Let's talk about goals, baby. Let's talk about you and me.

Happy New Year, friends! I know today is just another day and that nothing is really all that different from yesterday, but it's hard not to get swept up in the optimism of a new year, isn't it? Twice a year (January 1st and my birthday), I am reminded to check back in with myself and see how I'm doing goal-wise. Am I where I want to be? Am I going where I want to go? What about my life needs tweaking?

This morning, The Mr and I sat down and we talked about what we'd like to make a point of changing. What are our financial goals, our geographical goals, our lifestyle goals, are we ever going to own a bouncy castle and do we even want one anymore (obviously the answer was yes). I made writing goals and reading goals and, of course, blogging goals.

I want to grow this audience and take myself and this blog even more seriously this year. Whoa. That sounded grown up. Are you uncomfortable? I'm uncomfortable.

LET'S. NOT. PANIC.

I'm not saying that I'm about to start throwing my philosophies at you all the time or that I'm going to stop being a complete fool: that is never an option.

All I'm saying is that I really want to see where we can take this thing.

The whole point of this blog is to share all of my embarrassing stories and ridiculousness not just to make you laugh, but to also help maybe a handful of people out there realize that they are not alone. We are all idiots, and as long as no one is getting hurt, that's not a bad thing. Our foolishness is what makes us learn, it's what ensures that we are still curious and full of wonder. It keeps us human. It keeps us all awkwardly alive and pleasantly peculiar.

So here's to a brand new year. I hope you'll join me in my adventure to keep the awkwardness alive. I encourage you to comment more on posts and share them with your friends - not just because it helps this blog (of course it does), but because I want to get to know you and your loved ones better. And because I can't do this without you.

Let's make 2018 the most awkwardly wonderful year yet.


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Strep is the best, right?

If you've been following my instagram story then you already know that I'm stuck in bed because I have strep throat. It's a bit of a bummer, but I also get to catch up on lots of books and tv shows that I haven't had time to read, so silver linings. BUT

Today is Friday and after a blogging break for Christmas, I was really looking forward to writing something funny for you all today.

So here I am.

Hopped up on meds with a mouthful of saltines.

I had planned to a whole "reflect on 2017" thing, but all my brain can handle right now is "I'm dying," so I thought I would share my top tips for being sick because after 24 hours, I feel like a pro:

  1. Marry a person who makes good soup.
  2. Acquire two huskies. They are necessary for the snuggles and I've learned that they never leave your side when you're not feeling well. They'll either lay on the bed together, both touching you, or they'll work in shifts.
  3. You're going to be told to drink a lot of fluids, which will then lead to you needing to pee a lot. This will be frustrating due to the fact that you're weak and in pain everywhere. I recommend building a bathroom right next to your bed.
  4. You will have a dream that you've wet the bed and then you'll wake up and everything will feel wet and you'll be all "OH MY GOD I WET THE BED." Don't panic. It's just your fever breaking again, which has caused you to sweat a ridiculous and slightly alarming amount.
  5. Speaking of the sweat thing... wear clothes that are easy to take on and off. Now is not the time for leggings that cling to your body every time you try and remove them. Now is the time for your husband's giant, grey sweatpants and that one giant, grey sweatshirt. Embrace the look of an elephant and run with it. Metaphorically. Running right now (and always) is a very bad idea.
  6. Watch and read things that make you happy. My personal favorites this time around are Planet Earth and Parks & Rec for shows and Harry Potter for books.
  7. Depending on the timing, you might be missing out on celebrating Christmas a week late with your husband's family. This is the first Christmas since your wedding, making it the first Christmas since you started using their last name and you're missing it. Take this time to be thankful for FaceTime, but it's also okay to cry a little.
  8. Netflix is going to judge you a lot and will ask you multiple times if "you're still watching." Take this opportunity to start drafting a letter to the powers that be about "sick mode."
  9. Your ability to finish sentences will
  10. Zzzzzzzz......

And that's about it. What about you? How do you like to spend your time when you're sick?


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It's a Christmas Miracle! ...of sorts.

This morning The Mr woke me up by tossing a cardboard box onto my body. I know what you're thinking: Romance has never felt more alive.

