Independence Day…

Tomorrow is Independence Day in the US. And many of us will celebrate by eating too much, drinking too much, and blowing stuff up. Very American!

My kiddo is traveling with his friend to the lake where I hope he’ll have a great time. This is our first year sans lakehouse, since my parents sold their place in the winter. It sucks because I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at the lake celebrating the holiday.

Maybe I’ll buy a kiddie pool and just hang out in the sun. I could also jump on the trampoline. And then blow stuff up.

I was chatting with the mom of Rader’s friend this morning and she was giving me all the details of the trip, where they’re gonna be, and that there will be 2 pediatric doctors with them so I don’t have to worry. And I laughed and replied that I’m not a big worrier.

It’s funny, because you would think I would be a worrier, given the fact that child has broken his nose 6 times since he was 18 months old…And because he doesn’t seem to have any real fear. He’ll try just about anything– once.

But I don’t worry. He’s really a good kid. He’s one of the most respectful and smart boys his age and I’m so happy to know that I’ve done my job right. I get constant compliments on him. His manners, his charm, his sincerity. He is kind. (He is smart. He is important.) I don’t have to lecture him to feel like I’m parenting. I don’t have to demand things from him, and rarely do I have to yell at him. El Jefe and I were talking about it the other day, how awesome it is that both of the boys rarely need a lecture. We figure we have to “get on to them” about twice a year. And that’s usually because they slack off on their chores around the house.

Twice a year. heh.

It’s so nice not to have to yell about everything or threaten them. I love a drama-free life.

I have great kids.


It’s obvious I am being rewarded for being even more awesome in another life.

Now…who has a pool and wants to invite Jefe and I over tomorrow? We’ll bring things to blow up! And beer. We’ll definitely bring beer.

Happy 4th! Celebrate your freedoms. Even if you’re a woman, and your freedoms are slowly being taken away from you. Celebrate what you have while you have it!


You Just Broke Your Child. Congratulations.

You Just Broke Your Child. Congratulations..


I’ll write a real post tomorrow talking about my awesome trip. But I read this today, and felt the need to share it. Parenting isn’t easy. It isn’t about controlling or yelling or tearing your child down or making your child feel worthless because he/she disappointed you. And this blog post really applies to every parent on earth. Read it. Apply it to your life.


parenting ain’t easy.

c9579d13b4d68148f452ece83e014311Even when your kid is an adult (legally, that is.)

I’ve always encouraged my kids to find themselves. To find a dream and pursue it and most of all, to find happiness and keep it.

The key to happiness is always going to be from within, so for me, the most important life lesson I can teach them is to be happy. I’ve often said I don’t care how you get there, or when you get there, just get there. I remember as a teen, not knowing what I wanted to be as an adult, and feeling caught between two worlds. The world where I couldn’t disappoint my parents and the world where I couldn’t find my footing for fear of disappointing my parents.

So I did everything in my power to fulfill my parents desires. I went to school. (failed my first year of college, went to another school, graduated summa cum laude) then went back to my original school and did the same. Graduated with honors.

And I was miserable for the next 10 years because I didn’t have focus, or drive, or any idea what I wanted to be now that I was an adult.

I don’t wish that on anyone. Especially my children.

We’re at a crossroads with my oldest. He’s not working, and he needs to be. He is looking–and he’s looking hard. I’ve been helping him for months. He’s a teenager–so he makes stupid decisions sometimes. Didn’t we all? I talk to him every day. I don’t nag him or yell at him because he responds negatively to that and shuts down. He’s just oppositional enough that he will do exactly the opposite of what you want if you bark at him and chastise him. I’ve learned over the years to talk to him like an adult and try to give him the room to make mistakes and learn from them. I’ve supported him financially and emotionally. And I will continue to do so for a little while longer.

I may be making a mistake by parenting him this way, but threats don’t work. They never have! I used to call him a chameleon child. It didn’t matter the punishment you doled out, he adapted to it. We took EVERYTHING out of his room one time–he played with pennies he found in the corner. We offered to pay him for his grades; that wasn’t motivating. We yelled, spanked, tore our hair out…he didn’t change anything. He’s adaptable. He needs to do things himself. So I’m trying so hard to let him.

