Be the Punchline

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Most girls have a bit of an awkward stage. They haven’t learned how to tame their hair yet, they get long in the leg and big in the foot… At least that’s what it was like for me. The only thing bigger than my personality was my hair.

I knew I was awkward, but it didn’t hold me back. I thought this was just the deal–this was me!–so I might as well work with it. And while I could have curled up in a corner and felt insecure, instead I developed my own personal comedy routine. If I could turn my own awkwardness into a laugh before someone else did, then I won! If someone else tells the joke, then you’re the butt. If YOU tell the joke, then you’re the punchline! It ended up being my secret to any kind of social success up until my body caught up with my feet.

I remember being about sixteen and overhearing my aunt tell my mother, “Thank goodness she evened out! She had one looooong awkward stage.”

Up until that moment, I didn’t realize I’d been awkward long enough to be noticed by extended family. When family that lives in another province (read “state” if you’re American!) notices, then it was epic, my friend. ;)

Anyway, I came across this video (posted by Dave Ramsey on Facebook, actually!), and I found it really inspiring! This comedian has a piece of advice. He says that while life might set you up, you can choose to be the punchline. But in a better way than I did.

This is worth the watch. I promise!

 

It’s not what we get, but what we give. You are the answer to someone’s deepest prayer–I can can guarantee it!

 

“That Woman”

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Recently, I stumbled across an article entitled, The 5 Types of Moms to Unfriend on Facebook, and it got me to thinking about how *I* come across on Facebook.

Just how annoying am I on my personal Facebook page? Because this article seems to cover pretty much every single mom friend I’ve got. Sometimes they brag about their kids. Sometimes they show off something they cooked. Sometimes they put a positive spin on a day that you’re pretty sure started with them sobbing into their steering wheel. If I followed that advice to unfriend them all, I’d be friendless! Just me and like… four other people who no longer post anything.

Which got me to thinking… while not being annoying to others is important, is it really so terrible to be “that woman?” You probably found yourself in that list, too! Maybe you’re spread out over a few categories.

So here is my thought on that:

463px-Dr_Mayim_Bialik_USACE_posterDo know Amy Farrah-Fowler, the nerdy girlfriend of genius Shelden Cooper on The Big Bang Theory? Well, her part is played by Mayim Bialik, child star from twenty years ago and real life neuroscientist. The woman is a NEUROSCIENTIST who acts in a hit TV show in her spare time, people! It’s really hard to compete with that! And on her Facebook page, when she posts about some family holiday or whatnot, she gets a smorgasbord of hate mail and fan mail. The fan mail I can understand, but why the hate? Well, she’s Jewish. She practices attachment parenting. Oh, and she’s divorced.

If a neuroscientist who raises her children alone without the help of a nanny and keeps her career balanced with her faith and her parenting can get hate mail for just being who she is…

Girl, post whatever you want about your kids and grandkids! Brag away! Be positive if you want, and post those adorable photos of them sleeping or rolling their eyes at you. Because you won’t please everyone. But do you know who you will please? Those kids.

“I was my mom’s world. No one loved me like she did.”

“My grandma always told me that I was going to be something special.”

“My aunt used to post these pictures of me. She thought I was beautiful, even when I didn’t see it.”

Let’s bring it back to what matters most–the kids we’re talking about. And they deserve to have someone think they’re fantastic, don’t they?

 

 

So selfishly warm…

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I suspect I might be a slightly selfish person for this, but I absolutely love a cold day! First of all, I work from home, so I get to stay inside where it’s cozy and nurse a pot of tea all day. The agony, right?

Secondly, I get to wear this coat every time I step out into the cold:

4565m_red_10I honestly don’t feel a thing out there while I walk my son to school and back. I also don’t see anything in my periphery vision because of the wolf fur surrounding my face. (My little guy is equally bundled up.) I turn a full circle before crossing a street to make sure I don’t get smucked from behind or something. I’d never hear it coming!

Thirdly, this is what -22C/-7F looks like when you aren’t shivering and stamping your feet… And it’s gorgeous.

DSC03360There is just something about the tickle of frost on dry leaves, my breath hanging in the air, and odd looks I get from neighbors while I drop the camera four times before I take pictures. ;) The perfect beginning to a day where there is nothing better to do than to work on a novel.

Church Boys

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I don’t watch basketball with my husband for the right reasons. I have no idea what standing different teams have, and I’m pretty fluid with my team loyalty. It drives my husband crazy when I sympathize with the wrong team, but I notice different things than he does. Like when players get their feelings hurt, or when a player takes the time to help up someone from the other team who gets knocked over.

I also notice when I think a player is a church boy. Having married a church boy, and raising a church boy of my own, I’m familiar with the type. ;) And they’re very sweet, might I add!

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Terrence Ross is just about young enough to be my son if I’d started early, and for the longest time, I’ve been pointing him out to my husband.

Me: “#31–there, that guy! See him? I’ll bet you anything that he’s a church boy!”

Husband: “Why?”

Me: “Just look at him! He just can’t look tough. He’s too sweet-faced, and he’s so mannerly. Take away that uniform, replace it with a white shirt and tie, and stick him in the middle of prayer meeting. With his mom in choir practice in the church basement.”

Husband: “Okay, I think I see it.”

Me: “Right? Right? All he needs is a little pocket New Testament!”

