Jun 29, 2009

The Importance of Owning a Lawn Mower

Ok I tried. I tried to stay away from the Blogosphere, but then all these fun posts entered my head and I can't wait to share them! It's my husbands fault really. Here I pledge to stay away from Blogland for a complete week and he's all like "What? Well that's just retarded! Especially when you have a video of me surfing on a slip and slide!!!!!" (Can't wait to share that video with you all!) So I give up! Here is a story as to HOW my vacation started :)

The Importance of Owning a Lawn Mower

Worry previously plagued our minds when told we needed to upkeep the lawn and yard of our newly rented house. Isn't that what landlords are for? Not ours! Excitement and relief washed over us as we saw the dirty green lawn mower sitting in the garage. If felt good to know we would not be purchasing a new one for a house that did not belong to us.

Spring rounded the corner and the grass started to look untidy. Moving up from a 3 bedroom apartment, my husband became a bit excited at the thought of mowing a lawn again. Unfortunately he was in for a large disappointment when the generously left behind mower refused to start. No amount of handy work would bring the machine back to life.

We were stuck. Our lawn became a jungle.

We decided it was high time we called a lawn service. To our dismay we were informed that lawn services do NOT want to cut your lawn unless you sign a season long contract. We just wanted someone to come remove the jungle so we could hire the next door neighbor or something for the upkeep. WRONG!

Craigslist....ahhhh Craigslist....brought me to a small family owned service that was more than happy to cut our lawn one time...for $40! We thought, "It's all good!" Considering lions could easily be hidden in the stalks of grass now growing behind our house, we were willing to pay about anything rid ourselves of the over grown field.

He came, he cut...ONLY the back yard! SERIOUSLY?!?! Um buddy, you forgot the front. He said to me, "I didn't bring a mower for that portion." SERIOUSLY!!!!

Needless to say, we never called him back, BUT the jungle was gone!

So there is this guy that wanders our neighborhood on a regular basis begging to cut people's lawns. He's a bit creepy, and something tells me he is not using the money for food or rent, BUT at least he's out there working. Well my husband wanted to help him out and give him a chance. Sweet...no issues there. Tells him to come over Friday.

This is how it went...bear with me...this is the BEST part!!!


3:00 pm - (10 minutes before we had to leave to bring the kids to the grandparents.) The man shows up at our door. After my child points out that he, "needs to brush his teeth." because he is missing a few, my hubby...generous man that he is...and possibly completely embarrassed... gives the nice man $10 and tells him he will give him the other $10 after we get back if the lawn is mowed. Guy is all excited and says he'll have the lawn mowed by the time we get back. (We then give the child a short lecture about NOT being so honest!)

5:30 pm - We return from dropping off the kids. Lawn is not mowed. Lawn man is nowhere to be found. We leave for dinner.

7:00 pm - Come back. Lawn is not mowed. We sit down and decide to have a drink and play some "1 vs. 100" on the XBox 360.

8:30 pm - Lawn man arrives "I um, had to take a break," he says. (So ... we gave him $10 and he immediately had to take "a break". Good to know.)

8:35 pm - He gets the mower to the back yard then knocks on our door. He tells my husband he ran out of gas and says, "Can I get some more money to go buy some." SERIOUSLY! We just gave you $10 buddy! Hubby declines. So the guys says, "Can I leave the mower here and come back tomorrow?" I'm laughing at this point. We agree.


The morning comes and goes. No lawn man.

1:30 pm - We've waited long enough. We had things do, bodies to work out, kids to pick up, and family to visit out of town for the day. So we head out.

3:30 pm We are on the way to go get the kids when my neighbor calls and says, "There is a creepy man out in your front yard just sitting there." I requested they tell him we wouldn't be home till late. We were already out of town by then and he didn't have a phone where we could call him directly. They agree.

We go, we enjoy our evening.

10:30 pm - Neighbor calls AGAIN to say creepy man is BANGING on our door and won't stop. I check to make sure he let him know we wouldn't be home till late, he did. I again request that they tell him we are nowhere NEAR town and it will be very late when we get home.

So I'm kinda weirded out by this point and decide it's time to go home. I say goodbye to my brother and his family and we head out.

12 am - We arrive home and start getting the kids out of the car. Lawn man comes riding up on his bike to collect his remaining $10!!!! It's 12AM!!!! BUT the lawn IS mowed and he has done everything he promised. Hubby hands him his money and says goodnight.


9:00 am - We bought our own lawn mower.

When what's Natural does NOT come Naturally! (Reprise)

As I am on a blogcation I have decided to REpost some of my favorite entries...enjoy!

***Previously Posted March 12, 2009

It was while reading a post today about nursing babies that I began to think. I relished in the way she described how easily it came to her. How naturally it all just happened. Her babies looked at her and smiled. They then latched right on and God said, "Let there be bonding!" And there was! I was jealous. Nursing did not come naturally to me. It was complicated and heart breaking with each child. My babies looked at me, frowned and said "You want me to do what with your nipple?" And it all went down hill from there. I couldn't nurse the first because I had postpartum and needed medication. A medicated mama was better for my daughter than my milk could have ever been. The second just didn't take to it, not sure why. Maybe I didn't try hard enough, but he really just didn't seem interested. He was usually too busy staring at my hair or my shirt to ever concentrate hard enough on what HE was suppose to do. My last child was the worst. At first we bonded. Finally! Nature may be attempting to be kind to me! Or not...it was short lived when I began to pump in order to get ready for going back to work and he decided he liked the bottle better than me. It was less work for him, and who wants to work for their food! Nursing surely did not come naturally to me.

This made me sit and ponder. Why do some things come so naturally to some, and not to others? Why do some of the things that some people do with ease, seem to be such a struggle for me? It's not a complaint really. It's actually just mere contemplation. I do not understand how some of the things that Mother Nature intended for Man Kind have some how eluded to find their way to me.
It's not just nursing either. Let's talk about the entire realm of motherhood. Should I not know the difference between my child needing a bath or just a wipe down from a diaper wipe? But one is so much easier than the other some days! And shouldn't my motherly clock say "Your child is crying, you need to decipher the problem!"? But he's been doing that ALL DAY, can't he just figure out how to flip his underwear around on his own!!! And "Oh SHIT!" how did I miss breakfast this morning, it surely can't be 11:00am already! Motherhood has done anything but come to naturally me. Was I too young to have children? Maybe, or maybe I'm just clueless as to how such a sweet, bright young child does NOT know how to follow simple instructions such as "Go to your room!". Really, I think it's quite a simple task.

