Tag Archives: Men I Love

Into the fall

Man, have I mentioned this before?

Hate Autumn

All that happens in fall is white girls squee at their adorbs new trench and they just can’t even over this never ending pumpkin. There are jackets to be worn and blisters to be sprouted from the boots we have to be having but apparently these days we call them booties and we wear them with our ankle pants.

Are those really a thing?

"Ankle" pants

Ankle pants. For real, that’s what they are called. Ankle pants.

These pants claim to be worth $110. And they are also called ankle pants.

Versus the pants that don’t go to your ankles. I assume they are called ankle pants as if to say, hey look, there are my ankles.

My mother had a word for those.

Floods.

$110 for floods. Probably double for those hooker shoes there.

I digress. Do you SEE what fall does to me??

Desperate to hold on to summer, Jim and I planned a weekend getaway for his birthday. Then some fool set fire to an FAA facility and grounded half the flights in the nation.

sadface

sadface

So we did this instead.

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If that’s not clear, we had a bunch of booze, posed outside ugly sculptures, and sucked in our guts while we gleefully smiled in front of a fancy boat.

See that?

Summer.

It held on for the celebration of Jim.

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Thank you summer!

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Fall may begin.

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Good Lordy…

Ah, I remember it like it were yesterday.

The lady who lived across the street and a few houses down was turning 40. FORTY! I thought, how is she not dead? She was turning 40, and her husband got up early and erected a big old sign in the front lawn.

“Good Lordy, Whats-her-name is 40!”

(I can’t remember what her first name was, I am certain he used it though, and did not call her Whats-her-name.)

I heard my Mom and the biddies some of the other upstanding adult women from the neighborhood gossiping engaging in intelligent conversation based only on facts and not conjecture about the big four-oh for Whats-her-name, and it appeared that her gift back to him for his surprise was a nice packet of divorce papers.

Forty-year-olds, I thought, are weird.

Huh.

I really wondered if I would not handle 40 well. Would I curl up in the corner denying the age process? Would I do something stupid to prove I’m still young (I mean, I am — go ask a group of Baby Boomers if they think 40 is old) like jump out of a high place with only a hand-sewn piece of rayon to keep me from splattering to earth? Would I storm into Forever 21 demanding service?

As it turns out, though, I’m not even a little bit annoyed. I’m so unbothered to be 40, the only thing bothering me is why I’m not more bothered. I think, maybe, it’s helpful to be the youngest of five. When everyone goes through it first, including one of them hitting the big FIVE-oh before you even get to FOUR-oh…

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…well, then maybe you just aren’t as annoyed or scared or desperate to divorce your husband at 40 like old Mrs. Whats-her-name was.

I did wake up with a sore hip.

But rather than LAMENT the passing of time, I decided to take a look back at the last decade. Did I spend my time wisely in my 30’s? Was I properly mature and responsible while still being fun and full of awesome (I think we all know it’s a resounding YES to the awesome part, but that’s just a given). Did I properly leave my 30’s as a graduated member of the Generation X Dirty-30 Club, as well as an honored and respectable alumna of Volvo-Driving Soccer Mom University (those might actually be the same thing).

In pictures, I think, it looks like I had a good time.

Let’s take a look!

Age 30 ~ I couldn't find any digital photos, so at a minimum, I really AM showing my age. Here I am with a sweet two year old Hank.

Age 30 ~ I couldn’t find any digital photos, so at a minimum, I really AM showing my age. Here I am with a sweet two-year-old Hank.

Age 31 ~ Fulfilled Mom and Dad's dream by finding some fool to marry me and take me and my kid off their hands. They actually would have preferred if I left Hank behind, but as it turns out, he was Jim's dowry.

Age 31 ~ Fulfilled Mom and Dad’s dream by finding some fool to marry me and take me and my kid off their hands. They actually would have preferred if I left Hank behind, but as it turns out, he was Jim’s dowry.

