Evil Joy Speaks

Spawning the next generation of evil genius, one misadventure at a time

Category: Humor (page 1 of 6)

Lost and Found

They’re not worth a lot of money. To others, these aren’t important. Both lost and found today…these rings are precious to me.

My wedding and anniversary bands. I took them off during a class at the gym. The metal was cutting into my finger and it hurt. So I simply took them off without thought, tossed them onto my warmup shirt I’d earlier removed, and kept on keeping on in class. Class ended. I grabbed my shirt, assumed I had my rings, and quickly moved on with my day.

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Real Authentic Women – A Reality Moms Retreat

I was part of something last week. It was Real – We were Authentic – We are Women.  Reality Moms hosted the Real Authentic Women (RAW) Retreat and I was fortunate enough to participate in this amazing event.

Every ‘real mom’ should run from the real world sometimes and that’s what I did. I hopped on a plane, not really sure of what I was doing, flew halfway across the country and put my trust in women I’d only met online.  (One woman I’d met in person before. Our friendship is now firmly cemented into a lifelong one.) We talked about hard stuff, laughed every second we could, and opened up with one another in unique ways.

From the second I walked into the door, I was given permission to be me. If I needed a break, I took one. I didn’t have to explain why I don’t like to touch people, why I wear sunglasses all the time, or why I drink copious amounts of water. No one cared that I woke up before dawn, made coffee, and then disappeared to run alone. Each woman in attendance had the same expectations. We were to just…be. Be ourselves. Own our issues, explore the whys, sit with the questions and thoughts we experienced, and acknowledge the positive attributes each of us possesses.

It’s funny. I didn’t realize I was living my life asking permission to be myself – not all the time – but definitely sometimes. Clarity is refreshing…and hard. FInding my path through the hard to the real was a struggle and one I needed to allow myself to experience. I owned what I offer to the world. I’m supportive. I’m strong. I’m real.

I learned about writing, creating pitches, hashtagging, and how to be vulnerable. I learned how to combine the technical aspects with the personal, and to recognize just how linked both pieces truly are in my writing.

As women, it’s easy to deflect compliments and achievements. We need to stop that noise and OWN IT. Let’s show the next generation of women they can be strong, they can own their accomplishments, and stand tall. By taking the time to work on myself, I can help my girls be their more.

I ran away from the real world by leaving home, running on a beach, and learning to hug a few more people. I ran away to find myself. And came back a better me.

 

Thanks to Reality Moms, Joey Fortman, and the other program participants – aka my friends. This was an experience I’ll never forget. And one I hope to repeat in the future.

Check out Reality Moms on Facebook, Instagram, and, Twitter.

The Tuckerton Seaport Experience

Last week I had the opportunity to visit The Tuckerton Seaport located in Tuckerton, New Jersey. The history and the way in which that history is delivered is incredible. I’ve already informed my family we will make the trek there one day sooner than later. I visited this gem with a group of women from around the country, and beyond as part of Reality Moms.

As a midwesterner, I’ve visited historic villages. But this was the first historic seaport village I’d experienced. From the Makers to the food, I was immersed in the history of The Tuckerton Seaport. The first Maker we met was a talented blacksmith. I think we entertained him as he taught us. We questioned everything from the temperature of the fire to the number of heats required to make a horseshoe. I learned a lot while not even realizing I was being educated!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we walked to the Jay C. Parker Decoy House I innocently remarked, “Are those real or decoys?” not realizing our destination. Needless to say, the decoys were lifelike and handcrafted with skill. We were able to watch as a piece of wood took the shape of a waterfowl. This Maker learned his craft at The Tuckerton Seaport and now shares his expertise with those visiting.

Being able to touch and feel made The Tuckerton Seaport come alive. We made flatties with another Maker. I tried to make mine look similar to his….but there’s a reason I write, not paint. In this same room, boat making classes take place. You can make an ACTUAL BOAT.

