Just, Thank You.

Hey Blogstalkers,

Recently I decided to rededicate myself to this blog.  To post more often, to reformat and reconnect and be the blogger I was long ago before pregnancy and baby and turning 30 and all the changes that came with those changes, changed my world.

But the thing is, my world is changed.  So how can my blog stay the same?

This is something I've been struggling with quite a bit recently.  I hoped throwing myself back into the blog headfirst would reignite my enthusiasm for this endeavor and then I'd traipse gaily along, throwing out ridiculous stories and quirky ditties like flower petals.

I forced myself to sit down and write.  And sometimes I did like what came out.  And sometimes I did not.  Which was fine, I don't think any blogger really loves every word that they write.  But it wasn't about just disliking bits of what I was doing suddenly, it was that I started to feel I was actually being unfaithful to my life.  As much as it would be great for me to still be that prattling, scattered, giggling twist of a girl, I'm just not her any longer.

I'm ridiculous still, sure.  But mostly, I'm serious and focused and intent on creating the very best life I can for my family.  And my blog has started to feel very at odds with that idea.

And now? Negative comments and emails?  They hurt so very much more.  Before, they stung and I'd tear up a little but Ryan would give me a hug and then make jokes out of those comments until they felt unimportant and we'd go on our merry way.  Now, if I'm being insulted or degraded, (and I am A LOT, behind the scenes) it feels like it's not just me that is getting libeled.  It's my family.  It's my daughter.  Because that is what my life is now.  It's not just me any longer.  It's them.  It's us.  

I like to think I am a nice person.  At least I try to be a nice person.  I'm a huge believer in karma and I really attempt do good in all things.  And I love my family hugely and fiercely.  So now that I'm getting this horrible punched-in-the-gut feeling when I'm attacked by internet thugs, I'm rethinking this entire adventure.

And it has been an adventure.  A wonderful, down-the-rabbit-hole, lake-of-shining-waters adventure. I've loved just about every minute of it.  I'm just not loving it right now.  So I really don't know what to do.

There's an age-old adage that comes to mind here, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the fire."  And at this moment, I can not stand the heat.  So I'm climbing out of the fire.  For now.

I don't know if I'll be back so I'm not expecting or asking you to stick around this time.  I realize I've left before and never come back quite as good as I was in my heyday.  You've all been more lovely and loyal than I could ever expect already.  You've forgiven my flaky-blogger ways and provided an astounding and breathtaking amount of support.  You've given me a community and I'll never ever ever forget that.

If I do take up the blogging pen again, it's going to look a little bit different.  Because my life is just not like it was a year ago.  Yes it's still silly.  It's still random and clumsy and full of laughter.  But now it's also heart-thumping and intense.  It feels more important now.  Now it's something to protect.

I'd love to write about my real life sometime.  About all of it.  Not just the funny parts. (Though there will always be funny parts.)  I wonder if anyone would like to read that.

So, I'll not say goodbye here.  I'll say Cheers to You, and Yours and Theirs.  I wish you all the levity in the world.  Hopefully I'll see you around.

THANK YOU.  I thank you and thank you and thank you.

And RYAN.  And Fiona.  (And OJ.)

P.S. I'm happy to answer any and all questions and comments for the next couple of days.  Then I'll probably close comments.  I'm also happy to respond to any emails or FB messages.  (LaurenRaeGallagher@gmail.com)

Keeping It Reality

Greetings earthlings  Blogstalkers.

Recently Ryan turned to me when we were sitting on the couch late at night (730 PM) and said, "You know, I've been thinking..."  At first I was all "Oh GREAT" because a lot of times when Ryan says that it means "I've been thinking that we could get fake pumpkins instead of real ones this year." or "I've been thinking that you should maybe bring the winter coats up from the basement instead of just wrapping a comforter around yourself to go get coffee in the morning."**

**Which is just ridiculous because my regular coats don't cover my pants-area and sometimes I don't feel like putting on real pants at pre-dawn in the morning before I've had coffee.  Plus then since I'm only wearing hideous sleep shorts and a blanket I'm much more cautious in my driving, so that I don't get pulled over by any police officers and then judged.  So basically that comforter is making the roads safer for everyone.

So usually when Ryan starts the "I've been thinking" nonsense I attempt to head him off at the pass.  I'll be like, "Well then stop, you know it's not becoming when a lady thinks too much." or "That the title of your autobiography should be "When I Was A Young Warthog"?"

And then he'll drop whatever he's going to say and instead say "Aaaaagh" and everything goes on as usual - Ryan is disgruntled and I am not berated for having what Ryan thinks are "too many kinds of lotion under the sink in our bathroom" and then getting yelled at because "this one isn't even lotion, it's frosting."

But this time I was not quick enough on my feet to come up with a witty response and so I had to listen to whatever nonsense Ryan was about to spout.  "...I've been thinking, about how your doctor always tells you that you should have a reality tv show?"**

**This is a true story, my doctor does tell me this from time to time.  I have no idea why.  Although she hasn't mentioned it recently because last time I was like, "Yes!  And then you could watch it very closely and after each episode we could have telephone conversations about if you noticed any new suspicious moles!"  And she was all, "Are you planning on being in your bathing suit a lot or something?" And Ryan was like, "No, haven't you heard? She doesn't wear pants while driving any longer."

"Well I don't think it would work."

"Why ever not, Mr. TV Producer?"

"So much of what you'd do defies explanation.  No one would understand what was going on.  Also, half of the things you say are just lyrics to The Thong Song."

