Get lots of Netflix and rest, and call me in the morning.

38b5768a715174f144d32d2731c4eec2.jpg

 

My friends, lately we have been besieged by the sickness. Also, I have been hiding from social media because everyone is mad and yelling, and so I just want to post pictures of puppies. Here, like this one:

qBgnzJS.jpg

I would like to make a plea, for my own sanity.

PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS, STOP YELLING. I KNOW I’M YELLING WHILE I TELL YOU THIS BUT I AM ALL ABOUT IRONY RIGHT NOW. AND, I’M DESPERATE.

OH,  AND THROWING UP. STOP THAT, TOO.

There are times when life just seems to be twisting around,  full of dark ships circling at night, all malaise and doom and puking and glooooooom.

Here. Have another one of these:

Funny-Nature-20.jpg

Sometimes… the best thing to do is hibernate with happy things.

Or, you can hibernate with Netflix and fight the doom and gloom with a series of unfortunate events.

I was hooked on this series of books because they are dark and hilarious and twisty-turny. And, the Netflix adaptation of David Handler’s books is really really REALLY good. Like, dark and funny and so perfectly cast.

A-new-series-of-unfortunate-events-to-hit-netflix-462487.jpg

I have to warn you. The events in this series are really, truly unfortunate. And there are moments where there is sadness and true villainy. But, there is heart too. And real empathy.

The show is not for wee ones. It’s for those that find sarcasm and dark humor their love language, so… anyone in middle school, pretty much.

Because middle schoolers know, probably better than anyone, that a twisty-turny world can sometimes only be combated with an equal dose of dark and stormy.

At one point in the introduction, just as in the books, Lemony Snicket warns us to not continue. He warns that any sort of continuation of this sad and gloomy affair will only keep piling on more sad and gloomy. Life is like that. Relentless.

And then he then turns to the camera and says,

“Trouble and strife can cover this world like the dark of night, or like smoke from a suspicious fire.. .and when that happens all good, true, and decent people know that it’s time to volunteer.”

He had me at trouble and strife.

And, volunteer.

Enjoy your dark and gloomy and enjoy the SUPERB cast, and just, you know, enjoy a little twisty-turny. It is a children’s book after all. You know, after a long series of unfortunate events, there will be light at the end of the tunnel. It might be a long tunnel, but I have the time. Last I checked, my evenings are free, except for Lysoling everything in sight.

tumblr_mcknit5Ekx1qlccb8o1_1280.jpg

 

screenshot-2016-01-27-11-14-52

Resolutions are not useless and here’s why:

f4d0d7919c6eb450d6115eda10440c39.jpg

Ok, so I write for a fabulous magazine called The Cov. It’s a good gig. I get to talk about Jesus and often, they allow funny.  At the same time. I have a good relationship with the editors. I know this because I can send them kitty memes about procrastination and they seem to appreciate them.

Like:

fcbf03058a4d70234b94a1ee6650d0d2.jpg

And this one, which neatly sums up the process of trying to edit:

6a00d8341c2cc953ef011570acf1ca970b-800wi.jpg

And this one:

Honey-did-you-let-the-cat-in-last-night.jpg

Which really has nothing to do with writing but it cracks me up. Also this:

aMGAb5A_700b.jpg

I know. I need to stop. So, the other day we were talking about a January column and I was all:

“HEY RESOLUTIONS! NO ONE HAS EVER DONE THAT BEFORE, RIGHT?”

And my editor, who I shall call Larry, said,
“Resolutions are hokey.”

Oh, it was on.

Actually, no. It was not on. I was all, “Oh, sure… right Larry, I totally agree.” I didn’t argue because he is kind of my boss, but NOT without muttering under my breath, all passive aggressive:

“You will rue the day, Larry.”

Not really sure where we’re going here, but I made MY OWN RESOLUTIONS ANYHOW ON MY BLOG! WHO’S THE BOSS NOW LARRY? HUH?

I know. I have to assert control somewhere.

