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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: A Year in Review

So. It is the end of 2014. 


Let me go ahead and be clear, I'm not a mushy person. I don't cry happy tears. (I actually cry when I get angry so if you see me crying, you better watch out!)

Anywho… the year is over. It was a big one-- some good, some bad.
So when I'm old-- well older-- and I think back on 2014 what will I remember? -- Probably nothing because I can barely remember what I ate for breakfast. Not kidding.

In an effort to help my future (adorable, MILF status) self-- I'm going to write a post that summarizes our year and the highlights that need to be remembered.
Here we go… (ps- these are not really in any order… so don't get all judgey on me.)

#1 CD was born.

Let me tell you one thing-- I will never need to be reminded of this. My daughter's birthday has been engrained into every fiber of my being-- mainly because I have had to fill it out 1000 times in the past 7 months because of all the paperwork. (I hate paperwork. In my world-- legally changing my name was the equivalent of water boarding… )

#2 Ebola Outbreak.

Remember guys, I'm a news junkie. So a lot of these posts are actually going to be relevant events-- not just Brad and Angelina getting married… (although that is #9)

The ebola outbreak devastated Africa -- the largest in history with countless deaths-- and the disease even multiple (limited) diagnoses in the US. Medical miracles managed to cure most of those Americans infected and they have gone on to do more good for those truly impacted in Africa. But keep in mind, the true tragedy is in Africa-- although, unfortunately, the story dropped out of the news once concerns for a potential outbreak in the US died off.

#3 Beginning of the conflict with ISIS/ISIL.

The US began leading a coalition against ISIS (also called ISIL) in the middle east and around the world after a series of violent and terrifying attacks. 
Politics aside, I'm realistic to know the worst with this conflict is not over and I have full faith that this situation will be an issue for years to come. 
I hate to see where this leads…

#4 The Polar Vortex.

Doesn't matter if you understand it (Al Roker tried… very hard)-- but basically what it means is you're going to be very cold. I mean down to the bone-- your toes might freeze off cold. If I had balls, I would be really freaking concerned. 
You know mama don't play with the cold. So basically this just means I stay in bed for a few days… no problem-- I need to watch House of Cards anyways.

#5 Protesters versus the Police.

Multiple Officer involved deaths stirred unrest across the country about the behavior and lack of retributions for Police Officers. The debate was heated and the situation was very personal for many people-- especially when it comes to race relations. 
I'm not going to voice my opinion on this subject because I don't want this to blog to turn into a heated discussion-- but what I will say is this :

I am a firm believer in the first amendment. That gives me the right to think and believe what I want and it offers you (I mean you) the same freedom. It also gives those protesters the right to march in the streets to affect a change as long as it is peaceful.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceable to assemble to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
A college professor made me memorize that amendment and I use it as a reminder of why I think our country is amazing and why I'm thankful I was given all of the freedoms and opportunities that being an American allows me.
God Bless our Troops at home and around the world. (my husband and close, dear friends included)

#6 Sons of Anarchy Ended.

I can't say much because I would hate to ruin the entire series for someone reading this blog who hasn't yet caught the SAMCRO bug. What I CAN say is the true loss here is the fact that I can't stare at Charlie Hunnam for an hour and a half every week without it being super creepy and stalker-ish.
(People really looked at me weird when I had this picture as my wallpaper on my iPhone--- I'm still not exactly sure why…)

To my future self-- who I know hasn't aged a DAY: make sure you go on Netflix, or Hulu, Or Roku-- or one of those damned devices and watch that entire series from the beginning again! You will not regret it! But you will likely need to take shower breaks because it will probably take you a few days to get through all 7 seasons.






#7 Charlotte's Future Husband Turned 1.

Incase you hadn't seen the royal memo-- Charlotte is betrothed to Prince George. (He is about 10 months older than her but she likes older men.) They are going to marry after Charlotte graduates from college and we are all going to move to England while Charlotte continues to pursue her PhD. We will watch polo matches and go to royal parties. Basically, my life will be the bomb.com
Happy Birthday, Georgie! (That's our cute family pet name for him-- since we're all best buds)


Also, Kate is preggo with baby #2 and if its a girl I read it could be named Charlotte. Wouldn't that just be the cutest. Guess I'll find out soon--- I'll pass that information along in a later entry. Well, I guess you already know. Pointless. Moving on...





#8 Kim & Kanye got married.

I hate both of them. but it was kind of a big deal. a big, lavish, expensive, over-the-top annoying deal. Which I'm sure Kim will re-do about 10 times between now and the future…
And just incase her name slipped out of the headlines for one second-- she also posed totally nude in a series of cover photos for Paper Magazine. (Don't look it up. Not worth the time.)
I just wish I could pay that family to keep their clothes ON!

#9 Brangelina Got Married.

