“I would eventually have to tell.”

Let me show you how God works.

In my case, God does not work in mysterious ways. He knows, with me, he has to be a lot more CLEAR. He has to be, because I am, well, stubborn.

Y’all. Seriously. I’m “stubborn” like Richard Simmons is “Sassy.” We work it.

Anyhow… A few years ago I lost my mind. I drowned myself in a lot of wine, on a daily basis, and then, when the wine was over my head and I was choking for sanity, I grabbed onto more bottles and just sank even lower.

God worked: He got me out of there. He helped me out, dried me off, and we keep walking together. In fact, I am stuck to Him like really needy and sober GLUE until I get to meet him personally.

God worked. He got me writing gigs to keep me busy, and He asked me to start talking about the near-drowning stuff. He said, “Now. You need to tell.”

I now have a gig writing with Nazarene Publishing House. A column, for The Community, a blog that “provides content, insight, training, and conversations that inspire spiritual growth.”

I am totally freaked out that I am writing a column for anything that involved “training” and “spiritual growth.” I’m the one who used Richard Simmons earlier in this post, as a sort of analogous mentor, remember?

But yet, I’m a part of their crew. Ok, God does work in mysterious ways.

Now, I don’t usually do this, but I’m gonna ask you a favor. If you would, go peruse? Maybe subscribe? Follow on facebook, twitter, you know the drill. Perhaps I am biased, but there is some really good writing on there.

If you want to see my article, click here. Then, take a look around. It’s a good community.

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This is MY Netflix shirt.

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You guys.

I have told you about my fabulous gig with Netflix, haven’t I?

Yep. I post monthly on various shows that I love or my kids love or even the hubs (but his cue is all full of documentaries about World War II, so his options are a bit more… grim). Netflix took me on for this gig over two years ago, and the bonus was that I receive a free membership for my blogs.

It all seemed a perfect fit. I love Netflix. I love free. Voila! We were meant for each other!

And then. You guys.

They started sending me stuff.

Like, toys for the kids. And a charger thing-ie for my laptop (I don’t know what it is, but the husband does and says it’s awesome, so there).

And, and yes. JUST A TELEVISION.

But this latest little giftie? It’s the best. THE BEST.

LOOKIT!

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My PRESHUSSSSSSS.

I don’t have to share it. It is mine. Know why it’s mine? BECAUSE IT SAYS IT RIGHT THERE ON THE SHIRT.

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It’s all soft and comfy, my Netflix shirt. It completes me.

And, just recently, I actually WATCHED Netflix, whilst wearing MY shirt. And my head nearly blew off. From the coolness and meta-ness (yes that’s a word) of it all. And also because I was on my seventh hour of House of Cards. That show is intense.

Ok, so today’s post is about sharing. ‘Cuz sharing is caring, after all. But here’s the thing:

I don’t wanna share.

Moms so have to share all the time. Their food. Their boobs. Their breathing space, for Pete’s sake. So, this is all about the Netflix shows that I JUST DON’T WANNA SHARE ANYMORE!

What I mean is, I watch these lovelies all alone because they are probably not ok for little eyeballs, and to me, that’s not sharing. I realize it is kinda a wonky definition, but let’s face it. My ideas of sharing were pretty much blown out of the water when the little ones first took up residence in my uterus. Sweet little parasites.

Did she just say that? Did she just say her preshus angels were parasites?

Which brings me to my first show:

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I really don’t need to explain, do I? He has, like, a bunch of kids. He makes fun of parenting. And not once does he drop the F bomb. ‘Nuff said.

And then:

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There are days, my friends, where I need to dial up my pink taffeta prom dress memories. I had puffy sleeves the size of watermelons, y’all. And I worked it.

 

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So, this is kind of a veer from cute and pink, but you guys. I LOVE this show. It’s just so good. And, as it is British, it makes it extra good. The accents, you know.

