House TalkN is a fun lookiloo at houses, houses, houses. It will answer pressing questions like, "When folks build a McMansion on a small lot, what are they compensating for?" or "Was the real estate agent drunk when they staged this house?" or "Why don't the Smiths' ever leave their drapes open when I am on a harmless walk-by?"

Friday, May 31, 2013

The Perfect House...Or, not.

*Update: This house just sold. Would it be creepy to ask the new owner if I could hangout on the porch?

Remember my oh, so patient real estate agent, Steve Fox
Well, I am testing his patience...again.
Here is my dream house checklist that Steve has been charged to find for my family:
-Brick colonial
-Center hall, open staircase
-Back staircase to the kitchen
-5 bedrooms
-Basement man-cave
-Attic kid-cave
-3+ bathrooms
-Wood floors
-French doors
-Big windows and lots of them
-Front Porch
-Eat-in kitchen
-Butlers Pantry
-Vintage charm (original chandeliers, glass doorknobs, etc)

Last week, Steve showed me a home that had every single thing on that list. (See listing here)
I brought a friend/neighbor along to confirm that yes, indeed, this was a fan-freaking-tastic house. She texted our friends "Kerry (finally) found a house that she loves! Get.here.now!"
At every turn, I shouted "SHUT UP! SHUT UP RIGHT NOW!" 
I showed my husband, my kids, my mom, my dad, my friends and I even raved about it to a few folks that were passing by during my 83rd visit.
I used my phone to snap this shot of my dream entryway.
This is the stairway that each of my house fantasies begins and ends with. There it was in real life.
After 24 hours of mentally arranging my furniture in this house, I had an epiphany. 
In order to buy this house...I would have to leave our current home. I would have to leave our neighborhood.
That night, our kiddos were romping around our neighborhood, gathering kids for "Ghost in the Graveyard." I stood in the street, yukking it up with neighbors. 
Could I give this up? 
-I remembered writing "It Ain't The House." 
-I remembered our lemonade stands.
-I remembered my neighbor, Donna, showing up with a shopvac when our basement flooded. 
-I remembered that while my friend and I were touring this house, our kiddos were running back and forth between our houses.
-I remembered my neighbor, Becky, taking care of my babies while I rushed my son to the ER for stitches.
-I remembered my neighbor, Chris, leaving cookies on my doorstep. 
-I remembered our block parties.
-I remembered bringing our babies home.
To my own shock, I texted our agent that it was a no-go. The one thing that I forgot to add to the dream house list? It has to be in a 6 block radius of where we currently live.
Super Agent Steve may or may not be taking my calls. He may or may not have my face on a dartboard.

Link Par-taay at:
http://youaretalkingtoomuch.com/
http://www.alderberryhill.com/
http://www.iheartnaptime.net/
http://too-much-time.com/
http://sixsistersstuff.com/
http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/
http://www.serenitynowblog.com/
http://chiconashoestringdecorating.blogspot.com/
http://www.commonground-do.com/
http://frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.com/
http://www.504main.com/
http://romantichome.blogspot.com/
http://www.atthepicketfence.com/
http://www.the36thavenue.com/
http://www.houseofhepworths.com/
http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/
http://www.notjustahousewife.net/
http://myuncommonsliceofsuburbia.com/
Read more ...

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sanctimommy

Sometimes, I go all "Sanctimommy." 
Sometimes, I talk at my kids, sure that my nagging words of wisdom are sinking in.
Sometimes, God smacks down Sanctimommy.
Please meet me In The Powder Room and tell me that I am not alone. Tell me your funny sanctimommy story. Please, make me feel better about myself. 

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Friday, May 24, 2013

7 Things That Suck About Being A WAHM

This month is my one year anniversary of being a WAHM- fancy talk for being a "work at home mom."
I.love.it. 
I have blogged all about my shenanigans. 
I shared my mom office, the "moffice."
I shared my streaking adventure.
I shared diy projects.
Today, I am sharing the ugly side of being a WAHM. It includes my case of "blogger butt." Meet me In The Powder Room and tell me your woes.
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Monday, May 20, 2013

What Color Makes You Happy?

