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Random Realizations VI

posted by Momo Fali on September 27, 2011

1. If a friend wins a memory foam mattress on an adjustable base (think Craftmatic commercials without the elderly people) and GIVES it to you, you may think it’s so incredible that you insist that your friends and family sit on it when they come to visit.

2. Then you may take delight in putting the head AND the feet up to their highest point and watch your friends get smashed in the middle.

3. When you weigh more than you have since your last pregnancy and you just sprained your foot, then your husband says, “We’re starting 1/2 marathon training on Monday”, there may be an audible GULP as that news sinks in.

4. But, not as big as the gulp that was heard when you stood on the scale.

5. No matter how often you bathe your stinky dog, you can’t completely eliminate the stank.

6. And, no matter how often your nine year old son takes a shower, he will still have dirty feet.

7. There should be a 12 step program for House Hunters addicts. Mostly, so that people like me can stop yelling at the home buyers when they pick out the worst house. Never mind that cracked foundation! There’s a linen closet! Sold!

8. Don’t even get me started on House Hunters International, where your pantry has to share space with your stand-up shower and the stacked washer/dryer, and your youngest child…and her guinea pig. We can see the beach! Sold!

9. Sometimes clocks don’t display the correct time. This will make you late. You’re welcome.

10. Your husband may think he’s doing a good job of using clean language in front of your kids, but when your nine year old tells his therapist that he “can tie his shoes, but they look pretty jacked up”, it may be time to reconsider the words you are using as substitutes.

Metaphorically Speaking

posted by Momo Fali on August 19, 2011

I haven’t had much time to tell you about the BlogHer ’11 Conference, because my job is to read what everyone else is saying about the BlogHer ’11 Conference and, whoa Nellie, do people say a lot. At least 99% of the reactions have been positive, so I have that going for me.  It’s hard enough to read thousands of comments, but if they were negative, I would likely be reading them from the corner, in the fetal position while sucking my thumb.

Since I am swimming in a sea of post-conference reports and tweets, I know that I’m not going to get around to writing a glowing post about my wonderful weekend. Therefore, I have decided to use visuals to describe how stellar my trip was.

This is what I found on my bed in San Diego after a hard day of work at the conference, which was also the night before I would be speaking in front of thousands of people. Nervous poop much? Thank goodness the convention center was big enough that I had entire bathrooms to myself. I digress. Those are rose petals left by my roommates. And, see that pillow on the right? That was personalized for me by one of them too.

This is what I found on my unmade bed, when I returned to Ohio. This is my dog’s “baby”. It is covered in dirt, fur and hardened dog slobber.

And that, boys and girls, sums up my conference experience quite well.

Half and Half

posted by Momo Fali on August 11, 2011

I have been really busy lately. Like, so busy that I don’t call my friends, or my dad, or even the dentist when I have a toothache so wicked that I want to knock out my molar with a sledgehammer.

That busy.

My mom has been a huge help to me. For the last few weeks, she has taken one, or both, of my kids to her house almost every day. She usually picks up my son in the morning while my tween daughter hides in her room, then she drops him back off in the early evening. Even though the BlogHer Conference is over, I am still catching up, so he went over there again yesterday.

When she dropped him off after dinner, she told me that they had just had an interesting conversation. Although my mom knows my son is famous for making inappropriate comments, she asked him, “Do you think I’m pretty?”

My filterless boy replied, “Half and half. You’re half not-pretty because you’re old.”

“What about the other half?”, my mom questioned.

And, he proved his ability to manipulate when he said, “The other half is pretty because I love you.”

I have never seen anyone give a simultaneous insult and compliment quite so well.

For the record, today is my mom’s 77th birthday, so feel free to tell her how awesome she is for putting up with me for all of these years. You can do that now, BECAUSE SHE JUST GOT INTERNET…which is really like MY birthday present, because I don’t have to print my blog posts anymore.

Please, don’t tell her she is half-awesome. You can leave that to my kid.

 

Your Story

posted by Momo Fali on July 16, 2011

On a hot July weekend in the summer of 2008, I volunteered to work at our church festival. My husband was running our, first-ever, casino night and I shuffled between volunteer registration, watching my kids and helping in the poker tent. I was sweaty, dirty, tired and covered in bug spray.

But, all of those things were good because they helped to keep my mind off of the fact that I was missing a blog conference taking place on the other side of the country.

BlogHer ’08 was in San Francisco that weekend and it crushed me to see the pictures of the parties and read about all of the knowledge being shared.

Most of all, I was missing some of my favorite people on the internet get up and read their moving, touching and hilarious blog posts at the Community Keynote. I watched their videos on You Tube after the fact and cried alone at my desk.

When I heard that BlogHer ’09 would be in Chicago I really wanted to go, but 2009 was a rough year for us and I didn’t see it in the cards. Then I got a volunteer position, which paid for my ticket. Then I got a car to borrow from GM and they paid for my gas and the $48 a day parking at the conference. Then my roommate got a scholarship and paid for the room. I was going to MAKE money going to Chicago!

Since my costs were covered, I turned my attention to the Community Keynote. I wanted to read. Bad. I wanted to tell as many people as I could about what it was like to have a special needs child like mine. I needed to be heard. I sent post after post to the judging committee. I sent sad stories, funny stories and inspirational stories.

I was devastated when I was turned down. Even though I was happy for my friends who would be reading, I was still sad that I wouldn’t.

That was until, on the day of the Community Keynote in Chicago, my friend Tanis read her post. Tanis is a special needs mom too. She’s a really, special, special-needs mom and she read a post that tore my heart apart. I sat at a table and cried so hard that I couldn’t even see through my tears. This time, however, I wasn’t sitting alone.

Suddenly, the fact that I wasn’t reading didn’t matter one bit. Someone had told my story and she did a beautiful job of it. Everyone around me knew I was crying because the story Tanis told touched me on a deep and personal level. The Community Keynote made me…well, it made me feel part of a community and every member of that community has a story to tell.

Last year, with BlogHer’10 coming up in NYC, I decided again to submit some posts for the Keynote (now called Voices of the Year). At that point, with my son’s health more stable, I had a different story to tell. I didn’t get to tell it.

But, you know what? It was okay. It didn’t sting like the first time and the people who did read last year were just what the community wanted and needed to hear. I enjoyed every second of it.

This year, BlogHer’11 is in San Diego and when it came time to submit posts for Voices of the Year I didn’t give it much thought. I sent  over one or two posts and didn’t hold my breath. After all, I’m a contract employee for BlogHer and I didn’t want anyone to think they would play favorites, because they wouldn’t. The judging committee is nothing, if not fair.

And, do you know what happened? SOMEONE ELSE nominated me. I was so touched, but I never thought I would be chosen. Never. Ever.

Wanna guess who tied for People’s Choice?

ME! People’s Choice!

To say I was shocked was an understatement. I could barely breathe. I was sweating. I was thrilled. My friend, Melisa, recently told me that “when you stop searching for something, you will find it” and that’s exactly what happened. She’s one smart cookie.

I will be one of 15 people, chosen from nearly 1000 post nominations, to read in front of about 3000 people. Gulp.

For the people who weren’t picked this year, who may have stories similar to mine, I hope I do you justice the way that Tanis did me and I hope that you, too, will have this moment someday. I really do.

Because I, for one, really want to hear your story.