Girls Night Uh-oh

I am lucky enough to have been blessed with a group of gals who I have been friends with since high school.  In our 25+ years of friendships, there have been ups and downs, blessing and tragedies, joys and sorrows.  To help keep us sane, we venture out once a month of a Girls Night Out.   We like to keep things fun by trying new and different things each month.  Last night we ventured out into the frigid evening to get mani/pedis, have dinner, and then tune up our pipes with some karaoke.

After a cold, snowy, stress-filled week, I was super excited to go hang out with my gal pals, first to pamper ourselves, and then to embarrass ourselves.

I wrapped up the week at my office and headed out to make sure everything was copacetic on the homefront.  Kids home.  Homework done.  Errands fulfilled.  Now, time to make myself GNO ready to go.

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Not too bad for a soon to be ol’ lady.  (Full disclosure, the glasses are not mine.  They belong to my mini-me.  I think I do them justice.  Can’t see for crap out of them, but I look cute! 😉 Plus, it annoys her when I take her things and take selfies.  Score one for mom! )

On the way to meet everyone at the salon, I made a quick stop at Target to pick up a few things.  Since it was GNO, I traded in my daily ‘student chasing’ tennis shoes, for a cute little pair of black heels.  A girl’s gotta look good after all!  Click-click…  Click-click…  Click-click… I cruised myself into and around Target, grabbing what I needed, but, as I clomped around, something just didn’t feel right.  Click-click… Is it my zipper?  Nope, that’s up.  Click-click… Did I remember to turn off my straightener?  Yes, I know I did.  Click-click… Do I have my phone?  Yup, it’s right here.  Click-click… So what could it be?  Click-click…   Click-click…  Click-wait…am I limping?  It’s at that moment I realize what I wrong.  A quick look down confirms my suspicions.

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I’m wearing two different shoes.

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Not only are they different shoes.

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But they are also different heights.

I’m an idiot.

In my rush to get out for a night of relaxation and laughter with the girls, I didn’t even realize what I had put on my feet.  I can maybe excuse myself because they are the same color with similar toe shapes, but I have no words for the fact I made my left leg an inch shorter than my right.

I’m a girl who believes in signs.  These shoes are a sign of two things.  1)  I desperately need a night out.  2)  The universe wants me to buy new boots.

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I’m nothing if not a rule follower…

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Tuesdays will never be the same

Tuesday.  One day removed from dreaded Monday.  Not quite close enough to the weekend to really start celebrating.

Most Tuesdays are spent racing home from work, barreling through homework, and driving the taxi like a mad woman, all with the goal for getting into my jammies and onto the couch.

This week….Tuesday was….. a little different.

When the time rolled around to plan this month’s Girl’s Night Out, our friend Tina was lucky enough to stubble upon a flier for a traveling artist performance group that would be in a city close to ours.  Even though we had planned to catch a boring old movie later in the month, we decided it was a much better idea to support the arts and the art community as a whole.  After all, arts are important!

This month’s GNO is proudly brought to you by…

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Chip

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Dale

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(I don’t know if those were their real names.  But, let’s be honest, I don’t really care what their names are.)

For our purposes, we will call them all eye candy.

Greased-up, buffed-up, beefcake eye candy that, for a measly $10, would gladly allowed anyone in the screaming audience to saunter up on stage and enjoy a not so private moment on the public stage.  (And before you ask, No…Hell no!)

Some ladies were just dying to let loose.

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Some were shocked and embarrassed.

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But there’s always those few in the crowd who you would least expect who turn out to be the craziest ones around.

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No seriously.  This lady took off her shirt IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BAR!  (You can stop playing all sweet and innocent.  The jig is up!)

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Grandmas are officially ruined for me, but then again, so are Tuesdays.

At least I know I’m loved

My kids go to Catholic School.  Every year they have a volunteer mass where they honor all the parents, neighbors, parishioner, and others who have volunteered during the school year.  Since I’m always at work during their weekly masses, I usually try to make it the volunteer mass each year.  A few weeks ago, I put in my sheet for the time off to attend today’s event.