We can even go one step further. (Shut your eyes children, your mothers won't want you to read this!) Isn't one's sex drive SUPPOSE to naturally come back a couple years after you have children. Did mine miss me and head over to the neighbors? Or wait! Maybe it just jumped on top of my husband's and doubled his? Well it seems that way at least.....since mine is never present and his never goes away. Um Mother Nature!!!! Give me the boost, not him!

These natural things.....things that are suppose to just "come to us". They keep looking at me and laughing as they pass right by me. How does that work? Does Mother Nature have it in for me? Was it because I picked the leaves off of trees before they were ready to fall when I was 5? Was it that fire fly I smooshed against the pavement, just to look at the "glitter" spread all over when I 7? Maybe it was somewhere in my teenage years that I pissed her off, or possibly in my early adulthood. But seriously!!!
I didn't mean it, I promise.

"A little help here Mother Nature!!!"

Has she passed you by? What natural things, the ones that appear more like talents you were never blessed with, did not find their way to you? I know I'm not alone here kids! Right?!?!?!

Jun 26, 2009

Phantastic Phriday - V.A.C.A.T.I.O.N

Remember that song? My dad used to play it all the time!

My hubby in on Vacation as oph today and I have decided that I am going to vacate from blogging while he is home. Aphter spending many an hour racking my brain about what to blog about lately and just pheeling a bit overwhelmed with liphe I phigure this is the best time to take a wee little break!

So I hope you guys have a WONDERPHUL week next week! You may even see a comment or two phrom me. But in the mean time I will just have my blog set up on automatic posts to post my phavorite entries!

Hope you enjoy!

MISS ME!!!! And iph you haven't been to my Website to vote phor your phavorite phirst sentence please head over there now!

Jun 25, 2009

In attempts to confuse my dear readers....

I realize I have spent many a blog laughing about my children, sharing my experiences as a writer, ranting, raving, laughing, and rambling on about anything and everything, however, I have only spent a FEW postings telling you who I really am. I'm not sure what has inspired me to introduce myself further, but I just feel like today is a good day for it.

Hello! My name is Mary. Oh wait, you know me as Marybeth don't you? Well that is what my mother has always called me. My name is actually Mary Elizabeth. (My mom had to get in a little of Jesus' mom and Aunt in there, she wanted to make SURE people knew how perfect I was!) At first I hated the name Marybeth, then it grew on me, then I married a Smith! I now hate to be referred to as Mary Smith, so you can call me Marybeth! (Confused yet....oh just wait!)

Now I know you all know I LOVE gnomes, but did you know that I am equally as fascinated with my new Mini Edward? I take him everywhere with me. We even went Strawberry picking together!

I'm sure you have realized how quirky I am, but let's just make sure you have the full picture...

I love gnomes ... but I never travel...

I love Harry Potter and Twilight to a very unhealthy extent...my husband will verify!
Although my favorite stories are about witches and vampires, I'm still a very devout Catholic (GASP!)

I RARELY swear, unless I've been drinking, then unfortunately I am a connoisseur of the F Bomb. But when Sober you will almost NEVER hear me use that word. I rather kinda loathe it. I'm not sure why....I just do!
HOWEVER!!! Some of my favorite blogs use the F Bomb quite religiously. And they don't bother me a bit. Usually it is quite fitting with their posts.

I'm a prude ... married to a sailor.
That's right....it makes no sense to me either ... or him for that matter

The mommy wars confuse me...and make me nervous.... or maybe I should be confident I (HOPE) I will never find myself in them because I am not like most mommy's. I can't find myself on either side of the war.

I never breast fed BUT I find breast feeding very beneficial
I bought disposable diapers BUT I agree that clothe are more earth friendly
I sometimes spank my kids (GASP) BUT I prefer not to and USUALLY use time outs or take away toys
I drink wine after a LONG horrible day with my children BUT it is rare and far from regular

So what does that make me? A bad mom with good tendencies or a good mom with bad tendencies? Or am I just a good mom gone bad but desperately searching to try and become good again or vice versa or WHO THE HECK STARTED THESE WARS ANYWAY!!!!

My blogging habits are unusual. I say this because I am not only about reading one TYPE of blog. I love mommy blogs, I love writer blogs, I love Cake Wreck blogs, I love man blogs, I even read techy blogs sometimes. The funniest thing about me, I think, is the fact that some of my favorite blogs are VERY Christian and wholesome and inspiring while other favorite blogs can range from smutty Twilight fan sites to mom sites that just tell it like it is regardless of what the world thinks!

Is any of this making sense to you?

So in short I am....

A gnome, mini Edward, Harry Potter loving Catholic who hates to swear but is entertained by those who do, all while trying to be a good mom in a bad moms body and then occasionally drinking away all the confusion while reading a smutty Twilight blogs right after I read a devotional blog about the Baby Jesus. All this until my sailor swearing husband comes home and I roll my eyes and tell him to watch his language all night!

So um....does all this make me a hypocrite?

If a woman yells at her husband in the middle of an empty forest does he still hear it? (Oh wait...answer to that question! NO, they wouldn't hear us if we are right in front of their faces!!! LOL)

Oh and have I mentioned how random I am?

Ok...it's alright to admit I have confused (and possibly scared) you! I just wanted to make sure we were all on the same page about who I am. (Which we can all admit...I don't think any of us really knows who that is!)

***Please take a moment to visit my Website out and help clear up another tiny bit of confusion! LOL***

Jun 24, 2009

A small piece of advice.....

Most of us are moms/women right? And for those who are not, I believe you are married to/in a relationship with/have a mother, daughter, sister, cousin who is a woman. So I feel like it is safe to discuss this very IMPORTANT piece of advice. Take it very seriously and it will save you all loads of angst!

