Finally the New Snarky Book Is Out!

Okay friendsScreen Shot 2014-12-29 at 11.01.47 PM, I have, at last, finished the sequel to Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School!!!!! The new book Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble in Texas is published. Here’s a blurb I hope makes you go, “Hell yes I’m buying this book!”

 Wynn Butler is ready to kill her mother . . . or at the very least demand she gets a psych evaluation and an MRI. On Wynn’s yearly pilgrimage to Trask, Texas, to visit her parents what she hoped would be a relaxing visit (not counting the family reunion which has all the charm of a zombie apocalypse) has turned into a Texas-sized, hot mess!

 Her 69-year-old mother Gwynn Crockett Martin has become an entrepreneur and opened up a cupcake bakery that seems to be doing double duty as a halfway house for economically battered Junior League dropouts.

 If that’s not enough to make Wynn want to turn tail and run home, her mom is hell bent on convincing her to “heed the call of Jesus” and come to the aid of a woman that made Wynn miserable in high school – Sara Beth Bishop. And by aid, Wynn’s mother means concoct a plan to exact epic revenge on Sara Beth’s lying, cheating, spray tanning, money stealing ex-husband and his new wife, snob-of-the-millennium, Yale Greenly.

 Things go from bad to worse when Wynn finds herself embroiled in a scheme that involves breaking and entering, theft, assault, livestock wrangling, killer mold, impersonating a maid, hair spray bomb fabrication and crashing the town’s poshest society event of the year – THE Mohair Palace Pageant. If Wynn can survive this visit home without doing time in the ER, jail, or both, it will be a miracle!

 Hang on to your hat and saddle up for a retribution rodeo or, as Wynn’s mom calls it . . .   “justice served up Lone Star style.”

 Right at this very moment you can get the book over at Amazon for your Kindle. I’m still waiting for the paperback version to show up on Amazon. I’ll let you know as soon as that happens. You can also get it for you Nook. And for everyone that complained that the first Snarky wasn’t on iBooks I’m waiting for iTunes to give me the thumbs up that it’s available. Meanwhile, you can, for free, download the Kindle app for your iPad or iPhone.

I want to thank all of you for reading my blog, being my Snarky Facebook and Twitter bestie and encouraging me to keep on writing. Y’all rock! Seriously, the Internet is a magical thing. I’ve made some wonderful friends and I do believe writing my blog has kept me out of prison. (Not that I don’t look fabulous in orange.)

A special thank you to Lori Barta Joergensen and Abby Ray! They were Team Snarky for this book and I have a girl crush on both of them.

If you choose to buy Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble in Texas – awesome! If you like it please feel free to write a glowing review. (If you don’t save your strength and just forget about this whole review thing.)

Now, go out there and give Trouble in Texas a lookie loo!

 

3 Things I Learned at Target on New Year’s Eve

target-logo-redLike any good middle-aged, middle class female I’m at Target on New Year’s Eve on a quest to pick through the last of the holiday clearance. It’s in these hallowed four aisles of discount Christmas trees, ornaments, gift wrap and stocking stuffers that I have learned three life lessons I will embrace fully as I enter into a new year.

1) Teachers Deserve Better

As I’m trying to decide if I need to take advantage of the 50% off and upgrade to all LED Christmas lights I start talking to a woman swathed head-to-toe in so much North Face outerwear the logos are giving me vertigo. She’s pushing a cart that’s loaded up with a wide variety of Christmas sweets from Reece Peanut Butter Cups to carmel corn. Mrs. North Face very excitedly shares with me that she’s stockpiling Target food leftovers to use as teacher’s gifts. For clarification purposes I ask, “You really give your kids’ teachers year old food items from Target as presents?”

“No,” she says and gives me a look like I’m a dumb ass. “I would never do that!”

I hear this and I’m relieved and a little ashamed of myself for thinking the worst. But, she then quickly adds, “I take all the food I buy and put it into a rotation system in my basement. The stuff I’m buying now I won’t use until 2015.” Mrs. North Face smiles really big, kind of winks at me and says, “It’s not like they’ll ever know – right?”

I slowly start backing my cart away from her and say, “Somehow I think they’ll know. I’m not an expert in food science or anything, but I’m going to take an educated guess and tell you your teachers gifts probably get chucked straight into the trash can.”

“They do not!” She says agitated. “I always get thanked by all the teachers.”

I quickly say, while escaping to the gift wrap aisle, “I think that speaks more to the teachers’ good manners than yours.”

