Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Top 10 Wines With Cool Names

Over the weekend Mr. Roller Coaster and I attended a birthday gathering for a friend down the street.  I was in a rotten mood and didn't really feel like throwing together a dish for the pot luck, putting on makeup, and being social with the other guests that I didn't know very well.  In all honesty, I had every intention of using my daughter's post-immunization body aches as an excuse to bow out early. 

And then the host offered me a glass of Mad Housewife chardonnay. 

I stayed at the party for 3 hours and had a wonderful time.  All it took was a silly label on a wine bottle to change my mood and laugh at myself and my own Mad Housewife tendencies.

The next day I started wondering what other crazy named wines are out there.  The wines I drink have pretty boring names.  But after doing a little research I realized I could be having a glass of Frog's Piss or Ass Kisser or The Squid's Fist or Piss a Lot.  How cool would I be if I offered guests a glass of K Syrah or Zin Your Face or Passion Has Red Lips?

So raise your glass to today's top 10 list.  I don't think it even matters how they taste.  I would buy these just for their labels.  Here are my...

Top 10 Wines With Cool Names

10) Fat Bastard

(Because offensive names are so fun)

9)  Royal Bitch

(Because we all have some inner bitch waiting to be uncorked.)

8)  Elephant on a Tightrope

(Because life is a balancing act.  And sometimes you do feel like an elephant on a tightrope.)

7)  Broke Ass Wine

(Because cheap wine is better than no wine at all.)

6)  Naked on Roller Skates

(Because our inner bitch is hanging out with our outrageous and daring side.  But the latter is way more fun.)

5)  Oops

(Because life is a series of Oops.  Why not celebrate them?)

4)  Mommy's Time Out

(Because, well, if you're a mom, you know what I mean.)

3)  Freudian Sip (from Therapy Vineyards...they also make Pink Freud and Freud's Ego and Super Ego!)

(Because the psychologist in me thinks Sigmund Freud is positively fascinating.)

2)  Old Fart (and Old Fart's Wife)

(Because one day Mr. Roller Coaster will be an Old Fart and I will be Old Fart's Wife.  Side note: Probably best not to mix Old Fart and Naked on Roller Skates.  Can't imagine that would be a very pretty sight.)

1)  Mad Housewife


(Because it's impossible to be a mad housewife after a couple glasses of Mad Housewife.  Thanks for introducing me to the silly side of wine girlfriend.)

What are you favorite wines?  Would you buy and/or serve a wine just because of the comedic value of its name?


Monday, September 26, 2011

To Whom It May Concern

Dear Weekend,
Where did you go?  How did you pass me by with nothing but errands and housework?  I wasn't ready for you to end, leaving me in the hands of a Monday morning.  Please come back soon.
Your Biggest Fan

Dear Mother Nature,
Could you please share some sunshine?  This nonstop rain is getting old.  And making my puppy crazy.  And tracking mud in my house.  And canceling baseball games.  And working our Wii overtime.  And attracting mosquitoes.  And ruining my shoes.  Bring back the sun!
A Waterlogged Sunshine Seeker

Dear Fill-In-The-Blank Military Health Clinic,
Two hours for a 4-year-old checkup?  Really?!  10 minutes with the nurse, 10 minutes with the doc, 10 minutes in immunizations.  Hmmm, that doesn't add up to 2 hours on my calculator.  Is this your way of punishing working parents for booking Saturday appointments?  And you wonder why my child was uncooperative when you jammed her legs with needles.  Two hours in a health care facility and I'm not so cooperative either.

A Dissatisfied Customer

Dear Chicken Pox,
You exposed yourself to both of my children in the last week.  Please stay away.  And please tell parents not to bring their children to the Y when you have infected them.  You need to contain yourself.  I don't need an outbreak in my home or my classroom.

A Germophobe Mother and Teacher

Dear Mr. Roller Coaster,
Thank you for doing the 5 AM puppy wake up calls all weekend so I could sleep in 2 days in a row.  And thank you for staying home with the kids so I could go for a 6 mile run and then go shopping by myself.  And thank you for completing a home improvement project that looks amazing.  And thank you for the Mad Housewife chardonnay that helped me to not be a mad housewife after a rough day.  I needed a good laugh.

Love you,

PS--But please don't break any more plates at 6:30 in the morning.  Remember, I'm in the hands of a Monday morning.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Feel So Loved!

Last weekend Mr. Roller Coaster and I went on a road trip.  I was the matron of honor in my best friend's wedding, a friend I've known since I was 9 years old.  The weekend was amazing!  Emotional, busy, and slightly stressful, but overall beautiful, fun, and filled with love and happiness.  It was such a crazy weekend that it's taken me all this week to recover.
It has also taken me this entire week to catch up on my emails.  And I was so excited to see 2 particular emails letting me know I'd been chosen for 2 really cool awards.

