Friday, May 31, 2013


This is my informal Public Service Announcement (iPSA) for the semi-social socialites.  You know the type.  The reserved people you see out all of the time who mostly sit back and observe.  The peeps who will participate in a conversation but usually only if it is about current events or neutral topics.  They enjoy being around people, but prefer to keep the convo light.

With the prompting from a friend, I am speaking on behalf of them today.  This iPSA is to inform you that the last thing in the world a semi-social socialite wants is the spotlight shone on them with a super personal question.  Actually, come to think of it, this iPSA may be for all humans. 

A couple months ago I was at a house party.  The party was a large mixed group of people, not just our regular clique.  One of the girls from my group from across the room loudly asked another girl from our group, "So, Jenny* when are you and Jimmy* getting married?".  Jenny became visibly uncomfortable.  She stammered through a response that she and Jimmy were happy with where they were at that time. 

I know the friend that asked the question wasn't being malicious about it.  In her mind she was just making conversation.  But I wish she had thought, "What kind of position is this putting Jenny in?  What if I dated a guy for a few years then went to a party and someone randomly asked this question in front of a room of close friends and strangers?  What if they just got into a fight and this question is what breaks them up?  Should I maybe ask this in private if it is that pressing that I need to know?".  Any of those thoughts would have worked. 

Jenny and I talked about it one on one at my home a week or so later.  The topic of marriage came up and I told her it was odd to me that someone not as close to her as I am would ask that question, and from across a room full of people.  She confirmed that it really upset her and that she wondered why someone would ask that in such an impersonal manner.  Her and I agreed that subjects like salary, marriage, kids, and political party affiliation shouldn't be brought up in mixed company.

This seems like common sense, right?  It's not.  I encounter it all the time.  Do we all?

One of my favorite people in the world isn't going to have kids.  People absolutely cannot fathom this idea.  She's married and she's a she.  This girl gets asked regularly, "So, when you gonna have baybies?".  Really?  In this day and age?  It's to the point where I get pissed off with people asking her in front of me and request that they go out back with me for a minute to further discuss.  Well not really, but I should.  I tell this gal that she should respond that she's infertile.  Or, that her and her husband are in the process of en vitro and go into grave detail about the entire process.  Something that will shock the "s" out of the questioner and let them recognize that some questions are too personal. 

When my husband and I first started dating (last century!) I would ask him all sorts of personal questions about his past.  Not necessarily in group settings, but sometimes.  I would ask questions that he would begrudgingly answer, even if he knew it would anger me.  Finally he asked me why I asked him such things?  Why would I ask him questions I didn't want to know the answers to that would only end up upsetting me?  He would also say, before answering my inappropro questions, "Don't ask a question you don't want to know the answer to."  I thought I was getting a character assessment of him based on his past misdeeds when in actuality it was just causing me to focus on something that wasn't true to the moment.  His "don't ask a question" statement was so right.  I stopped asking questions.  Seriously, if he didn't follow that mentality and asked about my past, the two of us probably wouldn't have lasted.  This shouldn't be misconstrued that I don't honey badger him about his present life, just no longer about his past. 

As many of you know, I am pretty filterless and will talk about almost anything in my life, said every blogger ever.  But a lot of people aren't that way.  Just because you and/or I may share everything and anything about our lives, doesn't mean that everyone else will.  I know for real that if you get too personal with a semi-social socialite it can very greatly impact their decision to attend future gatherings.  Don't be that guy that makes them stay home. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


As I told you in the lengthy "About" section, I seldom talk about being vegetarian because I have a difficult time removing emotion from the subject.  Being vegetarian and vegan has always been a very personal and guarded aspect of my life.  This entry isn't propaganda or an attempt to sway anyone, it serves as an explanation of why I am the way that I am. 

At around the age of 6 I started to get wigged out by meat.  At the dinner table I would hear: the skin on the chicken, the bone in the pork chop, the fat on the steak.  I would think about all these things I had on and in my body that I was eating.  I started to associate meat with animals and it weirded me out to the max.  I understand this doesn't happen for a lot of people or children.  I am not being condescending when I say good for them.  Trust me, it wasn't an easy thing for me to grasp as a child, or my parents to have a child that thought that way. 