I was going to argue with that but I then I remembered about how when I had been making dinner earlier that night and Ryan said, "What's for dinner" I *might* have responded "Ryan you're in luck, luck luck, Chicken thighs like what what what, All night long.  Please hand me those Tooonnnnngs."  And he was like, "What?"  And I was all *pointing* "Those tongs tongs tongs tongs tongs."

So, I started thinking, Ryan might actually be right about this one.

For example, I spent 20 minutes on the phone this morning explaining to customer service at a t-shirt place that I had not in fact misspelled the word "Morning" and really did want the shirt I had ordered to say "Top of the Lauren to You."  And also that yes, I did like the placement of the lamb on the other t-shirt.  I did understand that it was not centered.  It's that high because I want it to be over my chest.  Like a rack of lamb, get it?  Also I assure you that the pants with the pig directly on the butt are also correct.  Right.  Yes.  Pork butt.  It's a long story but basically my husband said I had to get some new driving clothes.  I know!  Driving Clothes!  It's not like I'm a 19th century dandy, RYAN.  Yes, Ryan is my husband's name.

And then I spent 20 minutes on the phone with Ryan (the baby was napping) because I had accidentally melted some of her baby spoons in the dishwasher and I was freaking out about the fumes.  And I was all, "I called my mom and she said she melted my baby stuff from time to time on accident and never "got a new dishwasher" so I should be fine.  And then I comforted myself thinking that maybe I'm only being crazy about the fumes because my brain was turned crazy by the fumes at my mom's house when I was a child, so really I shouldn't worry.  But then I was like,  WAIT! That means I should worry because the fumes could turn Fiona's brain crazy too!  And then I got stuck in a loop.  And now I'm really tired.  It's probably the fumes."

Also Ryan reminded me of the small tiff we'd had coming back from a recent wedding when I said that the volume control in his car is THE WORST.  Because one level is too soft, two levels up from that is too loud and the level in the middle is "serial killer volume".  And then went on to explain to his gaping mouth that 'serial killer volume' is the level of volume at which when you imagine a murderer in your backseat saying "Hello Lauren" over the music, it makes you uncontrollably shudder.  He was all, "It was like the most bullshit Goldilocks story ever in that car."  

And then I was like, "Is the new title of your autobiography?"

And he left me alone.

But yeah, I should probably never have a reality tv show.  Point to Ryan I guess.  

So tell me Blogstalkers, what behavior do you engage in that could never be explained away if you were to get your own reality tv show?

Also, picture of my baby.  She was 9 months old yesterday.  WHAT.

You Set My Heart Aquiver.

UPDATE:  The winners as determined by a random number generator (and including all FB entries I promise) are as follows:

1. Elainacom
2. Holly
3. The-Czarina

If you are one of those people then email me at laurenraegallagher@gmail.com for instructions on collecting your prize.  I'll let you each choose which of the three options interests you!

P.S. Hopefully a post coming tomorrow, we had some unexpected personal matters to take care of around here last week, hence the quietness.  

It's Friday, Blogstalkers.

Time to drink champagne and dance on the table.   Or if you're me, drink Diet Snapple and google "how much does laser hair removal hurt? More or less than cutting yourself in the armpit whilst shaving and then wearing a shirt with seams that rub against said cut? I'm just looking for the least painful option here."

(After that childbirth stuff early this year, while still semi-drugged, I told Ryan that pain didn't have the same hold over me anymore.  Apparently, I was all, "I feel like I could get bow-and-arrowed and not even blink."  Then the doctor came in and asked what my pain level was on a scale of 1 to 10 and I guess I said "TWO" very forcefully and then turned to Ryan and was all, "See?"  He likes to remind me of this when I slam my shirt in the car door and near-faint from the almost-pain.)

But anyway, I just wanted to take a quick moment today to express my extreme gratitude to all of you.  I know this blog is a silly little thing full of ridiculous stories but it's something I'm proud of and something that keeps me happy when life is trying its best to bow-and-arrow me.

I've just started posting more regularly again after my self-imposed maternity leave and already my clicky numbers are climbing back up to where they were last year.  And that is insane to me.  I feel incredibly lucky to have found this niche.  Although in fairness, I didn't do any of the finding.  You all found me.  And rescued me a lot.  Thank You a hundred million times over.

And because my love language is the one where you give presents, I'm giving out presents today.

A comment of any sort earns you an entry.  There will be three winners.  The prizes are as follows:

1 - Three months membership to a Cheese of The Month Club.  This is like a fruit of the month club but with less fucking pineapples.

2 - A $50 Amazon Giftcard.

3 - A life size cardboard cutout of Justin Timberlake.  Or if this is not something that interests you, then another $50 Amazon Giftcard.  I think we all know what the correct choice is here though.

So that's all for now.

Comment away, superheroes.

P.S. The giveaway will run for one week.  Winners will be chosen using a random number generator Friday October 3rd.

P.P.S. Comments have hit 200+ now so to see your comment, you'll have to click "Load More" at the very bottom of the page.

P.P.P.S. I'm having some comment issues so if you can't comment, but want to enter the giveaway, just comment on my Facebook status letting me know.  (You can find my FB profile link at the top right of the blog.)

P.P.P.P.S. Here is a picture of my baby, as requested.  If you want more pictures of my baby, follow me on Instagram because that is basically the only thing I post on Instagram.  (Link again, at top right of the blog.)

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