NEVER...and when I say never I mean NEVER...under ANY circumstances...start a diet while you have PMS.

I'm just saying....

Jun 23, 2009

My Starter is Busted...

It's the only conclusion I can come to. I just can't seem to get started this morning. Insane, I know! Especially considering the 40 grams of fiber I ate in this mornings breakfast. You'd think I'd be a rearing to go! (no pun intended)

Starters can go out in numerous objects.

Your car is screwed if that little bugger quits on you. You might as well grab your daughters two wheeler and bike helmet cuz you aren't going anywhere till that puppy gets fixed!

The lawn mower...oh that lovely little piece of machinery. You can pull and pull and pull, but if that piece of crap that your landlord left behind ... um, I mean....YOUR lawn mower ... doesn't want to get it's motor rolling...your back yard is going to look a little something like this....

This is exactly what's wrong with me today. I keep pulling the string and nothing happens. I push the Start button and all I hear is "That was easy!" (Perhaps I'm pushing the wrong button?)

It's all just so mysterious!

Check out my Website for a very ILLUMINATING post today!!!
I mean who else can compare writing to adolescence!

Jun 22, 2009

Facebook Applications and why they are EVIL!

I thought I had gotten over my addiction.

I had finally stopped spending countless hours perusing Pieces of Flair. Sure, I still have the occasionally glance when someone has sent one my way, but that's just being nice. I don't like to ignore my friends.

I no longer fill out meaningless surveys and insurance quotes just to earn money for more Pull Tabs and Scratch and Win tickets. Somehow their virtual prizes and increasing levels kept me coming back for more for quite sometime, but I thwarted their temptations and sent the applications packing.

It's been AGES since I've visited my (fluff)Friend Shagun Dragon. Actually, after a small bout of research, I realized I no longer own him. The (fluff)Races were exciting and dressing him was fun, but somewhere along the lines I set aside my pride and removed yet another exciting application.

No need to fear friends! I still am an occasional user of someecards and I can't deny my love for NetworkedBlogs, but I mostly try to stay clear of the evil time consuming Facebook Application world. Then on Friday night it happened. I got bored...no one was on Facebook, no friends were tweeting, I'd read every blog...twice... and I was left with nothing to do as my husband played video games. (Granted both of us removing ourselves from behind glowing screens COULD have helped this problem....but....) It showed up on the side as an add. It looked intriguing. I clicked. I built. I served. I became addicted.

And now I am an avid fan of Restaurant City! If I'm not on Facebook, the application is sitting open so I can earn more money to level up. Again am I back to filling out pointless surveys and filling out illegitimate quotes for insurance to add money to my remodeling budget. As if I needed another reason to be on the Internet!

This friends....this is why Facebook Applications are EVIL! Stay away from them. Ignore any suggestions or invitations (most likely from me) to join these silly games! (unless they are from me in which case I REALLY need some new ingredients for my menu so please join!) They are EVIL I tell you! EVIL!!!! But isn't my restaurant pretty!!!!

Jun 21, 2009


I considered NOT posting today BUT THEN I saw I finally reached 100 followers! IRONICALLY on the same day as I am posting my 100th blog post. (Ok well maybe NOT so Ironic, considering that's the entire reason I am posting this) Isn't this exciting!!!

So fun things about 100

100 pennies equals a dollar (LAME...let's try again)

The 100th episode of Grey's Anatomy....totally Rocked!!!

The Fray has an awesome song called Hundred

Um...yep...that's all I got.

Apparently 100 isn't really that cool of a number after all. BUT if you have something cool to add about this number that marks my really cool achievement feel free to add it!!!

Maybe I should have made more of a tribute to 99 followers and 99 posts, at least I could have sang "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall"!!! Just sayin....

Jun 20, 2009

If I could actually Sleep in on Saturdays....

...I might be a much happier person. I know we've gone over this before, but Seriously!!! Why can't the sun stay below the horizon just an hour longer due to it being SATURDAY? Is that too much to ask? I think not!

I hope your weekend has started off lovely. After an enormous and wildly relaxing thunderstorm last night mine has gotten off to a wonderful start. I hope we get one again tonight!

Enjoy your weekend! Don't forget to stop by website and say hello!

Jun 19, 2009

Phantastic Phriday - The Day Before Grocery Shopping

We interrupt this regularly scheduled Phantastic Phriday to bring you this very educational blog posting....

The day before grocery shopping looks something like this....


Eldest Child: "Mom, there is no more cereal!"

Mom: "Make some toast."

E C: "But there's no butter!"

Mom: "Use jelly."

E C: "We are out of that too!"

Mom stalks into the kitchen and searches the fridge. No butter, no jelly. Peanut Butter!!!! Spreads some PB on kids' now cold toast and calls it good. EC throws a FIT because she hates PB. Mom offers the option of plain toast...EC accepts. Day is not starting out well.


Mom peruses the fridge once more. No butter...no milk...that rules out Mac and Cheese. No jelly and PB was used for breakfast, PB & J not going to happen. Plus, they just used the last slices of bread for the toast. Time to get CREATIVE!!!

Children sit down and stare at their plates as they look at the pile of 'awkward' sitting before them.

Plate looks something like this.

One pile of lettuce of to the side with a little bit of french and a little bit of ranch on each one...there wasn't enough of one or the other for all three... each has about 3 sprinkles of cheese and some left over salad toppings. Veggies...check! Next to it is one chicken nugget per plate. Someone forgot to eat the last three, leaving them in the freezer. Thanks Daddy for providing today's protein! The middle of the plates hold a small pile of what was left in the chips bag. Yes they ARE crushed...but we just look at it as "Mini Chips". Starch...check! And next to that is a small pile, possibly about 4 squares worth, of kiwi. One kiwi split between 3 kids doesn't offer a lot for each one. Fruit...check! And thank GOODNESS there were a couple pieces of American Cheese left in the fridge door. Mom splits them up into strips and places the same amount onto each plate. Hello Dairy!!!

The children continue to stare at the plates, then they stare at mom.

Youngest Child: "Mommy I wanted Mac and Cheese!"

