Remember When I Didn’t Sleep In My Own Bed For Years?

I’ve mentioned before that Donnie and I are not super sleep-compatible. He likes to fall asleep watching TV and I like it dark and quiet. He tends to be a sleep-cuddler whereas I have a distinct sleep bubble and if you so much as BREATHE on me in your sleep I wake up pissed off. So, when Nikki went through her “I want Mom to lay down with me” phase I willingly obliged because then I could go to sleep in the quiet and darkness like I loved and Nikki never tried to cuddle with me in her sleep. Then, as time went on, I realized that my back MUCH preferred her few-years-old mattress to our decade-old mattress. At this point Donnie and I agreed that we’d buy a new mattress when we moved so that maybe I could one day enjoy sleeping in our room again.

And then we never moved and Donnie was still sleeping on that beat up mattress.

Well, as Nikki is getting past the phase where she HAS to have me in bed with her, I kinda miss sleeping next to the man I married so I suggested that maybe…MAYBE…we get the new mattress before we move and just use our old bed to stage E’s room better as it currently housed an air mattress that had 14 leaks in it.

Long story short? LAST WEEK WE BOUGHT A NEW BED!

We downsized to a Queen since that’s kinda the motif in our lives lately, downsizing. The lady at the mattress store made us lay down in a King and a Queen a few times on the floor so we really understood the difference. You know, because it’s a complicated concept. We still stuck to downsizing and Donnie picked out the mattress as my only opinion was: EVERYTHING IN THIS STORE IS BETTER. We had it delivered and I’ve been sleeping in it almost every night and it’s been GLORIOUS. Donnie is watching TV on his phone with headphones so the light/sound is minimal and his subconscious seems to have gotten used to being alone in bed because he doesn’t try to cuddle while he’s sleeping. IT HAS BEEN WONDERFUL. I used to think we’d just always been the couple that couldn’t sleep together since we just don’t fit well as sleepers, but an extended time without and we seem to have settled into a good rhythm where it works again. AND I HAVE A NEW MATTRESS AND I LOVE IT DEARLY.

I’m still periodically laying down with Nikki and Wes at night but I’m waking up soon after they fall asleep and rolling back into my own bed where I seem to now officially sleep better. It’s amazing what a new mattress can do for your soul. And your back.

2015 Christmas Card

Christmas Cards 2004-2015

Here is our 2015 Christmas Card! They arrived yesterday which gives me PLENTY of time to send them out which means I’ll still be mailing some as “Happy New Year!” cards like I always do. This is my second year using a pre-fab template from Shutterfly because they finally have some with enough holes for photos that I feel like I can give a good representation of our year. Last year was the first year I did that, every other year prior I made the collage myself and either sent it as a 4×6 photo or just used it as the “front” of a blank card in Shutterfly. This year’s turned out GREAT!

2015 Christmas Card

And now, for a walk down Christmas Card memory lane!


2004, the year we sent out TWO photo collages, one with the animals and one with the humans.

2005, Nikki had only been with us for 2 months yet she was 99% of the collage.


2006, The first year I put a race photo in a collage.

2007 - A
2007-A, The card created from our family portrait session, we didn’t mail them out because WHO MAILS OUT JUST ONE PHOTO?

2007 - B
2007-B, The cards we ACTUALLY mailed out. Special guest: Donnie’s first half marathon which he ran in a COTTON T-SHIRT. How terrible did that feel? How glad was he to eventually discover tech fabric?


2008, The year of the Wessy-Man!


2009, This was not the FINAL collage we mailed out, but it’s the only version I could find. The final did have those photos in that basic layout, but I did NOT use that font or that coloring for the background/text. I PROMISE.


2010, The year of the super-cute kid photos.


2011, The year I got kinda decent at taking pictures of her family/kids.


2012, The first full year we spent as athletes so the year that became a dominant focus of our cards.


2013, The year I put way too many photos on the card.


2014, The year I finally used a collage template from Shutterfly because they finally started offering some with TONS of spots to insert photos.