Dear Teachers, Beware and on the lookout for any blonde, North Face clad mom bearing expired Poppy Cock, candy coated pretzels, and assorted truffles in about 350 days.

2) You Can’t Fight the Side Boob

2013 will be the year I give into the side boob. This year I tried to do all I could to reverse this horrific fashion trend, but now, on this last day of 2012 I surrender. It was a woman in the Christmas card aisle that showed me it was time to call it quits to my valiant fight. This 60-ish mom/grandma was not looking at cards but trying on the last of the very picked over Christmas T-shirts from the junior department that were located at the end of the aisle. She took off the T-shirt she had on and wearing only her jog bra began pulling a holiday shirt over her head. She adjusted the shirt looked at her friend and said, “It’s cute. I just wished it was sleeveless because you know how much I like showing a little side boob.”

Her friend suggested enlarging the arm pit area of the shirt for maximum side boobage. I gasped and had to ask, “What’s up with the side boob? If you ask me it’s the least attractive part of the breast.”

Grandma shared, “Well, you’re probably right about that, but here’s the thing, every women looks good with side boob. Your breasts may sag and all, but no matter what the shape your tits are in you’ve still got a decent side boob.”

So, there you have it – the side boob is ageless. It’s the last part of the breast to plummet to your knees. That means this fashion trend is here to stay and I’m sure by Spring 2013 there will be a Kris Kardashian Jenner Side Boob clothing line at Sears.

3) The World is Still Quickly Coming to an End

Yeah, I know December 21 came and went without a big kaboom, but don’t get too comfortable because I have proof the world is still coming-to-an end sooner than later. I obtained this confirmation while standing in the ornament aisle. I was, is as my habit, eavesdropping on a mother and her two daughters. The girls looked to be around eight and nine and were all pumped up about a rumor they heard while at the mall. According to suburban mall lore Victoria’s Secret might be opening up a children’s version of their store! There you have it – that’s your evidence the world is ending. Because that’s all we need as a society is for elementary aged girls to be jumping on the train to Tramp Town with stops in Slutsburg and Whoreville. I know I always wished there was a “fun” place to shop for thongs with my little girl. Talk about mother daughter bonding! Once this happens, I have no doubt, some force of nature will be unleashed and swallow the earth whole and we will so richly deserve our demise.

Happy New Year!

 

Hey, Snarky friends please re-like my page on Facebook. I got hacked and had to start my page from scratch. Thanks! Click on the FB icon located at the top right hand of blog and let your friends know that Snarky is back.

 **For more Snarky check out my book  Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. 

Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good.  Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival.  If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you. 

 

Snarky Writes a Book

snarkburbsIt almost killed me – I’m talking worse than an epidural that stopped working midway through labor – but I finally finished my book! You may think writing the book was the hard part, but NO, it was correcting all the grammar (Dear comma, I hate you.), spelling and spacing errors. I always thought I was a little bit of an idiot based on hard data like my SAT scores and college GPA, but after sending chapters of my book out to be proofed and re-proofed by “Team Snarky” it was confirmed, that, I am indeed, a moron. Almost as bad was formatting the text for Amazon. Hey CIA, forget waterboarding as a form of torture. Here’s what you should do to get a confession from a terrorist – make them take a 200 plus page document and try to squeeze it on an Amazon templet. Sweet mother of God, it was horrible. Every time I tried to fix an indentation or a spacing issue it would mess something else up. You know you’ve cried a lot when your Diet Coke taste salty. Then, when I think I’ve gotten everything just perfect I go to my son’s, much better computer, (Because, of course, my children have superior technology. Raise your hand if you have the crappiest phone in your family.) to do a final lookie loo and his grammar check thing finds MORE errors. At this point I had to take a mental health break. I got in my car, turned on the soothing butt heat, ate almost half of tin of Christmas cookies (a neighbor had brought over) and drove to Target.

Finally, I get the digital version good to go and start on the paperback. I get all the files uploaded and Amazon shoots out a price of what it will cost to print the 6 x 9 paperback. FIFTEEN DOLLARS!  Are you kidding me! Sure, the book is 60,000 words, but $15? I thought I might stroke out and yelled for my son to bring the blood pressure monitor my in-laws had left behind during their last visit. He came over to my computer, gave me one of those superior looks that teenagers save just for their mothers, and said, “Just shrink the font size” in a voice that said, “God, why is my mother such a loser?”

