My Real Life

August 12, 2013

Back to the Beach – Whirlwind Edition

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

For the past two weeks, we’ve been at the beach with my parents.

It’s been a nice end to our summer.  Yes, school doesn’t start for another few weeks, but it’s our last vacation of the summer, so for us, it signifies the end.

Where the early summer beach vacation with my in-laws finds us in the midst of a hundred people at all times, this is a much quieter vacation.

Both have their merits.

I’ve already shared our July vacation…let’s talk about this one.

There were swings and ice cream and walks with Grandma.

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There was, of course, plenty of time on the beach.

Tiny didn’t quite get the whole “laying on a beach towel” thing, but loved snuggling with Baby, and totally dug hanging out in the forts that Baby would make every day.

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I tried to get a picture for the Christmas card, but was a little early in the evening for that.  Although, I love the fact that they are all shielding their eyes in the same way.



We hit the boardwalk where Tiny got to play Skee Ball and then embarrass me by throwing a tantrum, the likes of which the Seaside Heights boardwalk had NEVER seen.  Monkey Girl and I rode the “SuperStorm” and felt tough because the marine that went on ahead of us puked when he got off, but we kept our lunches inside our bodies.  We also got to eat Three Brothers Pizza.  The biggest and best pizza in NJ.

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One rainy day, we hit Insectropolis and the monkeys and I got to pet a tarantula, a hissing cockroach, a South African millipede, and a scorpion.  It was awesome.  The ants display gave me the heebie jeebies, the spiders showed up in my dreams, but Baby loved the fact that the mens room was titled “SpiderMen.”

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The beach was exhausting for Tiny who actually fell asleep in the shopping cart in the A&P at 5:30 pm one evening.  It. Was. Hysterical.  Falling asleep on Daddy’s shoulder was much more comfortable.


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Baby Monkey had his usual fun with the feeding of the ducks and the swans and keeping us thoroughly entertained with his craft creations.

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And, of course, there was mini-golf.  Barnacle Bills, our favorite golf course, had to rebuild, after Sandy, and they are bigger and better than before.  The kids especially loved the fact that there is mist throughout the course to cool you down, and there is a hole where your ball actually goes through a river which leads it to some grating which rolls it to the hole.  Definitely good times.

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There was a lot of togetherness, which had it’s ups and downs.  More ups than downs, but 8 people in a tight space can be tough, sometimes.

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There was also a lot missing from the beach, this year.  This used to be a street full of houses.  Like, houses that were only a few feet apart.  Now, only 5 remain, and those 5 have all been rebuilt.  Walking up and down the streets, it was unbelievable to see the devastation, and so many of the houses that were still standing were completely gutted, inside.  Businesses have lines on the walls that say “Hurricane Sandy Water Line” and many of those lines were taller than Real Man, who is a tall drink of water to begin with.  Hard to believe it’s almost a year later and so much has been done, and yet so little has been done with regards to rebuilding.

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We had a great two weeks (broken nose aside) and it was a wonderful way to round out a great summer.

Now we are home and back to our routines and missing the ocean and the sand and the daily walks.  So, we start dreaming about next year.

August 7, 2013

Shakey Face

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

So, you may recall that a week or two ago, 15 of my co-authors met up in Chicago for the BlogHer conference and a book signing.

I stayed home to do some laundry.

While they were there, they did some really sophisticated stuff, like lay down in the Sky Tower of the Sears Tower, make videos in empty conference rooms about “How to Win Friends and Affluence People” (spelling error on purpose), and take pictures of themselves making “Shakey Face.”

My co-author, Kerry, of House Talk’n, made a how-to video while they were all out to dinner, and then posted the pictures on her blog.

Check out her post about Shakey Face, here.

She’s asked us to participate, and I’m a good sport, so I went along.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, and because on Wednesday, we all need a good laugh, here is my “Shakey Face.”

(I think the black eyes make it look like I’m being punched)

I couldn’t stop laughing, at first, but then I got to shakin’…



…and so, ladies and gentlemen, there is my contribution to the “I Just Want to Pee Alone” authors collection of “Shakey Faces.”

August 5, 2013

Color Me Excited!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 9:05 am

Okay, perhaps “color me”  excited isn’t the correct way to introduce this post, considering the topic, but it’s all I have this morning.

I just found out that I was featured in a list of 25 “Gray Hair” Bloggers That Rock!

You may remember this post, where I described my feelings about going gray.

Apparently someone read it and liked it and included me in a list of very classy women who wrote about their experiences with gray hair.

I am honored to be included among them and am hoping you will go check out the article and read their blogs.