Example #4,787 Of How Zoot Worries Too Much

I have a couple of weird hangups about stuff that I’m not sure have any basis in logic and might just simply be more signs of some of my deeper anxieties. I just realized this morning that two of them kinda go together, so I thought I’d share them with you and see if your thoughts are “Wow! That’s an interesting perspective that I’ve never considered!” or if your thoughts are, “Zoot really should be medicated.”

Too bad I’m not verified on Twitter or I’d totally do a poll with those two options.

Thing 1: I Refuse To Use Ad Blocks

I have this idea that, if I’m visiting someone’s website then I should have to see their ads as a way to support their content. Most websites only make money because of the ads on the sites and even if I’m not clicking them, blocking them entirely is basically blocking any chance they have of making money off my eyeballs and I feel like – if I’m using their content in some way – then my eyeballs should pay for that somehow.

I don’t have ads on my site, but if I did and it was actually a way where I could make money to pay for the server space I use, I think I’d be irritated that people turned on some sort of ad block to keep me from making any money. They want to read my words, but they don’t want me to make even one cent off of them reading my words and that would really upset me. SO! No ad block.

BUT! If a site has an annoying pop-up ad that is impossible to get rid of? I close out the site and never return. No content is worth annoying ads to me.

Thing 2: I Feel Sometimes Feel Guilty About Reading Books From The Library.

If I checked out a book at the library and REALLY loved it, then I kinda feel guilty that the author has not compensation for that. If I loved it and there’s any way I think I might want to read it again, I’ll buy it just so that they’ll get some sort of financial kickback for my enjoyment. I like using the library to test out books, and if I read them but didn’t LOVE them, I don’t feel guilty. But if I truly loved it and would recommend it to someone else? I feel bad that the author gets not even one penny from my enjoyment.

I wish there was a way to just like, donate $1 or something to an author if you read their book at the library and liked it. I can’t afford to buy EVERY book I love, but I do wish I could do SOMETHING. I do try to recommend books I love if I don’t buy them so that maybe SOMEONE will buy them in my place. And I do still buy a lot of books, just not ALL of the ones I love because if I did that we’d be sooo poor.

So – do you have any similar hangups? Or is this simply me overthinking life ONCE AGAIN.


A Question About Wrinkles.

I have always heard women complain about their wrinkles or their chicken neck or their dark circles or whatever and whenever any woman complains about it to me I always think, “I wouldn’t have even noticed it if she hadn’t pointed it out.”

As I started getting wrinkles it didn’t phase me too much. I’m getting older. It happens. That’s a sign of getting older, right? I mean, we’re SUPPOSED to have wrinkles. But then there seemed to – overnight – be an increase in ads on every web page I visit for products that help get rid of wrinkles or bags under the eyes and suddenly, I’m looking at my face differently.

AND I DO NOT LIKE THAT. Does the internet know I’m 40 now? Why are these ads on every page I visit? I was reading an article about the income gap in the middle class and right there on the sidebar: BEFORE/AFTER WRINKLE/NO WRINKLE AD. What the hell internet?

We all know I’m not the most secure person in the world. But I like my face. I know my eyebrows need shaping or shading or whatever, but I like my smile and my face. And I don’t want to hate my wrinkles or the bags under my eyes or the skin under my neck (SKIN THAT WESLEY LIKES TO PLAY WITH…STOP THAT, KID) because those are just signs of aging and I don’t hate aging. I don’t hate aging at all, I’m proud of every year and I celebrate every birthday. I loved turning 40. That’s a GREAT number!

Nikki had to take some picture of me for work last week. I put my camera on “auto” and she took this one. I’m wearing some powder/foundation stuff, some mascara, and some lipgloss. And y’all? I like this picture. I don’t see wrinkles, I see a happy lady who is not 20 anymore. That’s it.


But I keep seeing these before/after picture in ads on every page I visit (maybe I need to clear my cookies?), and these women have less wrinkles than I do in the “before” pictures. And I’m suddenly looking in the mirror differently and wondering: Do these women look at my face and think “I could do something about those wrinkles.”?

Here’s a much less flattering picture. Bathroom lighting. Morning pillow wrinkles. Last night’s mascara. Red skin which I’ve never loved. But y’all? I still don’t hate the bags under my eyes or my wrinkles. I mean, I definitely want to wake up a little and maybe get out from under that terrible lighting, but that face…that face is the face of a woman who is no longer 20. I’m learning to love myself, my smile, my eyes…And I don’t want to hate the wrinkles. I AM 40. Isn’t it okay that I look 40?