Shrink away I did. I went as low as a 6 point, but I figured no one over the age of 22 would have good enough eye-sight to read it. I settled on 10 point font and played with the margins. It was all about saving paper to get the price down. The lowest I could get  it to is $11.95 and I’m still not happy about.

Here is some stuff you need to know about the book. First, it is fiction. Did some of this stuff happen? Yes. Do I want to get sued? No. I had to do one of those Law and Order-ish disclaimers in the front of the book. Longtime blog readers will also notice some character description changes (specifically Jacardia). Once again, done for the whole fear of legal action thing. Secondly, IT IS a book. It is not a collection of my blogs shoved into a book. Would I do that to you? No, I would not. When you start reading the book you might say to yourself, “Crap, I’ve seen this before.” Well, keep reading because in the first chapter I use the PTA Mom Coffee that I’ve already written about to set up the book – BUT there are changes in it and new characters introduced.  Say hello to Croc Mom, Heather and Jasper. Some characters, you love to hate like my odious neighbor Barbara Gray are not in this book. (If all goes well you’ll see Barbara in another book slated for late summer.)

Here’s a little teaser for Snarky in the Suburbs – Back to School.

The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good.  Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival.

 If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you.

 What I’m asking you to do right now is go to Amazon  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ALOV860 and buy the book. Due to a survey I did on my blog the consensus was to set the digital price at $4.99. (I was thinking $3.99, but was overruled.) The paperback version, I think, will take a couple of days before you can order it. Amazon has set the price at $11.95 (sorry). For those of who with Nooks – Barnes & Noble takes six freaking weeks before they will have it for the Nook. If you have an iPhone you can get the app Kindle for iPhone for free and read Snarky on your phone. (Just google “Kindle for iPhone.)

But wait there’s more – I need a favor(s). If you would be so kind after reading the book to go on Amazon and write a review AND spread the word however you can about the book. I know this is asking a lot. Please note that I value and so respect your intelligence and time, that I have never begged you to go vote for my blog in some “funny mom” blog contest or any other such inane pursuits. I’m now abandoning that restraint and shamelessly asking you to go plug my book.

I started writing Snarky as a way to complain to someone other than my husband and ended up making lots of new friends! Thank you everyone for sharing your enthusiasm for Snarky, your own stories and your encouragement! It’s good to know, we are not alone and that yes, we are all in this parenting game (for better or worse) – together.

Team Snarky rules!

Avoid These Elves

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Where would Christmas be without elves? There is no way Santa could do all he does without them. Even non-North Pole elves are amazing. Why just look at the Keebler elves they’re uncommonly good. I do need to caution you – there are some rogue elves coming your way this holiday season. Elves that are up to no good and elves that are just plain annoying. Because I care, deeply care, about your holiday happiness I have complied a list of the elves you should try your very best to steer clear of from now until the beginning of the new year.

Re-Gifty:  I have nothing against re-gifting in theory. But, several criteria must be met for a classy re-gifting experience.  Sadly Re-Gifty the Elf (a serial re-gifter) doesn’t uphold any of the high re-gifting standards set forth by C.H.E.A.P the Committee to Help Ensure an Adequate Present. These standards include that the present still be in its original box, has never been used, was not part of set, (i.e. the make-up “gift with purchase” set broken up into several gifts, lipstick in one box, 1 oz. make-up remover in another etc.) still has a valid expiration date and is actually a gift that someone would remotely want or care to use sometime in the next millennium. Re-Gifty, I’m afraid looks upon the exchanging of gifts as a chance to clean out his or her closet or hordes crap all year to release it on unsuspecting family members during the holidays.

Achey: You need to practice evasive maneuvers to avoid any long-term (and by that I mean more than 5 minutes) conversational contact with Achey the Elf.  You’ll be serenaded with tales of stomach ailments, hip replacement surgery, boils, hammer toes, moles gone bad and if you’re really lucky an in-depth analysis of Achey’s colonoscopy: “First, they inserted some kind of long straw type thing with a camera, if you can believe that, right up my ole poop factory.”

“Fascinating,” you respond as you fight to keep down your recently swallowed pumpkin pie. I find the best audience for Achy is another family member, coworker, neighbor who has an equally lengthy ailment inventory. Just supply the introductions and sit back and watch the medical fireworks as they compete to see who has seen the most specialists during the past 12 months.