Brad Pitt married Angelina Jolie. I'm not sure how I feel about this. On one hand, I really like Angelina and all of the good she has done in the world, she truly is an amazing humanitarian… but in the end she's a home wrecker and I'm morally obligated to take Jennifer Aniston's side. (P.S. Jen also got engaged so she's doing good this year too! Look at that RING!!!! I'm drooling)

#10 The World Cup.


I always liked soccer but I didn't sit around watching it… UNTIL THIS YEAR!
For some reason-- that WORLD CUP blew-up in the US this year and I'm digging it! I'm totally addicted! See you in 4 years… Russia! 
(future self: don't tell me who wins!)

#11 Ice Bucket Challenge

This is the year of dumping insanely cold water over your head to raise money and awareness for ALS. It was entertaining and definitely raised a bunch of money for a great cause so I can't hate. (but I was pretty happy when all the videos finally stopped)

#12 (Shoot! I Forgot One…) George Clooney Also Got Married.

She's really pretty and I dig her style. No judgement here. 
More power to her for "snagging" the world's most eligible bachelor. 
I see you, girrrrrrllllll! (head nod)

#13 Selfies & Group Selfies. Groupies? (& Photobombs)

So these aren't new. In fact, I found a photo I took of myself "selfie style" in middle school in an old box. Just sayin'
However, this year has taken selfless to a new level. 
- Ellen Degeneres took a group selfie at the Oscars with Angelina, Brad, Lupita N'yongo, Meryl Streep,  Julia Roberts, Jennifer Lawrence, and Kevin Spacey (I think Jared Leto's eye is in there too)
- Someone invented a selfie stick-- so you look even MORE ridiculous taking a picture of your self.
- Celebrities and wannabe-selfies started the "belfie"-- a butt selfie or selfie of one's ass in a mirror. Could you be any more self involved? just stop.
And, of course, the classic photobomb: when someone has perfect timing and manages to ruin your photo from the background.
I'll be surprised if a college somewhere (probably Florida) doesn't make it into a College B.A. Degree.

#14: J & B

Jay-Z and Beyonce. enough said.
They are the King & Queen of Hip-Hop/R&B. From an unannounced album release, a combined SOLD OUT tour, their TO DIE FOR Grammy performance, an HBO concert special, and just general amazingness-- hell, they met the ACTUAL Royal Couple at a NBA game.
If I could die and come back as anyone else in the world I would chose Beyonce. Hands down.

#15 Frozen.

CD is only 6 months old-- she doesn't have a favorite movie. The real culprit is my husband--- t is his favorite movie. The man walks around the house singing (what few words he knows to) "Let It Go" and "Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?". He even brought the damn DVD to the hospital when we went to deliver CD. The nurses kept asking to come in and watch with him.

#16 Zombies (in General). The Walking Dead (specifically)

Since I already mentioned one of my favorite shows coming to an end (RIP Jax Teller)… I can't ignore my other obsession. I admit its not NEW for 2014--- but the 5th season is just so good. And there are new Zombie/Apocalypse type shows… and of course, I'm addicted to all of them. However, according to a BuzzFeed quiz I will only live 3 months in a Zombie Apocalypse… which isn't cool.

#17 Jimmy Fallon

I cannot say enough about Jimmy Fallon and this year he took over The Tonight Show. You can tell from his first few months that he is going to do amazing things with HIS show. 
My favorite segment is "Ew" with Sara (no H because H's ew) and OF COURSE his weekly Thank You Notes. (if you don't know what I'm talking about... EDUCATE YOURSELF!)

#18 The Booty.

From Megan Trainor's "All About That Bass" (no treble)… to Kim Kardashian's naked (oily) ass all over social media… and just the general enormity of the backsides's of celebrities like Nikki Minaj, JLo and Iggy Izalea… This was really the year of the rear!
Booty is the new black. (shit. that sounded racist. you know what I meant)

#19 Leggings v. Yoga Pants

It has been a rough year for this one international conflict… as women around the world continue to try to learn the rules of leggings versus yoga pants. 
Here is my PSA: (on behalf of the ENTIRE world)
Yoga Pants are not sheer and do not (or should not) give you camel toe. That type of pant is appropriate with all sorts of tops (long OR short) ... 
BUT if you're wearing leggings (aka they have a sheer-ness and give you camel toe) DO NOT take that monstrosity out into public on its own. Leggings only go UNDER things to A) provide additional coverage or B) provide warmth. I don't want to see your shit. Your top better cover your crotch or we are going to have problems.
Last but not least...

#20 This Hat.


I don't get.
I won't get it in the future.
It is just a super weird hat.
And I don't even like hats.
Mainly because I have a weirdly large head.
But for some reason everyone loved this hat.
Does nothing for me.
Except make me want to put out a forrest fire.
Get it?
Smokey the Bear?
No?
ok.





And a little extra something something for you...