I don’t like that I’m doubting myself suddenly in ways I didn’t doubt myself before. I’m trying to LOVE myself more, so this new voice in my head that’s whispering about my wrinkles or the bags under my eyes…this voice needs to go away. I’m working on getting rid of those voices, I don’t need new ones.

The ads that show the acne scars or the sun spots disappearing, I get those. Those are more than signs of aging. I get that women want to get rid of those…but the wrinkles that we all get? I hate seeing those in before/after photos. I also hate that the creams and stuff those ads are promoting are super-expensive so – basically – are we also creating another economic hurdle for women? Is this industry now basically offering middle class women a way to look young forever and poor women are just screwed? Because none of these ads I’ve seen are for lotions under $10. I use cetaphil moisturizer. $10 for a tub that lasts me a couple of months.

What are your thoughts? Have you always seen these ads so they don’t phase you? Is the “increase” happening only to me or is there really more marketing and promotion to “get rid of signs of aging” on the internet? Aren’t we supposed to age? I don’t understand what happened now where every ad I’m seeing is constantly showing these before/after pictures of “Pretty Woman With Wrinkles” and “Pretty Woman Without Wrinkles” when I’m just seeing pretty women who are not 20 anymore. AND ISN’T THAT OKAY?

There’s a lot of talk about fat shaming and how we’re doing an injustice to our girls for talking about how we want to be skinnier when we should be talking about HEALTH. But what about this talk of wrinkles? If we’re constantly bombarded by ads telling us how to get rid of them, do we suddenly set these unrealistic visions of how a person is supposed to look as they age? As in…they’re not supposed to look like they’re aging?

I DO NOT KNOW BUT I DO NOT WANT TO HATE MY WRINKLES. And I find myself starting to hate them. So…do I just have to stay off the internet forever now? I CAN’T QUIT YOU, INTERNET.


The Worst Metaphor.

The one thing I love about National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) is that I just sit down and write, even if I have nothing specific to write about. I’ve always been good about this being part of my weekday routine, but it is only part of my Saturdays and Sundays during November and it’s a nice way to make sure I’m ready to tackle the weekends like I do the weekdays. I always sit down with my bullet journal for the weekend, but I don’t always sit down to write.

Writing is just a good exercise to get into, a good habit that forces you to parse the things in your mind. Especially since I do it with my first cups of coffee in the morning, it’s like douching my brain before the day.

I CAN NOT BELIEVE I JUST SAID THAT. I need to quit writing.

Rewind. Let’s try that again.

It’s like taking one of those extendable arm dusting things to the cobwebbed corners of my mind so I can start my day free of brain spiders.

Hmmm…better. Not great. BUT MUCH BETTER. There are always better metaphors to use than the douche metaphor. CROSS STITCH THAT WISDOM AND HANG IT ON YOUR WALL.

Anyway – I parse through the things rolling around in my head – like the various items of furniture we need to put on the street today so that (hopefully) someone will come take it while it’s sunny. I’ve got gifts I need to work on and rooms I need to clear out (We’re getting carpet! And painting! All so someone else will buy our house!) and walls I need to scrub. There’s a lot to do and a lot to think about and when I sit down and write – even with nothing in mind – it helps organize all of those thoughts.

And while I’ve kept this lighthearted, I’d be lying if I said my brain wasn’t also trying to process the terror in Paris from yesterday. But it’s all still so new and I’m still very overwhelmed by emotions about it all. I was flustered yesterday and bitching and moaning about the stupidest shit when I finally sat down and saw what was going on in France. I can’t even watch any footage or interviews because even just reading the transcripts is too much.

So I try to process that, but since that’s further down the assembly line of cognitive thoughts I find myself just letting it run through the system a little more and just churn out the thoughts ready for coherence. Thoughts about house prep and half marathons (got one today!) and breakfast dishes and animals DRIVING ME BANANAS.

It would be nice if I could convince myself to parse through all of this crap a little later than 4am, BUT I AM NOT IN CHARGE OF MY SLEEP CYCLE ANYMORE.