But it was actually exciting because it was my StitchFix subscription (not an ad). A box full of cute clothes so that I can trick people into thinking I have it all together and I'm not a slob who wears the same thing every day.... although, why is that a bad thing? If I have a cool piece of clothing, why am I not hip for wearing it multiple times? Doesn't that just mean that I'm good at taking care of my clothes and responsible with my money and also kinder to the environment because I'm not buying as much stuff all the time? WHY ARE OUR SOCIAL NORMS SO WEIRD?!

Ahem. I digress.

Because while it was all "yay! Clothes!" The Mr was walking around looking all weird-like.

Me: LOOK AT HOW CUTE I AM NOW.

 

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The Mr: Yeah, you look great, but...

Me: ....but what?

 

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The Mr: Doesn't it strike you as odd that that box arrived... this morning?

Me: Not really, I mean, they emailed me a few days ago and were like "hey, friend, fun clothes are on their way to you, so yay!" and it seemed legit.

The Mr: Yeah, but... we went to bed at 11 last night... and the box was there this morning.

Me: Yeah... wait... I think I'm with you now.

The Mr: Yeah...

Me: So... you took the dog out before we went to bed at 11pm?

The Mr: Yeah.

Me: And there was no box on the doorstep then?

The Mr: No.

Me: And then when you got up at 7, the box was there?

The Mr: Yes.

Me: ..... SANTA DOES EXIST!!!

 

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The Mr:

 

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While I Have Your Attention, Overlords....

So earlier this morning, I was working on a new financial breakdown for the blog. It was very exciting, as I'm sure you can imagine. I'm pretty bad at marketing my own blog, compared to other people. Most of that is a time issue. I work full time and I do all of the social media for my day job, so when I get home, marketing my own stuff falls pretty far down on my list of to-dos after taking care of the dogs, attempting to cook dinner, doing laundry, and spending time with The Mr.

But now that I'm making a little bit of money via patreon, I've been thinking about making a bigger investment in this good ol' bloggy thing that I do.

I was discussing it with The Mr this morning:

Me: So I was thinking that 10% of everything I earn will continue to go toward a charity of the Awkward Ambassador's choosing and 10% would go towards advertising, like boosting posts on Facebook or whatnot, and then the rest of the money will go towards covering the other expenses like the domain fee and the web hosting fee and all that.

The Mr: That makes sense.

Overall, a pretty standard, boring, run of the mill conversation.

Until I looked down at my phone five minutes later and saw this email:

So... it's official. My new iPhone is listening to everything and Facebook is on the other end of the line, which is disturbing, but also I'm pretty sure there is nothing I can do about it, so I'm thinking that maybe I should just take advantage of this opportunity, right? I mean, why not turn a weird thing into a great thing?

So, Facebook, while you're listening...

  • If you know me so well, why are you always showing me weird pictures of myself right off the bat from like seven years ago? I don't need to see that awkward time in my life. It's a rude awakening in the morning. I don't need to be confronted with the fashion of the early 2000s.
  • Please create a no baby filter so that I can eliminate the endless stream of babies in my feed. Except my sister's  baby. He's great.
  • If you're going to show me everyone's political posts, please attach a picture or video of a cute puppy to make up for it.
  • In fact, please attach more pictures or videos of cute puppies to most things that you do. It would greatly improve the user experience.
  • If you run out of puppy pictures, pictures of otters will suffice.
  • Every time someone writes a mean comment, can you just reword to say "I love you and you look nice today?" I feel like that would solve a lot of problems. Until people find out about it... then they might start getting offended by compliments and things will get all sorts of screwy.
  • Maybe stop eavesdropping on my conversations? It's making you seem a little... desperate? No... evil? No... creepy? Yeah. Creepy.

In other fun news with social media... This Sunday is the last #SundaySupdates episode of the year and it's public for all, BUT -- we're switching things up and doing it on Instagram Live instead of YouTube! Sunday at 8pm join me on Instagram Live and watch me cook something Christmasy and answer your fun questions! If you need quick and cheap gift ideas, I'll help you with ideas! If you just want to say hi, I'll say hi back! The important thing is that you show up, because the party is so much more fun when your guests actually arrive! See you then!


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

Maybe it's not me, after all... maybe it's just my face!

The Mr and I spent Thanksgiving weekend at my brother's place and for some reason, we got to talking about our family's faces. Like we all do. Me: Sister 1 has that perfect mom glare, though... it's terrifying.

