The Crazy Lady Plans: ’17-’18 Planner Setup

What do you get when your military dad busts you for screwing up the plans? Alliteration, in a cheesy form, of course! The 6 Ps, according to Papa:

Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.

My eyes still hurt from rolling them back into my head after hearing this so much in my younger years, but DAMN! He was right. I love planning, friends. In fact, you could say I looooooooove planning. My BFF and I were talking the other day about how we’re not the type of people who you can casually invite to the beach last minute, even if we didn’t have kids. We would not be fun people to do that with. (“Sure I’ll go to the beach with you, but first, let me pack my sunscreen, first aid kit, bandaids, etc., and also, we need to leave in 22 minutes in order to beat the traffic, mkay?”) The sheer thought of last-minute plans makes me a little itchy.  But don’t get me wrong, y’all. I don’t always get it right. I meant to post this blog this morning, and here we are at the end of the night. So, there’s that. Cheers!

You might be able to imagine now how excited I am to start my new planner. Somewhere along the way last year, I got a Day Designer for Blue Sky Academic Planner  that I ended up loving, so the crazy person in me hates it a little bit that my year “starts” in June instead of January, but you know what? We roll with the punches. And also, I don’t have time to start a new damned planner in January. Can I get an AMEN?

I’ve been thinking about my planner setup for this year, and made a plan (surprise!). I wanted things simple, accessible, and fun. I decided to go with the same brand of planner, because it’s made by Day Designer, one of my favorite planner companies, but also made for Blue Sky, which means it’s reasonably priced and is made available for me and the other commoners at Target. I’ve spent upwards of $75 on a planner, but I’m at the point in my life that I’m okay with a $30 planner too. It’s so pretty, see? Love.

For the monthly spread, this edition has nice, big, lined squares, and a laminated tab for the month. Bonus points for that rainbow effect on tabs. GIVE ME ALL THE COLORS. On the monthly spread, I decided to keep it simple and only include:

– Bills
– Birthdays
– Pay Days
-Holidays
-Goals for the Month

Not so bad, right? It’s not covered in anything too obnoxious. I added some stickers, but the main focus of my monthly page for me will really be a bill tracker to help us figure out where money will be coming out, and how much money we’ll have to spend on fun things. You know, a BUDGET. Frick, we’ve been bad lately and plan to get better. I think. Whatever.

For my weekly spreads, I’m repeating bills, birthdays, pay days, and holidays along with:

– Meal Plans
-Important dates for Knowing Lola
-Weekly spending reviews
-Monthly tasks on the actual day they fall on
-Any other random stuff that pops up!
-Stickers (DUH).

Again, I don’t want it to end up being too crazy so that it takes me longer to “plan” and decorate than it would to do half of the things on my damned to-do list. Like, I’m happy for the people that can spend hours on their planners, but I personally can’t mentally dedicate that kind of time to my planner, because I would lose my mind, make sense?

I even made a fancy page marker that is removable, that I plan to keep on the monthly page for now. It’s got reminders of things I need to take care of on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. For now, I think this will help me just engrain in my head that I’ve got a lot to do, but it’s all right here in front of me, and I can stop rocking back and forth now, and it’s going to be okay.

I know this will evolve as the year goes on, but I’m excited to implement my new “rules” and ideas into my new planner. CHEERS to a happy, organized 2017, even though it’s almost GD July. Better late than never. Also, it’s fun to pretend like I’m in college again with my academic planner. (Someone meet me at Antonio’s on Northgate for some pizza!)

I made a quick little video of my planner bag that I’m keeping close by while I plan. Before you watch this and judge the shit out of me, I’d like to say that I KNOW I am privileged to have this many stickers in my life. I KNOW these are white-girl problems and that there are bad things happening in the world. But I’m holding on to my stickers for dear life, and clinging to the idea that I have a little bit of control in this crazy, weird world.

Watch that video here, if nothing else to be amazed that they make this many different stickers for grown-ass adults:

I hope you find a fun way to be organized, but if you don’t, you can find solace knowing that some days I literally write “NOPE” in my planner, because I just can’t. I’ll also continue to send emails to myself at 3:30AM while going pee because that’s when God seems to think is a good time for me to remember ALL THE THINGS.