Plans for future experiences are in the works including glass making and a new water ferry service! The ferry will operate between the seaport and LBI!! It looks to be exciting and I’ll be reserving my tickets for our return visit.

Oh and the food. OMG the food. We started our day with an amazing breakfast at The Union Market where I had this yummy breakfast and one of the best cups of coffee I’ve ever had.

After touring for a while, our appetites returned just in time to visit Lady Magpie’s Tea and Curiosities. Locally sourced and handmade, the food didn’t last long….because I ate it all. And the STEAM punk feel of this place was amazing. (Even the bathroom had super cool decor!)

From the visitors center to the miniature golf course I was impressed. If I could sum up my experience at The Tuckerton Seaport it would look like this….

I LOVE THIS PLACE AND CAN’T WAIT TO RETURN.

Make a point of visiting The Tuckerton Seaport. If you’re local to the area – head there immediately! If you’re like me, make it your next destination trip. I know I have.

Check out The Tuckerton Seaport on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

 

 

(Full disclosure – my admission was paid for but all opinions expressed are my own.)

#TuckertonSeaport

#RealityMomsRETREAT

#RealityMoms

Random Acts of Kindness

Performing random acts of kindness is amazing. Whether on the performing or receiving end of said act you end up with a fuller heart, an improved attitude, and hopefully a smile on your face. Something that seems very minor to you may have an unexpected impact upon another’s day.

Today I was fortunate enough to participate in a RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) event with co-workers. The doing was fun. FUN. We were able to do a small thing in an even smaller amount of time that will hopefully affect at least one person in a positive way. It was minutes out of my day. I left tonight with a renewed sense to try harder to be a positive force in the world. I don’t have to find the solution to world peace but I can pay for the person’s coffee behind me or drop a bag of food in the donation bin at the grocery store.

Gathering together with others to do good has many benefits. Not only did we do our random act of kindness, I learned a lot about those around me. Our time was an opportunity to get to know those volunteering in a unique way. Conversations work related, industry related, and TOTALLY unrelated occurred. Learning more about one another teaches us to see the world with a new and different perspective. Having multiple points of view on any topic is never a bad thing.

Sharing, learning, doing. Just think of the massive changes we could put out in the universe if we simply do good. Many small acts when combined can make a huge difference. If we all take a minute here or there to do something selfless, pay it forward, or perform an act of kindness, the positive energy put forward will change the world.

What random act of kindness have you performed or received lately? Did it inspire you to pay it forward? Tell me about it!

 

What I Really Want for Mother’s Day

You know what I want for Mother’s Day? It’s simple really. I don’t need a single thing. There are things I want like all my debt paid off, guaranteed happy futures for my children, snowboarding year round opportunities….

But this Mother’s Day if my family could pick up the house and clean it. And then pretend that every day for the rest of their lives is Mother’s Day.

How hard it is to put a dish away? Or to not step over a pile of laundry? Or to wipe up the jam/mustard/mayo/milk/coffee/water that one spills?

Listen don’t even start with the “one day you’ll wish for the chaos of their messes,” crap. Right now my world is a constant shit show and while it doesn’t bother most – It Pisses Me Off.

(Also I know – First World Problems.)

I make my kids do chores. They bitch and moan the entire time.

Today I left. After asking, demanding, and punishing I was over it all. I decided to go get gas. One of my daughters asked where I was going and I couldn’t say anything nice so I didn’t speak so she asked again. I told her I was going to the gas station. I simply couldn’t deal with it today. I gave myself a time out.

Pick. Up. Your. Own. Shit. And perhaps you could actually help your sibling and put the cup they forgot to tidy in the dishwasher too.

Last week two of the kids were going on and on about how nice and tidy their friends’ homes are when they visit. Then…….one of them said, “I wish our house was like that.”

Are. You. Kidding. Me?????

I bust my ass. As does my husband. I work multiple jobs. My husband does all the shopping and cooking in addition to being the primary “bread winner” for our family.