New Words of 2014:

Adorbs: obvi means adorable. duh.
Obvi: if it wasn't clear that means obviously.
Amazeballs: amazing.
Cray (also see cray cray): crazy.
Bro Hug: a hug between guys. which is generally awkward and has lots of sexual tension.
Bae: Still not really clear on this one. Is this the same as "sitting on the dock of the bay"? Or is it like Bay Seasoning?

It has been a great year. These are just some of my highlights! Feel free to comment below and share your top 2014 memories and what you want to remember down the road.

Sending everyone lots of love for a safe, happy, successful and fulfilling New Year! 
May you do everything in your power to make this year the best every single day.

With Love, 
J.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Holiday Delay

Call me what you want.
Lazy.
Flaky.
Spacey.
Kevin Spacey.

But… my unfortunate delay in posting the past week is simple and clear…
I was drunk.

(Hahaha just kidding.)

The Holidays get me every year.
That's why I send out my Christmas cards at the end of November and my Thank You notes NEVER get out before mid-January.
Its like a big party followed by one massive hangover.

Let me explain...

First, there is the early December drag:

This occurs the first week or so of December, when things at work start to slow down. 

The Type-A people around the world use this slow-down to get a head-start: 
These are the people who actually went shopping on Thanksgiving AND Black Friday. They buy all of their presents early so they can be wrapped under the tree for no less than 5 weeks. 


Speaking of trees....yes! There is already a tree! Its been in the living room since the weekend after Thanksgiving (sometimes earlier). It was decorated in less than 24 hours and there is "greenery" placed on any and every flat surface in your home that isn't moving. They probably even tackled the outdoor lights because heaven forbid your home doesn't look like a Christmas tree on the inside AND outside!

My life doesn't usually go this way.... Shocker...We usually end up buying a tree about 2 weeks into December. My husband insists on getting a live one. Yipee!... (please note my sarcasm...)
It takes us usually about 12 days to finish the tree...
That includes the 2-3 days it takes my husband to move the tree inside (Last year he left it outside so long it died... we had to get a 2nd tree. Yipee!)... Then 3 days later we put lights up.... 2 days later I put the ribbon on it... and 3 days after that we finally get around to hanging ornaments.
And yes, world. I wrap all of my presents on Christmas Eve.
"Why?"
Because I generally don't buy them until the day before Christmas Eve.
Don't hate. I'm a procrastinator when it comes to shopping. Like... if it were acceptable... everyone would get their gifts from me in January. Or February. Or for their birthday....

Second, there is the ACTUAL Holiday:

From about December 20th on... don't count on anything being simple, fast or easy. Because guess what?--- the ENTIRE WORLD (or country... or whatever) has checked out

Don't get me wrong--- they are usually still running around like chickens with their heads cut off... but they aren't busy with work... nope. 
They are running errands, cleaning their house for company, cleaning their cars for road trips, getting gas, running to-and-from the grocery store... every.single.day.
But... The "Holiday Season" has begun and that means the entire world has basically hit the slow motion video button on my iPhone. 
Like it is impossible for people to put out any more energy until the New Year... 
when apparently a magic reset button makes everyone happy, healthy and productive again.

Third, The First Stage of the Holiday Hangover:

This is a big one. On December 25th-- at about 4:00 pm-- when the family is gone and the food has been devoured... There is this creepy calm. And then... BOOM! Hangover.
Not only do you have to clean 100000000000 dishes from Christmas brunch/lunch/dinner but you have to clean up the living room-- which has now become a graveyard for wrapping paper, boxes and gift packaging. It is everywhere. 
THEN you have to figure out where to put all this SHIT. (We literally have an entire Babies-R-Us aisle in our living room... and I'm actually running out of space in CD's closet. And it is bigger than mine!) 
If you manage to finish all of this before December 26th... you're lucky.


But then comes the really sucky part....
Having to go back to work and return to your normal -- once productive--- life for 3-4 days.
Are you serious!?!? 
I just spent 4 days in my pajamas opening presents, drinking, and eating a disgusting (I mean appalling) amount of food. And NOW you expect me to put back on my work clothes that no longer fit (thank GOD for Maternity pants!!) and sit at my office pretending to do work for 3-4 days ... Just so I can do it all over again on New Year's.
The Answer is NO!



Finally, New Year & New You:

Whether you "work" on New Year's Eve or not--- once 5:00pm hits its like you just got out of school for summer. Time to get all "dolled-up" and hit the town with your besties.
OR... in parent world... 
You cook dinner, go about your normal nightly routine -- praying the baby doesn't stay up past her bedtime-- and then you fall asleep on your couch holding a glass of champagne, wearing some ridiculous hat -- because you and your "significant other" pretended you were going to stay up until the ball drops. Not. Gonna. Happen.
Once the house is quiet and the baby is asleep its only a matter of time til my eyelids drop. permanently.

