Another Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary, world!

Today marks the two year anniversary of A Girl Named Wanda! ¬†I can’t believe it’s been two years, and I continue to be blown away by the fact that so many of you continue to read my non-sense and ramblings. Thank you for your support, encouragement, and the endless hours of entertainment I’ve enjoyed by reading your blogs and sharing in your experiences.

Currently, I am visiting my grandparents in central Illinois and I am without Internet. ūüė≥They are 95 and 97 years old, so computers and wi-fi isn’t really their thing. I’ve used 20% of my cell phone battery in typing these two paragraphs into the WordPress app. ¬†Awesome. While I can’t go into great detail at this time, after spending a week here away from my family and no access to modern technology outside of my phone, you can rest assured that my next post will be worth the wait. ūüėú

Thank you again for reading!

Priorities, and stuff.

Don’t pay the ransom!¬† I escaped!

Just kidding.  No one would kidnap me.

Since my last post over a month ago, life has been ridiculously busy, and clearly I’m not good at¬†finding the¬†time to write while managing all that must come first.¬†¬†For example, I’ve¬†already been interrupted ten times in the last seven minutes since I sat down to write this post.¬† At this rate I’ll be lucky to get three posts up this summer.¬† In the past six weeks or so we’ve had my son’s Kindergarten graduation, a new puppy, our annual vacation back home to the Midwest, my wedding anniversary and my mother-in-law flew in to spend the 4th of July weekend with us.¬† It’s been a whirlwind, but it’s all been good.

FullSizeRender (1)And I know what you’re thinking….”Did she say she got a new puppy?!”¬† Yes, and she has taken up the bulk of my time and attention since she joined our family.¬† I didn’t mean to get a puppy.¬† I didn’t want a new puppy.¬† We already have three cats and a large dog.¬† But the universe sort of thrust her at me, and when the universe hands you an adorable little baby like that, well, you just can’t hand it back.

This is Mavis.¬† The last week of school while I was¬†waiting to pick Bryce up, another mom from our class showed up holding this adorable little baby girl.¬† I took one look at her and my soul screamed, “Mine!”¬† I immediately asked the mom if she had gotten a new dog and she explained that her cocker-spaniel¬†had “accidentally” mated with her sister’s Chihuahua.¬† The IMG_0086result was four of the most adorable Chi-Spaniel (that’s apparently what they’re called)¬†babies you have ever seen, and they were giving them away to good homes.¬† Done!¬† I took a picture of her with my phone and texted the photo to Dan.¬† I took her home with me that day.¬† And now I remember why we decided we were done having kids.¬† She is adorable but exhausting.¬† Having a new puppy is just like having a new baby in the house.¬† I can’t turn my back on her for a second.¬† One second she is my Sweet Mavis, and the next she is Mavis the Destroyer.¬† Potty training sucks.¬† My only consolation is that when she’s FINALLY potty trained, I’m getting all new area rugs.

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I don’t usually post personal photos, but I think we look hot in this picture, so Happy Anniversary to us!!

Everything else seems a bit trivial in comparison to Mavis.¬† Our vacation back home was good.¬† I love the Midwest, I just can’t live there full time.¬† But summers there are heaven.¬† My anniversary was awesome, until it wasn’t.¬† Dan and I had tickets to a private chef’s table dinner at our favorite ocean-side resort.¬† Twelve couples enjoyed a five course gourmet dinner over-looking the ocean.¬† We had yellow-fin tuna ceviche that had been caught that morning off the coast of San Diego.¬† We enjoyed freshly caught and prepared lobster and other fresh sustainable foods that had been grown on the property of the resort along with wine pairings from a local vineyard.¬† It was fantastic.¬† We made some new friends and enjoyed drinks and live music in the hotel lobby bar after dinner.¬† And then I had to haul ass back to our room¬†and spent the rest of the night praying to the¬†porcelain god.¬† ¬†It wasn’t food poisoning because nobody else got sick.¬† It wasn’t alcohol because, sadly,¬†I wasn’t drunk yet.¬† Whatever caused it ruined my night and I’m still a little pissed about it because when I get to eat food that amazing and that¬†expensive, you bet your ass I want to hang on to it.¬† I need a do-over.

Now that life has returned to a normal speed for me, I’m trying to play catch up.¬† I’m reconsidering my rule about not posting my personal opinions about politics and/or religion on social media.¬† The world is going crazy and I might need to talk about it.¬† We’ll see.¬† In the meantime, I look forward to¬†stalking all the blogs I’ve neglected over the past month.¬† I’ve missed you guys!¬† ūüôā

See!  She was meant to be my dog!

See! She was meant to be my dog!

Happy Anniversary, Wanda!

one year anniversary badgeToday marked the one year anniversary of A Girl Named Wanda!

In the past year, Wanda has gained 220 followers and has been viewed by people from 94 different countries!

Holy shit, that’s amazing!