Age 32 ~ I spent most of this year with a baby either in my uterus or attached to a bosom or hip. How cute is George? And how enormous are my jugs?

Age 32 ~ I spent most of this year with a baby either in my uterus or attached to a bosom or hip.

How cute is George?

How cute is George?

And how enormous are my jugs?

And how enormous are my jugs?

Age 33 ~ I looked sexy in yellow.

Age 33 ~ I looked sexy in yellow.

And I inappropriately sat on Jesus' lap.

And I inappropriately sat on Jesus’ lap.

Age 34 ~ I continued the family tradition of getting your father drunk.

Age 34 ~ I continued the family tradition of getting your father drunk, and looking uncomfortable at the fair, and making sure to suck in when you stand next to a pregnant woman for a photo so you look extra skinny!!.

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Age 35 ~ 8th Grade reunion? Yes please! It's weird that I'm the only one in the photo holding a beer, right?

Age 35 ~ 8th Grade reunion? Yes please! It’s weird that I’m the only one in the photo proudly holding my beer, right?

And of course, we took this sweet shot with Brendan. Big dumb loveable jerk.

And of course, we took this sweet shot with Brendan. Big dumb loveable jerk.

Age 36 ~ Kayla and I got dressed all sassy and took photos and went out boozing. It was just like the decade before, only we came home at a reasonable hour because it's only wise to get a good night's sleep.

Age 36 ~ Kayla and I got dressed all sassy and took photos and went out boozing. It was just like the decade before, only we came home at a reasonable hour because it’s only wise to get a good night’s sleep.

Age 37 ~ The ladies of the Chick Shack visit the big cracked bell. Like you don't want to party with us. After George graduated I made him get a job, then I relived my younger days by driving to Kansas City on a whim for a ball game with Kayla. Where we again got a decent night's sleep so we would be refreshed for driving home the next day...

Age 37 ~ The ladies of the Chick Shack visit the big cracked bell. Like you don’t want to party with us. After George graduated I made him get a job, then I relived my younger days by driving to Kansas City on a whim for a ball game with Kayla. Where we again got a decent night’s sleep so we would be refreshed for driving home the next day…

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Age 38 ~ If there is one year where pictures show my endless battle with my weight, it's age 38. First I ran and drank.

Age 38 ~ If there is one year where pictures show my endless battle with my weight, it’s age 38. First I ran and drank.

Then I took more photos with this fatty.

Then I took more photos with this fatty.

Then we ruled the field at unafflilliated minor league ball park.

Then we ruled the field at unaffiliated minor league ball park.

And I mud raced! (this left quite an ass bruise)

And I mud raced!
(this left quite an ass bruise)

And I turned into the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, but at least I finally got to see Ireland!

And I turned into the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, but at least I finally got to see Ireland!

Age 39 ~ Determined to get my body back in a shape other than round. First I ran another 13.1 miles without even being chased.

Age 39 ~ Determined to get my body back in a shape other than round. First I ran another 13.1 miles without even being chased.

The I held hands with the KGB.

Then I held hands with the KGB.

Models became my besties for a brief moment in time.

Models became my besties for a brief moment in time.

I died.

I died.

I conquered!

I conquered!

So as you can see, I think I took advantage of all the things there are for a woman in her 30’s to take advantage of. I reproduced. I suckered a man into marriage fell in love. I got fat. I got less fat. I went places. I met new people. I exercised. I saw historical artifacts! I made Kayla take photos with me TWICE while pregnant so I looked skinny. I had just a few drinks.

And I managed this:

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Granted, this might be more meaningful at 46 or 51, but I was excited, yo. Because Fatty Marney didn’t fit in that a year ago.

So how did 40 start?

Eating breakfast take-out while checking out my new John Denver Greatest Hits album while wearing my Mrs. Kenny readers.

Eating breakfast take-out while checking out my new John Denver Greatest Hits album while wearing my Mrs. Kenny readers.