MOMSIE’S RESOLUTIONS FOR 2017:

  1. Maintain a good working relationship with Larry.
  2. Stop putting my coffee in the microwave, zapping it for twenty seconds, and then leaving it there to ponder its uselessness until forty-eight hours later.
  3. I’m going to use this book on my children. 51MF3u-JPAL._SX348_BO1,204,203,200_-1.jpgI will hold them each in my hands, ponder them for a minute, and ask them, “Tell me, small Red who has once again left a swath jelly behind in the kitchen like its own sticky Exxon Valdez oil slick, DO YOU SPARK JOY? DO YA, PUNK? DO YOU FEEL LUCKY?
  4. I will figure out how to number things on my blog.
  1. I will not actually donate my children, I promise. But you gotta know, MARIE KONDO DOES NOT HAVE CHILDREN. One day, if she does, she will grab some sort of useless plastic toy in her hands and start pondering it, and ask, “Small useless piece of plastic from The McDonalds, do you spar-” and her wee child will start crying and Kondo will just roll her eyes and toss it at the baby. You know she will.
  2. I will brush and floss every day.
  3. Freaked you out with that one, didn’t I? You were wondering… “Wait. She DOESN’T brush every day? Why am I even reading this?
  4. I will stop overusing “skin fixing illuminating age defying serum that costs shackamillion dollars.” I figured since the packaging said it erases fine lines I should just, you know, slather it all over. And now I head out for my day every morning looking like I’m J Lo.maxresdefault.jpg
  5. Actually? Scratch that. If I want to look like J Lo I can. Say hello to my glowy little friend:

635793220882137271-1909621119_m9-1.png

10. I will also try to get a handle on this:6a7c885b9a3b9476370d6de5a1b7c0ebd4d3d0359d90b8c1d9693788f25a6482_1.jpg

Betcha can’t guess what type of personality I am? I’ll give you a hint: I often have slanty eyebrows and I rhyme with “SLAY.

11. I WILL STOP SAYING ‘BOYS, ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME?’ CUZ EVERYTIME I DO THAT A TREE FALLS IN THE FOREST AND EVERYONE HEARS IT.

12. And finally, as God is my witness, I will stop buying the bargain toilet paper. Life is just too short, people.

Here’s the thing (YOU KNOW I can’t write a post without some sort of “Here’s the moral to the story” moment? Right? Larry tells me I do this. It’s my thing. Alas, I often have no idea what I’m talking about in terms of morals, but I WILL CARRY ON.)

Anyhow, here’s the thing. I think this year I want to stop trying to lose things. I want to not try to lose weight or lose wrinkles or lose the clutter or lose my mind or whatevs.

I want more. I want enough piled on enough.

More, please!

More: Jesus. Family. Special Locked Door Husband time (yes, that’s code for nookie). Laughter. Small children who have impossibly long lashes and a total inability to eat without making the kitchen look like a crime scene.

More cuddling with this huge fat furry fluff of goodness:IMG_6138.jpg

This picture illustrates that Steve is two things:

  •      A bit of a risk taker.
  •      Really doesn’t mind pencils. EduCATed. Har har har.

I will take more naps:IMG_6131.jpg

I don’t have a picture of ME napping so these are stand-in, blurry nappers. Look carefully for the dog, he’s at the end of the couch and is basically really really hurt because Steve has his spot.

Also, we’re so healthy! V-8!

I will take my kids sledding, even when there’s only about 2 inches of snow. We will still attempt it. IMG_6222 3.jpg

I will stay up a little later, act a little sillier, and hug even tighter.

Also, I’ll listen to the Xanadu soundtrack more often.

Oh, and I won’t drink. There’s always that. That’s one minus I will happily keep adding to my life.

I-do-what-i-want-I-do-it-sober-meme-61473.jpg

And, I will write. I’ll even pen some resolutions. I will always, always love the re-set button that is January 1.

Happy New Year to you. May God richly bless you. You have been a HUGE blessing to me.

Even you, Larry.

6267d9491c78b802927bab238de18fcc-1.jpg

That’s not actually Larry. Love you, Larry!

“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.

addiction_insta

 

 

Share the love.

Guys, I have  to post today about the book. I have to.

IMG_4343

Y’all, it is a heckuva thing, to write a book.

Once the book was out there, with an actual cover and pages, and sitting on shelves in bookstores, and libraries, it was like I had a baby, and then wrapped it up, set it on a bookshelf, slapped an isbn sticker on its adorable soft little bum, and walked away.

I don’t even have any books in my house anymore. I kept giving them to people. Authors get a box of books (I think I got about 15) to do whatever they like with. I kinda considered throwing all fifteen of them on my bed and rolling around in them with glee like that money scene from Indecent Proposal, but you know? That’s a movie from the 90’s* and nobody remembers it. Also, rolling around on a book is uncomfortable. I know this because there is always, ALWAYS at least one book nesting in my bed anyhow (housekeeping challenged) and the other night I rolled over onto A Prayer For Owen Meany and bruised my spleen.

