The Monster At The End Of This Post.

There’s a monster at the end of this post.

I think.. ish. There’s a something at the end of this post, let’s put it that way! And I know you may want to scroll down there right now! You can do it. I won’t tell anyone. I like when people spoil things for me because I think surprises are a crock of crap. However, if you DO like surprises, then keep reading! You’ll get there. I promise. Today is a Halloween Ask Away Friday!

I’m swapping with RF (Rebecca-faith) for the second time, because she’s one of my favorites in the world.

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And you may say, “I bet you say that to all the girls,” but I really don’t. And if I do, it’s because I have a lot of favorites. What can I say? She also has a particularly cute son, a wicked way with words, and a healthy sense of humor too.

Thank Goodness it’s #AskAwayFriday! Get to know our new hosts, meet our new co-host, and grab our new logo! Be sure to check out our new Facebook page “AskAwayFriday” for a great place to meet up and send out a #BuddyRequest if you need a partner to swap with! And always feel free to contact me here or anywhere if you want to swap with me.

What is #AskAwayFriday? Well…

#AskAwayFriday was created by the amazing Penny from Real Housewife of Caroline County as a place for us to connect with other bloggers by asking them ten questions to really get to know them. The sky is the limit with the questions you ask!

Meeting other bloggers and making new friends is one of the best parts of this online world!

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Tamara from Tamara Like Camera,
Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life Laughter,
Christy from Uplifting Families,
Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings
Amber from Bold Fit Mom

Please give a warm #AAF welcome to our fabulous co-host for the next 2 weeks, Jill from The Singapore Writing Homemaker. Jill is an amazing woman who has been a self-described ‘full time homemaker’ for 9 years and has been married for 12. She shares her inspirations and encouragement from being a mom, a wife and a woman in the amazing land if Singapore. Be sure to head over and visit with her at The Singapore Writing Homemaker.

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Grab our brand new button, follow our amazing hosts, hop through the great link ups and make some new friends!

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Definitely check out Rebecca-faith’s answers to my questions HERE. And here are my answers to her questions:

1. I don’t want to upset you, EVER. But sometimes things happen…how can I tell when you’re upset?

I turn into the monster at the end of this post! I think it’s hard because I can be a passive-aggressive bottler, but then all of that energy has to go somewhere so I’ll either implode, explode, or have anxiety. Not ideal.. A good friend once said to me, “I can tell when you’re 99.9% ok, which means I can tell the smallest percentage of you being not okay.” I do wear my heart on my sleeve if I trust you. If I don’t, well, it may take some guesswork. Although I’m really of the more even-tempered variety. I am friendly and warm 99.9% of the time so when that doesn’t happen, usually my friends know something’s up.

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2. Your Ask Away Friday journey is legendary! From a participant to a host, from standard to themed… What question are you sick of answering?

Hmm.. good question. Sometimes I get sick of answering what my favorite thing to photograph is, because that changes so much. And I guess it’s ok to get that question more than once because my answer will be different each time.

My favorite thing to photograph is love, not that you asked!

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3. You have connections with bloggers all over the world. Name 5 places you’d love to visit and meet a blogger/friend.

Hmm.. this is tough because the five places I want to visit in the world wouldn’t necessarily overlap with five bloggers I’d love to meet. So I’m going by good places to meet here, and not necessarily by dream locations:

1. California, baby!
2. Arizona.
3. North Carolina – a disgusting amount of blogger friends there.
4. Malaysia. There’s a party there. I dreamed about it. And I could hold Alison’s twins.
5. Colorado.
6. I’m adding an extra. Canada. ALL OF IT.

If I didn’t name where you live, it could be because I’d want you to meet me at any of these locations..

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4. You have $5k to spend on Amazon, what are your most expensive and cheapest purchases? PS. You can only spend it on YOU.

I’m glad you mentioned it has to be on ME, because I’d do damage on the kids too. Ok, the most expensive thing I would buy is most certainly a top of the line Canon camera. Maybe not top, top of the line because then I’d have no money left. Let’s just say a new camera body. The cheapest thing? Hmm.. Probably herbal anti-stress spray. A book. Food? Vitamins. Track jackets? (these are all the weird things I look for on Amazon) I buy used books too, so that would be the cheapest, I imagine!