I’m not asking for them to scrub toilets every day. I just need some help. And I’d love if it didn’t come with whining, eye rolls, or pissy attitudes.

So if you want to let my family know what I want for Mother’s Day, you can tell them that making their beds every day would be amazing. See. I’m not asking for the moon. Just a little help.

And for them to pick up their own damn dishes.

PSA. Mother’s Day is next Sunday. Don’t forget your mama, mama-in-law, or friend that is a special mama in your life. We all need a pat on the back once in a while.

Learn a Little Modesty Please

I have a serious axe to grind. A bone to pick. A grievance to file. A war to wage.

Sports bras.

Specifically, I take issue with the ‘modesty’ pads in sports bras.


You know – those pads that sometimes are removable and keep the world at large from knowing when you’re cold.

I work out six days a week. Sometimes more than once a day. I produce the sweat of two normal humans during any given workout. Therefore I wash my clothing every time I work out. I never use an item more than once, especially sports bras. If I’m not at the gym, I’m probably working or snowboarding. If the latter is true, I need to utilize yet another sports bra.

I wash all the things per instruction. Yet EVERY FLIPPING TIME a minimum of one bra – more likely 100% of all bras – releases at least one of the modesty pads into the machine. The modesty pad breaks free and becomes immodest.

Every time I fold laundry I fight to get the pads back into the proper position. God forbid any of the bras I have are constructed in identical manners. (Hey listen. I’m trying them all out to find a favorite. Then I’ll invest my life savings into bras. That’s what it will take to purchase the size I need and the number I would like to own.) As I do laundry daily, I fight this epic battle all too frequently. Sometimes I throw in the towel, fold the bra up and hope beyond all hope that the modesty pad has enough self respect to stay with it’s owner until I find the strength to put it back together again. Humpty Dumpty has nothing on me.

The war isn’t over once the pads are back inside the holding area of the bra. The modesty pads are fighting to stay free. I think they believe if they cause enough of an issue, I’ll give up and just throw them to the sock pile. I believe they’re looking to mingle with single socks and have realized if anyone other me does the laundry, they are set free into the unmatched sock box. Maybe that’s how all the socks procreate? I swear there are more socks in there every time I look…..but I digress.

Once I impose my will upon the modesty pad and shove that sucker back into the bra cup, I have to deal with more. Nipple Ripple is a thing, For real. I will not show up at the gym with my sports bra all awry. Not that I care what I look like – it’s the gym – but holy crap, four miles on the treadmill and some weight lifting later, those creases, folds, wrinkles, whatever you want to call them – start to HURT!

I have sources that inform me this issue is not localized to women only in the United States. Sources in Canada and New Zealand confirmed their own horror stories with bra liner modesty pads.  THIS IS AN INTERNATIONAL PROBLEM!

Snarkfest had this to add, “Trying to put them back in requires alcohol (to drink), tweezers, pliers, and more patience than I will ever have.”

If you know of any solutions to this epic problem, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE ALL THINGS WITH MODESTY share your wisdom! I have to go. There are modesty pads being all sorts of immodest over here.

Crying Over A Broken Glass

I cried over a broken glass last night. A simple,  slightly larger than pint sized glass. The graphic on the glass said, “No! You Can’t Have A Sip.”

I bawled as I swept up the shards of glasses from the floor. Each piece made me catch my breathe in the back of my throat. The pin prick cuts I got on my hands from picking up each and every single bit of glass were completely ignored. I cleaned up the floor, tidied the broom and dust pan. Then I went back to washing pots and pans, attempting (and failing) to hide my tears from my family.

A simple broken glass. A silly glass. One of many pint glasses we have. I’ve broken many things over the years but this glass breaking….it felt like a punch in the gut.

