a patriot after all, but it’s been a long day, and tomorrow is looking the same.

Good night, and have a happy summer!

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of women and childbearing

I just got home from a barbecue and noticed a strange coincidence.  If you get women with small children or babies together, odds are that 75% of them will reference childbirth or labor at one point or another during their visit.

It’s not that they are creatively trying to find sick and twisted methods of population control, it’s just that when such a traumatic incident is still so fresh in your mind everything still relates to it.

“Exactly! Like when I was in labor with…”

or “Speaking of tired, after 17 hours of pushing…”

or (and best yet), “…and now I just can not seem to hold it in! I mean, I seriously have to go to the bathroom before I jump rope if I don’t want to wet my pants…”

I realize that I am very guilty of this, (not the wetting the pants part) but my excuse is that I’m trying to keep the trauma fresh in my mind for future reference. For women, labor stories are like a man’s fishing story of the one that got away. They always get more dramatic with the telling.

Side note: if you are a man, this does in no way give you leave to make less of your wife’s labor story. If you suspect she is exaggerating details, you must only sympathize more.

Other side note: if you are a woman and have never had a baby, I was just kidding about all that stuff–go ahead and have one, I’m sure everything will be just fine.

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It’s come to this…

“AJ, did you remember to grab the C-O-O-K-I-E?”

that’s right, we’ve come to that point where we have to spell out certain words to make our lives easier. Violet is a very alert little girl.

Next up: A Shameless Plug That I Really Should Be Getting Paid For.

Today’s shameless plug goes out to Zenni Optical. This is it people. If you’ve ever had to buy prescription eyeglasses before, then you certainly know what it feels like to be robbed in broad daylight, with your consent. Consenting to robbery is ridiculous. Last time I bought glasses, the doc had a “great sale” where the lenses were free, and I walked out with $180 dollar glasses. Robbery. This time, I bought a pair of prescription sunglasses for $22 including shipping and tax.

Pro’s: Really really cheap glasses that are still excellent quality.

Con’s: Shipping time (anywhere from 2-8 weeks), you can’t actually try on the glasses, so you have to know your face measurements (based on how your old glasses fit you), and you have to have a copy of your prescription. The prescription part was easy, if you don’t remember what yours was, just call your doctor–they have to give it to you.

Best part: knowing that if I wanted to, I could literally buy a pair of glasses to go with every outfit in my wardrobe and still spend less than I did the first time.

Also best part: not worrying about breaking or losing glasses anymore.

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Here’s my two cents.

Okay, you’re right–it’s always more than two cents by the time I get done. Lucky for you, this is a blog so it’s actually free. yay.

If I could have it my way, people would be writing their autobiographies and self-help books at the beginning of their lives, instead of after they’ve experienced life.

People often joke about issues in life as being the kind of thing that turns out completely different than you first pictured it. You’ve probably heard the saying “Everyone is an expert on parenting until they become a parent.” Why is that? Do you truly discover you were wrong in your first assessment, or is it more a matter of weakening resolve, waning motivation, and less sleep?

Truth be told, everyone loves becoming a sage cynic in some way or another.

“Yeah, I used to think we’d never get in fights over stupid little things and not apologize, but real life is a lot more complicated.”

“I never thought I’d yell at my kid in the grocery store, but you have no idea how mad I was.”

“I always thought I’d live for adventure and my dreams, but I’m too comfortable in the lifestyle I’ve worked so hard for.”

Seriously people, write your book and stick with it. You were right the first time.

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