Monthly Archives: May 2012

Internet Friends

This whole blogging thing really has changed my life. Yes, I’ve had an outlet for rants, love and things I’m passionate about. But that’s not the main reason my life has changed.

The best change has been the people I’ve met.

See, I thought I was starting this blog because I missed writing and wanted an outlet. I knew my life was going to change dramatically when I essentially became a stay-at-home mom. I anticipated writing to address my own struggles and transition, and hopefully to reach someone else who felt the same way.

Don’t get me wrong – all of that has happened. But through blogging, I’ve met a wonderful group of women who have become my friends. And not just on the internet. Real friends, in real life.

When I first heard the acronym “IRL” in social media and on blogs, I wondered why people were talking about the Indy Racing League in those settings. It was so odd to me. So I googled it and learned that it meant “in real life.” (You know, because I do that when I don’t want to sound stupid asking what something means. Not that it happens very often…)

It’s funny to me today since my “internet” friends and I got to meet Mario Andretti last Friday night. Those internet friends who are truly friends “IRL” now, we got to meet an IRL legend and enjoy a night out together thanks to Casey. It was so much fun and eating dinner together after meeting Mario made me realize that even if I never blog again, these ladies will still be my friends.

And for that I’m extremely thankful.

Yo, just write.

Vintage Indiana Giveaway!

Update: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Carrie Davis on winning the tickets!

I love wine. And I love food.

Better yet, I love local wine and food.

Wanna know something lame? I’ve only ever been to one local winery. Which wouldn’t be so lame if there were only two, but did you know Indiana has 63 wineries?! {Friends, I think it’s time to take some road trips.}

Wanna know something super fun? 26 of those Indiana’s wineries will be in one place for your tasting pleasure!

Vintage Indiana is a festival promoting Indiana wine and food, taking place on Saturday, June 2nd in Military Park (near the canal and IUPUI’s campus) from 11am to 7pm. This is it’s 13th year, offering over 200 samples of award-winning wines. In addition to wine, 14 local restaurants will offer dishes to pair with your wine choices. (Can you say YUM?!)

What would make local wine and food even more fun? Entertainment of course! Vintage Indiana will have live music from noon to 7pm, featuring Mike Milligan & Steam Shovel, Jennie DeVoe and American Idol’s Casey James. (Remember him?!)

Here’s the thing: it’s not just for those 21 and up. (Though personally I think it’d be more fun to go on a date or with the girls!) The whole family can go enjoy the fun, food and community. (There’s even Baskin Robbins ice cream!)

Wanna go? Here’s how:

  • Adults tickets are $22 in advance at Marsh Supermarkets & online at www.vintageindiana.com or $25 at gate.
  • Designated Driver tickets are $10 and include unlimited soft drinks and water.  (No wine glass or wine samples are allowed on this ticket.)
  • Kids ages 6-20 are $5.  Kiddos 5 years old and under are free.

Wanna go FOR FREE? (I told you there was a giveaway!)

Lucky for you because Indiana’s Family of Farmers has given me two tickets to give away to one lucky winner! Here’s how to enter:

  1. Leave a comment telling me which you love more: wine or food?
You can earn additional entries by doing either (or both) of the following:
  1. Tweet about the giveaway, leaving a separate comment with the tweet url.
  2. Share this post on Facebook, leaving a separate comment saying you did so (and your Facebook page if different than your name identified in the comment section).

Details: The contest is open through Wednesday, May 23rd. The winner will be chosen and contacted via email on Thursday, May 24th (so please make sure your email address is included in at least one of your comments below so I can reach you). The winner will have 24 hours to reply or another winner will be chosen.

(You can also head over to Redefining PerfectGotchaBabyMom For LessJust Like the Number and Chaos is Bliss to enter their giveaways for more chances to win!)

Wanna show Vintage Indiana and their sponsors some social media love? Follow them here:

  • Vintage Indiana: @vintageindiana & #VintageIN ~ Facebook: Vintage Indiana Winefest
  • Indiana’s Family of Farmers: @FamilyofFarmers ~ Facebook: Family of Farmers
  • Indiana Wine Grape Council: @indianawinebabe & @indianawines
  • Marsh Supermarkets: @MarshGrocery
  • Clark Appliance: @ClarkAppliance
  • WFMS/WJJK: @WFMS & @ClassicHits1045
  • WISH/WNDY: @WISH_TV
  • Indiana’s Turkey Farmers: Gotta give them real love
  • Indiana’s Dairy Farmers: @INDairy
  • NUVO: @NUVO_net

Disclosure: As an IFOF Ambassador, I received two tickets to attend Vintage Indiana and two tickets for this giveaway. This is a sponsored post, though as always, all thoughts and opinions are totally mine, mine, mine. (As Lucas would say.)

