A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: gratitude

Almost speechless.

Okay, so, remember last summer when that cool chick Maggie left this comment:

Submitted on 2011/07/12 at 6:23 pm

I just love your blog! So much so that I just nominated it as one of the top 50 mom blogs of 2010 (at Babble.com)…

…and I was all, “Babble.com? What’s that?” (Seriously. My tag line should be “Duh…I like to pet da rabbit, George.”)

Yep. That’s my Bucket Head. Bless his heart. He totally gets it from his Mama.

So I went to Babble and checked it out and was like “DOH! Babble is huge!” Specifically, from their “about” page:

Babble already has a National Magazine Award nomination for Best Overall Website (opposite Slate.com) and a Folio magazine award for Best Online Magazine (beating out everyone but Time.com). Time recently named it one of the Top 50 websites of 2010.

(I totally just included that for my parents.)

And then I learned that Babble ranks the top Mom Blogs every year (since 2009). And mega-bloggers like Dooce and The Pioneer Woman and The Bloggess (among others) were in their Top 50 Mom Blogs list last year.


Me: One of my readers, who I don’t even know in real life, likes my blog enough to nominate me as a reader favorite?

I. Died.

Then I looked at the list of other nominated reader favorites and saw that there were well over 1000 of them, and I died again, thinking, “Holy shit. Everyone and their mother has a blog.” (Mwah, mwaaaaaaah went the Debbie Downer trombone in my head.)

Me: Oh well. Who cares. It’s just nice to even be on the reader nominated list! (Glug glug glug.)

So I gave myself a little pep-talk and posted pictures of the special drawing my kitty made for me with her magic butt brush, and asked you to please vote for me. I’m classy like that. “Here’s a picture of some poop! Please vote!” Do yourself a favor and never sit next to me at a funeral.

And then, what happened next, just defies all logic and reasoning.

Did I ever tell you about the time I ran for senior class president in high school and LOST? No? Because it scarred my ass for life, yo. And ever since that fateful day, I’ve been more of a “never try, never fail” kind of gal.

But you voted for me. And you told your spouses to vote. And you shared me with your family and friends and parole officers.

And within a few months, my little ol’ blog went from being #891 to #8 on Babble’s reader nominated list of other favorite 2010 Mom Blogs.

Well guess what.

All that pimping you did made a difference.

The powers that be at Babble.com took notice.

And yesterday they published their new official and expanded list of The Top 100 Mom Blogs of 2011.

And. Guess. Who. Is. ON IT???

The Bloggess, of course.

And The Pioneer Woman.

And Dooce.

And 96 other fabulous bloggers who rock.

And me.

It just boggles my mind.

And their write up of me is about as perfect as it gets. Babble, you nailed it. I’m going to need a crowbar and a can of Crisco to cram my head through the door of the Piggly Wiggly later today. Shoot, maybe I’ll even put on some red lipstick and shave my toes.

So to those of you who believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself, I thank you from the bottom of my heart and/or camel toe. I am forever grateful for your presence here, your support, your comments, your loyalty, and your incredible generosity.

You done good, guys.

Now let’s get Mama that iPad2.





Dobbie is #54, and that tiny yellow snow-writing was really damn hard to do, especially with my flippy flappy.

your humble servant,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris. All rights reserved.

Blogiversary Gratitude

Hey, guess what? Today is my blogiversary! Three years ago today The Bearded Iris was born

It’s all Laura’s fault.

She’s the one who unwittingly introduced me to the blogosphere in July of 2008. Before Laura, I didn’t even know what a blog was. True story.

That’s when Laura and I became BFFs and she encouraged me to start a blog of my own as a comedy writing vehicle. We had big plans… I was going to get on Oprah and she would create a niche for herself as a photographer of gutsy women. We accomplished both in less than 6 months. It’s amazing what hopped-up housewives can do when we set our minds to it.

Unfortunately, Oprah was much more interested in my lifelong battle with clutter than she was in my dream to be the next Tina Fey. And Oprah’s producers wouldn’t use any of Laura’s fabulous photos because they wanted pics of me that represented “every frazzled mother.” Damn. Double damn.

Anyhoooo…that is how it all began, in case you were wondering.

I haven’t been blogging consistently for three full years. I had to take some time off in the middle to help one of my kidlets through a school crisis. And then there was that debilitating snapping turtle bite that took forever to heal. But I came back strong in January of 2011 and feel like I’m heading in the right direction.

So on this blogiversary, I hope you will indulge me while I express my deepest heartfelt gratitude. To Laura, for inspiring me and cheering me on while I was finding my way. To my husband, The Gatekeeper, for his unconditional support and encouragement. To my Mom and Stepfather for reading my blog every day and building my technology arsenal with their never ending generosity. To my friend Nora for being my social media mentor. And to Scott, my Fairy Geekfather, for his awesome technical expertise and support.

I am grateful to my beautiful, talented, and goofy kids who provide me with lots of forgiveness and a never ending supply of hilarious material.

Thank you to my old friends who humor/pity me with their loyal presence. And to all the new friends I’ve made on this journey, I thank you too. I can’t begin to tell you how much of an impact you’ve all had on me with your kind comments, emails, and deeds. I treasure your company with me here each day.  

Thrill of thrills, I got to meet one of my new blogging buddies last weekend while I was driving through Virginia. Megan from Declutter Daily and I struck up a friendship earlier this year through our mutual participation in the 52 Weeks of Organizing project at I’m an Organizing Junkie. She and her lovely family met my road-weary brood for coffee early Sunday morning and we had a wonderful time, as you can see…

God bless the Internet for bringing like-minded crazy people like us together, eh?