As it just so happens, today is also my mom’s birthday.  Today she’s (29×2) + 3.  (My mom insists on staying 29, so the rest of us comply with her wishes….sort of.)

As we were all running around this morning getting ready, Paige called my mom to wish her a happy birthday, then we jetted off to school.  Just as mass was starting, my phone began vibrating.  I looked at it and noticed it was work.  Someone must have seen my office was empty, but didn’t talk to the main office to see that I was coming in late.  Oh well, I’ll return the call after mass.

Then a few minutes later, it goes off again.

Then another call.  This time from a different co-worker.

I know I turned in my paperwork, I hope there’s not an emergency at work.

Then IP‘s phone starts ringing.

A few more minutes later, I get a call from my mom.

Then another on my phone from work.

Then one from my mom’s cell phone.

Oh crap, there’s an emergency all right, but it’s not at work, its me.

Our father, hallelujah, stand up, sit down, fight, fight, fight!   Please say Mass has ended, so I can go in peace to love and serve the Lord and calm the nerves of my loved ones.

When I step outside to start returning calls, luckily, I’m greeted with endless laughter as I find out the extent to which the Finding Kerry saga reached.

When I didn’t arrive at work, they were worried.  I’m always on time, heck usually early, but no panic yet.  When I wasn’t there after 30 minutes, the calls started.  After not reaching me on my cell or at home, then not reaching IP, they called my mom.

“We don’t want to alarm you, but Kerry didn’t arrive at work today.  She didn’t call.  It’s not like her.”

“Well, I talked to Paige this morning and heard Kerry in the background.  Let me make a few calls.”

Mom decided her best first move was to call the kid’s school.  If they had been dropped off, she could start her search between there and my work.  If they weren’t at school, then she would make a B-line to my house.  Quick to action and ready to roll.  I think mom may have missed her calling by not becoming a detective.

She called the school.  “Um, this is going to sound like a weird question, but, I’m Paige and Trystan‘s grandma.  We can’t find their mom.  Were the kids dropped off at school?”

“Yep, they’re here.  Let me get the Principal for you.”

The Principal, in her infinite wisdom, scanned the pews at Mass before coming to the phone.

“Hi.  She’ in church.”

Praise the Lord!  I had been found.

Aw shucks….I might have looked good on a milk carton.

Meanwhile, back at the bat cave, um, I mean my work, they were feverishly digging through the paperwork, hoping to find proof that I wasn’t supposed to be there.  Eureka!  I’ve found it!  Kerry, 4/25, out 8-10 am at kid’s Mass.  Then my director asked the key question….”Did I sign the sheet?”  “Yes, yes you did.”

When mom called my work back to give them the good news, they relayed to her the mix-up with the paperwork and apologized for the near heart-attack they offered her as a birthday present.

I arrived at work to cheers, applause, and hugs.  The prodigal co-worker that was once lost, had been found.

Some times you walk through life not knowing if others around you really care, if you’re actually seen, if you’d really be missed.  Today I learned how kind, loving, and caring my friends at work truly are.  I’m proud to say that you have given me my Sally Field moment…

You like me, you really like me!

And I love you all!

 

 

 

 

Ok, I’ll play

The high noon sun is beating down on my messy ponytail while I hide behind a weathered tractor tire.  The rock gravel grinds into my scraped knees as I scrunch down, hoping not to be seen.  As IT approaches, I hold my breath, hoping I won’t be found, paranoid IT can hear my rapid heartbeat.  Please don’t see me, please don’t see me, please don’t see me….

Tag, one of those childhood playground games that all kids loved.  Well, all kids but me.  I was not what you would call a tag enthusiast.  Mostly because I was not a fast, nimble child.  A game of tag to me became a strange strategy session, trying to run out the recess clock while avoiding the dreaded tag at all costs.