How. Hot. Am. I?

Looking forward to the next 40! Who wants to party with me?

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UB40, Jimmy, UB40

That’s right. He be 40.

Y’all, I am married to an OLD MAN!

You know how every once in a while, you start a story with “20 years ago…” Well, when Jim does that,  HE’S TALKING ABOUT HIS 20’s!!!!!!!!!!!

ahhh

I couldn’t come up with any new or crafty 40-year-old sayings.

Over the hill? Lame.

Good Lordy, Jim’s 40? That just reminds me of the couple down the street growing up, and he put a giant sign reading that in the yard, expecting to surprise her with the best birthday ever, and she handed him divorce papers. No.

Life begins at 40? Okay, thanks for spitting on our past time together, sorry it wasn’t really “living.”

The 40-Year-Old Virgin? Dude. No. We have kids. Don’t mean to spoil the illusion, but we totally have done it.

See what I mean?

Now, y’all know I have been known, once or twice, to poke a little fun at the man. The reason I do it is because he is a good sport. He poses for pictures knowing I am going to share them here or with SOme other online location. He does it, because he’s awesome.

Let’s take a look:

Young awesome Jim

Young awesome Jim

I love 'Merica Jim

I love ‘Merica Jim

Fashion forward Jim

Fashion forward Jim

Fatherly, teach the boys how to use this iPhone so they stop bothering us with all their talking Jim

Fatherly, teach the boys how to use this iPhone so they stop bothering us with all their talking Jim

Athletic Jim

Athletic Jim

Musical Jim

Musical Jim

I believe I can fly Jim

I believe I can fly Jim

Pink eye Jim

Pink eye Jim

White Sox fan Jim

White Sox fan Jim

Dark Side Jim

Dark Side Jim

Susie Homemaker Jim

Susie Homemaker Jim

Check out my hose Jim

Check out my hose Jim

Blackhawks win the Cup Jim (and Lucky Banana)

Blackhawks win the Cup Jim (and Lucky Banana)

40 year old Jim

40-year-old Jim

See? What’s not to love, yo?

But in the interest of embarrassing my husband further, can I just say, I’m the luckiest damn girl alive.

This man. This man who puts up with my endless arguing. This man who has never once even considered using the word “stepson.” This man who works his ass off to give us what we need. This man who spoils us because he likes to. This man who puts others first. This man who tells me he loves me every day.

This man chose me.

To quote Jimmy, “Suck it, Bitches.”

He’s 40. He’s pretty awesome. And he’s mine.

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Happy Birthday, Pookie Bear. Here’s to 40 more, and then some!

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Boo!

So it seems that the more things change…

The more they stay the same.

Happy Halloween everyone!

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August 17…

No one becomes a grandfather, without first being a little boy.

Then and now…

Happy Birthday to my Daddy!

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Everyone a purpose

I was wondering if it was a little too soon for me to post about a really sad thing that happened just a few days ago. But it occurred to me that maybe the best way to write about something tragic is from a time close to it, where you feel it the most, so you remember with the most clarity.

This past week, we lost a friend. Our friend Brendan went home to heaven. And when I say our friend Brendan, I mean OUR FRIEND. As in, if you ever met him, he was your friend. And if you never met him, trust me, he was your friend.

Brendan was just 46, which I think we all know seems just way too soon to leave this earth. And in case it wasn’t clear how many people are crushed by his passing, just a moment on his facepage is all you need. To say that the comments of “miss you” and  “gone too soon” are from far and wide is an understatement. We’re talking hundreds of people from all corners of the earth, and these are just the ones who posted on his page. The memories are outstanding. The recollections uniquely descriptive.

That is what Brendan did. The impact he had on your life, no matter how big or small, stuck in your brain, so that when you started a story with “remember that time that Brendan…” the story was crystal clear.