I asked my parents at around age 8 if I could stop eating meat and my mom responded "No, you'll eat what I serve you.".  I asked again when I was 10, you know because I was in the double digits, and got the same response.  I dropped it because if there is a word to describe my moms, it would be unwavering.  Girls got some consistency to her. 

Fast forward 4 years to the pubescent years...

During my high school Biology class I learned we were required to dissect pig fetuses.  I was beyond mortified!  I couldnt wrap my head around it.  I decided I would have to talk to my parents.  I told them I absolutely could not do it.  I would rather die than dissect a pig fetus (teenage girl minds are intense!).  In case my death wasn't enough to persuade them to let me drop out of school I also explained that there was the potential of me vomiting on the pig, PTSD, and/or fainting on the scalpel and unintentionally dissecting part of myself. 

For some reason my parents were actually really understanding.  Maybe they were happy I went to them for guidance.  Maybe it was how terrified their daughter was.  Maybe they were just too tired to care.   

My mom said to talk to the teacher and if she was ok with me opting out, and it didnt fail me for the semester, they were fine with it and would back me up.  Score!

I decided the best time to talk to the teacher would be after class.  I was a very shy and underspoken student.  Mostly because of my poor grades but also because if I ever spoke, my peers might see me.  I was used to being invisible from all the moves and grew to accept and need it. 

The whole class I mustered up the courage to beg her to not make me do it.  After the bell rang and all the students left I asked if I could speak with her.  She said, "Of course."  I sputtered that I had severe anxiety over the thought of dissecting the fetus, I was unsure of how I would react during the dissection, I knew my grade was already on the verge of an F but that my parents agreed to let me opt out as long as I didn't fail for the semester.  

She said, "It's no problem.  I can give you handouts and a paper exam."  I had never felt that relieved in all my short years on this planet! 

The next day my teacher mentioned in the class that if anyone was uncomfortable with the dissection they could opt out and be given paper handouts and a paper exam.  There were 3 of us in the hall taking our exam together.  I wasn't alone!  To make this life changing event all the more glorious I scored a 94% on the exam.  That's one of the highest grades I ever got on a test.  I studied my ass off because I wanted to show my parents, teacher, and myself how much I appreciated their respect of my beliefs.  I believe there may have also been a bit of divine intervention with that score too.  

Shortly after the triumphant experience my family went to church.  The sermon was about the lambs that had been slaughtered for Jesus' return.  I thought, "Damn, my homeboy Jesus wasn't vegetarian.  I wonder why?  Maybe because it was different back then?  He had to eat it to survive?".  It didn't matter to me.  Even though Jesus ate meat, I still didnt want to. 

I contemplated Jesus the meat eater the whole 3 minute car trip home with the 6 of us in the car.  After we got home and everyone went their separate ways I went into the kitchen with my mom.  She was making coffee with her back turned to me.  I asked for the third time, "Mom, can I become a vegetarian?"  She responded, "Yes.  But I'm not making anything special for you.  You'll have to fend for yourself.".  SCORE!

She started to buy other foods for me.  She never made me aware of it, but I can recall it now.  I get that I made more work for my moms, and being a mom now I know how difficult change is.  I do appreciate very much that she finally complied and actually kept feeding me.  You know, so I could live to tell you this story.  She got grandkids out of the deal so dont feel too bad for her. 


Welcome to the seventh segment of our:

Tuesday's Threefold Tips, aka The Trip T's

Instead of the ole fashiony way of telling someone once a tip moment presents itself, let us prepare in advance and make some new, and hopefully useful, brain wrinkles.

The Trip T's for this week are:

 Did you know if you get you hair dyed at a salon it is way more expensive than buying a box at the grocery store?  Jk, I know you knew that!  This tip is for the ladies that have boxed color hair, like yours truly (Nice N Easy, Born Blonde to be exact).  After applying the dye to your hair, place a plastic grocery bag (ink side out) over your head like a scarf or helmet.  The bag traps in the heat and prevents you from accidentally getting the dye anywhere you may not want it.  You will look like a weirdo, but it works.  Ever since one of my bff's showed me this years ago I do it and get way better dye results on my roots than ever before.  Thanks, Brettski!