One more person I would like to thank today: loyal reader Maggie for nominating me for one of the Top 50 Mom Blogs at Babble.com (I’m currently ranked at #16!). If you would like to help others find my blog, please cast your vote for The Bearded Iris.

gratefully yours,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.


One for all the Moms…

Father Bob read an abridged version of this Blessing for Mothers at mass today. Even though I had heard it before, it gets me every time. Sure wish I knew who wrote it.

This is for all the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, “It’s OK honey, Mommy’s here.” when they keep crying and won’t stop.

This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.

For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. And all the mothers who DON’T.

This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they’ll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes.

This is for all the mothers who froze their buns off on metal bleachers at football or soccer games Friday night instead of watching from cars, so that when their kids asked, “Did you see me?” they could say, “Of course, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world,”…. and mean it.

This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair when they stomp their feet like a tired 2-year old who wants ice cream before dinner.

This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all the mothers who wanted to but just couldn’t.

For all the mothers who read “Goodnight, Moon” twice a night for a year. And then read it again. “Just one more time.”

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.

This is for all mothers whose heads turn automatically when a little voice calls “Mom?” in a crowd, even though they know their own off spring are at home or have long grown up and left home.

This is for all the mothers who sent their kids to school with stomach aches, assuring them they’d be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up right away.

This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can’t find the words to reach them.

For all the mothers who bite their lips sometimes until they bleed -when their 14 year olds dye their hair green.

What makes a good Mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a buttonon a shirt, all at the same time?

Or is it heart? Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time?

The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M.to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby?

The need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a fire, a car accident, a child dying? For all the mothers of the victims of all these school shootings, and the mothers of those who did the shooting.

For the mothers of the survivors, and the mothers who sat in front of their TVs in horror, hugging their child who just came home from school, safely.

This is for mothers who put pinwheels and teddy bears on their children’s graves.

This is for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation.

And mature mothers learning to let go.

For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers. Single mothers and married mothers. Mothers with money, mothers without.

This is for you all. So hang in there.


Or for you more visual people:

Wishing all the Moms in my life a beautiful Mother’s Day filled with love, relaxation, and much deserved appreciation!


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.



The Art of Simplifying, Simplified.

It’s week # 10 in Org Junkie’s 52 Weeks of Organizing challenge. This week Org Junkie’s topic is “Tips for Cluttered Surfaces.” As always, her tips are fabulous. Go have a look-see when you get a chance.

Cluttered surfaces are definitely a big problem for me. Here’s one of my worst hot spots: the kitchen island. Oy vay!

Kitchen island "hot spot," earlier today.

Kitchen island "hot spot," one month ago.

Kitchen island "hot spot," three years ago.

This spot is truly a black hole. The minute I get it cleared off, people start piling stuff back up on it… like it has a mysterious gravitational pull.

Clearly we need a better system, but that will have to be a project for another week. First I have to do some research, and wouldn’t you know it, Org Junkie has all kinds of ideas for how to create a command center and get your paper piles off the counter! Sweet! I love that woman.

I did spend some time today clearing this spot and going through the mound of paper. Amazing what you can find under all that CRAP!

Ooops! Too bad this was at the BOTTOM of the pile. Looks like Bucket Head is learning to count with Cheerios at preschool.

It’s a miracle we don’t have bugs. Also surprising that Ike (the devil dog) didn’t find that Cheerio art and wolf it down. He was probably too busy noshing in the litter box.

So that is my next mission, creating a command center. A few feet away from that cluttered kitchen island is a built in desk that is also always mounded with CRAP. It would be the perfect place for a command center! Wanna see it? You know you do. Doesn’t looking at all my messiness make you feel SO much better about your own house?

Location of my future Command Center!

Another view... that's Nature Boy on his laptop.

You are welcome; I’m happy to help boost your self esteem at my expense. Stay tuned for the “after” pics when I have my spiffy new Command Center up and running… one of these days.

It’s been a rough week, what with Mardi Gras, and my hangover on Ash Wednesday, and my subsequent alcohol withdrawal because of Lent. But in spite of all that, there is one thing I accomplished this week that I’m dying to share with you.

This week I was inspired by two of my new Internet friends, Martha and Megan.

Martha is one of my separated-at-birth-sisters in the 52 Weeks Challenge. She put up a photo recently in a post about cleaning up her desk in which I noticed not one, but TWO decorative signs extolling the virtues of simplifying.

Oh shite, I thought to myself. I have one of those:

What is this, a Cracker Barrel?

And then I thought about Megan. She is on a quest to simplify her life by getting rid of something from her house everyday for a year. I’ve been stalking her for a week now, and let me tell you, she is fearless. She’s tossing things left and right, and not even horrible things. In other words, she is making some ruthless decisions about what gets to stay and what has to go. It’s a good thing I don’t live in her neighborhood, because I would gladly take most of her cast-offs, they are that good.

But anyhoo, I started eyeballing that “SIMPLIFY” sign and thinking, you know… I don’t really like that thing. I bought it a few years ago thinking it would help to inspire me on my quest for a clutter-free home. It obviously hasn’t helped. And since I don’t love it, it is clutter, and it has got to go! Buh-bye!

Sometimes LESS really is MORE!

Ahhhh. That is so much better! Isn’t it?

You probably have no idea how hard this was for me. We’re talkin’ borderline hoarder here, people. But it is like a switch has suddenly been flipped and I can finally see the light!

So thank you, Org Junkie, for the continued guidance; and thank you, Martha and Megan, for inspiring me to let go of that not-so-simple SIMPLIFY sign. I am hopeful this is just the start of a lifetime of letting go.

with gratitude and optimism,


PS: if you are just joining us and want to get caught up on all of my previous 52 Weeks projects, click here.

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.


© 2021 The Bearded Iris

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