I love you all. Happy planning, or non-planning. Be nice people. Take your meds. See you again soon.

My Dad Never Says, “I Love You”

It’s totally true. He never says it. One time, in middle school, I jumped out of his GMC truck, grabbed my backpack and said, “I love you!” and he squeamishly responded, “Okay!” I’ll never forget that, mostly because I think that’s actually the perfect metaphor for my relationship with my dad. I’m all heart and he’s all Papa.

Father’s Day had me thinking about him, of course. I don’t know how to describe him well enough to actually portray his complexity, but I’ll try. My dad is an engineer, and appreciates facts and reason. He’s kind of course and messy, like the outside crust of a just-smoked brisket. He says what he’s thinking, has no filter, and has no patience for bullshit. He’s an old-school, hispanic male who can’t help but be a product of his hard-as-nails upbringing, sometimes a little callous.

But he’s also the guy you call when the shit is really going down, and he will help you figure it all out, with a level-headed “we’ll get through this” approach. He’d hate for you to know he’s got a thoughtful, squishy side that thinks and feels beneath the top layers. I once took a personality test, and it explained that I’m the type of person who pours a bowl of cereal, and thinks about the people behind the cereal, like “Who are the people that made this cereal?” or, “What’s their life situation like?” I get that from my dad. Basically, I know not to expect a lovey-dovey, card-writing, emotion-sharing, “Daddy” dad. I know to expect a smart, thoughtful, but tough guy who would do (and has done) anything for me or my sisters; who loves us tough, but loves us whole. He’s also funny as hell, and makes the best barbecued-anything you’ve ever had.

I’ve learned from my dad that the world can be a tough one. It’s not fair, and there isn’t a group of people, clapping and waiting to go out of their way to watch out for you. That’s what family is for. I’ve learned that right when you think you’re not good enough, there’s a little nugget of something that lives inside of you, and it glows through the night until you figure out you are good enough in the morning. I’ve learned that when things in your life are falling apart; your friendships, your marriage, your damned self, and you accidentally fuck it up by hiding from the problems, that you learn from your mistakes and get back up again. Bonus points if you apologize to the people you hurt in the process. I’ve learned that sometimes, you’ve gotta spit on the ground, roll up your sleeves, and FIGHT for it.

So, no. He doesn’t say, “I love you.” He just does it, and shows it, and I’m grateful as hell to him and my mom for teaching their girls to be transparent, but strong. To be loving, but to be badasses too.

This Father’s Day, we took a dozen Bill Miller chopped barbecue sandwiches and those mushy, hot fries to my parent’s house. I plopped those bad boys on the table, and made my way into his humid man cave with shelves of African violet sprouts and yellowed papers. I sat down at his dusty PC, logged into my Amazon account, and emailed him a $25 gift card. He wrote me this morning and said he planned to buy a nose hair trimmer, you know, because he’s a dad. It doesn’t get any better than that for me, y’all.

Clearly, I love my parents so much. I hope you celebrated your dad, or someone who filled the role of saving your ass while kind of kicking it too.

Happy Father’s Day, Papa. You (and Mom!) really are my heroes.

P.S. Quick, someone email this to my dad because OF COURSE he doesn’t subscribe to my blog.

Five Things (Under $15!) That I’m Loving Right Now – June 2017

Hey, friends! I haven’t done a “Five Things” list since 2016, so I thought I’d do a June edition in case you were in the mood to #treatyourself like I’ve been lately. Reminder: These links are NOT sponsored and I’m not affiliated with anything I post, other than I’ve been spoiling myself with these modern conveniences in the recent days and I want you to have them too. LET’S BE TWINS. I also increased my $10 splurge to $15, because it’s 2017 and we live in a weird world and God knows we need to be taking care of ourselves.

