I am SO late with this. The title is #AskAwayFriday. And it’s now Saturday.
My week kind of got away from me. We have had relatives visiting. I’ve had a bunch of doctor’s appointments too…if you read my answers you’ll see why. Add that to everything else I have going on, and now I’m so far behind!
Hopefully I haven’t made too bad of an impression with my newer blog friend, who got hers up on time. That would be the incredibly funny Sarah from est. 1975. After you read this, go over and read her answers to my questions. One of my questions was about being funny.
I do like to stalk funny people. Everyone deserves a good laugh now and then, right?
So on to the questions Sarah sent me. Better late than never!
Sarah asks: If you could describe your childhood in three words, what would those words be? Elaborate if you feel the urge to spin us a yarn about the old days. 🙂
Michelle answers: Awkward, awkward, awkward. We moved a lot, so I never really fit in anywhere, and I hated that. I wasn’t terribly outgoing back then, and I always struggled to make friends. If someone didn’t take me under their wing, I just kind of hid under a rock.
But I have some fond memories too. One of my dearest friends in the whole world I met in 7th grade. We moved away again my junior year of high school, and she told me she wouldn’t write (and she was true to that). But I moved back in college and we actually ended up being roommates for 3 years.
Sarah asks: There are days when I just throw my hands up in the air and do stuff like eat Chinese food straight from the carton, let my son’s Nintendo do the bulk of the parenting, and take a 2 hour nap when I should be working. Do you ever have moments like this? If so, what are your dirty little secret indulgences?
Michelle answers: There are definitely days I can only handle takeout. Or taking something out of the freezer from one of my more industrious days. I need more “me-time,” but I’m not very good about that. When my stress level is about to burst, I either go for a long run, or I sleep in till a ridiculous hour. Talk about a swing in reactions! Haha!
Sarah asks: I have very few boundaries when it comes to language, topics of conversation, and things I choose to divulge to others — but I wouldn’t say that’s true for the majority of folks. What are your boundaries? When do you say “WOAH. I’m not going there?”
Michelle answers: I’m pretty buttoned up. I won’t talk about anything online that my kids would be unhappy with me revealing. I don’t talk about sex. I don’t talk about arguments that I’ve had with my husband. I’m just not a dirty laundry kind of girl. That’s not to say, however, that I keep everything inside. I think everyone needs an avenue to vent…mine’s just not online. It doesn’t bother me that other people have different boundaries and filters though. We’re all different. I’m not judging. But I do think that we should all be thinking about what our limits are…will we be sorry that we said that online a year from now? Ten years from now? I’m trying to get that through to my kids.
Sarah asks: I’m a sports mom too, though I only have the one child so I suspect it’s not nearly as time-consuming as it is for three. 🙂 What is your favorite thing about attending games and practices, and what is your least favorite thing?
Michelle answers: We seem to have taken time consuming to a new level. Our weekends are consumed by sports. With my daughter especially, there is a lot of travel involved. She plays on a team in the spring that plays regionally, so we’re out of state for whole weekends sometimes.
I love seeing my kids do well, as I am sure every parent does. I enjoyed watching my two older playing high school soccer this past fall…both of them had some great moments, and I was proud of them. I don’t watch practice anymore. I usually try to write blog posts if I drive.
Least favorite…probably obnoxious parents, coaches and players. Last spring, my daughter took two punches to the back from an opposing player. It was completely uncalled for and her parents were yelling at the referee for giving their kid a red card. Seriously? My kid would have gotten pulled for the rest of the season. That kind of behavior on the field is completely unacceptable in my book. I guest posted on this topic over at Coach Daddy, if you want to go check it out. I think people forget it’s only a game.
Sarah asks: Have any of your children ever wanted to play a certain sport and you felt compelled to refuse? (Maybe because the sport was too expensive, too time-consuming, too dangerous, etc.) If so, what was it and why?
Michelle answers: My kids have always played soccer, which is not a cheap sport…especially when they move on from town travel to premiere. My daughter’s is the most expensive, because of the travel, as I mentioned above. I have to drive from Connecticut to Virginia for a tournament in a couple weeks. I would never dream of taking it away, because they love it. They also all ski and snowboard. My youngest races BMX bikes too. They’ve all tried cross country and track, which is probably the cheapest sport of all. Our youngest likes running; our oldest hates it…unless it involves a soccer ball.
Sarah asks: I have a friend who built a working computer out of a toaster. What friend of yours has done something amazing that you like to share with everyone, and what did they do?
Michelle answers: Does it have to be a friend? My brother in law is in the Air Force and he just made General. We’re pretty proud of him. My husband won his age group twice at the Xterra World Triathlon Championships (off road triathlons). And my two boys built computers from parts, with some help from YouTube. It wasn’t out of a toaster…which is so cool by the way…but I was still impressed that they did it by themselves. And both computers work!
Sarah asks: On some days I wear my age like a badge of honor, and on other days I hide it like a tattoo that I deeply regret. What are your feelings about moving into mid-life?
Michelle answers: Overall, I think mid-life has served me well. As I mentioned before, I was like an awkward duckling growing up. But I loved my thirties. The forties aren’t so bad either. What I don’t like is the fact that I need “cheater glasses” to see anything close up (or medicine bottles), and that my body seems to be falling apart. Let’s just say a sneeze can turn into disaster. And somehow I seem to have fractured a vertebrae in my neck. Apparently it’s an old injury that’s never been caught. And I thought all my neck pain was due to working on a computer. They’re trying to figure out how long I’ve had it and if it’s stable at this point, but I’m a little frustrated by this turn of events.