Brother: Yeah, but Sister 2 has the definition of a Resting Bitch Face.

Me: That is so true.

Brother: You, on the other hand, have Resting I'm-a-Freaking-Psycho Face. 

And while I'd never heard it put that way before, I knew right away that, well... he's not wrong. In fact, he's spot on. As always.

I've been told that I look frightening when I'm crocheting, which is the thing I find most relaxing. When I write: same thing. The Mr has stopped asking if I'm okay, but the children at church regard me with intrigued caution.

Wait... is this why I'm not allowed to use the sharp knives in the kitchen? Is this why everyone thinks I'm crazy? Is it just my face that has been leading to some strange self-fulfilling prophecy?! COULD I HAVE BEEN NORMAL IF MY FACE WAS DIFFERENT THIS WHOLE TIME?

And to think that people say looks don't matter...

P.S. I realize that this theory makes it sound like I think that Sister 2 is a bitch. She is not. She's actually the kindest person on earth. It's infuriating. This, of course, totally blows my theory to smithereens... but what do I care? I'M CRAZY.


Time for some business:

 

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An essay I wrote was published on The Feminine Collective this week, and I'm stupidly proud of it. You can go read it here and then share it with all of your friends because not only do you maybe like what I do, but more people need to know about this amazing online magazine.

If you've already read it, thank you so much! I've been getting so many wonderful messages and you all just make my hearts sing.


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

Oh, you know, just a normal day in my pants. OH WAIT NO.

Okay, so I know this isn't a normal blog post day for me, but OH MY GOD YOU GUYS SOME CRAZINESS JUST ENSUED AND I NEED TO TALK ABOUT IT. Okay, so I was sitting with The Mr and we were having our morning coffee. I had already showered and gotten dressed and while I started telling him a story, I felt something weird in my pants - like a bite - so I instinctively reached down my pants to feel what was going on only to find that it was nothing.

The Mr: What are you doing??

Me: What?

The Mr: You just started telling me a story and then shoved your hand down your pants!

Me: Oh! Right. I thought I got bit by something, but it was probably just a phantom bite. Anyway... this article I read...

So then fast-forward a few minutes. The Mr is on the phone with his sister and I suddenly feel the weird crawly bitey feeling again on my leg, so I stand up and start taking off my pants only to find nothing - NO WAIT NOT NOTHING A FREAKING SPIDER WAS CRAWLING AROUND IN MY PANTS.

I screamed.

The Mr laughed.

I grabbed the little bastard and ran, pants around my knees, to the bathroom to flush the jerk down the toilet EXCEPT HE SOMEHOW ATTACHED SOME INVISIBLE WEB STRAND TO MY SHIRT ALL OF A SUDDEN AND HE WOULDN'T FALL. And then I started to panic because spider webs are really strong and what if he pulled me in with him and gave me a swirly like the evil bully this spider obviously was?!

That didn't happen, thank God, and eventually, I won and that guy got flushed.

And now I can still feel crawly things all over my legs and I have to go to work where it is socially unacceptable to stick my hand down my pants on a whim so basically, I'll be anxiously sweating for the rest of my day.

Then again, maybe this is how I become a superhero.


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I feel like we're doing the whole "romantic sunset" thing wrong.

A conversation I had with The Mr in the car yesterday:  Me: Oooo... pretty sunset. It's so weird to think that it's all just pollution.

The Mr: What are you talking about?

Me: The sunset. The only reason it's all colorful and pretty is because of pollution.

The Mr: No it isn't! It's just the angle of the sun causing all of those colors.

Me: Yeah. The angle of the sun reflecting light through all of the poison in our atmosphere. Did you really not know this? You love science! And the environment!

The Mr: Are you serious? This whole time I've been admiring sunsets and they're really just all made up of poison?

Me: Yes!

The Mr: Well... that's terrible! Now I can't enjoy a sunset anymore!

Me: Why not? It's still pretty! Think of it this way: there's an upside to everything. Even pollution.

The Mr: No. No! That's like saying "Hey, come look at this gorgeous painting, isn't it amazing?" and then finding out that all the paint is just blood splatters from a gruesome murder.

Me: Well... when you put it that way.

We drove in silence for a minute.

Me: You know, the color of the sky kind of looks like a big wash of blood now that you're saying it. Huh. I still think it's pretty.