For all the hundreds (and maybe thousands) of times that we visited the fabulous Pheasant Inn restaurant in exotic Briggsville, Wisconsin, you’d think those dinners would run together. But the night we ran into Brendan and his family while waiting in the bar is clear in my mind as if it was last week, even though it was more than a decade ago.

For all the nights we all stayed up and played cards or euchre or some random game involving poker chips and cash, the night Brendan taught us a new game and insisted on throwing in an extra dollar here or there so we could keep going is a crystal clear memory.

For all the campfires we had as a kid, I specifically remember a time when Brendan got into (more than a usual amount) of trouble and pouted like you would.not.beleive.

When Brendan met my husband for the first time, his natural inclination was to dunk the hell out of him.

Even the last time I saw Brendan, just a few weeks ago up at the lake, I remember that brief interaction from start to finish, him sauntering across the back of the lake, shaking hands like he was the Mayor of Summer. “There’s Brendan,” said my cousin, as he came over, talked about the family, said he’d just come up for the day and was getting ready to head back.

And when I told my 10-year-old son that we had lost Brendan, he remembered him as “Joe’s brother who once tossed me around the back of the lake.”

For whatever reason, Brendan had the unique ability to ingrain himself in your memory, to preserve his likeness in your conscious, to make such an impression on you that even if you only saw him once or twice a year, and even if those interactions totaled just minutes, you remembered every second of it, even years later.

A few years ago, we lost Brendan’s son Andrew, also too soon. And when Andrew passed, Brendan spoke to us about “purpose.” The Priest who delivered the homily at Andrew’s funeral spoke about how hard it is to make sense out of tragedy, but that we should remember that every life has purpose. This struck a chord with Brendan. When I was leaving, Brendan said goodbye to me and my sister. “Remember, every life a purpose,” Brendan said. “You’re a writer, Marney, write about that.”

It is a struggle to think about the truth that Brendan is gone. These past few days, he is everywhere. He is in the lyrics of the songs on my radio. He is in the face of that loud kid cracking up his parents at Father’s Day breakfast. He’s in the sound of the kids down the street lighting up firecrackers and bottle rockets. He’s in the summer breeze. For as clear as you could recollect a time with him when he was alive, it’s even more apparent now. Even more crystal clear in the memories of those of us — the hundreds and hundreds of us — who are left behind.

I think for the past few days, the only thing that so many of us have thought is, WHY? Why did this have to happen? And why Brendan? But what it comes down to is, with Brendan and with all of those in our lives to leave us way too soon, it’s not about why. It’s not worth our time and sadness and effort to constantly look for the answer to that question, the answer that will surely never come. Instead, it’s our duty to remember what is more important — that every life has a purpose. Brendan fulfilled his purpose beautifully, as he reached out, touched so many, and left behind a legacy of laughter that will never cease to be. His purpose was to touch those around him, even those who merely just brushed past him in this world. And man, did he ever do it well.

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Godspeed friend, and safe home.

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Go thank yourself

So I’ve been having an issue with accountability lately. Seems that a whole lot of the things that I had regularly engaged in as part of an effort to keep myself sane have just gone out the window.

Food — I eat it all, who needs moderation? Not me, I’ll tell ya.

School — why check backpacks, Jimmy will do it.

Television — Okay, okay, not exactly a priority, but as far as down time that I frankly owe myself, well, I have yet to watch a single episode of The Closer.

This space — if there’s one thing I enjoy, it’s the sound of my own voice, which translates in these here internets to my blog. More than a month! I’ve skipped five weeks of doing something I enjoy. Bummer.

This month on the facepage, people have been doing something obscenely annoying totally introspective: The Month of Thanksgiving. Folks from all walks of life are taking time normally set aside for stalking ex-boyfriends and playing mafia wars to list one thing each day for which they are thankful. You know, for Thanksgiving. Because Thanksgiving in America is all about saying, “Hey Indians, thanks for the food, now step aside while we rape and pillage your land. Oh,  don’t worry, we’ll give you “reservations” where the earth is bruised and rocky and the water is completely non-potable but the Bingo far exceeds any expectation you saw in your latest hot sweat vision quest!” And nothing celebrates that sentiment quite like two sentence quips each day on an addictive website built by a millionaire teenage dork.