I’ve spent a long time, this morning, reading through them and have thoroughly enjoyed what they’ve had to say.

I love to read about women who are embracing the gray and these women say it well!

Please check out the article and the list and celebrate with me, this morning!


August 3, 2013

Humans of New York

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

I’m not sure how long ago, but it was awhile, I stumbled across “Humans of New York” on Facebook.

It has become my favorite Facebook follow.

It was started by a man named Brandon who set out to create a photographic census of New York City.

Over time, it morphed into something completely awesome.

I’ll be honest…there are some Facebook posts that I simply skim through, but every single post by Humans of New York is one that I enjoy.

When he photographs people, he chats with them and often shares the conversations.

I love them.

I’m such a people-watcher, in general, and Brandon caters to that part of me.

He also has a web-page, which you can find here, so if you aren’t on Facebook, you can check it out there.


August 2, 2013

Five Question Friday Goes to the Movies

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

1. Where in the theater do you like to sit when you’re at the movies?

I like to sit in the center in the center. (You understand that?)

Close enough to have the screen look huge, but far enough away so I’m not straining my neck to look up.

Right in the middle so I don’t have to look to one side or the other.

Real Man and I go to the movies at a mall in a nearby town that has stadium seating.


2. What characteristics does the ideal movie companion have?

The ideal movie companion must:

Like popcorn and soda during a movie, so I don’t feel like a pig when I get mine.

Not chew loudly or crinkle the bag when it’s a quiet scene.

Absolutely must not lift the bag up and pour the last kernels in their mouth.

Not act like a movie I am enjoying is terrible.

Realize that I am going to want to see every movie that they preview before the main event.

Have napkins or tissues prepared for my tears…both during previews and the show.

3. What memory do you have of things not going quite as usual at the movies?

Remember the movie “Contact” with Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughy?

So, Real Man and I went to see that film.

We got all the way through to where Jodie is back from her visit with the aliens and they are telling her it was a dream and then one of the government officials says, “Well, there was something very interesting on the recorder that was in the ship.”

Suddenly, the film (those of you who are only old enough to see digital films will have no idea what I’m talking about, here) burned and dissolved on the screen.

Everyone is like “NO!!!!” and they assure us they will get it back up in a second.

After ten minutes, the lights dim and the movie starts back up, just as one of the other government officials says “Well, that IS interesting.”


Another time, we went to see “Heart of Darkness.”

In the first fifteen minutes, this movie also burned on the screen.

They got it back, but the soundtrack didn’t match the film for the rest of the movie.

People were so angry, they were yelling and throwing popcorn at the screen.

I don’t remember exactly, but I think they gave us all free passes to come back another night.

4. What are your feelings about commercials and movie previews playing before the film you’re there to see?

Commercials, no, thank you.

I just spent a bajillion dollars on my tickets and food, so please don’t try to sell me something else.

Previews, absolutely.

I will sometimes watch the movie preview channel on tv because I love them so much.

It’s nice to think about what movies you want to see in the future.

A great preview is almost better than a great movie.

Okay, maybe that’s stretching it.

But I’m totally in for the previews.

5. Who is an actor or director whose involvement in a film is enough to make you want to see it?

The first person is Joseph Kosinski – director.

Joe is married to a childhood friend of mine.

I danced at his wedding and just think he and his wife are just some amazing, down to earth people.

So far, Joe has directed “Tron: Legacy” and “Oblivion.”

Clearly, I’m not just going to his movies because I know him.

He does great work.

The next person is Jennifer Garner.

She doesn’t necessarily make the best movies (read: “Elektra”), but she does make some cute ones (read: “13 Going on 30”) and I have loved her since “Alias.”

There’s just something about her.

I think I might add Matt Damon onto this list.

I’m sitting here thinking of movies I love and he’s been in quite a few.

Oh, and speaking of, Justin Timberlake.

Sorry, but I can’t help myself.

Is there anything that guy doesn’t do well?

I’ve also seen everything Reese Witherspoon has made.

I think that has more to do with the fact that people are always telling me that I look like her than the fact that she makes great movies.

It’s like imagining myself on the screen, which is something I do frequently since it was always a dream of mine.

I would also watch anything that involves JJ Abrams and Joss Whedon.

They’ve made some of my favorite television shows and they have made amazing transitions to the big screen.

I want to say Mark Wahlberg, because, seriously.  Mark Wahlberg.

But, some, I just can’t get into.

Maybe I could just watch them on mute.

I think that might be my “Must-see” list.

Until I read this tomorrow and think of five more.

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