Mom fumes and stares at the child with the look of death....suddenly the feast begins! The most balanced meal they've had for lunch all month!!!


Freezer holds one pound of beef...mom has happily defrosted it. Spaghetti Sauce? Absent. Tomato Sauce? MIA! Tomato Soup!!! BONUS! Spaghetti Noodles? Nada. Egg Noodles? Half a Bag, let's grab those out of the cupboard. Mac and cheese.....noodles!!! Take out the cheese packet, throw it in with the other powder packets (Taco Seasoning, Gravy, etc.) and start boiling the noodles. Thank goodness for an overstock of Garlic Salt and Parsley! (Without it this meal might be bland!)

We've got Goulash!!

We are going to need a vegetable with that aren't we? Well we used up the remainder of the lettuce for lunch. A quarter bag of frozen peas is in the freezer. A left over half can of carrots in tupperware in the fridge. Mixed Veggies anyone?

Oh wait? What's that? A half bag of hot dog buns? And yes, there is some PAM in the cupboard, throw a little garlic salt on it, bake them in the oven. Who doesn't like garlic bread?

And there you have it! Three meals thrown (very creatively) together on the last day before grocery shopping. Any questions?


(For a less chaotic, writer friendly post ... visit my WEBSITE!)

Jun 18, 2009

Does this mean my kids are Future Snobs?

Last week I got the BEST news a parent can get. Well maybe not the best, BUT it felt like the best at that moment.

It was an ordinary day like any other. I was cleaning the house for my play date with my Fantastically Awesome friend Mindy and her boys. I was taking out some trash and spotted that the mail had already arrived strangely early. Sweet! So I grabbed it and walked back into the house to continue my cleaning.

I flipped through the envelopes and spotted two very professional looking envelopes. One had my daughters name on it, the other had my sons and both with the little seal on the top corner. My children had finally received their Hogwarts Letters!!!! Oh wait...they are still too young for that. These letters were from National Heritage Charter Academy.

I did not get too excited at first. We had applied for them to attend three of their academies thus far and two had already responded with my children being on the waiting lists. I could not deny however that these envelopes DID look different than the others. So I ripped them open! Here is what they held!

That's correct kids. These Gold Embossed letters with shiny gold lettering were acceptance letters showing my children would be now attending one of the wonderful Charter Academies! No longer will they be a part of the Public School District that has been less than mediocre and no longer will they be stuck riding a bus full of older children.

Life is Happy!

(I've ripped apart the first chapter of my novel. Read about it on my WEBSITE)

Jun 17, 2009

How I get Happy!

Yesterday I had one of those days. You know, one of those days where you can't seem to do ANYTHING right? No matter what you do, you can't stop feeling like a bad mother, wife, friend, and in my case, writer. No need for specifics, those are quite uninteresting. So TODAY I am determined to have a happy day!

So far so good. "Why?" you ask. Well because it's raining of course! I love the rain!

When the morning starts off with the rain falling all is well as far as I am concerned. I would take the sound of the water falling onto the trees and slapping into the ground over the sun shining in my eye first thing in the morning any day. The sound of rain is incredibly relaxing. I love relaxing!

Rainy days give us moms an excuse to turn on a movie and let the kids veg out ... in silence. There is no reason to run around like wild monkeys and scream at each other because, "He took my toy!" or "She hit me with my Light Saber!" or even, "Nobody wants to play Barbies with me." There is no reason for any of this atrocity because a movie is playing and my children are glued to it like little hypnotized rabbits ... and they are silent. I love silence!

A rainy afternoon just BEGS for me to curl up on my bed during nap time and read a good book or pull out my pen and paper and jot down some new ideas. The sound of the rain creates little scenes in my head and lets my imagination run wild while at the very same time letting me remain calm and sedated. I love being sedated! (Um wait...I can explain....There were no substances used in this afternoons sedation....I promise!)

So I checked the weather and what do you know! Rain all through the day and all through the night! Should I start singing with joy now? A rainy evening too! What to do what to do? Possibly another movie. Rainy evenings are the perfect nights for living room picnics with pizza. I LOVE living room picnics with pizza!

The night will end with my window open as the sound of the rain sings me to sleep. The gentle pitter patter of the rain drops hitting the leaves and splashing against my window will lull me into a deep slumber after a wonderful relaxing rainy day. I love rain!

And besides...we all know how much I LOVE umbrellas!

(Don't forget to check out my WEBSITE for my new post and updates on my book!)

Jun 16, 2009

What two items do NOT fit in this picture?

Ooh ooh...I love these games!!! Ok well I don't have an actual VISUAL picture, but I'm going to paint one with my words. (Doesn't it sound so creative of me?)

I received a call from my husband yesterday suggesting it was time we join a gym. (I then choked on whatever I was eating, drinking, or possibly my own spit at that moment from the shock.) I'm not sure where the urge came from, but he was super excited and had the gym picked out and everything. Sweet!!! So I went online and looked at the website then called the facility for more information. I set up an appointment for right after my husband got out of work because I was also excited.

I then called my husband back and let him know the finer details and he requested I come get him from work early so we could get the membership and exercise going! Wow...he was quite excited for someone who prefers to play video games than play catch. Who was this and where had they hidden my husband? (And could they possibly keep him locked up there because I kinda like this new guy!) So I gather up all our work out clothes, our bathing suits (Um problem.....kids don't have bathing suits that fit! CRAP!!!) and stick the kids in some sporty outfits so they fit the profile of children who like to work out. (Not sure why....I just felt it was appropriate. Probably cuz they looked so cute!) I throw everything together into a two different bags, (one for the boys and one for the girls of course) grab the tennis rackets and head out the door.

Of course my kids, being the curious little devils that they are, are begging to know where we are going. When I tell them the gym they get slightly excited until my daughters stops to think for a moment. She then says, "It's cool if they have tennis and a pool, but if they have wrestling or dodge ball, I don't think I want to go." She's totally convinced somehow that we are going to her SCHOOL gym. So I attempt to explain to my 4, 6, and 8 year olds what kind of gym we are going to, failing miserably of course because when my husband gets in the car they relay the same concerns to him.