Oh, and finally:Hart-of-Dixie-TV-Series.jpg

Yes. I know. Back to the cuteness. It’s total southern stuff. It’s got cuteness and fluff written all over it, and by tarnation, I LIKE IT.

Mainly, I like it because I spend the majority of the show coveting Lemon Breeland’s (played by Jaime King) wardrobe. Just her WARDROBE could have a show of its own, you read me?

I mean, just LOOK:

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If you google, ‘Lemon outfits” google already knows. She is just that fabulous. Well, first you will get a slew of actual lemon outfits because the internet tries so hard, but eventually Miss Breeland shows up with her sparkles!

Sharing is caring. I know. But sometimes? Momma needs her couch and a blanket and NO ONE ELSE IN THE ROOM while she watches her Netflix.  And if someone could find me a cardigan like the one pictured above, perfection.

But for now, I’ll settle for some sweet tea and my, MY Netflix shirt.

A Favorite Hero.

Guys guys guys!

I just found a total gem on The Great and Mighty Netflix that I wanted to share with you.

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Ohhhhh my. How I loved this. It’s my FAVORITE. Here’s why:

  1. I grew up on Siskel and Ebert. I LOVE movies. But, as a kid who didn’t get out much – I LOVED watching Siskel and Ebert’s show ABOUT movies even more. I absolutely loved it when they got grumpy with each other. It was affectionate and intense and reminded me of home. 🙂
  2. Ebert wrote a book called Your Movie Sucks. He really really REALLY hated a lot of movies, and his scathing, hilarious reviews of them ended up as a best seller.

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I mean. Look at that FACE.

Here is an example of such prose, when reviewing Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen:

“[The movie] is a horrible experience of unbearable length, briefly punctuated by three or four amusing moments. One of these involves a dog-like robot humping the leg of the heroine. Such are the meager joys.”

I LOVE HIM. MY FAVORITE.

3. The director of this documentary, Steve James, also directed one of my all time best, most favorite, winner of all things films: Hoop Dreams.

4. It’s a documentary. Documentaries are my favorite films because they are real. They capture things that are real. I kinda like real. But only when it leaves me with hope and maybe after crying. This did both. I had hope, and I cried. Documentaries can do that, and this one does it well.

5. He fought cancer with dignity and bravery and humor. He is my courageous favorite.

6. And, finally, Ebert is in my special group. He’s one of us. He was in recovery, for over thirty years. This makes him simply more awesome, in every way.

Here is an article that he wrote about his sobriety. It’s also my favorite. It’s awesome and honest and heartfelt and accomplished and has that painfully clear edge to it that so many writers have… It’s my favorite favorite.

My Name is Roger Ebert, and I’m an Alcoholic

So. Did you get the feeling that he might have been one of my favorites?

He was.

Watch Life Itself. If you do, you’re my favorite.

Mr. Ebert, you are my favorite. I give you two thumbs up.

As a Netflix Streamteam blogger, Netflix asks me to watch their fabulousness and them chatter about it. It's a great gig.

As a Netflix Streamteam blogger, Netflix asks me to watch their fabulousness and them chatter about it. It’s a great gig.

How to do a Book Signing. By: A Very Important Person

How to Do a Book Signing

By: Someone so Famous I Almost Can’t Stand It

1. Find out about book signing months in advance. Feel a warm glow of anticipation. Like looking forward to Christmas. Or when the next Star Wars movie comes out.

2. Time passes. Realize you have one week until you leave. Start scheduling the freaking out to occur with regularity from hereon.

3. Arrange childcare, pack, make meals because they will all starve and die without you, pack some more, freak out on regular intervals. Wake up at 2 am a lot and then freak out about freaking out. YOU ARE SO NEUROTIC STOP IT.

4. Drive to airport. Get lost a little, right NEXT to the airport. You can see the planes. You just. Can’t. Get to the planes. Start muttering “da plane! da plane!” in a weird Fantasy Island moment, while gripping onto the steering wheel and what’s left of your sanity.  Get a grip and finally force yourself to take on google maps. OH HOLY ADULTS,  YOU ARE SO GROWN UP.

