And in the end I will probably just have an elephant……

I feel like I have a gun to my head because my dear friend, Nichole, is making me write a post because apparently one can’t go five months in between posts and still be considered actively blogging.

I realize that she is just pressuring me because she loves me and this drivel that I spout out here and there.  Maybe she wants to make sure that I didn’t get eaten by zombies and that I survived the scariest “hotel” room in the history of rooms.  I mean I could practically hear the screechy horror music in my head and when I went to the bathroom I made sure that the shower curtain was wide open and that the door was partially cracked, but she should know all the answers to these questions, as she was right there with me apologizing the whole way. Perhaps she is concerned that I got lost in the Big Apple or got kidnapped by a band of gypsies at the airport from my many delays getting home, but again she knows because she is sitting right next to me knitting her little heart out.

Being unplugged felt good, but then after a while I wanted to return and I couldn’t.  But then one day I wanted to come back and I couldn’t reach the plug and I looked for my extension cord. I looked high and low for that stupid cord and no matter how hard I tugged and tugged I just couldn’t get the words to come out and to get plugged back in.

Hell, I was even getting called out by The Chicken on my lack of writing up in this space.

I realized that freelancing is hard stuff, especially the whole being your own boss thing. It’s hard to carve out a living for yourself and  I do much better with someone telling me what to do and when they want me to do it (most of the time anyways).

So much has happened in the five months I have been gone…..

I realized that I was married to the most unobservant man on the planet when I came home from BlogHer with a pierced nose and he didn’t say anything about it for over a week!

I have been married longer than I wasn’t.

I had a fabulous girls weekend with Nichole & Amanda.

I saw how milk gets from the cow to the table.

The Chicken is taller than I am.

Giggles is now and adult and as of yesterday she had completed all of the requirements to graduate from high school.

Speaking of high school….The Chicken is now in it!

Barney no longer eats underwear cro.tches….well, most days.

I upgraded my phone to an iPhone 5 and I LOVE it!

And….I got a big girl job.  I had been subbing for our local school district doing various tasks (mostly secretarial) and at the end of November they offered me a position  that started two weeks ago.  I have a salary, benefits, and work 12 months out of the year.  It has been crazy, but oh so fulfilling.

I want to be here, I miss it so much but it seems like there isn’t enough time to do it all.  I thought of a reward system where I could do so many posts a month so I could get the next charm on my charm bracelet, but I am pretty sure in the end I would still just have an elephant.

If I can make my way back from the edge of an island, I can do anything.

 

Disclosure: I bought the charm bracelet with my own monies and Lisa doesn’t even know that I am blogging about it today.  But it’s lovely and you should totally go get one for yourself.

 

My teenagers find me Insta-annoying because I get to go the Big Apple and speak and BlogHer

So you know how I promised here to write the Twenty Six Miles Later post. And I will just tell you now that is has nothing to do with 28 days later and has more to do with road trip fun and zero zombies. I know,I know, no zombies then why even bother coming back to read the rest of the epic saga. But trust me you will want to come back and find out why Nichole is no longer allowed to book us rooms anywhere every again.

I’ve missed so much due to the fact that I have been in overdrive (or something like that) right now I am in New York City hanging out with 4500 of my closest friends, suffering from Conference Menstruation Syndrome yet again this year, and getting ready to speak on a really awesome panel on Saturday morning on Instagram.  And I will be learning lots of great things from my co-panelists about Google+ and Pinterest.

Just a side note that when I was asked to be on the Google+, Pinterest and Instagram panel my exact email back to Mr. Lady was “Crap, people are going to want to attend that session.”

Since I am going to be speaking on Instagram I figured that I would do a little series on what I will be talking about here at BlogHer so that those of you at home or those who found my little place in the interwebs through the panel (hey there!!! Welcome!) could learn all that I know about Instagram.

We will explore the Instabasics, Instaediting, and Instaposting and cover some other InstaAwesome stuff.  (Okay maybe I am way overusing the Insta, but whatever I am totally insta-allowed…okay maybe not)

But soon enough you will have the awesome skills needed to take shots like this while shopping and totally annoy your younger teenager in the process.  It’s a win-win!