Then... you wake up feeling either ACTUALLY hungover... or somehow refreshed and renewed. Like your body and mind somehow reset and you're a new person.

NEWSFLASH. You are unfortunately still the same person you were 8 hours ago. Nothing changed. There is no magic "New Year" reset. The only thing that changed is possibly your blood alcohol level. Sorry to break it to you.
The celebrating is over. 
No more paid Holidays at work until Memorial Day. (which is in May... are you depressed now?)

Well since you're already depressed.... 
Now its time to make unrealistic goals for yourself for the new year. 
"Why?" -- you ask
Well because you don't feel bad enough about yourself... why not sit around for a few days examining ALL of your flaws and try to find ways to improve yourself. 

"It worked out SO WELL for you last year didn't it?" 
Wait... your resolution last year was to quit drinking, smoking, and lose 25 lbs-- and you didn't do it? Well at least you have THIS YEAR to let yourself down again.


I'm a little more realistic with my goals for 2015:
1) Don't Die. 
2) Keep my child alive and in one piece. 
Done! 

- I'm not going to lose weight ... so why lie to myself? Its actually more likely that I'm going to gain weight. Eh. I like to eat.

- I'm not going to join a gym and get healthy because ... I'm broke. 
- I'm not going to quit drinking because I like it...
and because my friends are really good at peer pressure so it wouldn't last more than 3 days. 
(Why 3 days, you ask? because all of my (and my husband's) college friends are coming into town for a post-New Year's/Birthday party Downtown and I already promised to quote, "pop bottles" The babysitter is already lined up so this is officially Mama's First (full)Night Out since CD was born. I'm already planning on throwing up somewhere public! Happy Birthday, G! )

And why is it that everyone waits until New Year to make a change?
Find the thing that makes you happy and DO IT!
If you hate your job, find a new one.
If you're overweight or just unhappy with your body quit eating junk. (easier said than done, I know)

Don't wait until the New Year to make things better for you and your loved ones.
Just DO IT!
It is simple.
A New Year is just a perfect opportunity to make those changes-- but it doesn't matter if you start on a Monday, the 1st of the Month or even TOMORROW. 
Sit down and find out what is going to make you a happier person. Then go DO IT.
Simple. and Sweet.

Oh, and HAPPY HOLIDAYS! 














With Love, 
J.

Monday, December 22, 2014

How to: Survive the Office Holiday party

It's December. And I don't need to tell all of you what that involves-- you're not idiots.
But for those of us who have entered the working world there is a new annual commitment (or two) that you must now conquer.

The Office Holiday Party...
And The Office Secret Santa.
(just kidding)

Up until now when these occasions popped up they involve either Family or Friends. Which gives you license to be as last-minute, cheap, lazy and/or in appropriate as you do choose.

EXAMPLE:
Secret Santa with your friends, you draw:
your gay bestie: obvious options: lube, flavored lube, a SAMs club container of hair gel or a pug t-shirt (because you know him THAT well)
your straight bestie: Wanna suck up? get a Kate Spade purse. Want to see if she's really your friend for the right reasons? Give her your old (used) iPhone case.
your bestie's significant other: embarrassing and incriminating photos from their partner's youthful escapades
your husband: remind him that you carried his child for 40 weeks and that's gift enough for at LEAST 18 years.

Secret Santa at work, you draw:
your deskmate: you either get A) too personal (ex: panties), inappropriate (ex:vibrator) or presumptuous (ex:liquor... Maybe she went to Liberty University)
your office "stoner": I feel like a subscription to "High Times" might blow their cover
your boss: a "World's Best Boss" mug is really the only way to go with this one. Its a lie and all... but 'tis the season and Fa La La La... blah blah blah.

So what are your other options?
 ....other than a plethora of Gift Card options because that requires ZERO creativity, thought or risk (Who the hells knows? I saw her drink Starbucks once... $5 gift card it is! And a Venti Iced Breve Vanilla Latte with 2 Splendas)

("Mm Starbucks...")
20 minutes later... Starbucks in hand.

Now to the real point of this entry...
Surviving the Office Holiday Party

I don't care how close and friendly you are with your co-workers ...
THIS IS DANGEROUS WATER.
It's your boss.
Your bosses boss.
And in some cases, the office party-pooper.
(AKA a "chatty Kathy" who eavesdrops and inserts herself into conversations just to stir the pot...) 
So you're out with your "friends" and "non-friends"... and alcohol is everywhere...
Yet somehow people expect you NOT to embarrass yourself? Psshhht. Fools.

In my somewhat limited experience with Office Holiday Gatherings I have learned a few crucial pointers for surviving relatively unscathed.

Step 1: Eat.
As if college taught you NOTHING! You can NOT drink on an empty stomach. That is not a good way to kick this whole thing off.
If there is food at your office party then go ahead and have one or two plate-fulls before you go ham at the bar. If there is NOT food, you need to be prepared-- eat a big lunch, bring money to the party in case food is available for purchase, or just pull a pack of crackers out of your purse. Don't pretend like that is the weirdest thing that's in your purse either.