Foodie: I enjoy good food and respect those out there with high culinary standards. What I don’t have patience for is the food snob. Keep an eye out for Foodie the Elf a gastronomic gas-bag who can turn any holiday meal into a Two Tums Spectacular. Last year, Foodie was in my kitchen asking if the marshmallows on top of the sweet potato casserole were homemade organic or store-bought? I’m thinking who in the hell makes homemade marshmallows and besides that they’re on top of a casserole that’s laden down with butter, brown sugar, and crushed ginger snaps – does it really need homemade, organic marshmallows? The casserole had me at brown sugar. Foodie continued inspecting my kitchen. Was the pie crust made with bio dynamic butter and were the fruit fillings dry farmed? (Huh – is that anything like dry humped?  Really, I’m clueless.) Were the mashed potatoes first harvest (huh again)?  You can imagine how the Franzia boxed wine went over.  Foodie swooned and not in a good way.

I found the way to get this elf out of your kitchen is to ask him/her to do something like unload a dishwasher or set the table. Before you can say “Santa” Foodie magically turns into Hidey the Elf.  Hidey is a master of disappearing when it’s time for any helpful cleaning tasks.

Cougary:  Divorced relative that mistakenly thinks their hot. Unfortunately wearing Victoria Secret lingerie as a blouse and dabbing One Direction “perfume” on your wrinkled decolletage doesn’t turn back the hands of time. This, old enough to know better, Elf “flirts” with college aged friends of cousins. It’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion

Instagramy: Hoist on your spanx, apply your serum and retinol, do full make up and get your hair professionally blow dried because Instagramy the Elf is going to make sure you turn up on Facebook, Linked-In, YouTube, or get e-mailed to 3,000 of his/her closest friends. It’s imperative that you remain on full alert around Instagramy. Do not under any circumstances turn your back on Instagramy and for the love of God, do not bend over the oven to remove the turkey. Your backside in all it’s glory will be internet bound before you can say, “You did not just take a picture of my ass?”

This Elf thinks they’re the family documentarian. Their specialty – the really bad photo or video and if you look like a hag with three chins or Jabba the Hut’s older, fatter sister – all the better.  I’ve been known to hide Instagramy’s camera and cell phone. When that doesn’t work I use blackmail. What good is being related to someone if you can’t use tidbits from their teen years as ammo.

A sibling to Instagramy is Screeny:  This elf will spend the whole holiday with his/her head looking down. Addicted to their smart phone the only thing that moves on Screeny are thumbs. Don’t attempt to engage this elf in any kind of verbal interaction. Feel free though to text your thoughts or that dinner is now being served.

Healthy: This elf is kill joy. Do I really need to know the caloric, fat, carb, sugar and sodium breakdown of my once a year eggnog?  I think not. Is doing a “death calculation calendar” a joyous game to play at Christmas? What, you’ve never played that game? Well, put up the new X Box  and get out a pencil so you can find out based on your weight, age, genetics and personal habits when you will croak. Glad Tidings to be sure.

Smokey: Cough, gag and wheeze. This elf is the lone smoker in the family who thinks standing inside and placing their head at a 20 degree angle out a window is getting rid of all their toxic air. Too bad, Smokey is in a nicotine frenzy and unable to comprehend that all the smokey air is blowing right back in the house. Your best plan of action is to sic Healthy on Smokey.

Churchy: God bless this elf and get ready for lots and lots of face time with Churchy. This somber elf will invade your home and the very first thing he/she will do is take attendance on who attended a morning religious service and THEN came back and opened gifts. If you did the gift thing first – shame on you.  If you didn’t go to church at all – Merry Christmas and prepare to burn in hell for eternity. Brace yourself for a lecture or two on the real meaning of Christmas and a couple of swipes at Santa. Whatever you do – Do Not let Churchy say grace. It will turn into a sermon and those yummy mashed potatoes will get cold.

Etiquettey: Possibly the most annoying elf on the list. I have a family member who is a graduate of the Protocol School of Washington D.C. Basically, that means she is Miss Manners to infinity and beyond. Every freaking family holiday dinner she’s spends it clearing her throat. The throat clear is her signal that someone is committing a faux pas at the dinner table. It makes me want to chew with my mouth open, use my salad fork on my dessert and throw my linen napkin in her general vicinity.