While you are in the grocery store buying your next identity upgrade keep in mind that companies pay more money for premium shelving real estate.  Meaning that for all of the products on shelves at eye level, the manufacturing company paid a bit more to the grocery chain so that their stuff is more in the consumer's face.  To find better deals avert your eyes to the bottom shelf.  I've also found introductory products down there that initially start out with lower pricing for brand name food/drink until there is more of a consumer demand. 

For parents of infants, did you know that generic baby formula is required by the FDA to meet the same stringent requirements as name brand formula?  Next time you are at Wegman's, CVS, or Target check out the labels of the name brand and the store brand.  This could save you a huge amount of cash over the first year of your babe's life.  You can read more in this Baby Center article

Now is the perfect opportunity to share that time/money/earth saving tip your mama, bestie, boss told you that you have wanted to shout to the world.

Why do this?  Because sharing is caring! 

Please send your tips via email to, DM on Twitter (@findmyfelicity), or message on Facebook.  Please add in the message how you would like your web cred (name, website, handle, picture, whateves). 

The Trip T's for week 1 (shoe recycling, red wine, liquid eye liner)
The Trip T's for week 2  (, rice sock, baby wipes)
The Trip T's for week 3 (windshield anti frost solution, frozen fruits, Target recycling)
The Trip T's for week 4 (sock sorting, washing machine tip, fruit cleaner)
The Trip T's for week 5 (greeting cards, natural deodorizer, bathroom cleaning kit)
The Trip T's for week 6 (Starbucks reward program, nail polish life extender, panty hose runs)

*As stated in the mission, all opinions are my own and no cash monies are accepted for endorsing any products and/or companies.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Throughout the past couple weeks I've been randomly hearing Alanis Morissette's and Dido's "Thank You" a lot.  Enough where it has stood out that I need to thank someone or someones.  As my hoards (sarcasm party people) of Facebook and Twitter followers know, my sister took my boys last night for a slumber party.  As I drove to pick them up today I wrote this post in my head.  Something about driving, a venti bold coffee and the wind in my face never fails to put words in my head. 

Here is a post to my sisters by birth and my sister by law.  To prevent them from feeling awkward for being called out, or counting to compare how many each have, I will only address them as sister(s):

Thank you to the sister that forces me to let her take my boys so I can get a much needed break.  For showing me that when you let go of the kids for a bit, they come back sparkly and new.

Thank you to the sister(s) who work in male predominant fields and prove that women can succeed and bypass men through hard work and dedication.

Thank you to the sister who loves her brother so much it helped me love him more.

Thank you to the sister who made me realize first hand how important it is to show up in person for people, even if it is just for half an hour before heading to the office.

Thank you to all my sisters for loving my sons as their own.

Thank you to the sister that proves to me that no matter how little formal education you have, common sense can make you a genius.

Thank you to the sister(s) who introduced me to amazing artists:  Suzanne Vega, 10,000 Maniacs, NIN, Tori Amos, OAR, Outkast, Metallica, Simon and Garfunkel, Grateful Dead, Busta Rhymes, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Peter Paul & Mary, Dixie Chics, etc.

Thank you to the sister(s) who care so much about women's equality and show me the importance of watching what is said in front of impressionable young girls. 

Thank you to my sister who sings as loud as possible, no matter who is around.  She's got a song to sing, and she WILL sing it.

Thanks to the sister who brought me a gift basket including chocolate, wine, olive oil, etc when I broke my foot.  The basket also included Rooibos tea, a South African healer, that I drink now whenever life is too much.

Thank you to the sister I thought was super serious for enjoying things like:  Glee, The Simpsons, Pink (the singer), etc

Thanks to my sister(s) who never warned me about how difficult it is to be a parent and that only listened and offered what they experienced as advice.

Thank you to my sister that is doing ground breaking things and deciding that she will do it as a service to the people, instead of as a profitable venture.  Absolutely inspiring. 

Thank you to the sister(s) who teach me about mother nature and ways to treat her kind.

Thanks to the sister who showed me how important it is to lean on family, when needed.

Thank you to all of my sisters for their senses of humor. 