Sarah asks: You have achieved what I refer to in my own head as Blog Success™. If you could choose a high point in your blog journey, what would it be? What about a low point?
Michelle answers: The fact that anyone sees me as “Blog Success” makes me happy. I feel like I have a very long way to go. I guess it’s all relative, right? My high point would be all the great blog friends I have made along the way. I feel like I have an awesome community, and I feel blessed by every single one of my blog friends. And then there are a few I have met in person and feel comfortable enough with to text and say “can you talk?”
Low point (s)? When someone linked back to me and made some not so nice comments. Dealing with parenting advice from strangers was the post that triggered it. I called Kristen and Tamara and they told me to ignore the trolls. Good advice. I’m far too sensitive. Then recently I wrote a post on Graphic Design Made Easy with Canva. Some person has been tweeting to me to “Leave design to the pros. It’s not easy and ppl shouldn’t think that it is.” Repeatedly. What the heck? Sure, I can afford to pay someone to make my graphics for each of my blog posts…can’t we all?! I never said there isn’t a need for graphic designers. I used a one myself for my blog, and I love her work. I’ll continue to use her. But for most of my needs, Canva IS easy to use, and the results are beautiful. I’ve used Canva to create most of my recent graphics.
Sarah asks: I’m sure this has been asked before but who are your favorite authors? What writers do you look up to as role models? (These can be bloggers, journalists, novelists, features writers, columnists… anybody.)
Michelle answers: Actually I don’t think anyone has ever asked me that. My favorite author is Jodi Picoult. I think I own every book she has ever written.
A blog friend whose writing I admire greatly is Norine Dworkin-McDaniel…she’s one of the masterminds behind the Science of Parenthood, but she also writes for a variety of other sites. Check out her post on The Day Philip Seymour Hoffman made me Cry…it’s a must read, in my opinion.
Another blog friend who really knows how to tell a story is Ilene from The Fierce Diva Guide to Life. She has so many amazing posts that I’m not even sure which one to send you to. So I am going to just pick a recent one out of a hat. Here’s Ilene with A Modern Family Valentine. Just subscribe. She is that good. You’re welcome in advance.
Sarah asks: Tell me a gross, funny story. You know how much I love gross, funny stories 🙂
Michelle answers: I’ve told this one before but I don’t know how many people saw it. It fits the bill, although it happened a few years back. My boys had friends over (3 brothers) to hang out at the pool. We have a pool on one side of the house and a deck on the other side.
My youngest son and his buddy spent the day peeing in a bucket on the back deck. If that in itself wasn’t gross enough, later on that day, they took the pump squirt guns from the pool area and filled them with pee instead…and went after their older brothers.
So disgusting. Who thinks of an idea like that?! The brother in the middle sold them out, and they admitted it in the end. Thankfully, the older brothers had a sense of humor. We still laugh about it. If they’d gone after my daughter, I guarantee there would have been a different ending.
And so that’s it for me! If you want to check the other posts out, head over to visit the hosts and co-hosts of #AskAwayFriday!
Penny from the Real Housewife of Caroline County
Tiffany from Mrs. Tee – Love Life & Laughter
Amber from Bold Fab Mom
Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings
Wednesday 5th of March 2014
i've read jodi picoult. i think it was my sister's keeper. very thought-provoking. i chose it as my book club book. my friend is a princeton alum and they send all of their alums the students' recommended reading list and that book was on it.
Monday 3rd of March 2014
I definitely see you as a blog success, Michelle, and I'm proud to be part of your community.
Yay for mentioning Ms. Ilene! She is such a talent. I'm headed over to her place next.
I think the person who was writing you re: Canva needs to take several seats. What the what??? Some people are true trolls and need to be ignored full force.
And your boys are creative for sure re: the pee-for water swap. I know you'd have had their heads had they messed with your daughter! LO-
Monday 3rd of March 2014
This was an all around fabulous [email protected]. Michelle - it's too bad we didn't know each other as kids. We could have been awkward together. Although I think that speaks to your point and Sarah's point about mid life being awesome, because I think I have and a lot of us have let go of that kind of stuff.
Michelle - I feel for you on the not so nice ping back about your parenting. Although I do have to say that it's always incredible and humbling to find such a nice ping back like this one to my Modren Family Valentine post. Thank you. xo
Stacey Gannett (This Momma's Ramblings)
Monday 3rd of March 2014
Oh Michelle! That pee story was absolutely disgustingly hilarious! That actually sounds like something my hubby would have pulled in his younger years. The things that boys find funny! LOL! I would say that you are most definitely a blogging success! Trolls have always puzzled me, I just don't get the fun...I guess it is the same with the pee thing...I just don't get it. Hope you have a great week, Michelle!
P.S. I am finally getting into The Mother of All Meltdowns and loving it so far! :)
Sunday 2nd of March 2014
I thought those 2 posts that people trolled on were very helpful! Haters gon' hate. I haven't had that happen to me before (knock on wood!) That pee in the squirt gun story is gross! My son is potty training right now and there lots of pee NOT in the toilet right now. Boys will be boys, I guess. LOL