Now considering it is dinner time we decided we better stop and get something to eat....at Taco Bell. (Nothing like beginning a healthier journey with some greasy tacos and nacho cheese sauce!) We then go get our membership, get the kids some bathing suits and swimmies (In the end spending more than we did on the membership! But it was Target!) and head off for an evening of exercise and swimming.

We played tennis, I ran a mile and then we took the kids swimming. It felt GREAT!!!

And then we went to McDonald's for Happy Meals.....because we were really hungry from all the exercise of course. And what better way to end our healthy day than with eating a few greasy burgers and some hot salty fries dipped in gobs of Ketchup!!!

So can you tell me what two activities do not seem to flow with this topic? LOL

(For a new update on the progress of my book(s), check out my WEBSITE!!!)

Jun 15, 2009

I thought Summer was for Vacationing?

This is the first summer since my daughter was born where I have actually been able to claim the title of "Stay at Home Mom". In the past I have most often been the bread winner and my husband has been the one home with the kids. Talk about a transitioning!!!

At first I was terrified of the idea "Summer Break". 24 hours of uninterrupted time with my children 7 days a week! I had grown quite fond of spending my days in solitude chillin with my 4 year old. We had quite the routine going. When we moved to Lansing and all the school issues arose, Summer Break began to look like a small piece of Heaven. No more calls from teachers, no more irritating bus drivers, and no more calling my husband home from work to pick up my son even though all he had done was thrown a small fit. I was excited for calm relaxing mornings and sleeping in.

Um rude awakening much???

Don't get me wrong, I am highly enjoying all the socialization I am finally getting from all the play dates, but this is busier than the school year! There is no sleeping in, not when I have to drive the husband to work in order to have the car for the day. And surely not when the sun hits my pillow at 7am and my children decide that is the perfect time to wake up, although during the school year it was impossible to drag them out of bed that early!

I am going to claim that the word 'Vacation' be removed from "Summer Vacation" and the word 'Break' banned as an alternative as well. This is more like "Summer Pandemonium". Yes, that's definitely more accurate! So now that I'm pretty sure everyone's children have been released for the summer, let me wish a Happy Summer Pandemonium to all you lovely moms!!!

(For new update on my Writing Progression visit my Website)

Jun 13, 2009

How do you Moderate your Comments?

My husband and I have been discussing this for most of the morning. Have you ever had to delete comments posted to your blog? How did you deal with telling the commenter after you deleted it?

I know the "Mom Wars" are going on right now. The Good vs. The Bad. And I am so torn in my own opinions with these blog posts. I can only imagine the comments that are getting posted on each one!!! I couldn't do a post like that. I would have a really hard time letting people post mean things on my blog. I am a Comment Moderator. I can't help it. Granted I've never really had to delete more than one or two comments. One was only because someone had figured out my Big News before I posted it. LOL

However I did come upon a comment that made me uncomfortable to post on one of my blogs and I wasn't sure what to do with it. So originally I let it simmer, trying to consider my options. Then finally I just put it up. Although I can only imagine what that person must have felt wondering where their post went to, I was still somewhat unhappy to post something I did not fully feel comfortable with. At the very same time my "nice/people pleasing" self just couldn't upset that person and leave it out because I could not figure out a way to explain why I didn't want to share it without possibly upsetting that person further.

How do you deal with this? Has it ever happened to you? Can someone please explain to me why I am incapable of upsetting people even after they have upset me? Possibly I should reread this previous post eh?

(Sorry, couldn't resist the picture...it's one of my favorites!)

Don't forget to visit My Website to and give me your advice on
Deciphering Agent Responses and Crit Groups!

Jun 12, 2009

Phantastic Phriday - Someone Stole my Phunny!

It happened late in the night. I saw it slink past me on the floor, covered from head to toe in what suspiciously looked like a 'Spider Man Blanket'. It covertly crawled to the other side of my bed and lay dormant. My first thought was, "Surely this is my son refusing to sleep in his own bed for the million and tenth time." But when I woke up and found him MIA, I knew I had been wrong.

It was the funny thief. The funny thief camped out below my bed and sucked out all my funny while I lay dreaming about insanely obscure fantasies (about wild family parties that involved normally sober relatives drinking beer and singing Karaoke while my sister attempted to sneak out a window to a better party...best not ask! I'm not comprehending why a fully grown adult needs to sneak out a window either!).

And now it's gone...there is no room in me for a PH ridden Friday, topics allude my brain, and my imagination has been placed on lock down. So to cure this (hopefully) temporary writers block missing funny, I enlisted the help of a Topic Generator!

This was not just ANY Topic Generator!!! This offered a variety of options to base your chosen topic around. Of course I could not help but find this insanely entertaining! (Is that a bit of funny returning??? MAYBE!) So instead of choosing just ONE generated Topic, I HAD to choose one from each category! So here it goes. Each Category, the Topic Generated, and my quick 140 character or less repsonse. (Why yes that was twitter inspired!)

All - "Hiking Near You"
FAIL!!! Dude I live in a big city. The best hiking that can be done is around a nasty polluted river in the middle of the city. Next topic!

Opinion - Math or English?
Hmmm...let's think about this...I'm a writer, so um, I'm gonna go with ENGLISH!

Health - "Avoiding the Flue"
(Is it just me or did they completely misspell the word flu??? What kind of Topic Generator is this!) Um...my answer is Use Sanitizer :D

- "Origin of the Catholic Religion"
EASY! Um JESUS! (Ok granted it may be a bit more complicated than that...I have a good point!)

- "The Manhattan Project"
So I'm not a scientist, but I doubt they are talking about the Cocktail garnished with a Maraschino Cherry

- "The autonomy of naked art"
I suppose that's better than asking us to discuss the anatomy of a naked art?

- "Studying Abroad"
Why yes, I'd love to go to Europe. Anyone willing to fund a trip??? Ok, I'll settle for Ireland!

- "The Birth of Jazz"
Louis Armstrong???

- "A business that builds itself"
Selling Bunny Rabbits!

- "The Need for Love"
All we need is love...da da da da da....all we need is love Love LOVE LOVE!!! I love Love Actually....it explains this topic perfectly!!!