So when my blogging friend irishkatie tagged me in an online version of tag, my first reaction was to freak out.  Then I remembered I wasn’t 10 anymore and my heart rate went back to normal.  Katie has been a great find in the blogging world, a truly great soul.  I was happy and honored.  Truly honored.  Of all the bloggers out there in the wordpress world, Katie chose to pick me to tag.   Then I was worried.  As I was reading the game of tag rules and regulations (there seem to be a lot of rules and regs…), I started to freak out a little bit.  Most of my days are a non-stop roller coaster of work, kids homework, household maintenance, and kids activities, days that pass in a blur as I dream of getting to my couch.  My stomach tightened up with anxiety thinking of when I would actually get time to respond properly to this tagging and give Katie the thanks she deserved.

Luckily, the nature gods decided to drop 9 inches of snow on the great state of Nebraska, blessing those of us in education with the gift of a snow day.  After sleeping in, cleaning out all the messy closets and junk drawers, then cuddling with the kiddos for a movie, I hunkered down with my laptop to finally crank out my reply.  So here goes…..

First I’m supposed to post the rules.  (I’m a rule follower, so I’m going to do as told.)

1.  Post rules. 2. Post a picture.  3. Post 11 random facts about myself.  4. Answer the questions given to you in your tag.  5. Tag others. 6. Create 11 questions for those tagged.  7.  Notify those you have tagged.

Number 1 done.  Here’s number two.

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I’m going to spoil number 5, and mention one of my tags now.  Anka is a wonderful fellow blogging friend who honored my last month by making me a “Bon-A-Fide Mommy” and linking me on her blog.  She is a great blogger who is Keeping it Real all the time, plus we freakishly have too much in common!

Eleven random facts…  1. My favorite movie is Say Anything.  “A pen.  I gave her my heart and she gave me a pen.”  2. I have a pencil collection.  They were the cheapest souvenir when on vacation, so I always knew I could get one.  3.  I loved the cartoon Garfield so much I named my cat Odie.  (Don’t judge.)  4. I had a pet beta fish that thought he was a dog.  No seriously, he chased his tail in the bowl and swam to the top when you called him. Oh, and his name was Fluffy.  5. I drink coffee at night, while I’m falling asleep.  Apparently caffeine has no effect on me.  5.  My first concert was New Kids on the Block in 1989.  6.  My favorite concert was New Kids on the Block in 2008.  (Again, don’t judge.)  7. I get up at 5 am everyday and run.  I have issues.  8.  I’m obsessive compulsive about having a clean house.  I will put things away my family is still working with.  No really, I can not stand water spots on my sink.  It’s a sickness.  9.  I love fall because I love wearing sweatshirts with shorts and FOOTBALL!  I order the Red Zone every year and watch football all day Saturday and Sunday.  10. I wear crazy socks everyday, to every event, and they usually don’t match what I’m wearing. 11. I swear like a sailor.

Next…Answering Katie’s questions.

  • 6.1.      How do you think you and I met?  I don’t know.  I think I saw your blog mentioned on someone else’s so I clicked the link and found a friend.
  • 6.2.      How long do you think you will be blogging here?  I hope for a while.  I’ve kept it up over a year now, so I think I’m doing good so far!
  • 6.3.      Whether you like math or not, what do you think is one cool thing about math? I like Math because Math has a definite answer.
  • 6.4.      Whether you believe we are alone in the universe or not, does believing what you do comfort you? Yes, very much.  My faith gives me very much comfort.
  • 6.5.      What is an embarrassing thing that happened to you since the beginning of 2013?  Sending a text to the wrong person!
  • 6.6.      What is something you have done since the beginning of 2013 that you are proud of? I made Chicken Pot Pie from scratch last weekend…and the fam LOVED it!
  • 6.7.      What did you dream about last night? I can’t tell you, you’ll blush….
  • 6.8.      We’ve all seen the, ‘What 5 people would you want a dinner party?’ question.  Say you got all 5 there, what would you serve for dinner?  Steak and mashed potatoes, corn bread with honey, corn on the cob.
  • 6.9.      Can you give the next in the sequence? OTTFFS   Um, no…..
  • 6.10.    All of you that I have tagged loved to write.  What kind of writing do you like to do?  I like to tell stories from my life about situations that I found funny.  As I’m writing, I’m hoping that you all will find them funny too!
  • 6.11.    What makes you happy when you are feeling down?  Singing at the top of my lungs in my car.  I’m really good…I think.