Top Military Family Blogs
VeteransBenefitsGIBill.com named me one of their top 100 military family blogs of 2011.
Best Blog Badge
OnlineNursingClasses.net ranked me in the top 5 of their top 50 military blogs. 
Thank you so much!  I'm honored to be included in such great company.  I feel so loved!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Empire State of Mind

We've all had New York on our minds lately with the anniversary of 9/11.  In the last week, I've heard this song at least a dozen songs, and I can't seem to get it out of my head.  And no offense to Jay Z, but Alicia Keys' solo version is so much better than all that rapping.

{Linking up with Goodnight Moon's What's YOUR Song? Link-up}


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Top 10 List of Books About Deployment for Military Families

The other day a friend of mine emailed to ask for deployment advice.  It wasn't the first time her husband deployed, but it was the first time her young child started expressing his stress through anger and behavior changes.  My kids never acted out their deployment stress, maybe because my daughter was too young to understand and my son is an emotional hoarder.  My son bottles everything up, and it's difficult to know what he's feeling or thinking.  He's an internalizer, very cerebral, and you almost have to trick him into talking.  But like me, one way to get his mouth moving is through the written word.

When my husband was gearing up for his 2nd deployment, I felt I needed a strategy to explain to my children why our life was about to change.  And even though I had been through a deployment before, I never felt I coped with that first one very well so I decided I needed a strategy for myself as well.  I needed books.  Lots of them.  So I hit up Amazon and the library, and for the next year I read as many deployment-related books as I could, both for children and adults. 

I have definite preferences when it comes to books so this list may not appeal to everyone.  I love reality-based fiction.  I love honest memoirs I can relate to.  I love conversation starters.  I love stories that teach my children hidden messages.  I love humor.  I have no desire to read what I call "instructional" books for mil spouses so you'll find none of those on this list.  (I've been a mil spouse for nearly a decade.  If I don't know it by now, I either never will or it's not worth knowing.)  But if that's what you're looking for, there are some goods ones out there from what I hear. 

Out of all the books I've read, it was extremely difficult to choose just 10 so I'm also including a list of honorable mentions.  (Honorable mentions include books that aren't specifically about deployments but military family life in general.)  Here are my...

Top 10 List of Books About Deployment for Military Families

10)  The Wishing Tree by Mary Redman
A children's picture book about a little girl who wants to find a way to support her father while he is deployed.  She decides to make a wishing tree by writing her hopes and prayers on yellow ribbons that she ties onto the tree branches.  A cute story and a great idea to do with kids.

9)  Military Life: Stories and Poems for Children by Various Authors

This is a lovely collection of stories and poems for military brats.   Not all of the entries are about deployment.  The book covers military life in general so it's pretty versatile. 

8)  You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon

This is a collection of beautifully written short stories (yes, this means it's fiction) about Army families living at Fort Hood. I read this book in 2 days and was so sad when I was finished because I didn't want it to end.  The only reason this book isn't closer to my #1 is because I wasn't crazy about one of the stories that was about a mil spouse who was cheating on her husband during deployment.  But despite the fact that I don't want the general public to think that all mil spouses cheat on their husbands, I'm well aware that it does happen and therefore fair game to be openly discussed.  The book also sparked an interesting conversation with a mil spouse friend of mine.  She didn't like it.  I did.  But it sure was fun discussing it.

7)   Night Catch by Brenda Ehrmantraut
Another children's picture book.  This one is about staying connected during a parent's deployment.  I've read this to my own kids countless times, and they love it. 

6)  Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington

This is a novel about a teenage girl coping with her father's deployment.  I loved this book.  But make sure you have a box of tissues close at hand.  (Click here to read my review of Alice Bliss.)

This book simply fascinated me.  It's the story of a military base that housed military spouses and their families while their husbands fought in Vietnam.  The author is a military brat who lived at Schilling Manor while she waited for her father to return from Vietnam.  It's so interesting to compare and contrast the waiting wives of the 60's to our current lives on the home front.

Young children have such a difficult time expressing their thoughts and feelings about deployments.  This book includes coloring sheets, art projects, fun activities, and wonderful tips that kids can understand.  It's even broken into 4 sections: Getting ready for deployment, Deployment, Getting Ready for Reunion, and Reunion.  What a great way to get kids communicating!

Honest and incredibly well-written.  Not much more needs to be said.  A must-read for mil spouses.  (And by the way, the author is also one of the contributing writers for #9 on this list.)

2)  I Love a Man in Uniform: A Memoir of Love, War, and Other Battles by Lily Burana

Another honest, well-written book that speaks for itself. 

