The Junk Drawer

Not actually junk (hopefully). Just stuff I don't know where else to put.

10 True Things About Being a Mom Your Nice Friends Won't Tell You. 
I love being a mom. I really, really do. But there are some things about it no one is going to tell you at your baby shower. My thanks to for letting me vent about a few realities of mom life that are never going to make it onto a Hallmark card.

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With Apologies to My First-Born: 5 Things I Feel Really Badly About
Dear Daughter #1,
I'm sorry. I'm sure you have noticed that your father and I do not really know what we’re doing. That we figure everything out on you, our lovely, gracious guinea pig.
You see, you are our learner child. We’re feeling our way along, using you as our test case. We make our biggest mistakes with you and on you and then have some idea how to get things right with your younger sister.
I'm particularly sorry for…
1. Being so mean to you about potty training. I’m sorry I yelled. (A recurring theme…see #2, below. Also #3.) There’s no excuse for it. But I will say that your grandmother was breathing down my neck, repeating her story to me of how “when we trained you, we just took you into the bathroom on a Sunday afternoon, waited until you did something, got all excited about it, gave you some M&Ms, and that was the end of it.” Honestly, I just cracked under the pressure. I should have introduced the idea of potty training to you, given you the necessary tools, and then backed off and left you alone to do what you did: got ready when you were ready, announced your intentions to your father and me, and never looked back.
2. Yelling about that lost Dora the Explorer miniature doll that went with the swimming pool. And for yelling about all the other lost stuff. And for yelling too much in general.  And yes, I am painfully aware that on my current mom report card, this is an area that “still needs improvement.”
3. Making you cry when you were learning to count past ten. I know: I should have quit hammering at you about “twenty-nine, twenty-ten.” You would have figured it out sooner or later. Probably sooner. Probably ten minutes after I quit yelling at you about it. 
4. Thinking that every decision we had to make about your life was an all-right or all-wrong deal. It started with the big question of whether to send you to kindergarten when you had just turned five or wait a year. We were so sure one choice would make you the smartest, happiest kid on the planet, and the other would RUIN YOUR LIFE. It only took us 10 years to realize we just needed to do what seemed most right at the time and make the best of it. We absolutely, positively promise to remember this now that you’re starting to think about college. Absolutely. Promise.
5. Letting you sign up for three killer core classes, plus a killer “modified” class, plus band, plus five dance classes a week in the same semester. We forgot you had other things to do. Like eat and sleep. You’re just so capable and organized that we figured, “How hard can it be for her?” Too hard, as it turned out. We’re sorry—but we’re also incredibly proud of how well you did.
Thank you  for being gracious and patient with us while we’ve figured all this out. If it’s any consolation, we’ve allotted double the funds for your future therapy as we have for your sister.
And there is no mistake about this: we adore you, and we’re crazy about you.
P.S. I promise to keep working on that yelling thing.

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My undying gratitude to Jennifer Carson over at Mommy Tries for very kindly putting up this particular list. For one of Jennifer's own spot-on, LOL lists, check out her "100 Things I've Learned in 40 Years." Love it.

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3 Things I Want to Say to Moms More Often--and a Couple Things I Wish I Could Take Back
So grateful to For Every Mom for putting this up. And by the way, mama, you're doing a great job!
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Things I'm Not Crazy About That Most People Love: An Ongoing List

1. Summer. I love fall and winter. It's all about the cozy. And the tantalizing prospect of getting snowed in and having an excuse to stay home. (See "Why I Love Winter.")

2. Parties. I'm the most introverted introvert you'll ever meet.

3. Cilantro. Too bad I learned this was on the list after I'd made--and summarily dumped down the sink--an entire batch of heirloom tomato soup with cilantro in it. (Mom, I know. But remember that I lived alone back then. There was no one to give it to.)

4. Adult coloring books. These seemed to pop up everywhere around Christmastime 2015. Are they supposed to be relaxing? Is that the draw? Because I 100% do not "get" these. Feel free to enlighten me if you do.

5. Quinoa. I know I should love this. I know I should be thrilled it's in EVERYTHING these days. But I don't, so I'm not. Someone pass me the dark chocolate.

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Q&A with GCM

I'm so honored that Kristen over at Mustache and Princess Mom very kindly tagged me for "10 Things You Didn't Know About Me." Kristen, here are my answers to your questions...thanks for being such a sweet encourager!