Step 2: Be Early.
If you show up to your party on time, or even a little early, you are going to be there for the most boring part which makes you less interested in staying. If you show up halfway through and everyone is smashed and having fun then you're obviously going to want to stay for awhile. Get there early and let the boredom seep into your pores -- giving you the desire to get out of there as soon as possible.

Step 3: Leave Early.
Once you get a buzz going-- give yourself a firm smack across the face, order a water, wait the appropriate amount of time to sober up and then LEAVE. The longer you stay the more opportunities you have to embarrass the FUCK out of yourself.
Don't believe me?Let me tell you something...(remember...According to my Southern Slang Dictionary:  "I am about to tell you why you're wrong and I'm right. Don't argue. Just shut up and listen.") 
Just this past Thursday, our office had its annual holiday party. I went over early to help with the "set-up"-- AKA the person who planned the party needed help carrying everything in. I had a few drinks by the time the entire office made it to the party... and I had used MORE than my fair share of drink tickets! At the point I realized I was getting to be the drunkest person in the room... and everyone else noticed too-- I ordered myself a water, waited about an hour and then hoofed it on out of there. (Mind you, this was 7:00pm -- my bedtime is usually around 8:30pm.)
The next morning I come into the office-- prepared to get bombarded with stories about how tipsy I acted and claims that I should not having driven home-- when come to find out another co-worker surpassed my drunkenness after I left. Out of respect for that beloved person, nobody really spoke much about it in the office... its not really a big deal in my office anyways. Lets be honest. But I was glad that no one recalled my tipsy-ness.
Step 4: Watch Your Mouth.
If you're like me, and you tend to get a bit chatty (or chattier...) when you drink... watch yo' self! Know your limits. Otherwise you're 4-drinks-deep and you're pouring your heart out to your boss about your marital issues and telling the HR Director about that time in college you smoked pot. This is not confession. Keep that shit to yourself. and if you can't do it while drinking... don't drink around your co-workers.

Step 5: Don't be a bitch.
This is more of a general life rule. Just apply it to every situation. Including this one.


The Holidays are always a tough season -- with all of the sugar, body issues and family drama-- but trying to navigate the season without lasting effects on your working relationships can be a tricky tricky thing. Otherwise you're gonna be referred to as the "Office Drunk" for the next 12 months until someone else has the ability to over-drink themselves head first into the restaurant toilet.

Best of Luck to you all!
& Happy Holidays! 

With Love, 
J.

Would Virginia Really Qualify As The "Deep South"?

I named my Blog "Deep South Sass"-- if you didn't already know what you're reading, now you do! (so subscribe!)
I already explained the Sass part…
But what about the "Deep South"?

Geographically, Virginia is not located in the deep south… we're more like the Upper South, or Middle East Coast...
Exhibit A:
But… when you LIVE in the South the meaning of "Deep South" has nothing to do with Geography.
Its more of a way of life.
To live in the "Deep South" means:

"Where things most often thought of as 'Southern' exist in their most concentrated form." -Wikipedia (credible, I know)
 So… I guess I should identify what things are affiliated with being "Southern".
Ok. No Problem.
(Google. Google. Goooogle. Eugooglizer… haha Zoolander!)

Getting back on track...
According to a Daily Courier article "What makes us Southern", the answer is:

Dialect: We have all heard a Southern Accent. But… there is Southern and then there is Suuutherrrnnnn. It ranges from a cute little twang... to downright unrecognizable English.

Southern Slang Dictionary:
(for real life examples check out this video... and this one )
Monogram- Your initials put on EVERYTHING so you can tell you and 
your roommates clothes apart.
Y'all- A large or small group of people. Or just vague generalization.
Shiiiiiit- The Southern version of a 4-letter expletive --- 
the longer the "i" lasts the more severe the situation.
"Let me tell you something..."- I am about to tell you why you're wrong and I'm right. 
Don't argue. Just shut up and listen.
Puddin'- A term of endearment. Sometimes in a sarcastic manner. 
(See also: goober, sugar, sweetie pie, honeybunch, buttercup. etc.)

Food: Must love Sweet Tea. Fried Chicken. Fried anything, really. Hush Puppies. and apparently Grits. (although the last is debatable)

Hunting & Fishing: Anything that gives men any excuse to carry a gun and dress in camo.

Large Family Gatherings: While not everyone is The Brady Bunch… there is definitely a closeness that comes with a Southern family. (cue West Virginia incest jokes...) NOT WHAT I MEANT!
It feels like "Southern Style" families make more time for each other.