5. Get through the metal detector thing without losing your pants. Make weird eye contact with guy while putting belt back on pants. Awkward.

6. Someone on plane is wearing your high school boyfriend’s cologne which is confusing. You suddenly want to listen to Spandau Ballet.

7. Turbulence on plane makes everyone in your row start up impromptu bible study. You start humming, “I’ll Fly Away” and “Nearer My God to Thee” as comedic relief. Jesus humor is not well received.

8. Get to hotel. Twelve year old model checks you in. You want to offer her a granola bar and ask her why she’s out so late. She upgrades your room. You love her!

9. Get to room on the 27th floor. You can’t figure out how to use the keyless key thing. You are smarter than this. You nearly dismantle the keyless thingie until you realize, while holding the plastic thingie in your TEETH as you are searching, Lord, help please, PLEASE I am finally HERE just let me in the damn door, that you just need to hold it in FRONT of the keyless thingie. There is no swiping. You feel like a complete idiot and know that somewhere, someone in the concierge office is laughing his arse off. You don’t care because

10. HOLY COW YOUR ROOM IS BIGGER THAN YOUR FIRST FLOOR OF YOUR HOUSE AND YOU HAVE TWO BATHROOMS. TO YOURSELF. ALL TO YOURSELF. TWO BATHROOMS. I REPEAT. TWO. but

11. You can’t figure out how to turn on the lights. Everything is chic and automated. Therefore, it is hard. You start to wonder if you should just go home. But, there’s two bathrooms. You can’t leave them.

12. WOW. Bam! You found button for lights and blinds! You got this! You can see now! The button says, “Welcome!” and when you push it the whole room just comes to life! All for you! It might be possible your ego cannot handle this hotel room.

13. The view from the room almost makes you burst into tears.

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14. The television says, “Welcome Dana Bowman, author.” You almost, ALMOST burst into tears.

15. You watch Real Housewives until two am because your brain is going to freak out anyway, so you frost it over with blonde highlights, drama, and boobs that smoosh upwards in clothing. You wrap yourself in the big, white, fluffy robe that the hotel provided, and realize, you can so relate to all those women. They are fraught, fraught, I tell you, with the struggle. Except to the boob part. You can’t really relate to that part.

16. You wake up at 5 am. The coffee is sublime. You dress in your “Ima author! Here is my all grownup book signing” outfit and wait for your Cali friends to show up. You feel like it’s your first day of school.

17. Friends show up. They take you on BART and amidst the Gay Pride parade which is kinda, well, overwhelming. Evidently it is rather a big deal. It just makes you very, very distracted. It is just too early for all that leather.

18. You end up by the water, and slurp down the best latte you have ever had in your entire life. It almost makes you burst into tears.

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Adorable Cali friends.

19. Sweet friends walk you to conference center, give you a kiss, and send you off. Your editor takes you to your booth.

20. You see your book, a stack of them actually, waiting for you to sign.

21. And finally. Finally. You burst into tears.

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Bad, teary pic. Happy author.

Postscript: Your editor hands you a tissue and exclaims, “There is NO crying! There’s no crying at book signings! Our authors do NOT cry! Hold it together, woman!”

And, later, you met the author of Lemony Snicket! Squee!!

 

The end.

 

 

Gift or Gurney

So recently, I had an article published in my church’s magazine, The Covenant Companion.

Y’all. God is so totally hilarious.

Why? you ask? Well, I would now like to describe for you how my brain works. Stay with me because this might get a bit complicated.

Momsie’s brain: Huh! I had an article accepted for The Covenant Companion! That’s awesome! It’s a great magazine with like, thousands of readers. So cool!