What: FarmHouse Fresh Fluffy Bunny Shea Butter Hand Cream 
From: Amazon ($13.50)
Why I love it: The next best thing to buying a fluffy bunny is buying FarmHouse Fresh’s Fluffy Bunny shea butter hand cream. I was hoping to find a small, L’Occitane-style lotion to throw in my purse for a little aroma-therapeutic pick-me-up, and thanks to the gods at Amazon, I found this cute little line of beauty products with a farmhouse theme. Fluffy Bunny smells like lavender and mint julep, and is the perfect little balance of calming and bright. P.S. It’s natural and vegan if that’s your thing! P.S.S. I love to be marketed, so the names of these damned lotions are enough to buy them for me. So cute, not fair. Let me know if you try a different smell.

What: HeyBeauty Eyebrow Pencil with Brush
From: Amazon ($8.99)
Why I love it: Thank God for Moms, am I right? I made it all the way to her house to drop off the girls before work when I realized I didn’t put my eyebrows on. I borrowed this pencil from her, had her send me the link, and had that baby on the way to my house in a 45-minute turnaround. It goes on smoothly, and has an edge that makes it easier to “guide” the pencil along. I’m admittedly out of the eyebrows-on-fleek cool kid crew, but this thing is awesome. I ordered it in light brown and love it.

What: Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
From: Amazon ($8.07)
Why I love it: Hey, no fair. I’m double promoting this book that I’m reading for my summer reading challenge (#klreadingchallenge WHAT WHAT) but I love, love, love it. Another shout-out to Kim for pointing me in the direction of this delicious writing. Who doesn’t like to read advice, even if you’re screaming something completely different in your head. Treat yo’self.What: Paper Mate Mates 1.3mm Mechanical Pencils
From: Amazon ($3.79)
Why I love it: Yes, it’s a pencil. Yes, they’re only $4. Yes, I’m totally serious. I ordered these for work for me and an admin friend (Allison – hey, girl, hey!) because we are both nerds with office supplies, and I loved them so much I ordered my own little batch for my house. It’s a mechanical pencil, but the lead is THICK like an old-fashioned pencil. It almost feels like you’re writing with a small chalk pen. That good, y’all. Love them, and they’re in assorted colors, which is my middle name. Alyssa Assorted Colors Smith.

What: LIHIT LAB Bag-In-Bag Laptop Sleeve
From: Amazon ($13.66)
Why I love it: So, I used to throw my bills into a bag and let them get crumpled, because I felt like that was a pretty good metaphor of how I felt about them. But, since I’m a superstar and have made an effort to get my shit together before I turn 30, I bought this neat little sleeve that allows me to neatly place my 8.5×11 papers, so that I can at least appear to be a grown up with straight papers in front of others. This bad boy holds my bills so I can pay them on time (whaaaat?) and is also home to a few emergency thank you notes and birthday cards, because I’m prepared, dammit. Sometimes, organizational tools at least inspire you to be better, and this one has worked for me. I even bought a green one for Marc so I can shove his “to-do” papers in his backpack before work. BOOM.

I hope you find some time to relax and spoil yourself a little this month. If you have time, hop over to Instagram and document your summer reading time on my challenge hashtag. If you’re feeling crafty, hop on over to YouTube where I’m filming weekly layouts for Project Life. If you’re feeling tired, go take a nap. Love you all.

KLpbsmp

What I’m Doing Upstairs (Not Drugs)

If you’re reading this, and you know me, you’ll know that if there is an easier way to do something, my lazy ass is going to figure it out. Ask my mom, who still furrows her eyebrows when I tell her I microwave our steamed vegetables. (Mom, +5 points to you for cooking your veggies on the stove, though! The utility company and I still love you.)

You also know that I love to scrapbook. So, when Scrapbooking Baby Jesus came down from the Heavens and gave us pocket pages, the angels sang in my heart. I know some of my friends think I’m absolutely batshit crazy for still printing photos and decorating paper. Who’s doing that anymore? Well, this girl is!…and a bunch of other crazy scrapbookers are too, thankyouverymuch. Do you know why? Because we love easy, and we’re sentimental memory-hoarders too.

You can read more about Project Life by Becky Higgins if you’re interested in the backstory and marketing, but let me give you the gist.

You can take these:

and make these: 

TADA! IT’S MAGIC.