Technology - "Anti Gravity Technology"
Now that is something I'd like to read about!!! Is that like a computer that floats or something? (Is my blondness showing yet?)

People - "The Boldest Celebrities"
Brittany Spears, Marilyn Manson, Boy George, Prince, Jon and Kate plus 8....the list goes on folks!

Recreation - "The history of Football"
I don't know about you, but researching the history of Football does not sound very recreational to me...just sayin....

So there you have it kids, my completely Topic Generated Blog Post :) Let's just hope I find get my funny back soon!


(Read about how to decipher Agent Responses and my thoughts on Crit Groups over at my Website!)

Jun 11, 2009

Things I learned from watching PBS

1. A new Song! "Why not smile, why not smile? Do you think your face is gonna break? Whyyyyy NOOOOOTTTT SMMIIILLLE?" (Seriously...do you think your face is gonna break???)

2. Feeding the ducks is like a relaxing brain massage. (Ummmm....I'll keep that in mind the next time my brain feels like it needs a massage....)

3. Even monkeys can be heroes. They are GREAT at finding chicks in the dark! (Bet my husband would've loved to hang out with those monkeys back in the day!)

4. Dr. Grover, The "Alphabet Specialist" from A's Anatomy on Sesame Street taught me that A is for Annoying. (He must have been hanging out with kids for too long that day)

5. Even poop can make a GREAT song topic.

And that kids, is why I love Public Television!!!!

Read about Editing Road Blocks at www.marybethsmith.com!

Jun 9, 2009

It was kinda like playing dress up...but not!

Yesterday I had the privilege (possibly not QUITE the word I was looking for...) to play the part of "Day Care Provider" for the day. After spending 4 hours with 5 children who were not mine, I came to a couple heart felt conclusions.

1. Three children is more than enough. Five is too many. My mother must have lost her mind when she decided she would like to have six kids, that or she really wasn't paying too much attention when practicing 'The Rhythm Method'!

2. I do not feel that the career of Day Care Providing was intended for me. Some women/men are destined for the job. Me? Not so much.

Now number 2 comes with a whole set of incredibly VALID reasons!

1. Day Care Providers need patience only God himself could possibly possess, and he did not find it necessary to share that patience with me for some reason.

3. I am more anal about cleaning than I ever would have guessed. That is correct. I spent about an hour watching children pick up a toy, and after looking at it for about two seconds, decide the toy looked funny, smelled funny, or was not big enough to create the mass destruction intended, they would then throw it onto an obscure place in the middle of the floor. After that hour I about caved and decided it was the perfect moment for Clean Up Time! I just can't do the whole toys in the middle of the Living Area thing. It's too distracting for my obsessive mind to comprehend!

4. It's really hard to NOT yell at children when they are being insanely irritating, and you really aren't suppose to when these children are not your own. At home this is not an issue. I can yell and scream ALL day long. I am not going to offend anyone's parents by spouting parental threats at my kids like, "If you don't stop crying, I'll give you something to cry about!" or "Stay out of the middle of the road, or you'll become road kill!" (learned that one from my sister! Classic!) or "Don't make me come over there, or you'll regret it!". These threats (though never...ok...rarely... carried out) are necessary for parenting. Unfortunately you just can't use them on other people's children.

5. I don't like poop. It smells ... really bad ... and for some reason, twice as bad when it's not your own child's poop.

6. I don't like wiping noses, and again, for some reason it's just grosser than wiping your own kids snot.

7. I am incapable of spending more than 3 minutes on any of the following games: Duck Duck Goose, I Spy, Hide the Toy, etc. before inevitably trying to move on the the next game in hopes that it will be quieter/calmer. Each time I attempted this, I failed miserably!

8. Now noticing that I completely SKIPPED number two and realizing that I obviously can not count, I do not believe I am capable of educating young children. ("Ok kids, let's count to 10. 1,3,4,5....") And correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that suppose to be part of the job?

9. Did you know that when you are paying attention to a room full of kids, there is no time for the internet? What crap is that!!!

10. It was only by luck, large amounts of luck, that none of the children ended up looking like this by the end of the afternoon!!

So, Day Care Providing career...down the drain! I'm thinking about attempting to be trapeze artist next ...

Here's to you day care providers ... *Raises up very LARGE glass of wine*
You guys are miracle workers!!!

By the way? Did you see the cool contest I award I won on the side there? Thanks Baby Makin(g) Machine and Thank You Roger the Ant!!!

(Stop by my Website to read about Editing Road Blocks)

Jun 8, 2009

Who Needs Sleep?

Me!!! (raising my arm high into the air and waiving it back and forth so you can't miss it!)

OMG is it just me or do you also want to just dive into this bed ------------>

If there is one think that I love more than my computer and gnomes, it is sleep. I look forward to the end of the day when I get to go snuggle up to one (or possibly 10) of my blankets, and it makes me sleepy just thinking about my cozy feather pillows with the cold pillow case up against my cheek. Ahhhhhhh....

Seriously, I know it sounds absurd, but I could undoubtedly spend all day in bed if I was given the option. I'm sure this may come as a surprise to most of you, but I happen to have a wildly vivid imagination. As if my plush pillows and soft enticing blankets weren't enough to lure me into a lust of slumber, my dreams sit silently during the awake hours, just waiting to have their stories told. I can't help but want to fall back asleep every time I wake up merely to get back to the movie that was just playing in my head. But these are way better than the movies. (Mainly because I get to be the girl kissing the hero that looks like (or is) Patrick Dempsey/McDreamy in the end!)

But alas, life takes up all of my day and half of my night, leaving little time to spend with my heavenly bed and entertaining dreams. Granted life IS suppose to be more interesting and all, I'd still rather spend a few extra hours swimming through my imagination. The lack of bills and responsibilities is hard to resist some days! However, I do not wish to miss these moments awake either. Possibly can someone find a way to add more hours to the day? That would be greeeaaaaat.

Are you in love with sleep? Or am I alone here?
(Oh come on, you know you didn't want to get out of bed this morning!!!)

(Read about the joys (or lack there of) of editing at my personal Website!)

Jun 7, 2009

We're Splitting Up!