Here’s where my lack of tech knowledge will come into play.  I hope these links work.

Keeping it Real

mom of 3 and i need a bigger car!

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Katie

Mar on the Run!

Ok, I promise, I’m almost done. Here are my questions.

1.  Why did you start blogging?

2.  Biggest, yet to be accomplished, dream?

3.  Biggest fear?

4.  Biggest failure?

5.  Biggest regret?

6.  Secret crush?

7.  Favorite color?

8.  Team who?

9.  Worst fashion faux pas?

10.  Secret food you love, but would never admit to others?

11.  If you had one day to yourself, no chores or errands to do, what would you do?

And exhale… I’m finally no longer IT.  Whew!  No tag back!  😉

 

There is no second place

Kicking back on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, eating take-out Chinese, watching the latest Red Box release.  This is a typical Saturday evening in many a household.  Well not in the Soby household!

Our evening was spent at the St Joan of Arc 2nd Annual Dodgeball Tournament.  What, you’re kid’s school doesn’t hold an annual tournament where all the kids sit ideally by in the stands while their parents team up, trash talk, whip balls at each other?  Maybe you need a new school.

Last year, our team had a dismal showing.  Despite the mental prepping and enough bulletin board material released from my husband’s mouth to fill an NFL locker room, we lost both our matches and were quickly out of the tourney.  We came back bitter and hungry this year.

Now, the first step to a successful dodgeball showing, is the costume, um uniform.  A quick trip to Target, and we were ready to make our grand appearance. What do you think?

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I think the game faces really top it of!

Don’t let all the outfits and scowls fool you, I’m really not that strong of a player.  But the game is called dodgeball, so that is what I do.  With a three-minute match where the team with the most players at the buzzer wins the point, running around the court, dodging the balls to keep your team up in numbers is an effective strategy, one that Kara and I have mastered!

Johanna, Kara, and Me

Johanna, Kara, and Me

Time to get this party started!

Brian, Kara, Paulie, Eric, Johanna, and the infamous Peter

Brian, Kara, Paulie, Eric, Johanna, and the infamous Peter

We started out strong, winning our first match in the best of 5, double elimination contest, thanks in part to a round ending dodgeball catch by Johanna to win a crucial point.  That chic has mad skills, she’s my idol!  Match two pitted us against the defending champions from last year.  We lost a heart breaking round 2-3 and were relegated to the loser’s bracket.  Next up was a match against a scrappy crew who, despite their quick hands and good aim, were growing winded and two of their heavy hitters were hobbled.  Johanna to the rescue again.  At the beginning of round three, she announced, “I’ve got sweatpants!” and quickly took out their leader.  Winning that match placed up back against the defending champs in the Championship match.  Since they hadn’t lost yet (those #*&$@^ #*&$^#@!), we had to beat them twice if we wanted them dethroned.  Game on!

Back off ladies....He's all mine!

Back off ladies….He’s all mine!

Totally Sweet!…. And totally deadly with a dodgeball.  He won a one-on-one sudden death match point against our greatest foe in round one of the finals.  Then a little girl in the stands pointed to him and shouted, “Hey, I have that same shirt!”  I hope her parents have enough money to pay for her therapy…..and go home and burn her shirt.

A 3-1 win for us gave them their first loss, and set the stage for the final match.  We took a quick 2-0 lead heading into game three.  Game three began and, before I could blink, my worst fear came true, my whole team was out, sans me, and I was staring at 5 opponents on the opposite side, all holding balls, all pissed they were on the brink of defeat.  Despite my best efforts, and taking out their heavy hitter with one of my pathetic throws, (Sorry, Kevin, but taking you out made my evening complete!) we lost that point.  Point 4 went to them as well, setting up a 2-2 final match for all the marbles.

Twelve adults, 6 balls and 3 minutes to glory.  It was a grueling back and forth.  Great shots, heartbreaking hits, hard falls, and unbelievable catches.  As the final buzzer sounded, three, winded, sweaty, and bruised teammates of mine stood staring at their lowly two.  VICTORY WAS OURS!