I LOVE how easy it is to rescue our memories from our heads and my external hard drive, but my absolute favorite part about scrapbooking this way is watching Maggie flip through the pages and laugh out loud at the pictures. Damn, that feels good. She’s remembering the good times, in her own little way, and I hope one day, she sits down and reads the journaling too.

If you’re thinking about preserving your memories in a different way than using TimeHop, consider this method. If you’re cool with TimeHop, text me your embarrassing memories, because I love that stuff too.  It’s also worth noting that if you’re even lazier than I am, they have digital apps that you can plop your photos in and create beautiful layouts to print, and they’ll send that shit straight to your house. YES MA’AM, they will. I hope you get inspired to find a way to be creative and do what’s right for you.

Full disclosure: If you come to my house, I’m gonna make you sit down and look at these albums and appreciate my work.

JK, I’m actually an introvert and probably want you to get off my couch. Watch my YouTube videos instead.

Lola’s Summer Reading Challenge 2017

It’s summertime, y’all, which means it’s time for an old-fashioned reading challenge. Do you remember when we were little and would get a fancy little worksheet from our teachers with cute little spaces to document our summer reading progress? My sisters and I even got to turn in book reports to my grandparents for money. Those were the drinking-water-from-the-backyard-hose days, am I right?

Well, inspired by my BFF, Becca, who asked for a reading challenge but totally won’t do it, I decided to make a fancy little sheet of my own for Lola’s First Ever Summer Reading Challenge. [Queue Britney Spears’ “Work Bitch” here!] If we’re gonna fail, let’s all fail gloriously together.

Current nightstand view:


(Shoutout to my new friend, Kim, who sent me a loving, thoughtful email with suggested reading. I ordered How to Be a Person in the World: Ask Polly’s Guide Through the Paradoxes of Modern Life by Heather Havrilesky and Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed as soon as I could!)

Rules:

  1. There are no rules. We’re gonna have fun, okay?
  2. Read if you can, but don’t feel bad if you can’t. I’m shooting for 15 minutes a night, which is about 1,000 years in Mom Time.
  3. Use the blank space on the worksheet for whatever you want. Ideas: write a three-word summary of how you feel after you read, OR write the thing you *should* have been doing instead of reading, OR write the thing your heart needed more than reading, like Cheetos.

The month of June starts this Thursday, so get your butt on Amazon, and two-day ship your summer read. Or just grab the book that’s been on your shelf for 10 months staring at you, calling you names like “lazy” and “dummy.” I haven’t decided which of these two books I’ll pick for the official challenge, but it doesn’t matter since I’m really only in it to impress whoever walks into the room and witnesses me being a Fancy Book-Reading Lady.

Document the fun at #klreadingchallenge, especially if you’re doing something way more fun than reading, like drinking wine or eating those Cheetos we talked about.

Click here to download Lola’s Magical, but Profanity-Laden Reading Challenge PDF Printable, but not if you hate bad words.

Love you all, and can’t wait to read/possibly fail at this with you.

KLpbsmp

How Many Points for Pinot Noir?

Happy Seven-Weeks-Since-Having-A-Baby Day!

It’s time for me to review (only some of) the desperate things I’ve done in the past few weeks to feel like a competent human being:

  1. Spent hundreds of dollars on some shadow ombre highlights, because you KNOW I’m not going in every 4-6 weeks to update my damned hair, but I needed some blonde to feel alive. See you in the fall, Brooke the Hair Girl, who I owe my life to.
  2. Ordered all the closet organization tools I could find, because THIS IS THE YEAR I’ll finally publish a home organization book on the side, right?
  3. Created a spreadsheet of things I need to remember to do on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis, including brushing my teeth. Wish I was joking.
  4. Went emergency clothes shopping with mom since I tried on my “normal” pants the Thursday before I went back to work and I felt like a can of just-opened biscuits.

Which brings me to my favorite self-improvement effort I’ve done so far: joining Weight Watchers. Yeah, girl, I did that! I ain’t mad about it.

After the biscuit can clothes debacle, I sat myself down in the rocking chair I’d been feeding my new baby in hours before, and gave myself five minutes to cry. Marc sweetly approached me and asked if he could do anything, and through big, dramatic tears, I declined, telling him about my five minute cry plan, and reiterating that if my girls were this size, I’d honestly think they were beautiful. So, it was 9:55AM and my five minutes was up. Time to get a move on. I joined a week later.