That's right...I'm just not sure it's working out. There are just two very different people and too many things to say. I'm thinking of starting with a trial separation, just to see if it works out. But regardless, we are splitting up!

I've been feeling quite torn lately. I can never decide if I want to write a post about parenting and being a mother, or if I should focus on writing. And in all reality I would really prefer to just write about BOTH! So we're splitting up. The mom side of me is going to be in one place and the writer side of me is going to be in another.

Don't worry, it will be ok. Just look at it as more of me to go around! Now, not only will you find me here, but you can also catch a daily dose of me over at my Personal Website.

So here is how it is going to work. Every day there will be a post here. They will be random, they will be quirky, they will be about being a mom and everything in between. Then there will also be a post on my Website which will be devoted to writing, my novel, my updates and my experiences. No need to be afraid that my humor won't show through, cuz I promise, I am incapable of being insanely serious ALL the time.

So PLEASE don't leave me!!! I love you!!! I swear!!!

I'm going to make this kinda of a trial separation thing to see how it works out for all of us. Keep in touch with me, let me know how it is working out for you. If it's not working out, I'll bring all of me back home and go back to the way it originally was. Or maybe we can talk about every other weekend custody or something ;) I'm sure we can make it work! So wish us luck!
Also, to keep up with both a little easier I'm going to posts links at the end of each blog post with the day's topic on the opposite site. So here's my start!

(Today at www.marybethsmith.com - Query Writing)

The Song Stuck in my Head...

Possibly because I just played in the car 5 times in a row...but probably not...

Jun 6, 2009

If you were to replace the word 'app' with 'margarita' in the iPhone commercial...

It would sound a little like this...

Headache forming? There's a Margarita for that.

Children Screaming? There's a Margarita for that.

Sun is shining? There's a Margarita for that.

Rain is Falling? There's a Margarita for that.

iPhone dead? There's not an app for that...BUT...There IS a Margarita for that!!!!

Jun 5, 2009

Phantastic Phriday ... with a Twist

USUALLY on Phriday I include this Disclaimer....

*** DISCLAIMER: In honor of it being Phriday, and in rephusal to submit to boredom, I have decided that the Letter F shall phrom here on out be replaced with a PH (except phor in pictures, which I have no control over)***

Today however, I am not going to abide by my own rules. * GASP * But I have something very important to post about today.

Tomorrow is the beginning of Batten Awareness Days. Consider this your Personal Invitation!!!

Oh? What? You didn't know what Batten is? Yeah, unfortunately neither did my family when my nephew Jacob, now 6 years old, was diagnosed with it. Jacob has been diagnosed with a rare degenerative disease called Neuronal Ceroid-Lipofuscinoses (NCL). Also referred to as Batten Disease. It is believed that he has an unknown variant of the late infantile form (LINCL). Currently there is no cure for this and Jacob is now considered terminally ill. He is unlikely to make to the age of 12 years old.

Although it is unlikely that they will find a cure in time to help Jacob, our family is doing everything we can to raise awareness about this disease to help other families with children who are battling the same illness. PLEASE take a moment to look at their website and become a fan of his page as well as share it with someone you know to get the word out there.

Jun 4, 2009

And then it Hit Me...


Ok, nothing 'physically' hit me. I just experienced an epiphany of sorts last night while talking to my husband. Unfortunately this happens often as my husband is excellent at challenging my thoughts and emotions. USUALLY I believe it's called 'bickering', however, last night is more of a friendly discussion.

My brother sent me a link to a new website yesterday called Creative Byline. I can't say if it is actually a helpful website quite yet, but it did snap me out of my writing freeze. My mind is no longer on lock down! I noticed that they required an Outline. (Uh...what's an outline? Um yeah...I guess I haven't done as much homework as I thought I had.)

So I spent the afternoon putting a rough one together for my novel. This was one of the best things I have done in weeks. I say this because it REMINDED me how good my book really was. I haven't looked at it since it was finished and I began querying agents. After all the rejections I was losing sight of what I had created, a really great book! So as I'm telling my husband this he looks at me and says, "Do you think you are REALLY done with this book and ready for an agent?" And I look at him and it suddenly hits me...Not even close!

So here are some things I plan to work on in the month of June...

  • My Outline - It's very rough and needs to be tweeked and probably shortened.
  • A Synopsis - I know I've been avoiding it, but after reading Jody's post yesterday, it made me realize that the sooner I get it started, the better.
  • Business Cards - Apparently everybody's doing it, I suppose I should to! I do like to be part of the "in" crowd ;)
  • Finishing my Website ... which includes...
  • Writing the dreaded Biography. I'm not sure why I find it so difficult. But I can't stand sitting there and writing about ... well me! (Please no comments from the peanut gallery.)
  • A Book Proposal - Again, after reading Jody's post yesterday, I figure it's better to at least have a rough draft now to save time for later.
  • Finally Polish my "Elevator Pitch" so when people ask what my book is about, I can stop looking like they just asked my to recite the entire Encyclopedia.
  • Look through my manuscript ONE MORE time to make sure it's perfect and possibly revisit my first three chapters, I'm not sure they are getting the job done.
  • When finished, print out my Manuscript and make it look pretty!
  • Put together a portfolio for me and my manuscript (I should write a poem about 'me and my manuscript' ... it sounds so catchy!)

That's A LOT of $h!t!!! And here I thought I had nothing to do!!!

Our goal... Did I just say Our? Why yes I did...my husband has shown himself in a whole new light and I have realized that he is just as excited and dedicated to my career as I am. He even suggested I spend MORE time working on it *GASP* So OUR goal is to get me ready as if I were going to a Conference. Even though I cannot afford one right now, we have decided we WILL make it happen next year, regardless of our financial situation. Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE my husband?

So what from this list are YOU missing on your current project? Do you have have more work to do than you realized?

Jun 3, 2009

Random Acts of Blogging

So here is how I feel this morning....

Now this goes for doing the dishes, folding the laundry and all acts of cleaning in general. It also goes for bathing the children, reading to the children and feeding the children. (Can't they feed themselves already...oh wait...THEY CAN...BONUS!) I also don't feel like looking for new houses today, writing a new story or working on the budget. And the whole showering thing...that's up in the air too!

