December 30, 2020

Happy birthday to me, or not . . . it's up to you. No pressure. Well, maybe a little. AND PICTURES

I'm on the fence. Should I bother to bog? Is everyone still too busy enjoying family time to read blogs? 


Did someone forget my pants?

It's a pandemic people, AND it's my birthday. Let's all enjoy a little blurb about me. Then you'll each gift me, damn it, by leaving a comment for me. Today is the day you're ALL going to comment. Right? It can be a simple hello. Maybe tell me where you first stumbled upon my blog. Or your favorite blog post I've ever written. Or you can let me know that you're new here and that since I come across as very egocentric in this post, you won't be back. 

Personally if we're talking favorite posts, I prefer the AF post that I wrote while procrastinating a few months back. I'm also nuts about the mispositioned tampon story . . .  it was the funniest thing I ever witnessed. 

I get more comments when I post about earth shattering, sad stuff like Lad's mental illness or the heart-wrenching attempt at adoption post, but I'm not going in that direction today . . . even though I have a heart breaking ordeal I could share. I'm hopeful that that situation will turn around and I can share it more as a 'look at what almost got eff-ed up' story. Not holding my breath though. 

Me, freshly born.
My dad wanted to
 name me Bernadette.
I guess my
 nickname would've
been Bernie.
Turning 50 in a pandemic is gonna suck. No way around it. 

Remember last year when I shared that my vision of a 50th Bridesmaids-type-destination- birthday? I did NOT envision myself getting wasted, but inviting all of my friends somewhere might end up a bit like a scene from Bridesmaids. Not the puking scene. 

Most of my friends don't know each other, so it'd be a mixed bag of introductions, like when the ladies board the plane and become acquainted. I'd anticipate greetings like:  'Oh you're one of her swearing friends - I'll pray for you', or 'Hi, I'm quiet. This is the last time you will hear me speak', or 'I'm her sister in law, wait- what has she said about my parents on her blog?', or 'No, I'm NOT her sister - she didn't invite those two!', or 'Yeah, I used to Irish dance with her - she sucked', or 'That's what he said', or 'Anyone else ready for wine?' 

Ah, but alas - it's 2020 and that kind of mixed bag fun ain't happening. 

My birthdays aren't generally super awesome. So, bring it pandemic, you big ass hole. 

Other Holly Hobby fans? 

What I know about me after 50 years - the good, the bad, and the ugly . . . 

I like to write. I hope, for real, to get my first book finished and sent to a publisher or an agent or someone who might be interested later this year. Fingers crossed. 

This is one of my favorites. Is that a TV in the background?
 Never noticed. It's HUGE. I think this is at my grandparents' house. 

I'm stubborn, but not to a fault. Coach might disagree about the fault part. 

I'm oversensitive - wired that way and struggle to get past times when I've been wronged. I'm not even looking at Mary Ann here (although if the shoe fits . .  . ). The stuff my family of origin expects me to just ignore rankles me. Same with my in-laws. *I think things would've been smoother had Coach allowed me to tell his parents to go jump from time to time, instead of just grinning and bearing their shit. His style - not mine.

I don't consider myself confrontational - like I don't go looking for a chance to show off my mouthy side, but if you hurt me or one of my people or leave me on hold too long -  I'll tell you what I think without holding back. *Not one of my siblings does this. Just me. I attribute my insistence on getting in someone's face with the frustration I had growing up in a family that glossed over me. Things were rarely fair, and I fought hard against that. 

I rarely look cute after this age.
I love working out, well - when it's over. If you'd have told my younger self that one day I would almost NEVER skip an intense daily workout, I would've fallen over . . . and then struggled to get up, because "OH MY KNEES."

I miss gluten. Celiac disease has been a bummer, but there are definitely worse things and I'd probably be 20 lbs overweight if I could eat whatever I wanted. I made too many GF desserts for our Christmas and I appear to be making a run for that 20 lb version of myself. 

I started the plaid flannel fad. You're welcome.

I love to sleep. It's really that simple. Naps always welcome. 

I'm blessed to have a strong faith. No judgement here if you don't. This year more then ever, I've relied on my faith to keep me strong and hopeful. It's working for me. 