The Mr: You've ruined everything for me now.

Later on, The Mr did some research and it turns out that I'm not totally right about this fun fact, but I'm also not totally wrong either? I don't know, he started talking all sciencey to me and I zoned out a bit if I'm being honest.

Just goes to show that you can't trust everyone you meet who says they know science.


 

Last night's #SundaySupdates episode was live to all! You can watch it right here and then go sign up to be an Awkward Ambassador to tune in every week!


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

Seven things I'm thankful for (and NONE OF THEM ARE BRENDA)

I live in America and this Thursday we're celebrating Thanksgiving. While I'm definitely not a huge fan of the history of this holiday, I am a fan of food and the general idea that we should set aside some time to acknowledge the things we are grateful for. So, I decided to make a list. Because I'M RELEVANT.

    1. Books. Where would I be without books?! seriously. I read them. I make a living talking about them. I write them. If books were to suddenly stop existing, my life as I know it would literally be over. I love books so much that my house might as well be built out of them. I came home today and The Mr was all "Is that more books in your hands?" when he saw the armful I was carrying. I just smiled and didn't mention the fact that I had twice that in my backpack. (Shhh... he'll never know!) And what's not to love? They're nice to hold, they teach me things, they're basically time machines to other dimensions (TAKE THAT, SCIENCE) and they make great kindling when necessary! JUST KIDDING DON'T WORRY I WOULD NEVER BURN A BOOK, GOSH. (Okay, maybe we shouldn't be so extreme to go so far as to say never. I mean, if a man was holding my family hostage and told me that they were all going to die unless I set a book on fire, I'd probably do it. Unless he was just threatening my sister, Brenda*. She's the worst.)
    2. Comedy. Thank God for it, am I right? I feel like we could always use a laugh, but these days it feels way more than necessary. The world seems to be on fire everywhere we turn, but comedians are making me laugh in spite of and sometimes about it all.
    3. Macaroni and Cheese. Do I really need to explain myself here?
    4. Tacos. See #3.
    5. Dogs. Specifically mine. They are the best, even when they're vomiting in the middle of the night and shedding everywhere. I love them. They make me feel less like a weirdo because when I talk to them they look at me and say "Cool. HEY LOOK AT THIS BONE I FOUND IN MY TOY BASKET." Their support is unwavering.
    6. Grammarly. I write a lot and I often make mistakes - even when I know the proper use of "there," "their," and they're. For example, when writing #5, I definitely typed "they're support is unwavering" BECAUSE I AM A FLAWED HUMAN, but Grammarly was all "Hey girl, you did a dumb thing, but don't worry. I got you."
    7. You. Awwww. I know. So cute. But really, you are amazing. And I love you. The fact that you are just sitting around reading the weird stuff that comes out of my brain makes me love you. Many virtual hugs from me to you, dear reader, because every time I get a like or a comment from you I remember that I am not alone and that someone out there enjoys my thoughts and that is a really nice, warm, and fuzzy feeling. Like a peach. You are peachy. And thank you for being you :)

So what about you? What are you thankful for right now? Tell me in the comments below.

*Fun fact! I don't actually have a sister named Brenda. BECAUSE SHE IS DEAD TO ME.


Side note: Thank you all for your crazy awesome tips about how to shop more ethically and be a better person in the world on my last post! I AM FALLING SO FAR DOWN THIS RABBIT HOLE YOU HAVE NO IDEA.


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

I'll probably only be happy if I'm naked and living in the forest at this point: A rant.

I've been trying to shop more ethically lately and to also stop wasting as much because the world is on fire and I can feel better about myself and my choices when I see that my face wash is "cruelty free" (which means that it doesn't test on animals, not that it doesn't perpetuate the idea that if I don't wash my face every goshdarn second of every goshdarn day, I might break out with a pimple OR GOD FORBID HAVE A WRINKLE) or that my clothing is made by single mothers in some far off country who are now empowered by their jobs (or so I'm told) and when whatever it is that I'm buying is also ALL ORGANIC then I am A FLIPPIN' HERO SHOPPER.

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Of course, it's hard when you're on a budget, so I end up doing a lot of this type of shopping at Walmart, which sort of neutralizes the mission a bit maybe? It's the lesser of two evils (lookin' at you, Amazon) in my mind. I mean, I support local and independent businesses in my community as much as possible, but this girl's got rent to pay.