I started this blog as a hobby.  As an outlet to help reclaim my sense of self, which I felt had become lost in the day to day grind of life. I was dealing with some depression after moving to a new city with my family, leaving my career to become a stay at home parent, and finding it difficult to orient myself to my new life and surroundings.  Wanda became my anti-depressant of choice, but I never really thought anyone would read it. So the outpouring of encouragement, love and support from my friends and family, and then from the WordPress blogging community has been incredible.

In the past year of blogging I’ve learned a lot.¬† I’ve learned that I’m funnier than I think.¬†¬†I’ve learned that we need to share common experiences with each other in order to feel connected with others around us.¬† I’ve learned that no matter where we’re from, most of us are more alike than we are different.¬† I’ve learned that other bloggers curse more than I do,¬† and other bloggers curse less than I do. ¬†I’ve realized that I¬†edit my posts too much based on my audience and I probably still care a little too much about what others think of me.¬† I sometimes allow that to influence what I write about and sometimes I envy other bloggers who’ve chosen the path of anonymity.¬† I’ve¬†learned that I still have a lot to learn, from all of you.

Like I said, I've learned a lot.

Like I said, I’ve learned a lot.

I’ve always said that I’m not a writer.¬† I’m not trying to get published.¬† I’m not trying to write the next great American novel.¬† I just enjoy sharing hopefully funny stories about life, parenting, and the frequently absurd moments that make the journey of self-discovery worth sharing.¬† My goal now¬†is really to connect with others.¬† To laugh.¬† To learn.¬† To be a part of something bigger than myself.

Although I struggle to find the time I need to post with consistent regularity, I have fallen in love with my Wanda, and with all of you.  So thank you for sharing in this with me.  Thank you for taking the time to comment and share your stories.  Thank you for reading my Wanda!

The Love-Hate Challenge

Hello, world!

Once again, life has been busy and I’m checking in to say hello and tackle the Love/Hate Challenge handed down to me by one of my favorite bloggers, Kimboxin.¬† In this challenge, I have to list ten things I love and ten things I hate, then nominate¬†other bloggers for the challenge.

Initially, it doesn’t seem too complicated.¬† How hard is it to list things you love and hate?¬†¬†So, I spent¬†a few minutes pondering the¬†many¬†nuances¬†of what it¬†means to love or hate something.¬† If you really think about it, love is not the¬†opposite of hate.¬† Indifference is the opposite of love, but I have not been asked to write about things to which I feel indifferent.¬† So, for me, this is not an exercise of opposites, but rather¬†a list of items that either make me feel extremely happy or extremely unhappy.¬† Oh, and I’m leaving out the obvious stuff, like loving my family or hating anchovies.¬† Seriously, who likes anchovies?

Hate, hate, hate….

These are instruments of torture.

These are instruments of torture.

1.¬† I¬†hate high-heels.¬† Why, as women, do we choose to wear shoes that after about twenty minutes of wear¬†feel like razor blades are imbedded on the inside?¬† I admit, high-heels make legs and ankles look more attractive.¬† They add that special something to a dress or an outfit that flats just can’t imitate.¬† They are incredibly feminine and just make you feel fancy. ¬†I occasionally¬†attempt to¬†wear them. ¬†But high-heels make me feel insecure.¬† Insecure in that I know¬†the pain is inevitable, and I know that with¬†one small misstep or slip, ¬†I will fall ass over tea kettle in front of anyone watching.¬†¬†¬†Friday night Dan and I celebrated our anniversary.¬† We got dressed up and went to dinner at Beso, in Hollywood.¬† Then we walked to the theatre and saw Phantom of the Opera.¬† The theatre was less than two blocks from the restaurant, and in the seven minutes it took to walk there, I honestly felt as though my toes¬†were being¬†severed from my feet.¬† I then made the¬†classic¬†mistake of taking the shoes off while I was at my seat enjoying the performance, because my toes began to swell, which then made trying to put the shoes back on feel like a fresh new hell.¬† After the show, I put on a brave face, and hobbled out of the theatre, hanging on to Dan’s arm for dear life.¬† It was all I could do to maintain my dignity and¬†not look like a drunk hooker falling down on the street.¬† About half way up the first block, I said fuck it.¬† I took off the shoes and walked down Hollywood Boulevard in my bar feet.¬† I figured, what the hell?¬† It’s the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and it’s probably one of the nicest sidewalks in the country.¬† I did enjoy a laughable moment though¬†when we walked¬†passed a strip club whose marquee read, “1000’s of Beautiful Girls and 3 Ugly Ones!”

2.¬† I hate being the center of attention, or having too many people looking at me at once.¬† It makes me feel very insecure and nervous.¬† Even at my own wedding, knowing that everyone was looking at me filled me with anxiety.¬† I prefer to blend in with the¬†natives.¬† This anxiety does not exist for me in this medium, thankfully.¬† I want people to read my blog.¬† And it doesn’t feel like the same level of scrutiny for some reason.