I swear like a sailor, despite the above. My God is a forgiving God who understands sometimes venting is good. It's just words, bitches!

Wish I'd been a teacher. I do, but I hope to be a better writer than the teacher I would've been. Having crap for a career has led me down this writing path. A path I still don't feel comfortable claiming for my own. I wonder will I FINALLY feel like a writer if I get this book published?

I suck at cleaning house and I'll make no apologies for that. Unless you come to visit me. 

I wish my hair was still this thick. 

I'm a wise ass. I like to make people laugh. Assuming you aren't here for my impressive vocabulary. 

Finally, I love my kids and Coach fiercely. I like my life. The stuff that hurts and drives me crazy and boggles my mind and weighs me down, all those experiences make me who I am. And sometimes, that shit gives me more blog content than I know what to do with. 

Here's hoping you enjoy what I share. Also,  I'm wordy. Thanks in advance for the comments that YOU WILL leave. I appreciate all of you and the time you spend here learning about me and my world. 


DG said...

Happy Birthday Ernie! I also rolled at the I got a robe skit!
I have only been reading a few months after I noticed you had a link in your comment on June's not blog.

Kari said...

HAPPY 50TH, FRIEND!!! Welcome to the club!! We both deserve a do-over after this is all over. Celebrating our 50th in a pandemic is not cool. But you celebrating a 50th in a pandemic the week between Christmas and New Years' is ULTRA NOT COOL. So I am sending you extra, extra love and birthday wishes!

I love all of these pictures! You have always been so adorable and still are.
I feel like God gave you snow for your big day. You have THAT much clout, my friend. ;)
Love you, Ernie!!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!! Hope you have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! Thank you for blogging. I look forward to reading them daily. I love the furniture in your pictures, especially the cabinet in the Holly Hobby one and the chair in the flannel picture! Enjoy your day!

Charlie said...

Happy 50th birthday Ernie! I think you are cool af! I love how much you love comments and really want to interact with your readers (fans?!). I enjoy all of your posts, but the ones where disaster after disaster happen (like the printer story) really make me laugh. I don’t wish disasters upon you but they sure do keep us giggling! I’ve been reading family blogs for about 13 years now and I really mean it when I say yours is amongst my favourites. Welcome to the 50 club (although I’ll be 51 in a couple of months!). I’m glad to be along for the ride with you. If we lived closer irl (or even the same continent!) I feel sure we would be mates (as we say in the U.K.) Have a great birthday x

Pat Birnie said...

Happy Birthday Ernie! It does suck to celebrate (or not celebrate) the big 5-0 this week:(. I do hope your kids & husband spoil you a little. I enjoy and look forward to all your posts (wordy or not). I think I enjoy the 'mom of many' type blogs the most as it brings back the memories of when my kiddos were young and my life was completely out of control. For some reason I miss those days?

The celiac thing does suck (my sister was diagnosed celiac a few years ago, a double whammy as she's also a Type 1 Diabetic). The positive is that with all GF trend there are SO many options out there these days - so it's not too hard to make decent GF food. Compare that to my 52 year old friend who has been celiac her entire life - she basically ate bananas and cottage cheese as a wee kid; for some reason they thought that diet would cure celiac disease???
And yes - I think you are funny! and a great mom who loves her family very much. Keep doing what you're doing!

I promise your life will just get better & better! I'm 65 now, I've been playing hockey for 11 years (yes - ice hockey, I'm Canadian), done two Caminos (walked across Spain & Portugal) and recently taken up golf. The best part - when my grandbabies come to visit (non pandemic years) I send them home when I'm tired.

Suz said...

I had a feeling your big day was coming up. I thought for sure we were going to meet up in Chi-Town Bridesmaids style...but please NO meat buffet for me. ;) I'd hate to have the shits in such a fancy bathroom. Or any bathroom really.
Happy HAPPY birthday from Jawja.
I don't recall how I found you. From Kari? Who knows, but I'm so happy that I did find you.
I can't really choose a favorite post....maybe the raccoons? The ping pong table fiasco. The car switcharoo's....they're all funny.
I love your childhood pictures and I see your kids IN you. I know your people are going to celebrate you and I hope you relish in the day and enjoy every minute.
Big hugs my funny, sweet and a TRUE writer friend.