My main goal is to learn to be healthier, and losing weight will be a bonus. Listen, I’m fully aware that my zero-point Diet Coke is not “good” for me. But right now, it’s better than ALL THE THINGS I want to put in my mouth, so I’m taking baby steps until I can become a certified, organic, bean-sprout-eating fool. I’m already down 7.6 pounds, thankyouverymuch. I don’t even care if that was 7.6 pounds in tears from crying in the rocking chair. I’m not letting anyone rain on my parade, because I’m doing what I can to better myself, and this works for me, for now. Okay? Okay??? Wish me luck.

P.S. New Rule: if you search for the things that you really want, and it doesn’t show up, you get to go with the lowest point of all the listings. Pretty sure Weight Watchers would approve.

Love you all, and the desperate things you’re doing to make yourself a better one.

I’m a Working Mom and I Don’t Care Who Knows It!

Alright, fine, I guess I care a little. #feelingjudged

I’m on a teeter-totter of two feelings about being a corporate, 8:30-5:30 Mom: feeling bad for leaving my girls “behind,” but feeling bad that I DON’T FEEL THAT BAD ABOUT IT.

It has been six weeks since I pushed out a little human being out of my girl parts, but GIRL, y’all know I was back to work this past Monday. MONDAY at 8:17 – EARLY! Do you know how many people asked me last week, with a sympathetic frown, “Awww, are you bummed about going back?” Do you know how hard it was to dig deep for a pouty face, and a “I knowwwww, totally!”

But really, I was ready to come back, friends. I didn’t even shed a tear. On the Sunday before my return (Mother’s Day, no less!), I serious-as-shit Googled, “Why don’t I feel bad about going back to work after having a baby?” Do you understand the desperation I was feeling to find another Mom who validated my anxiousness to get back to work, for me to go to freaking Google looking for her?

Most of the results were women posting to forums about not wanting to go back to work, using all the exclamation points left on earth, e.g. “Help!!!!! I don’t want to go back to work!!!!!!!!!” followed by a truly sad post that I didn’t even to click on, because I might absorb something from it. I read snippets of articles that suggested staying home with your kids, waiting silently for something to hit me like a ton of bricks. Nothing. Instead, I picked out my outfit for my first day back, fixed my hair, and wrote my boss an email about how excited I was. And I meant it.

If I still have you, and you haven’t decided that I’m a terrible person with a raisin of a heart, let me say this: I love my girls so much. I really, really do. But they say you have to take care of yourself before you’re good for anyone else, and it’s true. If I stayed home with my girls, I would be such an asshole, to them and everyone. (Side note: we’d also be poor, because on my maternity leave, I’m pretty sure my daily Amazon orders paid for at least a new car for Jeff Bezos). I need my job for me. I need to wear eyeliner, and uncomfortable pants. I need to yell at my computer screen, and write passive aggressive emails. I need hour-long lunches with my friends and I need marketing meetings. I need it ALL. And that’s okay with me (except for that 4% of the time that I’m feeling guilty about it and Googling for support). But really: it’s okay with me.

For the working moms who Googled for validation too, I’ll tell you what I’m hoping for: I’m hoping to teach my girlies that they can work hard for something they want, and that sometimes they’ll get it, and sometimes they won’t. I’m hoping they learn that it’s okay to like money, and to buy things for themselves and say, with sass, to their future spouse, “I HAVE A JOB!” <*Snap*snap*snap> like Mom does to Dad from time to time. I’m hoping they see me making sacrifices, or using resourceful shortcuts (Thank you, Shipt!) because I’m doing what I need to do for our family. I hope they see me as a strong, independent, smart woman who also crumbles every now and then, like we all do.

I shouldn’t have to say this disclaimer, but will anyway in case I’m misunderstood. TO ALL THE MOMS – the stay-at-home/work-from-home or work-from-an office kind: We’re frickin’ amazing, aren’t we? Whether we’re wearing heels, or half-naked, or both – we’re killing it out there, and doing what we need to for our families. I don’t think I’m better than you, or smarter than you. I know we both work hard as hell. Just know that all I’m really saying is that we should do what’s right for us, whatever that means to you, so we can be good for our little people, who are watching us. High five, girl. High five.