Why SAHMs are an easy target

Read this article real quick about an angry mom who was denied a Target credit card (seriously, it’s a quick, easy read) and we’ll start from the same vantage point.

Let me start by saying that I am a (mostly) stay-at-home mom. I work about 6.5 hours/week outside of the home and maybe 2 hours/week from my couch. I do this for many reasons, none of which have anything to do with this post, but I enjoy my job and am thankful for it.

That being said…

SAHMs need to GET OVER IT. We all know that the work we do within our home (or at the park or while homeschooling or while nursing your child until grade school) is extremely important. We all know that we are often labeled many things that are untrue by choosing to stay home. We all know that we are not paid financially by doing so (though I won’t go into all the flexibility, extra time with kids, etc. we get by doing so).

DEAL. WITH. IT. Or change your status.

I have steamed over the women in this article for an inappropriate amount of time since reading it yesterday afternoon. I was seriously so irritated that so many smart women would not be able to understand that  “Just because I don’t get a direct paycheck for [my work], doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile work that I’m doing” has nothing, I repeat NOTHING, to do with getting approved for a credit card.

Let’s take a minute and step back, quickly, for a little lesson in corporate finance: If I lend you money, it’s because I expect you to be able to pay it back. Let me repeat that:  It’s because I expect you to be able to pay it back. Now, if you don’t make any money, I will likely not lend you money because you won’t be able to pay it back. Makes sense, yes?

It doesn’t matter if you are homeless or the best SAHM who has ever walked the planet. Your self-worth adds nothing to the equation or my decision to grant you credit. In both cases, you don’t make any money and therefore have no ability, on your own, to repay a loan (which is effectively what a credit card is).

I understand the need to feel like your job is important, worthwhile, and seriously valued. But that isn’t the purpose of a credit card. And a credit card company should not lend you money if you don’t have an income.

“It’s about fair and equal access to credit,” you say? You’re right! You couldn’t be any more correct! Access to credit is dependent upon your ability to REPAY. I go back to the previous two scenarios: a homeless person and a SAHM, both with equal income of $0, will get fair and equal access to credit. It has NOTHING to do with who you are. As it shouldn’t.

As women, we need to fight for things that matter. We don’t need to join the mommy wars of working vs. nonworking, breast vs. bottle, co-sleeping vs. no co-sleeping, let the list go on. We need to be smart, fully capable women who can manage our family’s finances as well as the 14 kids running through the yard. We need to understand that our emotions, which women are so well known for, play no role in whether or not we should be approved for a credit card.

Because that’s what is happening: at some point, we’ve felt demeaned, under-appreciated, laughed at by the media who can so quickly turn us on each other. And we’ve run the wrong way with the emotions that those things bring. We fight against credit card companies for being denied a Target credit card because our SAHM job is “worth” something? I mean, really? Have you read THIS blog post?

Have your husband co-sign the damn application and move on. Or get a job. It’s that easy.

My heart is full.

I woke up this morning just wanting to go to the park with friends and be in community. Except that no one else could/wanted to do the same.

So instead, Lucas and I packed up the car with everything I was borrowing from friends that needed returned – a book, dresses, baby boy clothes from two different people. Not quite what I had in mind.

But when we got home, we arrived to an amazingly beautiful, late-morning sun. So we pulled some weeds in the front and headed out back, planning to play in the yard. Instead, we picked strawberries from the garden, sat on a bench and proceeded to eat every. single. one. together.

It was so peaceful. And good. The strawberries were sweet. The boy was loving it. The moment was good.

As Lucas ran around digging in various parts of the yard in the moments after, I picked more strawberries and went inside to make lunch. And that’s when I realized it: My heart is full.

heart plate

I spent a wonderful evening at last night’s Pacers’ game (thanks to the Pacers and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra!) with amazing friends, where I got to hold a week-old baby girl for the entire fourth quarter. I have three beautiful kids and a yard for them to run in. I have a healthy family. I am married to a crazy man, who also loves to garden, even though he doesn’t much like most of what we grow. I have friends who love to be in community, on short notice, late in the afternoon.

Some days stink. But some days are just as sweet as those home-grown strawberries eaten right out of the garden. Those are the days I need to cherish. The ones I need to stop and enjoy rather than fold another loud of laundry. The ones that fill my heart like today.