"It's just words, bitches!"

Kristi said...

Happy 50th! I hope your day is full of naps, mike's hard lemonade, and an amazing GF meal!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!!! I love your funny word filled (yay for words! :-) blog. Haven’t been around much lately (taking a break from stressful internet) but I’m so happy I found your blog and so happy I checked in today! Hope today brings you something that makes you smile and hope 2021 gives you a 50th bday do over! Your Bridesmaid inspired bday sounds hysterical. I have a friend who turns 30 over and over again.... pretty sure you can turn 50 at least twice to make your Bridesmaid 50th Bday vision come true!

Anonymous said...

Happy, happy birthday!! I love your blog!!! Jill

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday! I'm not certain how I found you. (Did you feel lost?) I suspect that it was thru Swistle, or from someone commenting there. Mostly I want to thank you. I'm a couple of decades older than you, I'm retired and I live in a rural area alone. I'm not one who needs a lot of social interaction, but having zero contact for lo, these many months is wearing. So I am very grateful for the stories that help me feel less isolated. Thanks for your contribution to my tenuous grasp on sanity.

Nicole MacPherson said...

Happy birthday! Maybe you can have that big celebration for the big 5-1? I hope you can enjoy the day as much as possible in a pandemic! Those photos are VERY cute, I just love old photos!

Cheryl said...

Happy Birthday! 50 huh? Have you noticed the 50 of today does not look like our parent's 50? You look least from some of the pics I have seen that you have posted on your blog. And the pics of you as a kid? Such a cutie! I especially like the "did someone forget my pants?" little fashion diva!

Covid birthdays are really weird. Mine was back in March, the 12th to be exact, right as the shit was hitting the fan. I remember sitting in the parking lot of a huge grocery store (Wegmans) on a Thursday afternoon, waiting for my husband to pick up a few birthday surprises, cake, card, etc. I looked around the parking lot and wondered "why the hell are there so many cars in this parking lot and why so many people with overflowing carts?" Yep, it was the beginning of the hoarding pandemic..and nothing has been the same since.

Not sure how I got started reading your blog, but I find your writing both witty and charming and I would love to read your book when you finish. I really can't pick a favorite posting. I love them all!

Your "freshly born" picture? Precious, simply precious. One question. Who the heck styles newborn's hair on the top like that? My youngest sister had the same "do" when born, and I thought they brought home the wrong baby from the hospital. At 8 years old, when I first saw her, I swore she was an Indian

Gigi said...

Happy Birthday, my friend! I loved all the old pictures of you. In answer to Cheryl's question - ALL the baby girl pictures had their hair styled like that back in the day.

Kara said...

Happy birthday! I did not find your blog until this year, but I'm enjoying the heck out of it. May your birthday be pleasant, and your husband clean up the paperwork around his chair!

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday! I hope the next year is a lot more fun and maybe you will get a do over awesome 51st party! I love your blog. I enjoy hearing all the kid stories, I miss the stories about the nannying adventures, those were always the best. I wish you were my neighbor bc you seem like you would be fun to hang out with! Thanks for the great blog posts! Marisa in NJ

JP said...

Happy birthday! I’m a relatively new reader, but you crack me up! Happy birthday! You share it with my dad!

ccr in MA said...

Happy birthday!

Years ago my brother threw a party and invited people he knew from different groups/places/etc. He said that he looked around and realized that for a lot of the people, the single thing they had in common was him!

Cheryl said...

Thanks for answering about the hairstlylin' Gigi! To this day I still don't think my sister belongs to us! lolololol!

Ernie said...

DG - Thanks! Ah, so glad you decided to come and check out my blog. June is amazing. I just found out how much Coach spent on the robe - really glad I wasn't in the market for one. Yikes.

Ernie said...

Kari - Thanks much. I'm in good company.

Yes, my birthday is most definitely uncool. I've come to accept it over the years. The kids and Coach do a good job of celebrating me, so that helps.

Ugh, snow. Certainly not my birthday wish. Comes with the stupid December birthday territory.