Color makes people happy. It says so right on the door.
Checkered Moon always makes me happy. 
Checkered Moon always has happy inventory and I can always find happy women. 
Even if I pop in alone, I always run into an old friend or I make a new friend.
On this trip, I was wowed by all things YELLOW! How happy is this sofa?
Big things, small things, there is a touch of yellow for all occasions.
For her...

For baby...
For a gift...
What color makes you HAPPY?
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Rants From Mommyland

I like to be funny. Making folks belly laugh is a drug to me.
Today, I am guest posting at Rants From Mommyland. 
It is not funny. Zero belly laughs.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. 
Last year, In The Powder Room let me run this piece anonymously. It is one thing to share my own story, but this story is about more than just me. It is about people that I love most in the world. It is only my perspective. 
I share it with a heavy heart and great unease. If you don't like it, please just move on. Know that it was not easy to write and gut wrenching to share. 
Here you go:
For My Big Brother.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Let's Give The Delta Gamma Girl A Do-Over

Did you read the Delta Gamma sorority smackdown? 
I did. I was horrified. 
I was not horrified by her creative and prolific use of the f-bomb. 
I was horrified that she turned on her sisters. I was horrified that impressing frat boys trumped her loyalty to her sorority sisters. 
Twenty years ago...cough!... I met a group of women that I would share blue eyeshadow, AquaNet hairspray, and many laughs and tears with. I admire and love this women to this day. 
Marriages, children, careers, the loss of muscle tone and 7 cities later, we can still pick up right where we left off. We can still make each other belly laugh. We still have each other's back.
On Friday night, I traveled back to my home state, Indiana (yeehaw!) to join the cast of The Listen To Your Mother Show. One of my sorority sisters was in the audience. I may or may not have squeezed her spleen out. 
Here was a woman that I hadn't seen in 20 years. Here was a woman that had seen me at the most unflattering time of my life. Here was a woman that I knew loved me, flaws and all.
That is the sisterhood that I wish Ms. Delta Gamma could have. I decided that Ms. Delta Gamma deserves a "do-over!" Meet me In The Powder Room today. I am rewriting her letter.
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Listen To Your Mother

"Giving Mother's Day A Microphone"
The Listen To Your Mother Show is everything that I love about women. I was so proud (and nauseous!) to join this cast of amazing women on Friday night. Fifteen smart, funny and brave women took to the stage to share their stories. 
I felt connected not only to these women but also to the women all across the country who were also standing on stage for their local LTYM shows. 
Images from backstage, on stage and the after parties were flooding my instagram, facebook and twitter feeds. 
Thank you to Beth Fletcher Photography for these images!
Yukking it up backstage with Maxine Bonta, Nicole Leigh Shaw and Rae Disco.
Our fearless leader, Director Lovelyn Palm.
It was a wonderful experience to meet some of my favorite writers in real life. Angela Ammon was as kind and generous and funny as she is online.
We now break from Beth Fletcher's photos to my blurry iphone gems.


By 10am Saturday morning, I was back to yoga pants, sitting in a gymnasium cheering for a basketball game. I kept thinking, "Did that really happen last night?" 
It still feels like a dream. A dream come true. 

Sharing With: 
http://www.gfunkified.com
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Friday, May 10, 2013