Well, I have NOT participated in the Month of Thanksgiving. But I am. Thankful, I mean, For all sorts of stuff. So I present to you, 30 days of thanks, all in one convenient package:

1 – Health. Food might be on my list of things I have been bad about, but at least Zumba Stacey keeps me in check. It’s nice to be able to move like you’re one big sass machine.

2 – Beer. How can anyone dislike a food that will trigger you to vomit if you’ve had too much? It’s barley and hops sponsored bulimia at its best.

3 – Teachers. Without them, I’d have to parent 24 hours a day. No thank you. I didn’t have kids so I could watch them.

4 – Naps. Did you ever notice the way children freak the hell out at even the suggestion that they settle down, let alone lie down, let alone close their eyes? Can you imagine if every single day someone said to you, go sleep for no less than 45 minites. Sweet mercy, I would be in heaven.

5 – Pooping. I’m sorry, that just feels great.

6 – Chocolate. I am not a sweet fiend, but even I can appreciate this one.

7 – Chicago. Everyone has their big city, even if they don’t live there. This one is mine.

8 – Aruba. I’ve never met you, but we have a date. January 4, 2014.

9 – The never-ending saga that is Law and Order. Man was I ever pissed when they canceled your flagship show. IT NEVER GETS OLD. bum-BUM!!

10 -Lady Gaga. Self explanatory.

11 -Selena Gomez.. Your songs are so catchy and my sons are deeply in love with you. Sure, I am totally afraid that the day will come when the very magazines I bought featuring you will become my son’s first stroke material. At which point I will want you banished from all things Disney. Just please don’t Lohan on me.

12 – Smart phones. THEY ARE SO SMART!!

13 – The First Amendment. Totally working for me.

14 – Divorce. Also totally working for me.

15 – Pitbull. Possibly the worst artist ever. But I have never in my life wanted so bad to find somebody sexy and tell them hey.

16 – The Omaha Morning Blend. Making my kids stars at least twice a year.

17 – The facepage SO. Don’t ask, it’s secret!!

18 – Makeup. Zits + splotchiness + 38-year-old woman = your eternal customer

19 – The Winchester Brothers. Damn you’re fine.

20 – Central air. Now hear me out. I despise manufactured cold air. I love few things in life the way I love to sweat in July. But with my love comes fear that the rest of the free world disagrees. And no one, especially me, wants to deal with my husband Sybil when the oppressive heat of summer refuses to let go. Even I know when it’s time to flip the switch.

21 – The oppressive heat of summer. That’s why I have both a front and a back porch.

22 – The Chicago Cubs. Because the only way to stay sane is to deal with eternal heartbreak.

23 – Boobs. They’re right there and even these old gals come in handy.

24 – The Happy Place. Where happiness takes place, 365 days a year. I know there is supposed to be some natural rivalry and lifelong disdain between the cheeseheads and the FIBS, but there are few things in this world as truly beautiful as rural Wisconsin. Just so long as we don’t have to collectively bargain to keep it that way.

25 – Kayla and Nancy. A girl ain’t nothin’ without some girls of her own.

26 – Three sisters and one brother, all of whom are in their 40’s. I am in my 30’s. Suck it hags.

27 – My Mom and Dad. I NEVER tell them how much I love and appreciate them. Because clearly, I am a shit.

28  – Jimmy. Seriously, what were the chances of that ever happening?

29 – My boys, Hank and George. If you’d asked me when I was younger if I’d have sons or daughters or a combination, I would have told you sons. It’s pretty much the one thing I was ever THAT right about. I love those kiddos. They are the best thing I have ever done.

30 – Peace, love and happiness. I have it. I should take the time to notice it a little more often.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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