Ernie said...

Anonymous - Thank you - honestly an abundance of comments was a day-maker!

Ernie said...

Anonymous - Thank you. Ah yes, Mom's curio cabinet. It was lighted - turned it on when we had company. Those chairs - I hated because I occasionally had to dust them . . . when we had company. The coffee table AND the end tables in the photo where I am 'pantless' currently reside in our living room. Admitting that makes me feel more like a recent college grad without money for furniture vs A 50 YEAR OLD WOMAN. Living room furniture - never a priority.

Ernie said...

Charlie- Well thank you ever so much, mate! I appreciate your flattery. Oh, the disasters-how they seem to cluster together and become unavoidable and thankfully laughable. I wish I'd started blogging back in the day . . . oh the stories I'd have had back then. I used to send myself emails detailing the kids' antics so I'd remember them. Don't even use that email anymore, so much for that master plan. I have lots and lots of video footage. I used to grab the video camera (before phones) and capture whatever they were up to - which was usually a lot.

Grateful to count you in my devoted circle of readers. One day I will make it over the pond and we will meet. I did enjoy my birthday.

Ernie said...

Pat - I'm married to a physical therapist . . . HOCKEY? Be careful. :)

Coach worked a short day as he does on Wednesdays, so that was nice. He ordered dinner from my favorite restaurant and it was remarkable still warm when he got it home. Steak, yum. All 5 kids stayed home and we watched a movie together. I insisted that it not be rated PG, Curly can handle it. Coach cannot - but it was my day.

I never liked to be busy - like back when I was in college. Now, I don't know what I'd do without a full house, a busy calendar, and always an annoying disaster. Glad that you my stories remind you of the good ole days. I wish I'd been blogging back when they were really young - but where would I have found the time?

Oh, type 1 coupled with celiac. Yikes. Yes, there are certainly MANY GF options out there. I'm adjusting. I would have died of starvation if someone had suggested I eat a banana or cottage cheese exclusively. I don't eat either. Well, bananas in a smoothie. Otherwise, GROSS!

Thanks much for the kind words. I'm touched.

I often wonder if I'll be able to keep up my tough workout classes in 10 years . . . no chance I will be playing hockey or walking across a country. I'm tired just thinking about it.

Ernie said...

Eli - Thanks so much! It was happy. Uneventful maybe, but happy.

Ernie said...

Suz - It's funny that the day didn't really feel 'big' - I think because all year I was in the 'I'm almost 50' mindset. I plum forgot that I was still in my 40s. I told Mini this and she was like: WELL THAT'S GOOD THEN. IT ISN'T SUCH A SHOCK.

Raincheck on the Chi-Town meet-up. How fun would it be if you and Kari tried to out-plan each other, where would that leave us? Let's hope not eating meat in some shady joint.

I am pretty sure that I found YOU. I am not sure when I stumbled on your blog, but I am pretty sure I read your blog and left you a comment. So very happy that I did.

Yes, those raccoons - they made my Christmas poem, so they were definitely memorable.

My sister just did a photo project and divided up photos that my dad scanned in. So many that I'd never seen. Like the no-pants one. Imagine that, it's such a well-framed photo. Mini looks so much like me. When she was little we watched my home movies and she was like I REMEMBER THAT. Only it was me.

It was a fairly regular day - except when I told a kid to do something they actually did it. We did have some fun. Ed and Mini and I ran to a bunch of stores and returned stuff. Oh, how I like to get things done. Plus a delicious dinner and a movie with the whole gang.

Thanks so much. That book is happening this year. Working on it daily, come hill or high water.

Ernie said...

Kristi - No joke, I did squeeze in a 15 minute nap before we headed to the mall. The kids moaned when I initially declined a Mike's at dinner. So I said, OK, OK. Peer pressure. And I ate my fav meal. Thanks!

Ernie said...

Maddie - I love the 'I'm turning 50 again' concept. Never more appropriate that this year, right? So glad you've started visiting on the regular. In all honesty, my comments today were on of the highlights. Thanks so much.

Ernie said...

Jill - That mean so much. Really. Thanks for the birthday wishes!

Ernie said...