Blackberries and Clothespins

Two things that were constants in my childhood- blackberries and clothespins.
My mother, her mother, and her mother - all southern ladies, passed these traditions down to the next generation.
They could make a blackberry cobbler with a shoe.
There was always a steady stream of laundry on the line.
Looking back, many of my memories have blackberries and/or clothespins in the background.
There was the fight with a sister that started with a simple observation- "Your teeth are purple."
My mother's instructions each day for me to "hang out the wash".  Let's just say that my heavy sighing and eye rolling did not go unnoticed.
Nor did I actually follow the instructions.  Many days, the scorned electric dryer was fired up just before my mothers return home.  Of course, the smell or the lack of  the "outside" smell gave me away every stinkin' time.
I hated that our laundry was on display for everyone to see.  For the love of gravy, what if someone saw my undies hanging out there?  Was she trying to ruin my life?
My mother now lives in the same house that my grandmother lived in.  She makes the same trek out to the clothesline each day that my grandmother did, uses the same pins.
Just beyond the clothesline is the massive row of blackberry bushes.  My kiddos now go berry pickin' at the same bushes that I did.  The same bushes that provided me with years of purple teeth.
My sister lives three doors away from my mother, 6 acres between them.  We spend our visits running back and forth between the two- often barefoot or in our jammies.
When my kiddos finally lay their heads down at night, exhausted from a day romping with the cousins, I know that they are drifting toward sleep with the scent of fresh laundry in their widdle noses....and that their teeth are tinted purple.
After years of scoffing at the wash on the line, I've come to love this image.




I have had a long love affair with the blackberry.




Link Par-Taaaay at:
Good Life Wednesdays
http://thebrambleberrycottage.blogspot.com/
http://www.polishthestars.com/
http://www.carissagraham.com/search/label/miscellany%20monday
http://www.lifemadelovely-blog.com/2011/07/life-made-lovely-monday_31.html
http://debbie-debbiedoos.blogspot.com/2011/07/1980s-microwave-cart-score-at-goodwill.html
http://www.notjustahousewife.net/
http://www.reasonstoskipthehousework.com/
http://savvysouthernstyle.blogspot.com/
http://serenitynow4amanda.blogspot.com/



read to be read at yeahwrite.me
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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Motherhood, The Land Of Gross

Motherhood does not care if you are squeamish. Motherhood does not care if you are a manicure type of gal. Motherhood does not care if you gag at the thought of vomit, poop, snot, blood, or any combination of those.
All of the parenting magazines show us lovely pictures of well groomed mothers holding their well behaved children. Sunsets, beaches and glitter are usually included.
The only photos I have that look like that, I photoshopped.
In real life, we may or may not shower on a regular basis. 
In real life, we are digging through baby poop, searching for that swallowed item.
In real life, we are washing vomit sheets while the vomit in our hair reminds us of a movie we saw long, long ago- Something About Mary.
Motherhood is The Land Of Gross.
The Land Of Gross that never ends. 
Just when I thought I had left The Land Of Gross, we got a dog. 
Having a dog is similar to having children. We love Big George. He makes our lives richer. He is here to stay. 
BUT, with the good, comes the gross.
Today, I am sharing a trip to The Land Of Gross. The Land Of Gross is especially fun when there is a crowd of strangers to witness your trip. 
Meet me In The Powder Room and share your grossest mothering story.
Then, I got a dog...
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Monday, May 6, 2013

A Guest Blogger For Mother's Day...

Please show a big ole welcome to one of my favorite bloggers- 
Farrah at The Three Under!