My parents recently moved. My family didn’t share much about it as we didn’t want anyone to know the house was unoccupied until it was ready for market. Many trips later, I returned with thousands of photos, some furniture, keepsakes, and these silly glasses. I wanted the glasses more than anything else in the house. When I was a kid I was always asking for a sip of my mom’s drink – water, soda, coffee – whatever. Constantly. I would take a sip and promptly drain the entire cup and leave her with nothing but ice. My mom bought the set of four glasses as a joke when I was grown and married. I always used them at my parents’ house.

And I shattered one of the three surviving glasses. Into a million pieces.

I cried about my parents moving. They are happy and healthy and doing well. The move is a positive thing that they willing embraced and are loving. It’s just change and change is hard. Life looks different when I visit “home” now. I won’t run out of my folk’s driveway, step over the creaky spot in the wood floor, or wrap Christmas presents downstairs while watching movies and chasing my kids away from peeking. Growing up I changed bedrooms once. The furthest I moved until I left for college was across the hall.  It’s weird to mourn a house.

But then again…I’m not mourning a house. I mourning the end of a stage.

And embracing the beginning of a new stage. One where I get to visit my parents and see them having coffee with friends. I get to hear about the outings they go on. And I have the peace of mind knowing they’re in a place that is perfect for them at this stage in their lives.

That glass shattered and I cried a few tears. It’s time to dry them and look forward to the new memories we are creating in their new home.

I can’t wait to visit them again. And tell my mom how I broke her glass. We’ll laugh about it and I’m guessing I’ll ask for a drink of her coffee.

And drink it all.

Laundry Woes

 

It’s amazing how small things can push me over the edge. A few months ago with was the “not” loading of the dishwasher. This month dirty laundry falling next to the laundry bin is making me bat shit crazy.

Here’s the deal. I get that my kids are kids and therefore are inherently unconcerned with the tidiness of life. To make all things easier, I’ve added extra laundry bins throughout the areas of the house where they change clothes. There’s a bin in each of their bedrooms. There are three separate bins in the hall closet directly outside the bathroom (I know, I know…I’m dreaming thinking they’ll sort laundry). There are multiple targets, varying in size, throughout the house for which they may aim.  Yet time and time again they fail to hit that golden target.

You have to understand –  I’m the Laundry Queen. If you wear something Monday by Tuesday miday it’s washed, folded, and ready for you to put away. So if I see that same shirt back in the wash on Tuesday night, I know that 1- not only did you not do your chore of putting away your laundry , but 2 – you BLATANTLY threw clean clothing into the laundry. AND 3 – not even into the  bin but rather on the floor next to the damn bin.

I know I don’t have basketball players. My girls play softball. Softball requires accurate throwing and visualizing your target. Trajectory and force are involved (even if they don’t realize it yet, they’re building a great foundation for math and physics). My oldest girl is a catcher and fires the ball back to the pitcher or to second base – or any base for that matter – with such force and precision it amazes me. I KNOW she can hit a target.

SO WHY CAN’T SHE (OR HER SISTERS) GET THEIR LAUNDRY INTO THE LAUNDRY BIN???? wwwhhhhyyyyyyy?!?!?

Thank goodness they’re not boys aiming for the toilet. 

Is Amazon Prints good for photos? YES it is! Plus $1000 of Amazon Gift Cards to be Won!

Amazon has launched a photo printing service that allows all customers to print their memories.  Prime members can upload images to their Prime Photos account, print the product of their choice, and receive free delivery. If you’re not a Prime member, you’ll receive 5 GB of storage free on Prime Photos and be able to print your favorite photos.  Prints start as low as $0.09.

Products and services available – but not limited to – Photo Printing, Photo Books, Photo Gifts, Printing Pictures, Photo Canvases. I’m ordering a canvas of the really cool picture of our snowboards from below while we were on the lift from spring break.  It’s going on my “My Happy Place” wall with the other snowboard photos!