5. Would you rather: Get three books published or rid of your anxiety completely and forever?

Oh my god, what are you doing to me here??? Well if I got rid of anxiety forever, would I still be me?? And if I got three books published, my anxiety might get worse. Or.. they strangely seem to go hand in hand in my head! It’s possible that getting rid of the bad anxiety would actually enable the three books! If I choose the three books, that could also help me get over some fears. Oh, boo! I say that they’re both possible(ish), but the three books thing is more possible. Anxiety is a hard beast. I’d choose to get rid of it. It’s the monster. It’s the monster in the middle of my post! And at the end of many of my posts!

6. If you could be a dual citizen of any country in the world, what’s your pick and why?

Maybe this isn’t very creative, because it’s only about three hours from here, but I say Canada! And they have moose.

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7. What book have you re-read the most?

Probably every Sweet Valley Twins book ever, but mainly #86: It Can’t Happen Here. It was about the Holocaust, and I could swear the one before or after that was about what lip gloss Jessica Wakefield should be wearing on her date with Aaron.

8. Tell me something funny that Miss Scarlet has recently said!

I’ll tell you two. Last night after Des’ bath, she was pretending he was a newborn. I asked him a question and he said, “No!” and Scarlet said, “Aw…he already learned how to say ‘no'”! Then he stood up so I could put on his shirt and she said, “I want to name his nipples. Robert and Charlie! Robert is on the left and Charlie is on the right. Hi, Robert and Charlie!”

Another funny conversation was when we were talking about a mean girl at school and Scarlet asked how she should approach this girl if ever the victim of her ways. (her ways are ignoring and excluding people and acting hot and then cold, which is pretty weird for a five-year-old to even think that way) Anyway, Scarlet is very open and warm and it was really hard for me to hold my tongue when she asked me what she should do. I wanted to say, “Fart in her face? Call her a douchebag?” But I didn’t! Aren’t you all proud of me. Well then Scarlet made the funny joke for me! She said, “What if I say hi to her and she ignores me, and I just let out a HUGE burp in her face?”

Like mother, like daughter. And for the record, she was kidding and I didn’t approve of this method. Out loud, anyway.

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9. If you were to guess what Des would do for a career based on his interests right now, what are your three guesses?

It’s hard to say because so many parents dream big dreams of their kids, and many don’t pan out the same way.. However, the kid has spirit, no doubt about that. And warmth. I think he’ll be a TV star, a professional hot dog eater, or a model.

10. I loved the story about your mom bailing you out in the high school parking lot during a fire drill when you accidentally locked yourself out of your running car (which was parked like crap). Tell me about another time your mom came to your rescue during your adolescence!

It happened SO often, I can’t even believe it. She’s always on my side. I will say that one night she was having a spiritual group party and I was broken-hearted about a guy and I came home all tear-stained and she instantly saw. She walked out of her party to give me a hug and tell me it would all be ok (which it was) and many of her friends came to comfort me as well, and offer me all kinds of spiritual advice. Ah, high school.

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(My stomach still looks like that, I swear. First thing in the morning, anyway.)

*Trick Or Treat Bonus Bag*
What costumes will the family be dawning tonight? Will Athena dress up? Cats too? What’s the candy protocol? What kind of candy do you give out?

Well. Easy answers first. Athena will not dress up. The cats will probably hide in their own cloud of smugness and judgement. We won’t give out any candy because we don’t get any trick-or-treaters! I honestly do live in the woods.. kinda. As for costumes, I sort of dropped the ball on my own. I had tunnel vision for my sister’s wedding this fall and there wasn’t room for anything else. So I did buy Des a little Superman costume and I’ll probably be Supergirl again. Scarlet and Cassidy will be Rocket and Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy. There will be photos galore, next week. Cassidy did detail his costume making HERE. We snapped a few phone photos of the progress:

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Stay tuned for more on that one! Aren’t you glad you stayed to see the “monster” at the end of this post?

Be sure to check out our Facebook page “AskAwayFriday” for a great place to meet up and send out a #BuddyRequest if you need a partner to swap with or to just talk about anything #AskAwayFriday!

Would you like to join in on the #AskAwayFriday fun as a co-host? Click on the link below and fill out the form!