I didn’t want to actually look it up because little things like facts get in the way of my enjoyment of basketball. I watch for all the wrong reasons, the main one being that my husband cuddles up with me. But the other night, I finally Googled the young Terrence Ross to see if I was right.

And guess where he went to Junior High? Montrose Christian School in Maryland!

I called it!

Church boy. Right there! For me, that’s a win. ;) My husband begs to differ. He requires points and all that.

Go Raptors!

Like a rock!

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I’m a mom, and there isn’t anybody in this whole world who loves my boy as fiercely as I do. I’m convinced of it.

I love him like a rock, and I’m that wall between him and an unfair world. That’s a mother’s job, isn’t it? To get down on yours knees and hug him?

And this song has become the theme song for a new Love Inspired book I’m working on… Well, I’m hoping it will become a Love Inspired book! Fingers and heart strings crossed.

There is no love quite so determined or so fearless as the love of a mother, and this book has two moms who love ferociously–my heroine for her little boy and my hero’s mother for her grown son.

 

Like a rock!

Married at First Sight

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Have you seen this show? I just finished watching the finale, and it kept me hooked! This isn’t a Bachelor kind of show where 20 women compete for a single man’s “rose.” This is something different–couples who agree to marry a complete stranger, meeting them for the first time when they say “I do.” Commitment at hello!

(Well, not 100% commitment, because they get the chance to divorce if they want to, or stay married after 5 weeks… but it’s a reality show, so…)

The matches are made by professionals who seek out a person’s ideal partner based on… Heaven knows what all, but they assure us it’s all very “scientific.”

This is basically a “social experiment,” as they call it, in arranged marriages. And the question is… can a marriage work this way in our society? What is most important–things in common, compatibility, perseverance, or something else less measurable, like say, love?

One couple interested me more than the others, and that was Monet and Vaughn. This couple both asked for traditional gender roles and were the most compatible, according to the match makers, but they fought like crazy!

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Monet wanted a man’s man in a traditional man’s role in a marriage, but don’t you dare ask her to cook. Vaughn wanted a woman to dote on him, but interestingly, he never considered doting on her. Their expectations seemed to be the same, but they weren’t. At all. And their frustration was palpable.

I won’t give away the ending, just in case you haven’t watched it yet and wanted to, but this show is definitely one I’ll keep up with if they do another season. Just watching the relationships develop is a goldmine for a romance writer!

So what about you… Would you marry a complete stranger who ticked off all the boxes on your wish list?

And just how scripted do you think this show is?

 

 

Clicking the little X

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I’m a bit of a workaholic. I’ve said it before, but I had good reason. I really did! Breaking into new writing markets isn’t easy, and you pretty much have to pour it on until someone–anyone!–takes notice of you. Sometimes it’s hard to ease back on the throttle, though. There’s a bit of a thrill the adrenaline, you know?

Boltarrivee200Since my novel-writing is a career, then I have to treat it like a marathon instead of a sprint. I’m going to be doing this for the next 35 years, so I should probably take weekends and evenings off. This is my husband’s logic at least, and while he definitely has a stake in my “off time,” I see his point. However, my biggest challenge is clicking that little X on my Word file and turning things off for the night.

With a fair amount of willpower, a smidgen of exhaustion and a family luring me away from the keyboard, I’ve been doing quite well. I write during my office hours, then shut it down when I pick up my son from school, giving my family my attention for the rest of evening.

There is always a little part of me calling me back to the novel. However, this isn’t the only book I’ll write, but this is the only family I’ll have! A good thing to remember, no?

Constantly sweaty in a half layer too many

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We don’t have snow. This is news! I see Facebook friends posting about first snowfalls in the US, but here in the Great Brown North, we’re above freezing. Still. We got a skiff in September, but that doesn’t count when the kids don’t need snow pants for trick or treating!

I shouldn’t complain. It isn’t often that a woman in northern Canada gets to brag about how crazy warm it is while everyone else gets a blizzard, but there it is.

Except… See, I don’t have many “in between” clothes. I have the Mother of All Winter Coats in my closet, and I’m ready for the layering and bundling to come, but… it hasn’t come yet! Our Fall is normally about two weeks long, so I have summer clothes, and I have winter clothes, and I have a few things for the two weeks of Fall and the two weeks of Spring, and I’m kind of confused. It’s like waiting for an ax to fall that just won’t fall. You’re constantly cringing, and then your neck muscles just start to get tired.

Right now, I’m sitting around in long johns and an apron, unsure of exactly how to dress the next time I venture out. Five degrees above freezing is purgatory! Not cold enough to bundle, not warm enough to enjoy. You’re just constantly sweaty in half a layer too many.

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Just end it already! End this beautiful in between weather and put me out of my misery! LOL! But see, having said that, I face the wrath of my fellow Albertans. The S-word is like swearing around here, and if you’re heard breathing it before there is actual S-word on the ground, you’ll be blamed for the ensuing winter weather.

So if you see me and I’m dressed like a confused person, there is a reason for that! We don’t normally have this much of an “in between” season, and my wardrobe isn’t prepared for it! And if you find me tarred and feathered, well, you’ll know why that happened, too.  Shh. I didn’t say a thing. ;)

So carry on, my wintery American friends. Enjoy your snowfalls, and be thankful that at least you know how to dress!

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