Thank you to the sister who taught me that just because a close friend is venting, doesn't mean she wants your opinion.  That sometimes a friend just needs a listening ear.

This is just a short list of things I thought about on the road and while writing this.  My sisters have helped mold me into what I am today.  I love them and the women they have become. 

Monday, May 13, 2013


I was driving back to work after my lunch break.  I see a guy walking his two dogs.  I start to smile and immediately think "Wow, what an awesome guy!  Most people leave their pets cooped up in their crates from 7 am til 6 pm, or 9 pm if they have happy hour, and here this guy is going home on his lunch break to walk his dogs.  Why cant I find a guy like this?  There are good guys out there!"

I get closer to my dream guy and notice one of the dogs pull away so he can sniff something.  The owner pulled the leash and the dog resists.  The guy yanked the dog as hard as he could and then proceeded to kick the dog in the ribs.  As I drive past him, in absolute shock, I look in the rear view mirror and he is still kicking the dog!  My mind told me to keep driving, but I couldn't not do anything.  I busted a u-turn and pulled up next to him (still kicking the dog), rolled down my window and screamed "Do you not want that dog?"  He thought he was alone and my voice startled him so much he jumped.  He looks over and sees me, a teenage girl all alone in her Ford Escort, and says "What'd you say?!"  Then I said, "DO YOU WANT TO KEEP THAT DOG!"  He shrugs me off with a smirk and starts to walk.

Cars came up behind me so I had to start driving.  I didnt know what to do but this guy needed his dogs to be taken away or at least learn a lesson.  No one else saw what happened, so I couldnt flag someone down to help me set this guy straight.  There wasnt anywhere to park and, although the adrenaline was pumping through my veins, I knew that jumping out of the car to "talk" with this guy would probably end with me on the side of the road in a bloody crumpled heap.  This was also pre cell phone days so I couldnt call any friends to meet me while I stalked him on his way to his house.

Feeling the most helpless I had ever felt in my short life I started to bawl.  I forced myself to stop because it wasn't productive and I wasnt able to think clear.  After about 5 minutes of driving I contemplate stopping at a pay phone and calling animal control.  By then I knew even if I called and someone arrived, f$&!face would have his pets back at home.  I had to convince myself that it was good enough that I yelled at him because it shocked him enough to get him to stop kicking the dog.

I know that people treat pets as property but whenever I see aggressive and violent behavior it makes me question where it stops.  It's ok to hit and kick an animal but not a human.  I can hit my wife but would never lay a hand on my kid, they are defenseless.  I feel like if you are aggressive and can't control your rage against an animal, maybe you can't so much with a human too.    

I was reminded of this traumatizing ordeal last weekend when I was in a parking lot and saw a man very aggressively yanking on his dog.  This time was different.  It wasn't as bad because he didn't start kicking his dog, but it was worse because he was mistreating the dog in front of his son who had to be 8 or so.  This time was also different because I didn't do anything.  Same situation.  In a car, by myself. 

I didn't say anything because what if I pissed him off enough where he went home and beat his kid?  I know not all people who abuse their pets abuse their kids but who knows in this situation.  Maybe having some woman confront him on his mistreatment of his pet in front of his child would be the last straw.  Or, maybe he would use his rage against me making him an even worse example to his impressionable son.  What would I say anyways?  "If you don't want that dog I'll take him to the closest SPCA?"  "You must have it really bad at work if you are so mistreated you have to take it out on a helpless animal that is literally tied to your wrist and can't get away."  "Will you really be surprised when your child turns into an abusive bully or the dog bites one of you?"

What should I have said?   

A few days after that I am sitting in our front yard with the boys.  I see a dad walking his dog.  He's on his cell phone and his two sons, probably 7 and 4, are walking pretty far in front of him.  They're headed our way so I'm excited the boys can meet neighborhood kids.  The dad's completely oblivious on his phone having a heated convo while I see the 4 yo start to pass the 7 yo.  The 7 yo grabs the 4 yo and yanked him as hard as he could, almost knocking the 4 yo over.  The little one looked miserable.  The big one looked happy.  It made me nauseous.  Again, I didn't say anything. 