Two years ago she hosted the holiday dinner and set her table so each guest has no less than five forks (oyster, fish, meat, dessert and fruit), four spoons and three knives. Factor in the glass ware on the table and it looked like a Williams Sonoma going out of business sale. We all set down and weren’t sure were to begin.  Which, of course, was her goal. A whole Stump the Bumpkins game.  Pardon me, but aren’t gracious manners supposed to make someone feel welcome in your house? Never fear I got her back. Last year, I did my research on formal etiquette. I’m talking like dining with the Queen of England manners and spent Christmas dinner clearing my throat and looking at her very pointedly. It freaked her out. “What’s wrong with you,” she said in a high pitch squeak.

I every so snarkily pointed out that she had placed her silverware more than one inch from the edge of the table and that (gasp!) her dessert fork tines were facing in the wrong direction. To plunge the butter knife in a little further I asked her, “What protocal school did you say you went to again?” This year, she has declined to host the Christmas Eve dinner at her home. Hip, hip, hooray!

Sure, I could on and on with my list. I left off Braggy, Surly, Drinky etc. But, I’m counting on the fact that you are probably already well acquainted with those elves. This list was to educate you on the newest troublemakers. Beware my friends and remember knowledge is power.  Now go out there and have  yourself a Happy Holiday, but watch your back. These elves are sneaky.

 Hey, Snarky friends please re-like my page on Facebook. I got hacked and had to start my page from scratch. Thanks! Click on the FB icon located at the top right hand of blog and let your friends know that Snarky is back.

 **For more Snarky check out my book  Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. 

Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good.  Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival.  If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you. 

 

Just Say No to the Holiday Newsletter

Preview of “Fake Holiday Newsletter”Yes, it’s that time of year again when I’m afraid to go to my mailbox. I live in fear, not of my Visa bill, but of the delivery of the cutesy chat-fest that is the holiday newsletter.

And just to be clear I love receiving Christmas cards. I love seeing friends children growing up and I’m a sucker for any card that includes baby photos or toddlers with Santa. What I’m talking about is the Christmas overshare with no less than sixteen photos or perhaps, even worse someone who’s gone all artsy with publisher on their computer and sends you, a non-relative, a distant acquaintance from yesteryear, a newsletter disguised as a holiday card.

If you do a newsletter I’m begging you to cease and desist. Seriously, with social media does anyone need to hit the post office in December and mail a family novella? Let me answer that for you – no. My bitterness towards the T.M.I. Christmas greeting started more than twenty years ago.

There I was young, broke and having to buy my groceries at an Exxon station because I still had the gas card my dad had given me during college and had forgotten to collect when I graduated. I was living in a city I couldn’t afford and I was using a sewing needle to poke holes in my rent check because a coworker told me it slowed down the bank cashing it. The holes, apparently, kicked the check out of the bank scanner and required it to be hand cancelled. Yes, indeed I was living the dream.

One December evening as I’m slurping my Lipton cup-of-soup (My poverty pre-dated Ramen noodles.) I discover in my pile of past due bills a Christmas card from my college arch nemesis. This girl attempted to steal my boyfriend (multiple times – she’s nothing if not tenacious), bad mouthed me at every opportunity and lived to one up me. To make matters worse she married a mutual friend so I’m forced to see her or at the very least hear about her. Ugh. I’m thinking about all this and sighing as I open her Christmas card, hoping that she has joined the Peace Corp and relocated to Chernobyl where she’s been given a faulty Geiger counter.

No such luck, instead it’s a braggy, bitchy newsletter filled with gorgeous photos of her, her husband, their brand new house (Did I mention I was in a crappy studio apartment that made my freshman year dorm room look spacious?) and as an extra special treat their European travel pictorial. A part of me died that day. The nice part. I know, I know, shame on me for my crippling envy. But I still contend that I was the injured party. Isn’t it a bigger sin to use your holiday greeting card as self aggrandized propaganda?

I’d like to say that was the last Christmas card I ever received from her, but sadly it wasn’t. Every year I get a newsletter. Oh and they become more toxic as her family grows. Her children extraordinary. Her husband amazing. Their financial status abundant. Their travels legendary.

Where’s the goodwill towards men in dropping that in the mail? What kind of person must you be to send a card/newsletter that’s designed to make everyone on your mailing list feel like crap? No real peace on earth in that card. Do you want me to send you a Christmas card back that says yes, you win? Your life trumps mine I hope your upcoming New Year sucks big time.

Now, that I’m older, wiser and oodles more bitter I know that my nemesis’ whole newsletter narrative is a complete work of fiction or at best a collection of half-truths. That’s why this year I’m going to go where no woman has gone before. I’m going to write a holiday newsletter that tells the truth. So, here, my friends, is my holiday newsletter – unabridged and uncensored.