One more time….with this amazing service there is

  • Free delivery with Prime
  • Prime Photos Benefit – As a benefit of Prime, customers get free unlimited photo storage with Prime Photos.  If you’re not a Prime customer, you can still get 5GB of free storage
  • Low Pricing (Prints starting at $0.09)
  •  All posts tied to current hashtag #AmazonPrints

Check out Amazon Prints here!

Thanks to Amazon for sponsoring this post and providing prizes for the giveaway!

Amazon, Fire and the Amazon Fire TV logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

# AmazonPrints #Sponsored #Ad

 

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TiffinTalk – Talk With Your Kids!

Device Overload. Everywhere you look, people are heads down looking at their phone, iPad, and/or iPod. The art of conversation –  face to face interaction – is becoming less and less prevalent. My children don’t like to talk on the phone, “It’s awkward! I don’t know what to say!” and yet they can text their friends faster with one finger than I can type with two hands. If speaking in person is hard now, how will we tackle the truly hard stuff that is a part of growing up?

Reading people’s faces and learning social cues can’t happen over text. We are creating – we have created – a world where everyone can be self centered constantly by placing their own take and emotions on whatever words appear on their screen. Maybe “Yes,” means Yup! or yesssss or YES! but we don’t know because we aren’t putting our devices down and seeing each other.

Enter Tiffin Talk.

“What’s Tiffin Talk?” you ask. The first thing I thought of when I received our Tiffin Talk boxes was the reading system I used during elementary school. Color coded, ordered folders in a little box. I opened each box (one for each age category of my girls) and dug in. The simplicity of the system is genius. A card. A question or prompt. And something fun on the back. Color coded by week and organized neatly.

I’m so very thankful I’ve had the opportunity to use Tiffin Talk with my girls. At first, my oldest thought it was cheesy. (I’m being completely transparent here.) She rolled her eyes when I asked for her phone, handed it over with a huge sigh, and said, “Okay – let’s do your thing.” It was slightly uncomfortable at first and felt like we were doing homework. But then the magic happened. After day four, she got day five out herself. She read the card in the morning and when we drove to softball that night, she got in the car, turned OFF the radio, and started talking. Willingly. To me. And it was awesome.

 

My middle daughter takes cues from both her older and younger sisters. She forges her own path but is always watching, aware of what’s happening around her. I put her Tiffin Talk card in her lunchbox the first day. She quietly asked if I could just slip it in her planner. She is still finding her way with her lunch crowd and didn’t want to pull it out at lunch time. I understood her needs and anxiety and started tucking the card, with a note, into her backpack each morning. She is my chatty one. She’ll come find me while I’m folding laundry and plop down and listen to whatever music I have playing or watch whatever show I have on in the background. Now…we turn off the television or streaming music and talk. She has always confided in me and this is reinforcing our connection.

 

And my baby. She is all in for this. ALL IN! She makes sure I didn’t forget to put her Tiffin Talk card in her backpack. She loves the facts and tidbits on the back of each card. Even those tidbits have spurred conversation. One card had translations for a few words. I took Norwegian and Russian when I was a kid so I struggle pronouncing French words properly. I asked my husband how to say a French phrase and all three girls were surprised to learn that Daddy took French and Spanish! We had a fun few minutes talking about college and high school with our children.
One of the coolest side effects of using Tiffin Talk is hearing the girls ask each other about their cards – seeing the oldest help the youngest with questions. Having the middle give her unique take on her sister’s cards. And watching them interact, smile, even disagree. They didn’t break down into arguments when they had different opinions, but LISTENED to each other. Not only are we talking more, we are all becoming better listeners.

 

I love one on one time with my children. It’s hard when there are four of them, one of me, and only 24 hours in each day. At first we were conscious and I ‘scheduled’ time to make sure we did this. Now…we are grabbing extra minutes to talk each day. I’m so very thankful.

Check out TiffinTalk today!

You can find them on Facebook and Twitter!

#RealityRocks
This is a sponsored post. I received Tiffin Talk at no charge.

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