1. How many siblings do you have?

Two: one younger brother and one younger sister. And the three of us are like poster children for birth order.
2. How did you meet your significant other?
I picked him up in church! On the off-chance you want the rest of the story, you can find it here.
3. What is your favorite season of the year?
Fall. Followed closely by winter.
4. Would you rather eat your favorite food every day for the rest of your life or drink your favorite drink? 
Oh, girl, I love to eat. Give me my favorite food, and I'm good to wash it down with a glass of water.
5. Do you like salty food or sweet food?
Sweet, sweet, sweet! But I am not at all opposed to French fries or salt-and-vinegar potato chips, mind you.
6. What different countries have you traveled to?
Germany, Italy, Jamaica, and Canada.
7. What book are you currently reading?
I "read" via CD book while I'm in my office, a.k.a, the kitchen. So I'm currently "reading" Delicious by Ruth Reichl. Love it. 
8. What did you want to be when you grew up?
A journalist? I guess. But now that I own an old house, I know I should have wanted to be a plumber.
9. What is your favorite movie?
Sense and Sensibility.
10. Heels or Flats?
Flats. More to the point: slippers.

Kristen also sweetly nominated me for a Sisterhood of the World Bloggers award. This award is passed from blogger to blogger as a way of meeting and supporting each other. Because it's always nice to have a blog fan other than your mom. Who loves everything you've ever written. (Thanks for that, by the way, Mom!)

Kristen, I'm working on my list of other mom bloggers to nominate (and, hopefully, encourage). In the meantime, here's my list of answers to your questions...

1. Did you have an imaginary friend growing up and who where they? 
I didn't have one growing up, but I did (somewhat embarrassingly) have 3 in college. I was a total GPA-worshiping freak, so I guess my made-up friends were a coping mechanism. Anyway, their names were Archie, Chuck, and Freida. (I cannot believe I am admitting this.) They "lived" under the bolster of my dorm-room bed and spent their days bowling and eating hot dogs. I don't know. See "coping mechanism," above.
2. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?
Chocolate, baby! See "Guilty Chocoholic Mama." :) Provides flavonoids and other heart-healthy compounds; increases emotional stability; comes from beans and is, therefore, a vegetable.
3. What is your favorite part of the day?
I'm a big fan of bedtime.
4. What is the best part about being a mom?
Having the incredible opportunity to shape eternal souls. The responsibility of that also freaks me out, but I do love and cherish this aspect of motherhood.
5. What kids movie do you love but would never tell anyone?
I wouldn't call it a kids' movie, specifically, and I don't mind telling everyone, but I loved the "new" (2015) "Cinderella." Particularly because of the gorgeous musical soundtrack.
6. How long have you been blogging?
Seriously for about 4 months. Made a stab at it longer ago than that but basically gave it up until April 2015.
7. What is your favorite type of wine or beer?
I'm a Diet Coke girl myself.
8. Who is your role model?
Among women and mothers, I admire and am challenged by pretty much everything Elisabeth Elliot ever wrote or said.
9. If you could change one parenting mistake that you made what would it be?
I should have yelled less. See "With Apologies to My First-Born: 5 Things I Feel Really Badly About" (up on this very page!).
10. What would you change about the world to make it a better place?
I believe faith in God changes everything. 


  1. Sweet Lydia, Can I add my apologies . Did I mention I took you para-sailing?????

    1. Mama. You DO NOT need to apologize. When you are the daughter of a blogger, you just have to accept that you may become the occasional victim of some literary license. I was mean about the potty-training because I was even more of a wacko mom then than I am now! You are wonderful. And the parasailing, truly, was above-and-beyond! ;)

  2. This is absolutely beautiful! I have often written little list like this and is one of the reasons I have started a blog!! Hope you have been having a great weekend!

    1. Aw, thanks so much, Kristen! I have your sweet blog open on another tab right this minute! Welcome to the mom blog world! I am pretty new here myself and am feeling my way along, but I am delighted to meet you. Blessings to you...thanks for taking time to stop by and to comment!

  3. I LOVE that you had 3 imaginary friends in college!!! I knew your answer would be chocolate for what you could eat everyday. Thanks for accepting your award!

    1. Thanks, Kristen! And I'm glad I didn't let you down on my everyday food choice; I do have a blog name to uphold here. ;) As for my imaginary friends, if I'd had audio options, I could have also have demonstrated the special voice I used when talking about them. Yeah, I was a little over the edge. And frankly, I'm still not all that far from it! Thanks again for all your support and encouragement!

  4. I think that is absolutely amazing that you "read" while in the kitchen. I have learned that audiobooks are my new best friend because I don't have time to actually open a book even though I'd love to. Thank you so much for answering my questions! I love getting to know another mommy blogger!

    1. Thanks again for asking the questions, Kristen! Let me know if you come across any fabulous audio books I need to add to my "reading" list! :)


I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me what you really think. Years ago, I explained to my then-two-year-old that my appointment with a counselor was "sort of like going to a doctor who will help me be a better mommy." Without blinking, she replied, "You'd better go every day." All of which is just to say I've spent some time in the school of brutal honesty!