Anonymous - Thanks so much for commenting. I do enjoy Swistle, and you may very well have seen me comment there. She's so fun.

I was so touched that you've enjoyed my blog during the pandemic that I shared your comment with my family over dinner. Sometimes they need a reminder that my blog isn't just a silly time-suck. Thanks for making me feel important. Of course Tank hears 'rural' and he's like - WHERE? He's always leaned towards farming tendencies.

I didn't necessarily feel lost, but I definitely enjoy feeling found. :)

Ernie said...

Nicole - Thank you for the birthday wishes. I did enjoy the day. My birthday and Mother's Day the kids clean up without too many reminders. If only I could get that mentality to stick year round. I was thrilled that all the kids skipped making plans with friends and hung out at home with Coach and I. I enjoy old photos too. A few of these I'd never seen before.

Ernie said...

Cheryl - Thanks - I do feel like my 50 is much more energetic than my folks were at this age. Glad you enjoyed the pics. The teen years were not kind to me, so these were the cream of the crop. The summer one where I have a cake in front of me must have been 1st communion. Mom curled my hair that day. My hair NEVER looked like that.

It is funny to think back to where we were when everything stated to shift. Stories we'll tell our grandkids.

If and when my book gets published, I will be holding you to that. Just think, anyone who decides to read it will learn my true identity. I know, you must be on the edge of your seat. I'm touched that you like all of my posts. You clearly haven't gone back to the early posts - yowza. Those are some wordy mothers.

Hilarious about the baby hair. When Mini was born she had a huge wad of hair at the top of her head. It naturally flopped in her face. My sister Ann brought me one of her girls' bows at the hospital so Mini has a big pink bow in for her hospital pic. Mini's first word: bow.

Ernie said...

Gigi - Thanks very much. I went in search of an old pic and then remembered the flash drive my sister just gave me. Many to choose from. There were even photos of Coach and I that I don't remember being taken.

I agree- that was an old school baby hairdo in the hospital pics.

Ernie said...

Kara - Thanks for being a regular commenter. I appreciate that. So glad you found my blog this year. And yes, Coach did clean out his huge cabinet in the kitchen (where it is my hope that he starts to keep his paper work and PT journals organized) and around his chair is all cleaned up. Wonders never cease. When we used to host things occasionally, he'd be forced to go through his papers. Thanks pandemic.

Thanks for the b-day wishes!

Ernie said...

Marissa - Thanks - I do plan to demand more from this day next year. Bring the fun, 51! I didn't even plan on that rhyming. It's a gift.

I am still babysitting but the parents are all so great (finally) and I'm not going on many outings currently so I haven't had to yell at clueless moms at the park who let their kids push my little charges down. OMG - not sure you read that one, but that woman and her spoiled brat kid boiled my blood.

Have you read about Mary Ann? If so then you will understand this: I wish you were my neighbor too! Thanks for the compliment and thanks for commenting.

Ernie said...

JP - Welcome, always great to know there are new people stopping by and that I haven't scared you away with my wordiness. And shout out to your dad. 5 days after Christmas is a brutal time to celebrate, so I feel his pain. Thanks for the comment and the birthday wishes.

Ernie said...

ccr- Thanks!

I am fairly competent at working a room, whereas Coach hates being at a party where he knows no one. It would take a strong host to pull it off. Socially devoted guests would help too.

Beth Cotell said...

Happy birthday to you!!! I hope the day was fabulous and this year is one for the books! (Get it? Like you finish your book and get it published?)

Anonymous said...

Happy (slightly belated) Birthday to you!
Let’s see, I found you through a comment you left on another blog, I think it was 71toes but I might be wrong in that guess. I really do enjoy all of your stories, even the ones you apologize for being too long. I swear to you I haven’t read one yet that I gave up on part way through, so they haven’t been too long for me, yet. When I try to think of a favorite the first that comes to mind is the Raccoon Spa series, so funny!!
What an adorable little girl, that newborn black and white picture is amusing, you look pretty skeptical of the photographer.
I wish you less stress and even more joy for your next trip around the sun. And that your bridesmaids-esqe trip comes to fruition eventually!
Hope you enjoyed your day yesterday,

Anonymous said...