But damn, I sometimes just want to scream at him. Luckily for both of us, I’m smarter than that. I learned a long time ago that doesn’t work. That I had to adapt my parenting style to accommodate his personality and learning style. (I just wish others could do the same…)

He and I have a great relationship. When we talk, he’s honest as am I. He needs to get his shit together, and he knows it. He’s working on it…on his time. And I’m fighting with everything in my being to allow him to do that, because I remember being that kid. Stuck between childhood and adulthood, wanting to please my parents…wanting to do what was right…and losing myself in the end. But if I allow him to do this himself, he’ll be a better man for it.


Parenting ain’t easy.

feeling swell

First off, thank you for all the wonderful comments about yesterday’s post. Many of us had a nice discussion on Facebook and I also received a couple of private messages that meant the world to me.  We all have stuff that lingers from our past, and we all have different ways to cope. In high school, my coping mechanism was to be happy no matter what in public. I ignored all the ugly remarks about the size of my butt, BUT, they never went away.

“She’s so chunky, you have to eat her with a fork.”

“Chunky, chunky 2 by 4, can’t get through the kitchen door.”

I made myself believe the people who said those things to me were just ‘ribbing’ me. Like they would one of the guys. And so then, I became one of the guys. Because THAT was the safest thing to do. If you’re one of the guys, then you don’t expect to get a boyfriend. You’re not going to, anyway. Boys don’t like curvy girls. So I threw a football better than most dudes, I played all the sports and became better friends with the boys than I did with most of the girls. I also threw myself into every extracurricular activity I could, from Student Senate to Class Officer. I was the most unpopular popular kid in high school.

It’s funny, our perceptions of each other growing up. I felt like nobody knew me, like I was just so-n-so’s sidekick, I was the fat friend with a good personality, the pity date, the third wheel.  So when I went to college, I still had this weird, self-perception.

But now, 30 years later, even though I fight those old feelings, I actually feel pretty fucking swell. I’ve got some amazing friends, a super amazing boyfriend and my kids–I survived high school so I could be the kind of mom I am today. And I wake up happy everyday (even when I don’t want to get out of bed because the sleep won’t leave my face!) It’s nice, this swellness I have on my inside parts.

I think that’s why I get so bent out of shape about bullying these days. And I’m not even talking about mean kids being mean. That sucks and it needs to be stopped. I’m talking about adult bullying kids but calling it ‘parenting.’ If your kid goes through life feeling worthless because you called her a whore for wearing too much makeup to a party or an inappropriate dress or you tell her girls with those size thighs can’t wear those skirts…or girls with no boobs shouldn’t put on boob dresses….then you’re being a bully. You’re not parenting, you’re shaming. My parents are amazing grandparents, but when I had the boys, I made it very clear to them… they were never to feel shame for asking questions or wearing something that looked horrible but they picked it out themselves. They were never to be called names EVER. Because shaming is not good parenting. Luckily, I broke free of that pattern, but a lot of kids grow up to be the same kind of parents… It’s not fair to their kids.

/soap box for the day

Have I shown y’all my summer look? Or what I PLAN to be my summer look?

b565857d7fcc88210771ed351333ced1I’m gonna rock this look all summer long, and sparkle while I’m doing it…

This picture inspired me… :

480900_451243814958361_1530752660_nHow to get a bikini body: PUT A BIKINI ON YOUR BODY. Yeah yeah, that’s actually a 2-piece not a bikini. I’m confident but not THAT confident. LOL

Anyway, y’all do something kind for yourself today. And smile. You know smiling is contagious…right?


So, I’ve been on an eternal quest for a healthier lifestyle…for oh, let’s say, eternity.

In March, I added a new skin care regime, because as I lose weight, it is highly possibly that I’ll get wrinkles. And as a woman of 44 years, who still gets carded on a regular basis, the last thing I need or want is to get wrinkles. At least, not yet.