1)  Confessions of a Military Wife by Mollie Gross
This book does for mil spouses what The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy does for moms-to-be.  Sometimes we just need some comic relief.   I smiled, I nodded in agreement, I blushed, I laughed out loud.  Mollie Gross is hilarious.

Honorable Mentions:

For Adults:

For Children:

So chime in mil spouse friends!!!  Have you read any of these books?  Love 'em or hate 'em?  What books top your list?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11: A Day That Will Never Be Forgotten

Today is the 10th anniversary of the attacks on 9/11. 

Head over to the Homefront United Network to read my remembrance post.

Where were you on that tragic day?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Back To School, Adam Sandler Style

The 2011-2012 school year kicked off this week.  And while I was more than ready to send my children back to school, I wasn't quite ready to go back to work.  Lesson plans, alarm clocks, curriculum meetings.  My summer of leisure is officially over.

But as I'm sure you all know, I'm all about finding the humor.   I heard this song on the radio on the way to work yesterday, and it replayed in my head as I packed my kids' lunch boxes last night.  I thought back to my own elementary school days when I only bought a lunch when pizza was on the menu, which seems to be a quirk I've passed on to my son.  I'm pretty sure my old lunch lady looked just like Chris Farley.

{{{Linking up with Goodnight Moon's What's YOUR Song? Link-Up.}}}

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Top 10 Running T-Shirt Slogans

Over the weekend I ran a half marathon.  13.1 miles.  Even though it was my 3rd half, I still suffered from pre-race jitters.  And even though I didn't run my personal best time, I still considered it a huge accomplishment when I finished.  It was my first big race since I pulled my hamstring 2 years ago so completing the race injury-free after a summer of training was my top priority.  My 2nd priority was having fun.

I love competing and I love pushing my body to its physical limits, but I also love running big races like this because I'm a people watcher.  Runners tend to lean toward the loony side of the sanity spectrum, and half marathons tend to attract some real characters.  I saw women wearing tutus.  I saw men wearing gas masks.  I saw a runner smoking a cigarette 15 minutes before start time.  I saw a male spectator wearing nothing but a wig and a Speedo.  Sometimes I need people like this to distract me from the pain.

Another part of racing I love?  The t-shirts.  Some people wear shirts boasting the current or previous races.  Some people wear homemade shirts as they run in remembrance of a loved one.  And some people don shirts with slogans.  Whether the sayings are motivational or humorous, their entertainment value is priceless.  I think I spent as much time reading the backs of people's shirts as I did looking at my Garmin GPS watch to check my pace.  So thank you to all those runners who wore slogan t-shirts...you helped keep my mind off of my screaming muscles and reminded me of the fun side of racing.
And here are my...
Top 10 Running T-Shirt Slogans

10)  If found on ground, please drag across finish line.

9)  I know I run like a girl.  Try to keep up.

8)  Will run for wine.

7)  If you see me collapse, pause my Garmin.

6)  One Bad Mother Runner

5)  13.1 miles -- 'Cause I am only HALF crazy.

4)  Does this shirt make my butt look fast?

3)  I'm not slow.  I'm just getting my money's worth from my entry fee.

2)  I'm only doing this so I can post a picture on Facebook.

1)  Some girls chase boys.  I pass 'em.

What are some of your favorite sayings about exercise (motivational, humorous, or otherwise)?

Friday, September 2, 2011

I'm Up For a Parents Magazine Best Blog Award!

I was so excited to get an email from Parents magazine letting me know that I'm up for their Best All-Around Mom Blog Award! 
I love Parents magazine.  I've had a subscription for 7 years now, and I was actually in their "It Worked For Me" section once (my first time seeing my name in print!).  So I'm honored to be nominated for one of their blog awards. 
If you have a minute, I'd love it if you could click  HERE and vote for me.  I think you have to create an account but it's pretty painless.  Thank you so much!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Let's Get It Started

I've been training all summer for a half marathon.  And it suddenly occurred to me that the big day is coming up this weekend.  This is my 3rd half marathon so I know what to expect, but I'm still fighting some nerves that creep up whenever I think about race day.  During the training for my last half, I was so focused on beating my previous time that I ended up pulling my hamstring 3 weeks before the race because I wasn't listening to my body.  So this time, I'm trying not to think about finish times.  My focus is on staying injury-free and having fun.

Music is a huge part of my ability to run.  I have no idea how people can run for 2 hours without a good beat and motivating lyrics.  I'd get lost in my own head without my iPod.  And that's not a good thing.  Music helps distract me from the painful insanity of running 13.1 miles.

So my song choice for this week's edition of Goodnight Moon's What's YOUR Song? Link-Up is "Let's Get It Started" by the Black Eyed Peas.  This song has been the first song on my running playlist for as long as I can remember.  I can't imagine kicking off a race without it!

What kinds of songs are on your exercise playlist?

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