I understand that I am no longer the fire pistol who had very little cognizance of the repercussions of confronting an aggressive man.  I also practically always have one or both boys with me so it is engrained to not do or say anything, because that could potentially invite violence towards us or I may respond in a way I may regret. 

Since I met my husband he has always ran towards fights, or potentially hazardous situations, to offer help and I have always urged him not to do it.  I tell him to protect himself.  I don't want him to get hurt by trying to help someone else, especially a stranger.  But now I get it.  I understand what he was doing.  Why he feels called to respond.  

If I've learned anything in the past couple years it's that these things are happening in front of me for a reason.  There is some lesson I am supposed to learn or some action that needs to be taken.  I just don't know what. 

I can't stomach seeing things like this happen to vulnerable children, and in front of vulnerable children.  I also really don't want to raise my boys to look the other way.  Or worse, condone the mistreatment of any living being be it their dog or brother or anyone.  

It doesn't feel right in my body or mind to just watch it happen when I know it's wrong.

What are we supposed to do?  What are we supposed to say?  Does anyone have any recommendations (personal, books, articles, anything!)?  Is there a way to try to diffuse an aggressive situation that could do more good than harm? 

Thursday, May 9, 2013


I wrote this back in February but was full of pees and vinegar so didnt post it.  I was going through a bit of a slump and lost track of the ultimate purpose of this blog.  Well, maybe I didn't have the purpose fully formed in my mind yet?

In late January I did my last reveal with a big group of friends and removed the anonymity by posting my name and a picture of myself.  The numbers jumped.  Not because of my picture, but maybe (jk), but because of the number of people I told.

I've had growth each month but when you have access to the numbers, it can become an obsession.  The growth wasn't where I wanted it to be.  It was growing, but not by leaps and bounds.  If it had grown by leaps and bounds that would have made me overly paranoid about which friends were sharing me with who.  Welcome into my head, it's a bizarre place. 

After about a week of feeling low self worth, I decided to bring my mind chatter to my lucky husband.
I said, "Husband.  I don't know about this blogging thing anymore."
He said, "Why?".
I said, "I don't know, it's just so quiet.  I don't think the message is getting across.  I don't even know what the message is.  What's the point of doing it?"
He said, "Why did you start?" 
I said, "I wanted to be able to connect with people who may be going through similar situations as me."
He said, "Why have you continued to do it for the past 6 months?"
Me, "Because it is an amazing release.  I'm able to write something then read it later and figure out what it meant.  It gives me clarity.  It will paint a picture for the boys of who their mom was while they were too little to have their own memories.  It has improved how I can communicate in conversations and by written word." 
Him, "So you love it, it helps you, and it's improving your communication skills?  What's there to question?  Who cares if no one reads it?  Do it for you." 

Sorry girls, he's taken!

Since that conversation there hasn't been a doubt or question as to why I'm doing this.  This is why I should talk to my husband more often.  Jk babe!

The reason I'm sharing with you what my brilliant husband said, and what I wrote before my convo with him is because maybe it will provide you with a little bit of encouragement to keep on keepin on. 

Here goes:

It can be very lonely and insecure in the blogosphere.

I would love to see the stats on how many bloggers that have lasted over a year are middle children.  Used to being ignored and/or unheard, happy for any modicum of attention, grasping for respect and approval from their 'older siblings', ie, the bloggers who have been with it for years and have a faithful following.  Like high school (and that Kanye West song with the amazing beat) there are cliques, which makes it harder than it should be.

It takes a very thick skin to continue with it.

You never really know if people are laughing with you, or at you.  Or, just shaking their head and thinking, "that poor moron".  How long do you kick the dead horse before quitting?  Until there is a formal intervention where someone tells you that people see you, but they don't get you.


This morning I was reminded of this post in my drafts because I received Tara Mohr's latest blog post in my mail box.  She says, "This year, one of the things I wanted was for all of you to know – hey, it’s my birthday! And yes, one of the things I’d love to receive are birthday wishes from you. After all, I spend a lot of time writing to you every year – you are important in my life!"  Amen, Tara!  Amen!  Sometimes you just have to ask for what you want.  She's not asking for you to send her a card, or donate money to a purse fund, or tell her you love her.  She simply wants a "Happy Birthday" so she can SEE her readers on her special day.  