Love you all.

The Plural of “Girl” is “Girls”

If there were a clean list of all the available emotions that can happen in a human brain, and there were 8,429 of them, I’d say I’ve felt all 8,429 of them since April 3, 2017.

The first thing my sister texted me after giving birth to Ruby was, “So is it true? Do you really love both of your girls equally, or was mom lying all these years?” I laughed. And then I cried. Because my heart is joyful, and scared, and everything in between, all at the same time. Figure that one out, guys.

Marc and I decided we wanted to get pregnant last summer, and luckily, it happened quickly for us. We always knew we wanted at least two babies, so this was it. Here we go, making life happen! But I never could have prepared myself for all the feels I’m feeling, y’all.

I am immensely proud of my two human beings, just for being alive, which I think is a pretty good deal for them. So what’s the deal with the spread of emotions? I can stare into Ruby’s eyes she inherited from her dad, and I can fall deep, deep into her world; her tiny world of short, quick milk breaths, baby squeaks, warm body rolls and seedy mustard poo.

(Full disclosure: I love the smell of newborn poop. If you think that’s weird, that’s okay, but we’re not friends anymore. Love me or leave me.)

And then there’s Maggie, dammit. She is so smart and beautiful, and fascinating to us. She’s my little buddy, my firecracker, my pistol full of life and a future potty mouth like her mother, I’m sure.

Together, they make my heart sing. SING, I tell you. But I guess it’s a part of every mom’s parenthood plight, to worry too. I worry that it will never be possible to explain how much I love them, together or as individuals. I worry that one will always feel inferior to the other. I worry that they won’t be friends. I worry that this world will attempt to oppress them, for being who they are. I worry I’m going to mess up. I know I will mess up. I worry.

And if there is one thing I’ve figured out with this whole parenting thing, it’s this: the previous life you knew and had is over. Somehow, when you don’t think it’s possible for the love and worry in your heart to grow, it doubles. It all doubles, and the weight and love, along with the fear and difficulty of being responsible for a human, is all there: waiting for you, smiling at you, and laughing at you.

But for us, it’s true what they say: that your love multiplies, not divides, when you have another one. Our hearts FULLY belong to these girls.

(GIRLS. I have girls. More than one. Plural. Shit.)

Our lives as we knew them are over, and now they belong to these people. These little girls, who we hope to raise into decent human beings. I consider myself truly lucky to have been given the chance to give up the lives I had before, for all this beautiful, gooey, girly mess we’ve been given. I’m all theirs, forever and ever.

So for now: books and hair bows and baby breaths and naps. That’s what we know right now. It’s good to be home y’all. It’s good to be a Girl Mom.

Love You More, Girl Dad

Dear Marc,

We’ve been together for half our lives, but I still learn something new about you nearly every day. Sometimes it’s good, like when I learn that you can sense when I need you to do things like pick up around the house without me asking you to. Sometimes I learn less-awesome things about you, like that throwing your dirty clothes in the hamper instead of next to the hamper is apparently more difficult. (I still love you, though). But you know, we’re in the thick of raising a 2.5 year old little girl/crazypants, and getting ready for another, and I’ve been meaning to sit down and tell you what else I’ve really learned about you in the past few years that I honestly didn’t expect to.

You and I have had our ups and downs, haven’t we? We’ve ranged from “How are we gonna do this marriage anymore?” to “I’m glad we get to do this life together, exactly how it is.” I look at our lives now and thank God we made it through those bad times – Jesus – look what we’d be missing. Especially our kids. Which brings me to my real point, Bub.

I always knew you’d be a good dad, but I have to admit that when I found out we were having a girl the first time, I wasn’t sure how you’d navigate that one. You already have Crazy Me, and here comes this other Thing that could be crazy too. Being a sensitive teddy bear ain’t your thang, and I’m cool with that, but this little person is going to need you even more than I do, and she’s going to count on you to help build her up in this weird world. You don’t even have a pet name for me, because my name is, in fact, Alyssa. How were you going to handle this new person who will hope for bubbles and laughing, and thriving, and loving? (You know, Me 2.0?)