I’ve been using Meaningful Beauty for 3 full months now, and this is me today, without any makeup on and no filters.

Today: No makeup. Fewer laugh lines and crows feet

Today: No makeup. Fewer laugh lines and crows feet

Not too bad for a 44 year old broad, huh? I was trying to find a good comparison picture. I found 1 that would work, but I have full makeup and glasses on so it was difficult to see the difference around the eyes. However the difference around the mouth is pretty significant.

Now, I purchased this product, so MB isn’t paying me anything to review it. Here’s what I have to say.

Yes, my skin looks fantastic and feels SMOOOOOOVE like a baby’s bottom. I’ve noticed a definite fading of crow’s feet and my laugh lines (which I actually love) are noticeably less prominent. I have no issues going without makeup (even though I need new lashes ASAP. Has anyone seen my eyes? Yeah, me either.)

I’m not a huge fan of the cleansing lotion. It doesn’t foam or bubble up, and I feel like I’m having to use more of it than I should. The kit doesn’t come with a night cream, so I use the day cream at night. That’s a huge disappointment. You have the option to ‘customize’ your kit and can add the night cream that way.

I also do not like the “club” set up, however, I have my automatic delivery for 20 weeks, which I can change at any time if I run low. That’s a nice option. Most “clubs” force your into a 90 Day /12 week automatic delivery.

The price point isn’t bad, especially if you set up your delivery for 4 months or more. I don’t need to use a lot of product, one little dab will do ya… or at least it does me. I’ve decided to keep using the product for at least one more round.

In Eating Cleaner news:

I fired up the grill and loaded it with some awesome locally grown veggies this weekend. Sweet potatoes, asparagus, okra, squash, green beans, tomatoes. I also grilled some pineapple, which was oh so yummy. We ate very well this weekend, let me tell ya.

I walked every day for an hour. Monday was hard because Sunday I had some girlfriends over and we enjoyed muy wine. I’ll have you know, I still did not go over my calories for the day, thankyouverymuch.

In OMG how awesome news, I met Ian’s friend-girl this week. (OMG, she’s adorbs). I’m not sure if they’re going to officially ‘date’ or not, it’s really not my business yet (it won’t be until it’s her birthday or Christmas, and then I’ll need to know if I need to buy her a present or not. Haha) But anyway, we were all hanging out on Wednesday and we were talking about parents and parenting styles etc., and I made a comment that sometimes parents have really high expectations of their kids and no matter what they accomplish, it won’t be enough because they expect more. (this is a concept I don’t understand as a parent, but I understand as a kid of those parents.) I said, “for example, I’ve published two young adult novels with a very prestigious publisher, and sometimes I think my mom still thinks I could do better.” She stopped and looked at me and said, “Wait. You’re Melissa Francis? As in BITE ME AND LOVE SUCKS Melissa Francis?”

Me: Yep.


Me: Happy happy joy joy can’t stop smiling.

And in other O517I1Qi7nnL._SY300_MG Awesome News…I got to see my Stacey Jay this weekend! Have you pre-ordered her latest book yet? WHY NOT?


order it. devour it. review it. and email Stacey and tell her she is made of awesome. (because she totes is).

Find Stacey on Facebook

Stacey on the web

Stacey on Twitter: @stacey_jay

Okay, there’s my weekend recap. It was a great weekend. The boys enjoyed Riverfest. Jefe and I enjoyed each other and the beautiful weather, and I also enjoyed my girl time with some of my besties. Life doesn’t suck.

gobble gobble

Me and the boys are outta here this afternoon.

I’ll be baking pies tonight and a turkey and assorted yummies tomorrow. I can’t wait! I love Thanksgiving. Football, Food, Fun, Friends, and Family. Oh and wine. Lots of wine…

Y’all send El Jefe some good vibes. I’m not sure he’s emotionally ready for the invasion… LOL

Wonder if Rader will help me bake again this year like he has in the past.

save the drama for your momma


Rader is a bit of a drama queen so when he yells and cries, we never know how serious it is. He is the king of “crying wolf” over being hurt. (when he wants attention. When he’s in his own world, he can break his nose and never stop moving. We know this to be true because it has happened…)

So tonight when he started howling and bellowing and hopping around, we were slow to react. But then the howling and bellowing got louder and had a sharp intensity to it that told me “Hm. Maybe this time he did something.”