Also, this might rumple with the book cover. As I am a tidy author, there shall be no rolling.

Here is what happened recently about this book:

I had a friend inform me about amazon. It’s this place on the internets where people buy stuff? Anyhow, my sweet little book is on there, and it had some reviews.

And by some I mean a nice number. Less than twenty. More than ten. Still ok. I didn’t much mind. I knew people were reading it, liking it. I knew also that most readers were moms, saddled with small children probably. The likelihood that she was going to set down the small cherub stickily attached to her side and try to post a review of Bottled the next time she has some time to herself was pretty small. If she was like me, she would use that time to go the bathroom and take a nap. Maybe not at the same time.

But then, just recently, another friend told me: “You need 50 reviews. If you get 50, your book will be an ‘also liked’.”

Guys. Wait. What?

This is how I do marketing, by the way. The majority of the time, my book selling moments are paired with me saying, inevitably, “Now, wait. What?”

Bewilderment. It’s part of my platform.

The “also likes”? You know them, I bet. Whenever I am buying, say, a tassled gladiator sandal, and amazon, oh so cleverly suggests that a RED leather tasseled gladiator sandal might also be something I like, I often find myself nodding and just feeling all warm and fuzzy about Amazon.

“Yes. Why, I DO like those? How did you know, Amazon? You really get me!”

“It’s like we’re *crosses fingers* like this.

When I was researching other books to write my book proposal, the “also likes” saved me. It’s how I found a small army of books about drinking, about moms drinking, about recovery.

And it’s also where I didn’t find something: Laughter.

When the publisher, Central Recovery Press, asked me to write the book they asked, “Will you write about the harrowing, painful, and totally life-altering experience of being a mom in recovery. But will you, you know, make it funny?”

Ah, CRP. You also get me. It’s like we’re *crosses fingers again* like this.

I wrote the book. I slaved for nine months (For real. A book baby.) and then, WHAMMO, it arrived. Big celebration. Cigars. Champagne (not really, that would be dumb). And along with it?

Its evil twin, Marketing.

So now the book is out there. And evidently Amazon would like suitable proof. I really had no idea how to do this, so I took it on, with the same enthusiasm as a mom trying to get volunteers for the next Fun Fair. I pestered those that I knew had bought the book. You poor people, if you had actually been kind enough to send me a pic of you reading Bottled, with a cup of tea, in your cozy chair, I was coming to find you. I went all Liam Neeson on the situation. Sorry.

I tweeted. I messaged. I emailed. I texted.

I became the Most Annoying Person in the World.

And nearly** every time, here was the response: “Sure! I would love to!”

Those guys. They were the best. Simply the best. It’s like they really got me. We were *crosses fingers yet again* like this.

It’s good, yes, to be “also liked.” But do you know what all of this taught me?

Gratitude. People are so willing to help. And with the conversations that happened all day long, they reminded me, again and again, about friendship, willingness, generosity, and time. It blessed me completely. Completely.

Thank you. I “also like” you too. Did you know that?

We’re like this.

 

il_570xN.549660360_2t4j

*Am I the only one who thinks the 90’s was just about a couple years ago? It’s not The 90’s. It was just, you know, a while back. Weird.

** True story. My friend, who shall remain unnamed but is My Pastor’s Wife, said: “Dana. I can’t review it. I actually have not read it yet. I am so sorry.”

And I responded something like: “That’s ok. Just lie. Really. I think. Oh. Wait. No, that would be bad.”

She didn’t respond but I am sure she prayed for me, which is good because at that point I think I had gotten a tad crazy.

Marketing. It can snap you like a twig.

Lions and Tigers and Podcasts, Oh My.

IMG_3841
Yes, this is a picture of my son, dressed like a bat. Don’t worry. It sorta pertains. But also, it’s just cute.

Well, my friends, it’s been a week.

A WEEK, I tell you. Like the kind of week that feels like it wants to tussle.

My week is all: “COME AT ME BRO! I’M GONNA TROUNCE YOU!”

I respond with:

“Can I just give you a hug and then maybe we get some coffee? Wait, let me find my scrunchie. And my glasses. I still am in my jammies. I can’t do tussle right now. Simmer down.”