For about a week now I've been chewing on what I wanted to write about with regard to Mother's Day. I could go the sappy route- or I could try to be funny. I figured that since there are a mere 4 million other mom blogs out there (yes, really- I read that stat this week) you have your choice of finding one or the other.
Instead- I waited for inspiration to find me and it did. I have two people to thank for this.
The first is my friend Shannon, a proud card- carrying member from my Most Amazing Moms Group who originally posted the news clip of Sweet Brown. The second is the lovely and talented mastermind Kerry behind her blog HouseTalkN. She sent me a pick me up yesterday with the clip of Sweet Brown (that I had originally sent to her via Shannon) set to music.
This music is going to be my theme song. In fact, I think it already is and has been- I was just waiting for someone to put the words to a tune.
So if by chance you have NOT had the absolute pleasure of experiencing Sweet Brown and her 'viral video' (I hate that term)- I am more thrilled that you know to introduce it to you.
Because, in all honesty- as I reflect upon my last year of motherhood- one phrase has come consistently to mind: Ain't Nobody Got Time For That.
Ain't it the truth?
Because I don't.
--I don't have time for 'Mommy Wars'. ENOUGH with this term. Please. Everyone.
--I don't have time for petty pretentious mamas trying to make me feel bad because I'm not as good as you. Really. I don't have time for that.
--I don't have time for 'Mommy Guilt'. I don't. Look, I'm trying to survive here and keep my boys happy and safe. Because THAT is what matters. I don't feel guilty if they ate frozen Eggos with a side of high fructose corn syrup for breakfast. They ate, didn't they?
--I don't have time for the gym. I don't. I do ten million reps of stairs and lifts all over my house. So instead of faking it and wearing my workout clothes to pick up my kid from preschool and runs to Target- I'll just be keepin' it real here in my Merona tee shirt that I just picked up for $6 bucks.
--I don't have time for colds. Yep- we're all sick as dogs right now with snot coming out of our ears- but that doesn't mean I can wallow in bed and dose myself with Nyquil all day long. Ain't nobody got time for that when you're a mama. Nope.
--I don't have time for family petty games. If we come to visit- THIS is where we are. COME SEE US. Don't throw around a few guilt trips here and there because we only come up once a year. Ain't nobody got time for that either. Just be happy you see us.
--I don't have time for manicures, pedicures or hair stylists to blow out my mess of a mane. I'm ok with that. I may not look as spiffy as I used to- but I moisturize. That I do have time for.
--I don't have time to keep up with your kids and their fancy wardrobes. I have no desire to pay $34 for a child's tee shirt that they may wear for a year. Sorry. Don't got time for that so please don't try to impress me with your fancy name brand boat shoes in mini sizes.
--I don't have time to call my friends, unless I'm in the car- which I don't like to do because it's dangerous. So sorry mom-friends. But I don't got time for that and you know it. That's why I love you and you're my friends.
--What I DO have time for is my family. I have time for my boys. I have time to kiss them a billion times a day, wipe their snotty noses and salty tears. I haven't had much time lately for my husband- but I'll try to do better on that. Because there wouldn't be a Mother's Day for me if I wasn't a mother- and I am. And I love you guys.
And now...please, please, PLEASE do yourself a favor and watch this video. This entire post will make sense and I promise it will give you an ear worm. HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!! And remember, if things in motherhood are gettin' ya down...just remember: Ain't Nobody Got Time For That and move on..





Thanks theparodyfactory1 for this fabulous clip. If there's any way Sweet Brown can get some royalties that would be awesome.
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Friday, May 3, 2013

Listen To Your Mother and a Giveaway!

GIVING MOTHER'S DAY A MICROPHONE!
When I first heard of the production, "Listen To Your Mother," I stayed up late and watched every clip that I could find. 
Listen To Your Mother is the brainchild of Ann Imig. It is a "national series of live readings by local writers in celebration of Mother's Day. Born of the creative work of mothers who publish online, each production is directed, produced, and performed by local communities, for local communities."

But...here's the thing. I am the most outgoing shy person you will ever meet. (See how my 5th grade teacher changed the trajectory of my life here!)
My old pal, The Push/Pull Monster reared its ugly head. I wanted to join LTYM so badly but the thought of auditioning made me want to hide under my bed with a bag of Reese Cups. Never mind the anxiety of actually standing on a stage in front of a theatre full of people. 
Harassed Inspired by my pal, Nicole Leigh Shaw of  Ninja Mom to audition, I bit the bullet (and 19 Reese Cups) and sent my piece to the NW Indiana producer.
When word arrived that both The Ninja and I had both been selected for NW Indiana's LTYM cast, I spent 23 seconds celebrating! I spent the next 39 minutes breathing into a bag. 
What had I done?
Who was I kidding?
Images of everything that could go wrong flooded my mind.
-I would definitely fall and show my granny panties to the crowd.
-I would most certainly blurt out the f-bomb.
-I would forget to wear clothes.
-I would burp into the microphone.
-I would forget my piece and the only thing that would come out of my mouth would be slow, awkward rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."
Meeting the cast at rehearsal was a Godsend. Listening to their stories made feel connected to them, connected to the audience that would soon hear our collective words. For the first time, I could think about the production without the aid of Reese Cups.
In my excitement to spend time with Ninja Mom in real life, I forgot to have a picture taken of us together. I am almost 6 feet tall and Ninja Nicole claims to be almost 5'1-we are a sight to behold! She is like a little Polly Pocket of cuteness that tells dirty jokes. I'm thinking of carrying her around in a Baby Bjorn on opening night. 