And then you knocked it out of the fucking ballpark, dude.

The minute we became parents together, it all changed, didn’t it? The last two and a half years have dragged on, and flown by, all at the same time, and it’s you who has been my slow-and-steady friend through the magic and the miserable. But even bigger than me and you is your love for our daughter, and that’s what makes me most proud to be your wife, your co-parent, and your friend. And if we had to nail down an exact moment when I knew you win this Girl Dad thing, it was when you bought Maggie FOR HER SECOND BIRTHDAY I Dissent, about Ruth Bader Ginsburg being a strong, smart little lady. Sigh. We’re yours, forever and ever.

Listen, you drive us crazy with your rules and things, (Why can’t we have 8 kittens???) but we appreciate you, and love you more than M&Ms, which is a lot. You’re really our hero.

Now go put your clothes in the hamper.

KLpbsmp

marc and mags

 

Dear Grinches

Listen up, you haters of pre-Thanksgiving holiday decorating. Your progressive Christian(ish), Unitarian Universalist, Democrat(ish), holiday-loving friend has a bone to pick with you. You’ve gotta get off my ass for decorating for the holidays early, and more importantly, you’ve gotta get off my ass in general.

I’ll start by saying that you had this coming. Your generally peaceful friend feels pushed to this point by you, and I’m just standing up for my holiday rights, because general human rights don’t seem to be anyone’s priority right now anyway. This is an annual problem, but you can blame my rant on election season, because I’m tired. Your beat-up, squishy, vulnerable friend has watched enough bullying, and wishes her house to SMELL LIKE HOLLY, DAMMIT. Can a girl have her peppermint bark in peace right now?

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. It really is. I LOVE the food, the weather, being with family, and carrying on old traditions. But:

Thanksgiving + Your December Holiday Here = The Holiday Season

and when Halloween is over, it’s The Holiday Season. It’s math, y’all. And I totally get it – I, too, am a little freaked out when Mariah Carey is screaming “ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU,” at me on November 1st. But can we trust each other and know that hearing that song didn’t trigger a reaction in my brain to buy all the things or be an asshole? It reminded me that, right around the corner, I get to see people I don’t get to see very often. I get to stand in the kitchen on my tired feet with my mom. I get to watch my kiddo open presents and light up. It also means a bunch of screaming, long lines, side-eye glances, and stressful family situations, but I’m fine with that, too. I’ll take that any day, because HOLIDAYS!

On a practical note, you know my lazy/working mom self is not going to decorate for two orange holidays that only last over a three-week span. I decorated my house for “fall” in September so I could get a good ROI on that shit. So, I ask: IS IT SO TERRIBLE that I put some red and green and even blue stuff up in my house right now? I’m not a retail store trying to sell you stuff and make money off of you. I’m just a girl who wants to be reminded for as long as reasonably possible that it’s a good time to evaluate the year and reflect on what’s important to me, and if that means burning an evergreen candle in my living room, then let me burn it, mkay?

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And lastly, Christian friends, I’m lookin’ at you. I’m basically decorating for your favorite person’s birthday, so please get off my shit. It’s not for you. It’s not for retailers. It’s for me. I’m trying to complete a mental and spiritual exercise here, and I’m not hurting anyone, or contributing to the downfall of our society, so just let me do this one thing, okay?

I guess what I’m asking is: In December, and all the time, maybe we support each other while we peacefully reflect and grow in our own way, whether that means praying in a pew or on a rug, or lighting a candle, or sprinkling some GD glitter on my table. No matter what your world view is right now, I’d be willing to share some peppermint cocoa with you, if we can both agree to not be assholes about our differences, or different people in general. Can we do that?

If none of this resonates with you and you’re still a hater of early holiday decorating or me in general, then I’ll speak your language and kindly ask that you stick a candy cane up your butt.

I love you all, even if you’re a grinch. I really do.

In red and green and spiced lattes and LOVE,

Lola

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