By adding your email to this link up, you will be added to email correspondence that may be sent by one of our hosts, you may opt out at any time.

Hosts reserve the right to remove any links that do not pertain to the #AskAwayFriday theme.

You’re All The Things I’ve Got To Remember.

The emotions I felt on my sister’s wedding day were actually surprising.

Sometimes I don’t feel the way people tell me I’m supposed to feel. When they say I should be deliriously happy, I’m deliriously unhappy. The fear presents itself as an inability to let go. I don’t like to be the center of attention. I shy away.

Shying away
I’ll be coming for your love, ok?

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(All photos of my sister’s wedding weekend in this post were taken by me either the day before or the day after the wedding.)

I’m not really a spotlight girl but somewhere inside of me is probably an ability to bring the house down. We may never know. Something tells me we will know one day. It was on my bucket list to speak in front of a large crowd and draw tears. I may have actually done that, but I’m not positive that it counts. There are four times in my life in which I said three magic words. “I did it.” The first time was on my wedding day after our very moving ceremony, and the reading of our hand-written vows.

The exit music from “Layla” cued up and I realized it had happened. We had done it. I did it.

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The second time I said “I did it” was in surprise when Scarlet was born, and I had really done it! I pushed for 50 minutes or so but it felt like three hours and I thought they were going to take me in for a c-section. They didn’t, because I. Did. It.

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The third time was after Des was born, and it was easier this time around, but I guess I surprised myself again.

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And then that brings us to my sister’s wedding. She was SO there for me for my wedding, and really for everything I’ve ever done. There were no alternatives to being 100% present for her. I started writing this post the morning after her wedding.

I was playing my favorite moments from the wedding in a reel in my mind and I didn’t want to forget any so I just started writing. I decided to make a list of my top ten favorite moments from the wedding here, in no particular order:

1. The combinations of people on the dance floor. My father-in-law holding my brother’s son. One of our oldest friends dancing with my mom’s friend in the most connected way. If my kids thought it was strange that all six of their grandparents were together on the dance floor, they never let on about it. It’s not strange to them, in fact. It’s their lucky reality.

2. When my brother looked around and made the powerful statement about how we were at my parent’s house, but it had been transformed. So we had elements of both comfort and excitement, and surely a million other feelings, all in one night.

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3. During all of the hair/makeup/photography wedding prep, vendors kept pulling up and taking over the place. It started to feel like the movie Father of the Bride, which also takes place at her parent’s house! I kept expecting to see Martin Short running through the pathways. Or maybe some swans? Cake is made of flour and water! For your enjoyment:

4. Being with a lot of people I love and hadn’t seen in ages, but not having to be the one to get married! Wheeeeeee!!!

5. Have I mentioned yet that I got a new brother that day? I like him.

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6. The compliments I got about my writing, my photography and my kids are the kind that stick with you for life.

7. Surely I’ve mentioned (12,000) times that I gave a speech! It was my first public speaking.. ever? In adulthood? I did sing Hebrew to hundreds of people at my Bat Mitzvah but I was 13 then. Everything you do when you’re 13 is surely embarrassing, right? I got REALLY nervous and I was very hard on myself for my matron-of-honor speech, but then I lightened up, because.. umm.. it was my first time public speaking with a microphone.. Of course I was nervous! Which brings me to my next point..

8. I used a lot of learned anxiety-soothing methods all weekend long and they worked. I was able to let go and let loose and have a damn good time. It’s a kind of power that isn’t new to me, but is maybe new to me at this time in my life.

9. And there was that point on the dance floor in which I realized I had won that battle over anxiety, and I had won it on a dance floor! Which is a really great place to have won a battle over anxiety. Dance. Party. Time.

(I’d insert a photo of myself dancing at the wedding here, but they’re not quite ready yet.)

(So I’ll just insert the photo I also had in Monday’s post of letting loose to the Time Warp.)

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10. The calm before the storm. The prep. The day before. The transformation. The magic. And it got a LOT more magical the next day, but I feel fortunate to have snapped a few photos before the crazy.

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So needless to say
I’m odds and ends
But I’ll Be
Stumbling away
Slowly learning that life is ok.

— Aha in “Take On Me”

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