Wait for it…

Momsie’s Brain: I am just gonna flip through the pages here… Can’t wait to see the article! Ima writer! Ina magazine! This is wonderful and amazi- WHOA WAIT A MINUTE. HOLD UP. JUST WOW. WOW.

And lo, here was the article:

Screenshot 2015-05-28 10.01.51HOLY HUGE FACE, BATMAN.

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So, allow me for a minute to plonk down my neuroses right smack into the middle of this post, and try to explain the tangled muddle that is known as:

How Momsie Thinks

Or:

Hop on Board the Crazy Train

As some of you know… I am an alcoholic. Yep. This realization came to me about some four years ago, and I’ve been on the lovely and freaking hard journey ever since, climbing the big, fat mountain of recovery.

Don’t get me wrong, the mountain is great. It’s got good views. Nice clear skies. Lotsa fluffy clouds. Intense discussions with Jesus. It’s awesome.

But some days it still just really kicks me in the ass.

So. While alllll this was happening, I, for some weird reason, was writing a lot. Yes, I KNOW you therapists out there are probably able to give me lots of deep and psychological reasons why my creative synapses started shooting sparks when all this went down, but I just like to chalk it up to the fact that when I wrote I didn’t feel so miserable and nutty, and thank you, Jesus, for that. Nobody needs to be nutty, like ALL the time. Unless you’re a Kardashian, I guess.

Well, all the people I kept writing for kept saying this:

“Oh, you want to write about parenting? Or, knitting? Or how to teach your cat to fetch? Interesting. But really, we’d like you to write about your big number, your show stopper, you know, the one where you drank a lot and now don’t? Please write about that!”

And then. The Covenant Companion said, “Yes! Write about that drinking thing! It’s important and you will be helping people!”

Let me now interject again with Momsie’s brain.

Momsie’s Brain: Well, sure. I’ll do that. And somehow, no one will REALLY know it’s me that wrote the article, and so therefore… my church friends won’t, uh, KNOW know. I mean, they might kinda know… but not REALLY really know. That I’m. you know.

I know. My brain works in mysterious ways. Sometimes I just have to stop and take a breath and thank the good Lord I don’t have to operate heavy machinery on a daily basis.

The article was about how people in the church who are dealing with addiction need to be able to talk bout it, in the open, all honest and healthy and stuff.

And I do get the irony, y’all. I’m a writer. We do irony.

Sigh.

So, on that fateful morning, when I found my magazine in my post office, I pawed throught it, and:

WHAMMO. BIG FAT DANA FACE HOLY COW.

And that’s when God said, “I love you girl. But this is a wee bit funny, don’t you think?”

Good one, God.  Sometimes our best gifts can be a gurney, if we’re not careful.

And now, I’m gonna go give myself a facial. My pores need work.

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STOPPIT.

This post was brought to you by:

humility

And also this:

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Top Ten Momsie Thankfuls

 

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I am grateful that the interwebs will never run out of pictures of cats dressed like turkeys. The cat looks so grateful too, doesn’t he?

 

Top Ten Reasons I am Thankful Today:

10. Coffee and the Macy’s Day Parade. Lots of coffee. From my father-in-law’s Keurig. You just push a button and WHOOSH coffee. It’s like coffee from gadget heaven.

9. Pink jammies. Why? Because I’m still in mine. They are Tinkerbell jammies, and did I mention, I’M STILL IN THEM.

8. Momsieblog. It has brought me so many blessings this year. Mainly, an audience that will listen to me meander through my thoughts,  for cripes sake. I don’t get a lot of that at home. I wonder why?

7. When I just asked my husband, “Hey! I’m having a brainblock! What’s something you’re grateful for?” and he answered without any hesitation: “You.” Be still my heart.

6. Watching these boys watch the floats go by. They are entranced. “Da Spidermans! And ninja guy! And I don’t know who that is because mom won’t let us watch anything but der PBS!”

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5. Paired with the jammies is the simple fact that my darling father-in-law made his traditional pancakes for the boys this morning. I have not moved from the couch. Grandpa Ed is da best! I didn’t have to wipe der syrups offa anyone!