If you don’t want me to take weird photos of your face, dear Chicken, perhaps you shouldn’t tempt me with shiny, reflective glasses.

Many thanks to Lodi Station Outlet for sponsoring this series of posts and for becoming an August sponsor of Domestic Extraordinaire.

Disclosure-all opinions stated here are my own.

A Tale of Two Cars

I would like to share a tale with you.  A tale that may make you laugh, shudder, and then make you laugh some more and possibly have you questioning my sanity in the end.

Nichole & I decided months ago that we were going to room together at Type A Conference.  And since we live relatively close geographically to one another that we were going to travel there together as well.  While Nichole and I grew up in the same small town and went to school just a few years apart, we really didn’t know each other and actually met at a conference 500 miles away from our beloved homes in Ohio.

Instead of flying I had the brilliant idea to rent a car from Enterprise instead of flying down to Charlotte.  Splitting the cost between the two of us the car rental and gas was a heck of a lot cheaper than just ONE round trip flight.  Nichole was instantly on board, especially given her luck flying to Type A Con the year before. (P.S. I had no idea about this at the time)

The day started off to a rocky start when I was delayed in actually getting the car since Enterprise couldn’t pick me up until well after we wanted to be on the road.  But no biggie, it was only an eight and a half hour drive, we would still be there by dinnertime. Nichole lives about 45 minutes south of me and I have to say that I am pretty sure I made that trip in record time.  Soon enough we were both loaded into the car snapping photos of ourselves and the Jetta to document our journey to Charlotte, NC.

@hdurdil and @nikki_s on our way to #typeacon

Look at us unsuspecting fools. Had we known what was in store for us that day we may have opted to have an ugly cry right there in her driveway before shoving off.  (Okay maybe once we got the Starbucks because I am sure that Nichole wouldn’t want us to scare her kids and concern her husband.)

Things were pretty smooth for the first couple of hours until we hit glitch number one, Nichole wasn’t able to get the car charger to work in any of the outlets in the Jetta. This was a bit concerning because we wanted to make sure that our devices stayed charged since nobody happened to print up a set of directions to the “hotel” we were going to be staying at for the night. (Why yes hotel is in quotation marks, you will soon learn why later.)

Somewhere in southern Ohio along I-77 we stop at a rest stop, after getting back into the Jetta we notice glitch number two; after I adjusted the steering wheel the key wouldn’t turn in the ignition.  Well, I guess that isn’t so bad, I mean it wasn’t that uncomfortable to drive with the wheel a bit higher than usual.  I mean I was concerned, but once I stuck the wheel back to where it was when I got the Jetta I was just relieved that the key turned and it started.

We decide to stop just south of Cambridge, Ohio for lunch at a place called Lori’s.  We decide since it near 100 degrees out that we are going to crack all of the windows to help ventilate the Jetta while we eating lunch, this is when we encounter glitch number three; the one rear window doesn’t work.  At this point I decide that maybe we should call Enterprise to let them know about the glitches and ask them what we should do.  She said she is noting the account and if we would like to swap out cars at the nearest Enterprise we are welcome to do so.   We decided not to and went in to eat our lunch,which was really good, very affordable, and they seemed to have outlets near all of the booths so we were able to charge up while we ate.

After lunch we go back to the Jetta and find a surprise when we started it up; the check engine sign in now flashing. I had no idea that they flashed and so I promptly called my hometown Enterprise to see what we should do.  Again I was offered the chance to swap out cars and since we were only a few hours into our eight plus hour drive, swapping out cars seemed like a great idea.  I told the gal where we were and asked her to find the closest Enterprise to us without us having to back track.  She wasn’t sure how to look that up and Nichole actually found it before she did, thankfully only located about 26 miles away right off I-77.  I asked if we should call ahead to the Enterprise to let them know we were on our way to switch out cars and she assured us that as long as we had our pink slip we would be fine.

And now since this post is already of epic length I am going to advise you to come back tomorrow to read A Tale of Two Cars-26 miles Later….trust me you won’t want to miss it!