3.  I also hate crowds.  Too many people.  Too much noise.  No parking.  And people tend to behave poorly in large crowds.  I prefer smaller, more low key environments.  Causal, laid back places.  Pubs, not clubs.

cockroach4.¬† I hate allergies.¬† I am allergic to everything.¬† If I was stranded on a desert island, I’d probably be dead within hours from touching a leaf or a plant, or being stung by an insect.¬† ¬†A handful of years ago I saw an allergist and she did that skin test on my back where they scratch your skin with a hundred different allergens and then see what you react too.¬† Within seconds of the nurse applying the allergens, it felt like fire ants were biting me everywhere.¬† The allergist sort of freaked out when she entered the room and it took several doses of antihistamine to calm the reaction and welts on my back.¬† When I looked at the chart she gave me, it said one of the items ¬†I was allergic to was¬†cockroaches.¬† WTF?¬† I want to know what part of a fucking cockroach they rubbed on my back to find out if I was allergic to it.¬† Gross.

5.¬† I hate most reality TV.¬† Mostly because it’s not reality and there is very little substance to these shows.¬† I don’t give a fuck about the Kardashians, the Desperate Housewives of any city, or who the Bachelor or Bachelorette is making out with this week.¬† And don’t even get me started on the Duggars.¬† There are a few reality¬†shows my family enjoys, but we’re pretty selective.¬† My¬†family loves¬†MasterChef, American Ninja Warrior, the Amazing Race, and more recently, BattleBots.

6.  I hate hypocrisy.  If you talk the talk, you better be able to walk the walk.

7.¬† I hate it when people don’t take responsibility for their choices, or try to negate the choices of others.¬† In life, your choices, for good or bad, is truly¬†what defines you.¬† Own them, and use your powers for good, not evil.


8.  I hate Jalapenos.  Does this need further clarification?  I think not.

9.¬† I hate technology when it doesn’t work.¬† My last cell phone sucked.¬† It was an older model Samsung that had the drop down keypad for typing.¬† I preferred that to the touch screen because my fingers always hit the wrong key and it took me forever to do anything on the phone.¬† So,¬†one evening my friend was over for our regular Friday night wine o’clock, and I was bitching about my phone and how long it took to connect a call.¬† And she said, “Can you just give it a second to let the signal come back from space?”¬† LOL!

10.¬† I hate skinny jeans on men.¬† I can’t think of many things more emasculating than seeing men wear skinny jeans.¬† Biggest fashion mistake, ever.

For the love of….

1.¬†¬†¬†I love fresh, clean paper.¬† There’s something about a new notebook or journal that fills me with excitement.¬† It’s a clean slate.¬† You can write or create anything.¬† I would hoard them if I was crazy.¬† But I’m not crazy.¬† As far as you know.

2.  I love office supplies.  I have no idea why.  I have always loved stores like Staples and Office Max.  I love buying stuff that makes me feel organized.  Shopping for school supplies as a kid felt like Christmas to me.

3.  On this same note, I love making lists.  I write lists for everything.  Again, it helps me feel organized, and my brain needs this in order to feel peace.

4.¬† I love¬†getting flowers, for no special reason.¬† Or for a special reason.¬† That’s fine too.

5.¬† I love giving and receiving compliments, especially when they are unexpected.¬† Admit it.¬† Getting a compliment at an unexpected moment can make you feel on top of the world.¬† Especially because we rarely see ourselves the way others see us.¬† And when you give a compliment, even casually, and you see that person’s face light up, it’s an amazing feeling.

6.¬† I love it when I’m on the treadmill at the gym¬†and one of my favorite Kid Rock songs hits the playlist.¬† When Bawitdaba starts playing, it takes all I have to not start singing out load and head banging in front of everyone.¬† That song, among others, just pumps me up and makes me feel like I could run a hundred miles.¬† I can’t, of course, and about a minute into the song I have to slow down and remind myself that I’m forty and my knees can’t take that shit.

7.¬† I love my husband’s photography.¬† He enjoys photography as a hobby, and I love¬†his pictures.

My kids, walking down the street, holding hands.

My kids, walking down the street, holding hands.

8.  I love candles that make my house smell good.  I specifically love Gold Canyon Candles.  They are the best.

9.  I love reading.  I love being absorbed and transported by a story, and the devastation you feel when the book ends.

10.¬† I love my husband.¬† I know I said I would leave out the obvious stuff, but we just celebrated our anniversary, so it feels important to include him in this list.¬† I love the life we have together, and the balance we share in our relationship.¬† I’m proud of the man he is and I’m proud to be his wife.

Happy Anniversary, Dan!

Happy Anniversary, Dan!

I nominate the following blogs to participate in this challenge, if they so choose.







7.¬† ¬†¬†¬† (I would love to see the cat’s perspective on this!)