Hospitality: I have seen the less than hospitable side of the South but I guarantee every Southerner thinks they are the "sweetest" person they know. They tend to be a little ignorant to any "less than friendly" acts they perpetrate.
As if saying "Bless Her Heart" makes your snotty remark acceptable. And warning: Nothing nice comes after "No Offense, but..."... They pretty much just told you what comes next is going to offend you.

Traditions: Can't argue with this one. From weddings to holidays, the south is full of traditions. Heaven forbid we celebrate Christmas without a boatload of my late Grandmother's famous Twist Rolls.

Manners: We may curse your ass out… but at the end, when we are done, you are sure as hell gonna hear a "Thank You". Our manners follow us to the end of the earth.
I had a professor in college who refused to EVER walk in the door before a woman-- he insisted on holding the door for you. I actually think he would hold it all day if you made him (but no one would do that… the man is the spitting image of Santa Claus dressed in a Seersucker suit straight off the professor from The Water Boy) 
 And don't you dare forget to send a Thank You Note... in my family that was a real quick way to get on the list of ungrateful little shits who get written out of the will.

In the end...
"Simply put, we value tradition, manners and our families.
The South — wherever it may be — is a place of good living, pleasant people, abundant dinners and beautiful drives. Southern life is about family, friends and making the most out of life no matter how humble it may be."  -ALYSSA MULLIGER 


With Love, 
J. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Video: Last Day of Work Prank

If you're wondering about me... and my sense of humor.... and why you should subscribe to my blog... I present Exhibit A:
I sat at my security guard's desk to tape this on the screen. I sent him out to give a co-worker a parking ticket on his last day at our company. You'll see why...
(**P.S. please ignore the awkward and embarrassing vertical video-- I wasn't planning to post this when I shot it-- but it was too good not to)
Not my best work. But I show improvement and potential. (just ask my mom)

   


With Love, 
J.





Addictions, Pt.1: Why Having a Child is Like a Drug Addiction

On top of my un-diagnosed ADHD and my inability to complete a task... I have an addictive personality.
I've managed to make it 26 years without establishing a drug or alcohol problem (although there was a questionable period of time during my Senior year of College)
BUT I have other addictions. Lots of them. And I plan to use this Blog as my own form of AA-- we shall call it Addicts Anonymous.

My name is Joanna and I'm addicted to...
Online Flash Sales (DAMN YOU, KATE SPADE!)
Coffee
Diet Coke
Breakfast Foods
Chocolate
etc.

And while I plan to explore all of these addictions (and more) in this blog-- I figured I should start with my most recent and most consuming addiction. I mean my life literally revolves around this object. I've never been addicted to drugs but I feel like this is the closest I have come.

So...
Let me introduce to you, Exhibit A: My Daughter.
Is she not the cutest thing you have ever seen?

**For those of you non-parents reading this entry, let me start by saying: I understand how you feel right now. The eye-roll and the sudden urge to vomit as yet another parent starts GUSHING about their offspring. Please! No more stories involving dirty diapers, random objects being lodged in a child's nose and that time they did the CUTEST thing... 
I'm sorry. I was once in your position. It was not that long ago that the mention of someone's child incited the same reaction. And all you're doing from that moment on is wishing we could rewind time to when we all were child-free and we'd sit around talking about boys/girls, the latest episode of some reality TV show, and play Power Hour.

Buuut... I digress...
Back to my adorable child and most crippling obsession.

My daughter, who I shall refer to as CD, is just over 6 months old.
And for the last 6 months my life has revolved around her smiles, dirty diapers, spit up and blue eyes... And I don't even care!
I can't even remember what my life used to be like before I was a mom-- a whopping 7 months ago (well... 17 months if you include the GLORIOUS time I spent as a human incubator)

What exactly did I do all day when I wasn't reading mommy blogs and child development books or trying to teach my daughter to say "mama" (Because that girl is going to be in some SERIOUS trouble if she chooses to acknowledge her father before me. I spent 10 months SOBER for you, kid! I deserve some credit and some respect!)

So... Why do I consider this an ADDICTION rather than an OBSESSION?
First, a little background -- courtesy of Dictionary.com:
Addiction: (noun) the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.
Obsession(noun) 1. the domination of one's thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc.; 2. a persistent idea or impulse that continually forces its way into consciousness, often associated with anxiety and mental illness. 

Its clear to me (and probably to other parents) why the love for a child is more of an addiction and not an obsession... but for you non-parents, I am more than happy to explain.

I went on "the Google" and looked up 10 signs of Addiction --
So Here Goes...

10 Reasons Having a Child is Like Having a Drug Addiction
1. You Question whether or not you have an addiction.
       Is this blog evidence enough? 
       I am literally writing an entire novel about my possible addiction to my child. 
       Case Closed.