Oh Ernie, I am so glad that you "got it". I am your rural anonymous reader. I have tried before to express how much it means to me to get these glimpses of real life through blog writers. It's such a cliche', the grass is always greener? A lot of the overwhelmed mom writers I read would give their eye teeth for some alone time, while I am out here with waaaay too much isolation. So, yes! Put the exclamation point on it. Tell your family thank you for lending you to us for the time it takes for your MWF posts. And tell Tank East Central Kansas. Where we still have trees and hills before the vast flat expanse of grassland prevails. If he were my friend here I could offer hours and hours of back breaking work clearing cedar, hedge, and locust trees. And unfortunately, my pockets aren't deep enough to pay what it's worth. Best he stick with the well heeled golfers methinks. A most heartfelt thanks to you.

Ernie said...

Beth - Well said, Beth. I love it. Yes, one for the books. Fingers crossed. I submitted my favorite memoir story that stands alone to a magazine today. Not holding my breath, but it's a start. You'd howl at this story. If it gets published, I'll share the link here but I won't know for months. Thanks for the b-day wish. I'm all about a fabulous year.

Ernie said...

AM- I tend to run late - should've included that in my personal overview in this post, so belated wishes are happily accepted.

Hmm, I don't think I've been on 71toes but it sounds interesting. Glad you found me. Especially since you have some reading stamina for my longer yarns.

That raccoon hilarity is just proof that truth is stranger (or funnier) than fiction . . . no sooner had I found my paradise, and what are the chances that Coach caught 'em red handed? They were featured on my two page Christmas poem/ photo collage.

I do think I was not a bad looking baby/tot - it's when the 80s upside down glasses, the homespun haircuts, the horrible posture, and the ill-fitting hand-me-downs that I started to look rough around the edges.

Those are some great wishes, I like the way you think. I have high hopes for this year. Maybe Lad will start to get the help he needs and my stuff will start to get published. AND yes, the bridesmaids party minus the food poisoning.

Thanks much!

Ernie said...

Anonymous - I used to imagine a night in a hotel ALONE as a treat. Ha. You sure are in the middle of a rural area. Tank would gladly lend you a hand now and then if we lived closer - that is right up his alley. Ask him to stop leaving his size 15 shoes in the middle of the floor, and you've asked for the moon - apparently.

I often blog or try to finish a blog - or just add pictures to a blog while they wait for me in the family room to start a movie. It typically ends up taking me a tad longer than I initially thought, so I hear grumblings from the natives. I sometimes give in and go to watch the movie and then have to prop my eyes open AFTER the movie in order to finish what I need to finish. This is why I prefer to write things a day or so in advance - I don't like to be rushed, and my peeps don't like to wait.

Thanks again for reading. These comments were a huge shot in the arm for my birthday. Happy 2021!

Bibliomama said...

Happy birthday! Sorry I'm late - I was actually still really enjoying family time. Welcome to the 'turned 50 during a worldwide pandemic' club, population SUCKS. Actually my birthday was quite nice all things considered, I shouldn't complain. I have no issues with people having faith (as long as they don't use it to look down on people who don't, which you don't seem to), but I just don't generally trust or like people who don't swear, which is fair because they don't usually like me either. I don't really enjoy drinking on planes, it just increases my anxiety - once when I was with my husband we got ONE upgrade to first class and he made me take it because he gets them frequently with business travel. The flight attendant was begging me to take at least a Bailey's or something by the end of the flight. Like, do they have to fill some kind of quota?

Ernie said...

Ali - It is bananas but since I've been focused on turning 50 all year, it really didn't come as a shock to me. I think I forgot to enjoy feeling 49 though. Oops.

I love your swearing people vs non-swearing people philosophy. My best friend from childhood doesn't swear. She's wound pretty tight, but I love her. I think she has adjusted to having a friend who swears like a sailor, but I do still sense her tensing up when I let it slip. We go way back, but two more different people you could never find.

I've never had a drink on a plane. As I age, I fall asleep once the plane starts to move. I can only imagine what alcohol would do to that scenario. They might not be able to wake me once the flight landed, which could be ugly.