Listen To Your Mother, Northwest Indiana 

May 10, 7pm show at the Memorial Opera House in Valparaiso, IN.


NOW, FOR THE GIVEAWAY!

Nicole and I are giving away a pair of tickets to NW Indiana's Listen To Your Mother Show AND autographed books of our anthology of funny muthas, I Just Want To Pee Alone! 
-One lucky winner will win a pair of tickets and 2 books!
-Two other lucky winners will each win a copy of I Just Want To Pee Alone! 
Winners will be announced on May 8th!
(Click here for full scoop about I Just Want To Pee Alone!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Oh, Lilacs! How I Love Thee!

Lilacs make me so happy. Just when I think I might jump off the roof if we have one more stinkin' gray, rainy day...KABOOM! The lilacs bloom and save the day!
They are beautiful but the best thing about lilacs? THE SMELL! I could just bury my face in them! To my children's horror, I actually do bury my face in them! And, I make lots of "ooh" and "ahhh" sounds!

Did anyone actually scratch their computer screen and sniff? 



I laughed when I saw this picture of Big George photo bombing my shot! It looks like he is growing out of the vase!
What is your favorite flower?

Link Par-taay at:
http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/
http://www.notjustahousewife.net/
http://www.astrollthrulife.net/
http://myuncommonsliceofsuburbia.com/
http://www.alderberryhill.com/
http://sixsistersstuff.com/
http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/
http://www.serenitynowblog.com/
http://chiconashoestringdecorating.blogspot.com/
http://www.commonground-do.com/
http://frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.com/
http://romantichome.blogspot.com/
http://www.houseofhepworths.com/

Read more ...

Confessions and a Link Party!

When my siblings and I get together, there is no shortage of stories. There is no shortage of laughter. There is no shortage of horrifying our mother.
We were "adventuresome" children, to put it mildly. We grew up in small town Indiana. Sure, we did all the idyllic things like catching lightning bugs and playing neighborhood hide and seek. Those are the stories that I tell my children. 
But, there are stories that I don't want my children to know. There are childhood shenanigans that I don't want my children to repeat. Meet me In The Powder Room to hear about one such shenanigan. I'm hoping that the statute of limitations will protect me from legal proceedings.
The ITPR editor and genius that is The Bearded Iris took to PicMonkey to make this image for my post. Cue "Stand By Me" soundtrack...


Now, let's party!

 Welcome to May's Finding the Funny! Meet the Hosts Anna @ My Life and Kids Kelley @ Kelley's Break Room Robyn @ Hollow Tree Ventures Kerry @ HouseTalkN Julie @ I Like Beer and Babies Keesha @ Mom's New Stage Meredith @ The Mom of the Year Anna @ Random Handprints Ellen and Erin @ Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms Toulouse @ Toulouse and Tonic

The Rules

Link up an old or new funny post. Link up as many times as you want (we're serious.) The party is open until Friday at midnight. The earlier you link up, the more clicks you'll get. Click around and meet the other funny bloggers that are linking up. Follow the Finding the Funny Pinterest board. We'll all be pinning our favorites throughout the month. We don't ask you to link back to us or include a button on your blog, but we do ask you to send out a tweet or post about the party on your Facebook page. Be sure to use #findingthefunny.
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