2. You can never get enough.
      This one is a little tougher to explain.
       Parents will all tell you at one point or another they have had ENOUGH of their kids. 
       BUT... I do believe in those instances they are just overwhelmed and exhausted. 
       At no point would they actually send their kids up the river or put them up for sale in the yard 
       (Although I'm sure many have threatened it once or twice)

3. You spend all of your time thinking about the object of your addiction.
       When it comes to drugs or alcohol-- you continually think about where your next drink or "fix" is coming from... But when it comes to kids, its a little simpler.
        No matter what you're doing or where you are...at some point, something is going to make you think about, obsess about and, in some cases, miss your child.
       FOR EXAMPLE:
       I was once told that men and women react differently to having photos of their children on their desk at work-- 
       Men tend to use the image as motivation to work harder and make more money... 
      Women, however, are distracted by the image and tend to get less work done. SO TRUE!
      My desktop background at work is a slideshow of adorable pictures of my daughter... and I have caught myself at least 50 times staring at the screen and smiling uncontrollably...
      or I catch myself talking cutesy baby-talk to my computer monitor.
     (Luckily, no one at work has caught on to this ... yet)

4. Your addiction has caused you to miss work, school or a social occasion.
       As if this needs explaining.
       My daughter's battle with Bronchitis kept me and my husband from work for almost a full week.
       And I don't even remember what a "social occasion" is anymore. Just kidding! Sort of... But it definitely makes social outings way more complicated and (almost) not even worth the trouble.
      "Who can keep the baby?"
      "Who will stay sober enough to drive us to the babysitter and then back home?"
      "How much is this damn party/event going to cost us? between the babysitting, drinks, food..."
      "What do we need to pack for the 4 hours the baby is going to be with the babysitter?"
(The Answer: EVERYTHING. Literally, EVERYTHING IN YOUR HOUSE. Toys. 5 changes of clothes. Just in case. 30 diapers. Just in case. 2 boxes of wipes. Just in case. 3 pacifiers. Just in case. 6 bottles. Just in case... you get the point. Packing for a 4 hour outing is like packing for a 5-day vacation.)

5. You have to increase the frequency or intensity of the behavior to get the desired effect.
      In the case of drugs, this means increasing your "dose"...
      In the case of children, this means increasing the time you get to spend with them.
      And as a "Working Mom" let me tell you... time is precious. I wish I could spend every minute of every day snuggled up with my little one. It may sound extreme, but its the truth. I find myself staring at the video baby monitor while she's sleeping in her crib WISHING she would wake-up so I can snuggle her. Or wishing she was a little older so she could come into our bed and sleep with me!

6. If you're not using you feel anxious, restless or sorry for yourself.
7. When you are not using it is all you can think about.
       These two can be explained in the same way:
       It is hard to explain the anxiety that comes from being away from your child.
       The "not knowing" if everything is okay ... to the sinking feeling in your stomach that something is wrong. You just KNOW it.
       Hence the annoying 15 calls to the babysitting during your 2-hour dinner. Poor, Babysitter.
       Basically your mind is constantly consumed with your child.
       You can't help it. Nor should you. Your kid is cute and fun--- so why not think about squeezing her little cheeks all day? (just me?)

8. You are defensive about it when someone asks you about your behavior or substance of choice.
      "I feel like all you talk about these days is your child!"
       Non- parents: Danger, Will Robinson!
       This is a dangerous accusation. Either A) you're gonna bring out the "mama bear" and get appendages ripped off while he/she is putting you in your place for being an insensitive, self-involved asshole or B) you're gonna make him/her feel like a total douche for dominating the conversation with kid stories.
      Please Understand... it is NOT our fault.
      Look back at #6 and #7...it is unavoidable.
      EVERYTHING makes us think of our children. Please accept that and move on.
      There isn't a recovery program for Child Obsession (yet) and until there is you either have to deal with it, or risk the possibility that you may lose a friend by ticking them off and addressing the issue-- just like with drug addicts. Approach with caution.

9. You blame your behavior on other people or circumstances.
       I can't even count the number of times I've said "Well if she wasn't so cute I wouldn't...."
       It's her fault. CD is so stinkin' cute that I can do nothing but discuss her latest milestone and most adorable interactions. If she was an ugly, boring baby I would have nothing to talk about.

and finally...
10. The behavior is causing problems in your life.
       HAH! Understatement of the Century! Thank you, Captain Obvious!
       In the last 6 months I have:
           -Had screaming matches with my husband about poop, vomit, laundry, and countless othe ridiculous issues.
           - Gone to work with shit on my shirt. Literally, I had shit on my shirt. And I worked the entire day like that... What? You got a problem with that?
           - Broken my toe tripping over a piece of baby furniture (DAMN YOU SNUGGAMONKEY SLEEPER!)
           - Hired a cleaning lady because I do not have the time, patience or energy to clean my house (and I refuse to have ANOTHER fight with my husband about his idea of "clean")
         And that is just the beginning...
         Having a kid is like nothing else in this world. It is the most disruptive thing that can happen.
        As I have told multiple friends--- "Having CD is something I would not trade for the world because she means the world to me... but I would not recommend it to other people."
        Before you hate on me for that statement.. Let me explain!
        There is no "good time" to have a baby.
        If your idea of a fun Friday night is taking turns rocking the baby until she finally stops crying and falls asleep-- then having a kid is for you!
        If you love cleaning up other people's shit and vomit-- go ahead, make a baby!
        If you think lullabys and annoying kid cartoons are the greatest things on the planet -- and you want to have those annoying songs stuck in your head ALL DAMN DAY-- please, by all means, be my guest: Procreate.