Before the talk with my husband I had my very special girls:  Karen at Baking in a Tornado,  Anna at The Mommy Padawan, Jen at Life on the SONny Side, and Deb at a Mom and a Microphone that kept me going.  Other bloggers get it, that's why we comment on each others stuff.  It's nice to hear what people have to say.  It's not necessary, but it helps and it's encouraging.

So, if you are a blogger, or are thinking about getting into it, just keep in mind why you are.  Ask my man's questions to yourself.  Do you love it?  Does it make you happy?  Does it improve your life or communication skills?  If you ask yourself these questions and the answers are yes, then:

I'm now taking an informal poll of birth order placement and bloggers.  In the comments below, please respond with your birth order and how long you have blogged.  If you used to have a blog and quit (kudos for still reading blogs and not throwing your interwebs out of the window) , please comment on your birth order and how long you had your blog for, and if you would have continued if you received more feedback. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


It was my "day off" and all I wanted to do was lay in bed with the laptop and work on something my heart was pulled to be a part of.  Typically on my day off I want to spend it as a family unit (and then later feel martyrish because I didn't get time away from the boys), shop, hang out with girlfriends, or watch mind numbing tv marathons.

This day off was different, though.  Earlier that week I offered to do something, with no prompting, and when the time to do it presented itself, I still had the passion to do it!  That was a very new and exciting feeling for me, so I immediately had to share it with my husband.

I ran to the bathroom and said, 
"Thank you so much for working so hard so I can do the things I'm called to do!"
My husband stared at me frozen with the toothbrush still in his mouth.
I continue, "It's an amazing feeling to be able to take care of the boys and have the energy and want to help others on my day off!"
He stared, I shrugged with a smile, then ran back to bed and pulled the covers to my chin. 

For a little less than a decade I've been drawn to "service"  but fear kept me from taking on more than just a few projects.  I was fearful because of an inner monologue telling me I was "too flakey".  I was also afraid if I volunteered I would get suckered into doing more than I felt I should and end up drained, instead of feeling fulfilled.  As you can tell from that statement, I was also never in a mental place where giving and doing was from a place of purity, not ego driven.  

A couple weeks prior to my day off, Tara Mohr explained in our first Playing Big teleconference that a big misconception regarding callings is that we have only one ultimate calling in our lifetime.  Sometimes we can have one large calling and be called to do many other things.  Or, our main calling can change over time.  Or maybe we just have lots of small callings.

Since the Calling call, and the universes very loud and unsubtle signals for one event in particular, I have been opening myself up to different things.  Events, people, projects, etc.

Recently the strongest calling is to simply be there.  A call to be present.  Being present for others when they are going through something difficult, so they know not to give up hope.  So the affected can feel how community bonds us and can lift us up when we need it to.  That weakness, sadness, and/or loneliness is less difficult when surrounded by caring, loving and present company.  When allowing others to help them when they need it, they are learning to help others. 

I asked my husband later that night why he didn't respond to what I said to him.  He said he wasn't sure what I meant or if I was being serious.  In retrospect, it was confusing.  My gratitude was serious.  My husband fulfills me and is the most remarkable guy I know.  Without complaint, he works 6 days a week so I can stay at home with the boys.  If I need help, he graciously offers.

We talk about me working in the future, but he is willing to continue working this schedule if that's what will keep me a happy and well rounded woman.  Full time jobs and my psyche dont mix well, especially during the winter.

It is so beautiful to have my husband's unwavering support, even when it is to help a stranger and assist in something I don't even quite understand yet.

Having my husband's love, support, and security fulfills me in a way I wish everyone could feel.  Add that to the Playing Big program and my life is becoming one filled with determination to be available to respond to future callings of purpose.  Whatever they may be!

Similar posts:  GIVING, SUPPORT, WISH

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


My guest post just went live over at Tiny Steps Mommy!  I hope you enjoy my list of 10 ways to get your toddler to help around the house.  Please leave a comment on the guest post if you have anything to add!  Child labor.  Live it, learn it, love it! ;)

Click here to be transported.