I run down the stairs where Fishdog is already hovering over Rader yelling “TELL ME WHAT YOU DID. WHAT DID YOU DO! WHERE DOES IT HURT!” So we have Fishdog yelling and Rader bellowing and Ruby bouncing around like it’s the fucking Pug Day Parade and I’m not sure if I need to laugh or cry with Rader.

Apparently he stumped his toe while playing with Ruby. It’s bleeding at the base of his toenail (which is sadly in need of trimming). I’m worried it might be broken because it’s almost doubled in size and Rader is still in pain (it’s been almost an hour). We’ve iced it, propped it up, and he’s taken some Advil. I’ve called the doctor’s office and we have an appt. tomorrow, just in case.

Seriously, it’s gonna suck if his toe is broken. He’s playing AAU Basketball this summer, is trying out for Classic Soccer starting next week, and was supposed to have 2 soccer camps this month. Poor boy is screwed if his big toe is broken.

Here are some pics. If you don’t like feet pictures, look no further. (Maria, this means you.)

have things changed?

In the comments of my last post, Liz said:

I haven’t been to a high school football game since I was in high school. I too miss it, although my memories of the games include sneaking drinks in, chatting, walking off site to smoke, and checking out the 17 year old guys. Have things changed?

In a word? Nope.

But apparently I have.

It’s a bit strange being an adult at a high school function. I haven’t seen so much eye rolling and gum smacking in one place ever! I looked around for a 17 year old guy to make out with, but they were all already occupied in the with their own girlfriends. Darn.

The clicks are still around in full force. The junior high kids go off and nerd it up together. The senior high girls are all wearing too much make up and showing too much skin. Whatever happened to jeans and t-shirts at a football game? When did hoochie “skirts” become the in thing for a football game. Honey, when you sit down, we see your bidniz. K? And when you stumble down the bleachers and fall because you’ve had one too many “Cokes”, well, we can really see your bidniz. Put on a pair of pants. Hell, I’m not picky. Put on some panties! The kids don’t need an anatomy lesson just yet.

The senior high boys are all trying so hard to look nonchalant that they all end up looking constipated.

Pretty much, things haven’t changed at all.

Saturday was busy, busy for us. We got up and went to the park for a family run. Fishdog and Ian ran about 1.5 miles and Rader and I walked and ran a mile. We were getting ready to start our second trip around the track when a yellow jacket decided to attack. It got Rader on the arm, landed on his ear and I knocked it away. We ran toward the van, got about 10 ft. away from the original sting site, and that bitch yellow jacket caught up to Rader, landed on his shoulder blade and stung him again. Bitch had to die! Get my boy twice! Of course, you know how bad those things hurt and Rader did a good job of letting Saline County hear his wailing. After a while, he was okay. I was afraid he was gonna let the drama interfere with his soccer game that afternoon, but he manned up and managed to play a helluva game. The kids lost, but I was proud of the way Rader played.

Now the weekend is over, today we rest, hang out with some friends, and tomorrow we start all over. Soccer, cross-country, confirmation class, CYM Jr., working out…oh, and writing. Yeah. Gotta fit my job into my busy schedule!

preparation h…

In which H stands for HAIRCUTS.

I have been dreading this moment since we decided to move back to Little Rock. We’ve decided the boys will be going to Catholic school and with that decision comes the realization they can’t be my long-haired-hippy-boys any longer.

I put off the hair cuts as long as possible. Today was d-day. I’m still not happy about it….

But here are my boys. Cute as they can possibly be…just missing a lot of hair. (ps: Rader does NOT have a bowl cut…he just refuses to do anything with it…so there ya go.)


Is he a goofball or what?