All of the good things really do outweigh the bad... trust me. But that doesn't make it any easier.    
Becoming a parent is the most overwhelming experience I have ever had.
And I mean that in both the good and bad way...

So... for anyone reading this, please understand, we just can't help ourselves.
Our kids are like crack. Deal with it.
(and if you're not ready for this type of addiction... please. by all means. help everyone out and refer to this article about Effective Birth Control methods.)

With Love, 
J.

Oh, why not.
One more adorable picture for the road...

Couldn't you just eat her up?
Eh, maybe its just me.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

What it really means to be Southern

I can't even tell you how many times someone has told me to start a blog.
Generally, I just pass it off as a polite way of getting me to shut up and go away but apparently... I was wrong. (Despite what I tell my husband... this HAS happened before)

For years I toyed with the idea of writing a blog. 
I mean... I tend to find my thoughts and interests fascinating and others seem to find me humorous—is there a better combo when it comes to a Blogger? I think not! -- Except for the fact that I am INFAMOUS for starting things that I never finish. Hence my short lived violin career, the time I tried to work at Victoria’s Secret, and that week that I swore I was going to teach myself to love running. Okay, it was 3 days – but at least I thought about it. I’m convinced that in the end the thought will actually help. Like, just because running crossed my mind back in 2012 it means I am less likely to die from some “poor-health” related affliction.
Oh, and did I mention I get off topic easily?

**And as a forewarning of those of you testing my Blogging chops by test reading this little entry—it took me three tries to write that paragraph without the F word. I like to curse. It happens. I will try to control it as best I can but sometimes there just is no substitute for a well place 4-letter expletive. And no one said this thing had to be family friendly, right?

(getting myself back on track... shiny objects... music playing.. "Do you wanna build a snowman?"... Focus! Focus, Joanna!!)

Now that my life (and my career) have taken yet another turn -- I thought "What's stopping you, Joanna?" (and yes, I speak to myself in the 3rd person. I find it motivating and somewhat soothing)
So. Here we go.
Let's start with something simple... a little something about Me! (My husband will likely disagree with me classifying myself as "simple" -- but I really don't think I'm that complicated.)
And an insight into why I chose to name this blog "Down South Sass"

My name is Joanna-- as most, if not all of you know.
I grew up in Southwest Virginia. (I won't give details just in case one of you is a psycho stalker.)
I learned everything there. How to ride a bike. How to break the rules. How to break the rules and not get caught. How to get out of trouble when you get caught breaking the rules.
Lets just say I had a well educated upbringing.

But the most important thing I learned there is the true meaning of being "Southern"
It is not just about the "ma'am" and the "y'all"-- and forget about the cowboy boots and 10-gallon hats. If someone owns one of those and DOESN'T live on a farm or ranch... then they just want to APPEAR Southern. I'm not hating. I own some CUTE ASS cowgirl boots but I don't pretend that those make me Southern.
Being Southern means you're real.
Real Sassy.
Real Bitchy.
Real Classy.
Real Drunk....
but always real.
People may not like it or agree with it. But... Who Cares?
What you see (in my case, what you hear) is what you get!

Don't get me wrong-- being Southern does NOT give you an excuse to be rude or hateful.
(Although, I have been called both)
It's still involves having manners and saying "Please" "Thank You" and "Bless Your Heart"-- but it has nothing to do with where you grew up, the number of Alabama Football games you've been to, or whether or not your great-great-grandfather fought for the South in the Civil War. (Newsflash! They lost! Its nothing to brag about!)

The whole point of this rant (and eventual History lesson) is that everyone can learn a little bit from us Southerners.
Why would you want to live your life being anything other than real?
Don't live each day to please other people or make other people happy. It is YOUR life! And at the end of it, you can either look back and smile at the fact that you lived it fully and made yourself happy... OR you can have regrets.
"I wish I had told him/her how I feel!"
"I wish I had gone to (fill in the blank) when I had the chance!"
Should've. Could've. Would've.
Believe me. That's not how I plan to look back on my life and you shouldn't either.
So be Real. Whatever that means to you. It is your choice and your life.

With Love, 
J.

Stay Tuned:
For more of my thoughts, ideas and general life lessons.
Shoot me some comments if you have any ideas or want me to comment on something in particular. I'm easily persuaded.