Johanna, Brian, Paulie, Kara, Peter, Me, Eric, and Ann

Johanna, Brian, Paulie, Kara, Peter, Me, Eric, and Ann

From first out last year to holding the crown this year!!!  We did it!!!!  We won!!!!

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Now where’s the Tylenol?

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Live while we’re young

As I’ve mentioned before, every month I go on a Girls Night Out with an incredible group of girls.  We all met over 20 years ago (that just made me feel old) back in our high school days.  Depending on the season or whatever mood strikes us, we try different and fun things on our evenings on the town.  Last night, Tina did the picking and we attempted to relive our youth by going ice skating.

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I like ice skating, of course, I would though.  I used to LOVE roller skating back in the day.  I would show up at Skateland, a local middle school hang out, before the doors opened, skates in hand, anxious to try to be the first one on the rink.  In those days, I used to try to stay on the rink all night, no breaks, never missing a song.  The real challenge came when it was time for the couples skate.  I was not much of a dater back then, so I never to go-to guy to guarantee myself a partner.  In the sixth grade, I accepted an ill-fated roll around the rink from Doug Hagemen and ended up with a broken wrist.  It wasn’t his fault someone fell behind me while I was backwards skating, but I never missed a chance to rub it in all through high school.  Anywho, ice skaing, to me, is just roller skating with your coat on, so I was all for it.

When we arrived at the rink, I felt like I was both reliving my youth….and ancient at the same time.  One this crisp January night, the rink was packed with 12 to 15 year olds, each trying to look cooler than the next.  The only other adults at the rink consisted of  a few random parents who, by the looks on their faces, had drawn the short straw and been forced stayed to supervise their children.  Most of the kids stood huddled in the center of the rink, attempting to make a dance floor on the ice, while staying upright on their skates.  The man who looked like he was having the least fun of the evening, was the police officer assigned to rink duty that night.  I don’t know if they covered “shooing a skate-less teenager off the ice rink” in the academy, but he was really good at it and called in repeatedly to perform this task.

Now me, I am not one of these “sit on the sidelines of life” type of people.  I’m only here once, so I’m going to go out and have a good time of it.  I don’t care if I embarrass myself or anyone else in the process.  I don’t know these people, and if I did, so what?  Plus, I work with owly, grumpy teenagers, I’m not scared off by their scowls.

So I did what I all those other parents should have, I jumped on that ice and OWNED it.  I skated.  I danced to the music.  I sang and made a fool of myself.

Gangnam Style anyone?

Who doesn’t want to live like we’re young?

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What were they thinking?

I’m a pretty lucky lady.  I have a group of friends from high school that I still get together with every month.  At Christmas time, we have a Christmas Party, complete with an ornament exchange.  To spice things up a little, it’s an ornament exchange with the ability to steal!

Year after year, we’d all go out and buy these beautiful, thoughtful ornaments, vying to find that one special ornament everyone would take a liking to, that would get stolen repeatedly.

Then one year, a few of us decided to throw a wrench into the plan.  We still bought a very nice ornament to give to a friend, but we also decided to buy the ugliest ornament we could find and wrap it up as our real ornament.  When the first ugly ornament was opened and the fake excitement was displayed by our dismayed friend, a new tradition was born.

Now everyone searches high and low, hoping they have struck ornament gold, with the tackiest, gaudiest, ugliest expression of holiday joy.  After the endless fights and rounds of steals, the owners of the ugly ornaments are rewarded with their beautiful consolation prizes, and a side ache from all the laughing.

After many years of ugly ornaments, the hunt to find the ugliest gets tougher each passing year.  Here are some of the contenders from this year’s hunt.

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Happy hunting!

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Who doesn’t need a Luau Gorilla?

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Everyone’s Cool in the Pool!

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This one I just don’t get.  Who puts mustard on a tree?

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Namaste…  To answer your question, yoga hippo was my purchase this year and  a real winner.  I loved it so much I almost bought one for myself!

In case you were wondering, this is the BEST ugly ornament I have ever received.  I think it’s supposed to be an owl, but I think it looks like a deranged C3PO.  I LOVE IT!!!

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May the force be with you.