Which is why I found myself rapidly pacing the beauty aisle at Walmart, furiously googling on my phone to find the most ethical beauty brands for sale that weren't owned by companies that are pure evil, and I quickly started to have the same levels of anxiety that I have at grocery stores. In fact, the anxiety got so bad that I started to have to pee really bad, but I didn't want to go to the bathroom at Walmart because it's Walmart, so instead I just danced around a bunch in the beauty aisle and waited for the moment to pass while I held my phone in one hand and four different facial cleansers in the other.  ALL I WANT IS A CLEAN FACE AND A CLEAN CONSCIENCE. WHY IS THAT SO HARD?

Finally, I settled on one that had bees on it and prepared to leave when I remembered that I needed yarn for a new crocheting project, so we headed over to the craft section, where I entered yet another dilemma because while I found the perfect looking and feeling yarn for less than three dollars a skein, I was confronted by all of the following thoughts:

-IS IT ORGANIC?

-IS IT ETHICALLY SOURCED?

-HOW WERE THE SHEEP RAISED WHO MADE THIS YARN?

-WHO IS EMPLOYED BY THIS COMPANY?

-IS IT MADE IN AMERICA? DO I CARE IF IT'S MADE IN AMERICA? WHY DOES THAT MATTER?

And all of this is good, but also exhausting because at the end of it all I end up feeling like nothing that I can buy is ever going to be good enough. In fact, it's gotten to such extremes that I'm starting to maybe go overboard?  For example, this conversation that I had last night with The Mr:

Me: So. I had an idea.

The Mr: ...uh oh.

Me: No, it's a good one!

The Mr: ...okay.

Me: So you know how the dog chewed a hole in this piece of clothing? *holds up clothing*

The Mr: ...yeah...

Me: WELL -- one might think that this piece of clothing is now ruined and should just be thrown away, but WHY ADD TO THE LANDFILLS when I also have EXHIBIT B!

I held up a pair of cotton leggings whose elastic had busted that were also in a to-be-tossed-or-donated pile.

The Mr: ...

Me: I'm going to cut up the leggings and patch up the hole that the dog made!

The Mr: ...those fabrics don't match.

Me: I CAN'T BE SO VAIN. THE PLANET IS AT STAKE HERE.

 

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Side note: while I was writing this, I found this episode of The Guilty Feminist podcast and it was ALL THE RELATABLE

 


What about you? Do you try and shop ethically? How do you manage it?


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

It's official: I'm becoming my father.

My parents are lively and active people. The word 'retirement' is akin to the most offensive of curse words in their eyes, I think. Over drinks when my dad was in town, he said: "I hate that word." And I swear he was this close to spitting on the ground to show his disdain. All I know is that my parents never stop working, never stop moving, and never stop partying. My dad is in his seventies and he still travels for work all the time - not because he has to, but because he wants to.

And my mom is basically Wonder Woman. She's a very successful real estate agent, she teaches six jazzercise classes a week (the majority of them at 5:45 in the GD morning!), she has two horses that she trains and takes care of almost every day, and she cooks dinner every freaking night.

 

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And yet, I manage to be surprised if they don't answer the phone when I call.

Me: I think my parents find me dull.

The Mr: Why?

Me: Neither one of them is answering their phone! Do I call too often? Are they sick of me? You know, most parents would love it if their kid just called to say hi as often as I do, but they're totally ghosting me! Do they think I'm boring?

The Mr: Maybe they do.

Me: ...thanks, babe.

And then later that night, my dad called me. HE CALLED ME.

Me, too excitedly: Hi, Dad!

Dad: Hey, how are you?

Me: Great! How are you?

Dad: Well, I'm okay. Your mom is in Chicago visiting your sister and the new baby, so I'm just sitting in the parking lot of <LOCAL RESTAURANT>, trying to decide whether or not to go in and get dinner... there are a lot of cars here, so I don't know... or maybe I should call Nick and see if he wants to meet.... I don't know, we've been hanging out a lot this week since both of our wives are out of town... maybe he's sick of me.

The Mr: Did you see that apple just fall from that tree?

But maybe this is a good thing... because maybe it means that I'm also going to be a superhero who travels the world!

Or maybe this means my future just involves a closet full of leotards.

 

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