Dear Family and Friends,

It’s been an eventful year for the Snarky’s.  Let me begin by updating you on how our beautiful children are doing. Well, I just couldn’t be more proud of both of them. Our son is in his first year of high school. Can you believe it?  He’s excelling as usual. Just the other day I received an e-mail from one of his teacher’s that said he was falling asleep in class and because he’s always been such an amazing multi-tasker he’s not just slumbering. He’s also snoring, drooling and talking in his sleep. What a kid, I tell you! 

I e-mailed his teacher back and thanked her for the exciting update and explained that besides his skill at power napping he’s also, already, doing work for the military. What can I say he’s a great American at 14!

My brave boy is spending vast amounts of quality time doing top-secret work for a new branch of the military called X Box Halo. Through grit and determination he’s already something called a Lieutenant Colonel Grade 2 in the United Nations Space Command – 105th Orbital Drop Shock troopers, Based at Viery, Reach, Epsilon Eridani System. Impressive right? But, of course, not surprising. Remember when he was just a baby and he showed such advanced skill at peek-a-boo? We all knew, even back then, that he was destined for greatness.

Our incredible 10-year-old daughter continues to delight and amaze us every waking hour! I’m beyond excited to tell you that we’ve both have decided to stimulate our intellect by speaking to each other in foreign languages. It’s been awesome mother/daughter bonding. She can ask for $200 Ugg boots in 16 different languages and I can answer no in 16 different foreign dialects. It’s been so much fun having these verbal exchanges. We both really get into it and even the neighbors can hear us screaming!

I can, without a doubt, see her someday as the President of this amazing country of ours. Her stubbornness and “I won’t give up till I get my own way or kill someone attitude” just spells w-i-n-n-e-r to me! I, for one, can’t wait to be mother of a the President. Can you say Lincoln bedroom?

As for that super-duper hubby of mine. How can I even begin to list the ways I continue to love and even worship him. Speaking of worship, I think my husband is planning some kind of surprise for the family. I’m guessing in what little down time he has he’s been going to seminary school. My husband the minister. Wow!

Why do I think this? Well, it’s just a couple of little things, but mainly it’s when I start sharing about my day (Some of you may call it complaining, but in our house we like to call it sharing or in my case extreme sharing.) he starts praying. Not real loud or anything, but in just the tiniest whisper I can hear him praying, “Oh dear lord, dear God in heaven, please rescue me from this bond of matrimony and deliver me to a place of respectful silence where I can begin to live a life of calm, contentment for the remainder of my days.”

Isn’t that pretty? As for the matrimony part I’m sure he’s not talking about our marriage. I bet it’s means something very different in biblical terminology. He always was an over-achieving, smarty pants, that guy of mine!

Now, on to me and what’s been keeping me busy. What else, but my glorious family.  Sure, it’s a hard job and I’ve suffering from a severe case of laundry folding elbow, but it’s all worth it. I’m unbelievably excited that my in-laws are coming for the holidays. My mother-in-law is a real jewel and so funny. I wonder if she’ll get me size 2XL pajamas again this year? What a comedian, that one. Everyone knows a wear a large p,j. what, with the elastic waistband and all.

Oh and I can not wait for my big gift from her.  I totally love receiving the  Estee Lauder “gift with purchase” travel size lipstick and mascara. She’s always thinking of me even when she’s buying herself makeup. 

I would have included some family vacation photos but, we’re just so out of money, oh, sorry I meant to say in love with our house, we hate to leave it, even for a long weekend. I mean, really, can a Marriott Courtyard compare to my master suite? No way. My bed not only has a goose down comforter from Costco, but also a thick layer of  dog hair and vintage dander covering the entire bed. Talk about soft.

I’ve also started a Gratitude Journal this year – thanks Oprah – and I thought in this time of giving I’d share with you the one thing I’m most grateful for.  It seems almost everyday this year, excluding the summer months, I wrote that I was most thankful my children were in school seven hours a day.

That’s me in a nutshell, always, always, thinking about my kids. Are you wondering the second thing I was most grateful for – well, that would be vodka. But I only use it for medicinal purposes. I have that painful laundry elbow remember?

Another neat thing that’s happened this year, is that I’ve only been mistaken as my daughter’s grandmother six times!  That’s down from eight last year. Yahoo! I guess happiness really does make you look younger.

Here’s wishing all of you a joyous holiday and a fab New Year!

Much love, the Snarky Family