4. My husband, who keeps reading tidbits from the sports section of the paper at me. I am grateful that he still, after all these years, thinks I am interested in this.

3. Our church. Have already answered a plethora of texts and posts from them; so grateful for their friendship and their faith. I always picture my church family as those kids at the end of a Charlie Brown Christmas. We are faithful friends to even the most wishy-washy (me). We are also short and rather strangely dressed.

2. Family. Of course. I know it’s the obligatory answer, but holy cannoli I love them so.

1. Jesus. He loves me so. Proof still that miracles happen here on a daily basis.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Charlie and Noel

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Christmas time is my favorite time of year. I love the music, the decorations, I would put my tree up if I could on November 1, but the husband is weird and told me I have to wait until the day after Thanksgiving.

I can sneak Christmas in. I have slowwwly started putting up a few garlands here and there, and some lights, hoping he won’t notice. Since he is an engineer which means he never notices anything unless there’s some type of spreadsheet attached, we’re probably good. If he asks, I just tell them the garland is cat toys.

Anyhow.

I do have a thing about this season that I don’t like:

RAMPANT CRAZY BUYING OF ALL THE THINGS FOR OUR LOVED ONES. MUST HAVE ALL THE TOYS!

It’s called Black Friday for a reason, ya’ll. Hmmmm, what else is black? Coal. Darth Vader. And, I can’t even say it. This stuff:

black_licorice_jelly_beans_313_Shudder.

Do you see what I’m getting at here?

I can’t help but wonder, if we took all that money, all those Furbies and slippers and gadgets, and we piled ’em all up somewhere, maybe we could give a whole lot of that to kids who are hungry?  Or people who don’t know Jesus? Or maybe, someone who is stuck in a hospital room Christmas Eve???

I know, I sound very Mother Teresa-ish here. That was the aim. Mother Teresa and I are tight, ya’ll. We get each other.

Ok, ok, I’m not telling you to go all Bob Cratchitt and just figgy pudding it for Christmas and that’s it. You can get a few things, yes. But, do we have to get ALL the things?

It just kind of bugs me.

So, here’s my antidote. I bought a book. And here it is:

51ozB-EmL8L

 

Yes, I know. I’m telling you to buy something when I just told you not to. It is always possible that Momsie has an issue with contradicting herself, but this book is well worth it. Charlie and Noel tells an endearing story about how to talk and teach our littles about Advent. It is a sweet, spiritual, slow down, a let’s sit down and read together kind of book, and I love it. The main character, Charlie, has a rather antsy view of Christmas – he just wants Christmas to get here, already, mainly because of the presents!  Even his chocolate Advent calendar doesn’t really appease him, and Charlie cannot really help but just want the Great Day of Opening All the Gifties to be here.

“On Christmas,” he thought, “There will be much more chocolate!”

Well said, Charlie. And true, yes.  But really, we all know there’s a LOT more to it than that.

Franziska Macur has written a charming little book of twenty-five chapters, one chapter for each day in December, that helps Charlie see the point much more clearly.

My boys loved taking the time to read a chapter a day last December. We would sit at the base of our Christmas tree after dinner and read and talk. Red would lay on his back and look up at the lights twining through the branches and listen. Blonde would help read a bit and ask his usual six majillion questions. We would talk over the discussion points at the end of each chapter and I would realize that we are building traditions as we speak.

And here’s another Christmas miracle: To do all this I would have to actually stop cleaning/wiping/planning/organizing/cooking/doing for a few minutes to sit down and read with my boys.   So, Charlie is teaching me a few things too.

 

If you’d like to know more or order the book, click here to visit Home, Naturally, Franziska’s blog.

Or go here to order via Amazon.

Don’t be like this guy:

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Embrace this season in all its glory. Merry Christmas (before Thanksgiving, even!) to you.