Needless to say...I'm pretty sure I'm not going to get my way... for the most part at least.

So after spending a good hour flipping through someecards.com for the perfect birthday cards for my friend, I have decided that it is time to blog and get my day started. (Begrudgingly)

First off, I want to point out that I am disappointed no one I seem to talk to remembers these... (You did read the title right...RANDOM acts of blogging...there's a key word in there)

Every time I mention that I wish they still made these, I get blank stares. Coincidentally...I'm not sure that they actually still MAKE these, but after a google search to find the pic, I did find out that they still SELL them. (Do you find this comment as disturbing as I do? I mean we're talking they haven't been out since the 80's!)

NOW...moving on to more important events and topics...

"Producers, please dim lights. Drum roll...After the world wide, record breaking vote of 1 total vote, Marybeth has decided that the Final Favorite Gnome Aproved Blog award will be announced ..... after the break."

A message from our sponsers...which are...well ME! So I am now here to present you with this wonderful list of the last 8 Random but INCREDIBLY AWESOME fact about me!

1. I am fully aware that my random idiocy has probably made my bounce rate go up to about 90% today, but I am enjoying this post more than most others. Because well...fact number one about me...I'm astoundingly incredibly Random!

2. I dislike my CrackBerry. That's right, after owning if for merely a month, I don't like it. I want a full key board and a really cool touch screen.

3. By starting a new blog I have inadvertantly spawned 3 new blogging friends! Who knew I could be so inspiring!!!

4. I don't like it when my friends wear heals around me. ESPECIALLY the tall ones. (You all know who you are!) If you are truly a good friend...throw on the flip flops...leave the heals to me yo!

5. I've misplaced my headdress of creativity and am feeling quite devoid of my writing genious as of yesterday afternoon. I've considered putting a picture of it on a milk carton...but can't recall what it looks like minus the frilly feathers and sparkly sequins. Any help would be greatly appreciated in the search for this very important item! Thank you....

6. I think Yoga Pants are the most comfortable invention ever. I aspire not only to one day be a novelest, but to also one day be able to live in a world where only yoga pants are necessary as a daily artical of clothing!!!!

7. I LOVE stars...and camping...and fires...and nature...BUT I hate bugs and setting up tents and all the work that goes into enjoying those things, so I don't enjoy them often!

8. I wish I had as much tenacity to become a singer as I do for becoming a writer. If I'm not writing I prefer to be singing. Alas...I am now 28 and am no longer young enough to try out for American Idol and I am afraid the dream has been lost

"Now, the moment we've all been waiting for. Producers, please dim lights...again.. Drum roll...After the world wide, record breaking vote of 1 total vote, Marybeth has decided that the Final Favorite Gnome Aproved Blog award goes too....Krista's Reflections."

It was a tough decision and I hated having to choose between all my favorites! So after a suggestion from my wonderful intelligent husband, I have decided to give out the Gnome Award once a month. Although he's going to help me make it a little prettier! (Once I'm done with it feel free to replace it with the current one!)

Now I will stop my random ramblings and bid you all farewell! Back to normal, contest free, randomless blogging tomorrow!!!

Jun 1, 2009

Walk like an Egyptian!

Well I was thinking more along the lines of "Think like a writer!", but with the same tune. I'm wondering if there is a dance to go with this new song I've created? Any takers on putting together some wicked choreography? (We could even try to get it on So You Think You Could Dance!)

Well the moral of the story, or the point of the comment that is, is that it seems to be all I do lately. It doesn't matter what I am doing or thinking, it always feels like one big narration of someone's life being told in my head. I am constantly thinking like a writer. I actually narrated my entire shower Sunday morning, then blogged about it as a comment on Katie's Voice Lessons Post. I think I've seriously crossed over to the Dark Side (I'm really hoping they have cookies!)

How much has writing taken over your brain? Are you still able to go to the bathroom without thinking,

"She sat down slowly upon her porcelain thrown. She'd
had to pee for hours now, but as she had spent the entire morning blogging and jotting down ideas for her new novel, she had put it off."

? Or am I the only crazy one here? (Ok, so I am slightly exaggerating with the whole bathroom reference ... but not much!)


Alright, so the moment we have ALL been waiting for! AWARD TIME!!! Bring on the ceremonious music and confetti. We now have a gname for the (previously known as The Roaming) Gnome!!! He shall now and forever be know as Gnorris! (not to be confused with Chuck Gnorris, although equally as awesome!)

Thank you Hilabeans for coming up with the perfect gnome gname!!!

You are now the proud winner of The Wee Little Garden Gnome (complete with your own Gnome Guide!)
Please email your shipping address to mb@marybethsmith.com


And as promised the next 3 winners of my Favorite Gnome Approved Blog award are...

Pajamas and Coffee
- Entertaining and informational when it comes to parenting! She offers some great advice on Mommy Getaway Time. You Rock Marymac!

Booking It - One of the best blogs when it comes to aspiring writers. Her insight and advice have had a large impact on my writing abilities. Thanks Jessica!

Brain Throwup - Well the name alone makes it an award winning blog, but again her take on writing and motherhood are often inspiring. (Not to mention she's a fan of both Harry Potter and Twilight, which makes her a winner in my book anyday!) I love it Katie!

So check out all three blogs. There will be no disappointment involved! Tomorrow I will announce the final winner and the last 8 AMAZING facts about me.

Also, I elaborated a bit on the earlier part of this post on my website today! Check it out!!!

I Had a Dream!

Not the MLK kinda dream...but it was foretelling (I hope) just like his.

I had a dream that the woman who has my manuscript wanted to represent me. Although in the process she also wanted me to cut out my first 2 chapters and re-write half the book. But Representation nonetheless!

Does that worry you? Do you fear your book being completely altered once you have scored that long awaited agent? Do you fear it will become unrecognizable? Will it be worth it?

What is your stance on this? Or am I just completely over exaggerating the process?
As I am pressed for time today due to a class field trip (in the rain...oh joy!) I am postponing the contest results by one day, as am I postponing the next 3 Gnome Award Winners. Tune in tomorrow for your winner and their prize!!!