I am in what is called FULL MARKETING MODE with The Book. (Did you know? I wrote a book.) Yep, that’s what I’m doing. It’s all kinda crazy. And I’m learning things like:

  1. You can do a full podcast from your car, parked behind your house in the back alley, at nine pm, as the cop car suspiciously circles past you because you’re parked right by the garage that was broken into last week and you keep waving, while you are podcasting, to the sweet police officer who kinda thinks you’re nuts anyhow. Long story. Has to do with bats. On the stairs, IN my house. I know, right? This is my life. The police think of me as “crazy bat lady.” It’s charming.
  2.  Every time I have an interview with anyone, I try to speak with a “low tone.” I was given the advice once that I kinda    sound like “nervous Minnie Mouse” on the radio, so from hereon I attempt a low, sultry, TOTALLY RELAXED voice… I like to think of myself as the Jessica Rabbit of Recovery, but with less cleavage.
  3. The snort laugh has happened. It was a live interview. Yep. So there’s that.
  4. All things said, (poorly and with some snorting) I can survive marketing. I really can.

Would you pray? Would you pray for the book to find itself in the hands of one who needs it? Would you pray that my words help? Would you?

Thank you my dears. I am ever so grateful.

Bottled: A Mom’s Guide to Early Recovery is available on amazon. Click here

9781937612986-frontcover

No Matter What.

Linking up with Five Minute Friday today.

The theme?

il_340x270.252947861

Ok, I am remembering growing up with my father. Here are some thoughts:

John Waynish. Very swaggery.

General Pattonish.  Very STRICT.

Dennis Hopperish.  Little bit on the edge. Like looking into the wonderful abyss of “I Might Snap Today. Do You Feel Lucky?”

Gruff. Not the cuddliest. But Hilarious. Sorta like a teddy bear, with a rifle.

(Yes, Dad, you’re reading this. I know. Don’t worry. It gets better.)

Here is also something:

Whenever I would get in trouble (This was often. Like a regular occurrence. I think I had it penciled in on the calendar for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Sundays optional), Dad would lecture. He would get in my face, and add the Vulcan Death Grip on my elbow to make sure I was listening. Did you know the nerve endings in your elbow really DO link directly to your eardrums? They DO.)

Oh, there was gnashing of teeth and wailing, I tell you.

But, I so remember this, no matter how awful the situation… no matter how much I wanted to squirm away or he wanted me to, as he so often said in total exasperation: “KNOCK THAT @#$% OFF!”

… He would always say this:

“Dana. No matter what you do, or how much trouble you get into (which will be a lot), I will always love you.”

“I love you. No matter what.”

No matter what.

I type that right now and smile. It’s a deep breath. A full sigh of relief. A drink of water when you are so very thirsty. No matter what. I was safe in his universe. I was loved. I am loved.

Seriously. I could go off the deep end, make fun of Fox News, get a huge tattoo, leave my dog at his house for house sitting*, and even (gasp) put a Democrat’s bumper sticker on my car.

I could even relapse. And he would love me.

(And no, don’t worry dad. This post is not some sort of roundabout way of telling you I have done so. The only relapse I have had lately is with my hardcore addiction to Candycorn pumpkins. Halloween crack, I tell you. I can’t quit them.)

My dad probably had NO idea how he was teaching me the most important lesson I am still learning about Christ. It’s been some forty years, and I still hear him say,

“No matter what.”

Thanks, dad.

Thank you for helping me see my Lord as a Father who loves, no matter what.

Thank you, Jesus, for giving me the father I needed. Just the right one for me. And for helping me to see, through him, how you love completely, recklessly, wisely, and all OVER us.

Amen.

life-is-hards2

Isn’t that sweet?

And true.

*Ok, I gotta tell the dog story… I left my beloved, neurotic, rather nutball dog, Norman, at mom and dad’s while I went off to a baby shower. I was gone for two hours. TWO. Norman, evidently, didn’t like that (mom and dad were gone too.)

Norman ate their door.

Like, the whole door.

He ate it.

Why? Who the heck knows. He’s a dog. And he never even showed any tummy distress. Lived to see another six years. With a door INSIDE him. And my dad also LET him live. Amazing. Cuz I really figured dad would have to go all Old Yeller on Norman for this little escapade.

Never really gonna live that one down.

funny-dog-watching-tv-shocked-old-yeller-pics-1

This is the post in which I sing at you.

Lots of deep thoughts here… mainly about my ego and my crushing inability to sing.

Bottled is ready for order! Click here to take a look.

Blessings, my peoples!