12 Signs It’s Fall in Your Little Slice of Suburban Heaven

12 signs of fall in suburbia

It’s finally fall here in New England. It’s a fickle season, isn’t it? One day it’s a sunscreen day, the next day it’s 45 degrees and raining. Fall isn’t exactly consistent around here, but as sure as the changing leaves on the trees and the pumpkin spice latte in your hand, you’re bound to see and experience these autumnal treasures. Ahem.

1. As a result of overenthusiastic apple picking, you have 17 apples sitting in the fridge and 15 more sitting on the counter. You tell yourself you’ll make pies. You never do.

2. Right after you go through the chore of packing away your warm-weather clothes, there is a week of 75 degree weather.

3. The Christmas decorations start filling the shelves at Target before you’ve even bought a single pumpkin.

4. You’re woken up at 7:30am on a Saturday by your neighbor’s leafblower, lawnmower, or rooster (damn you, suburban chicken coop trend).

5. While waiting in line at the coffee shop, you spend way too much time debating in your head whether it’s a “care-a-mel” or a “car-mel” latte.

6. The prospect of an extra hour of sleep from “Fall Back” makes you giddy with excitement.

7. Two words: Pumpkin beer.

8. Your husband always seems to be protesting, “But honey! The Game is on!” And you always seem to be rolling your eyes and handing him a basket of laundry to fold anyway.

9. Your neighborhood is decorated with warring political signs, which leads to some less-than-neighborly moments at the monthly ladies’ bunco night.

10. On the day after Thanksgiving at 7am, your overachieving neighbor is trashing the pumpkin paraphernalia and putting up the Christmas lights.

11. Meanwhile, your underachieving neighbor is taking down her hanging planters filled with brown, frost-bitten flowers and removing her “Welcome, Spring!” house flag.

12. But on the day that you decide to take down the fall decor? It snows.

What would you add to the list?

photo credit: rexboggs5 via photopin cc

You Know it’s Spring in Suburbia When…

Up here in Massachusetts the calendar says Yippie, Spring! But the temperature says, Put on your winter boots because snow is headed your way, sucker.

I’m not kidding. It snowed today, even though I optimistically wore my clogs. I don’t care. I REF– — — USE to wear a winter coat anymore, even if it means wearing so many layers under my spring coat that I look like a Stay-Puft Marshmallow dressed in business casual.

But despite the cold, I’m sure it’s Spring. Because all around me, there are signs of it…

Ways you know it's Spring in the suburbs 800x600

1. Crazy New Englanders decide it’s time to blind you with their translucent white legs, clad in too-short shorts.

2. Your overachieving neighbor is out mulching his garden beds himself, before you even think to call a landscaper to do yours.

3. Meanwhile, your underachieving neighbor is taking down his Christmas lights.

4. You miserably tromp through the a mall filled with cheery, sleeveless, Easter-egg colored clothes, clad in your knock-off Uggs and winter coat, searching for a pair of mittens in the clearance sections because yours have holes and you have another month of cold morning temperatures ahead and dammit, your hands are freezing at the bus stop.

5. There are three new puppies in the neighborhood and they’re all pooping on your front lawn.

6. The dumb teenage girls next door are shivering while tanning on the roof in their bikinis (note to self: do NOT hire as babysitters).

7. The neighbor across the street puts blue pots of pansies on her front stoop, prompting neighborhood rumors that she and her husband are swingers. (Is this really a thing or just a suburban legend?)

8. The local ice-cream stand opens and it’s 55 degrees and sunny, so your kids convince you to take them. By the time you get there and get your ice cream, it’s 43 degrees and drizzling so you eat it in the car with the heat on.

9. Land’s End at Sears is overflowing with moms buying 500% spandex, tummy-zapping, figure-enhancing bathing suit and skirt sets before they’re all gone.

10. In the same day, you can go to your younger kid’s morning soccer game and get frostbite, and  go to your older kid’s afternoon soccer game and get sunburned.

11. You give in and finally shave your legs. Later your husband asks if you shaved the dog in there.

12. It finally warms up and you get gardening fever. And just as you finish planting and mulching and watering … it snows.

What are some signs of spring in your little pocket of suburban (or urban) heaven?

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How NOT to get that perfect holiday photo for your cards

how NOT to take a holiday photo

I have had many, many Christmas card photo session fails. One year, I thought I would be proactive and try to get a picture of the girls during the fall. And this is about how well it went down…

1. Decide THIS is the year! The year you will finally create a beautiful, artsy, unique holiday card in which both girls are nicely dressed, have their eyes open, and are smiling!

2. Debate between casual-chic and fancy-schmancy outfits for your kids. Settle on casual chic and carefully pick out outfits for each kid that coordinate but aren’t too matchy-matchy.

3. Tell the 5yo to get herself ready. Show the 3yo what she’s wearing.

4. Watch 3yo throw herself on the ground in a massive tantrum because the tights you picked are white and not hot pink with purple hearts.

5. Try to explain the importance of looking casual-chic to a 3yo. Realize the futility.

6. Let the 3yo wear the hot pink with purple hearts tights. Run to the 5yo’s room to pick out something that won’t clash with the 3yo’s neon legwear.

7. Go back to the 3yo’s room. Find her dressed in pink with purple hearts tights, teal blue summer skirt, red sparkly shoes, yellow tank top that says “BORN TO SHOP,” and a Wonder Woman headband from Halloween.

8. Wonder if it’s too early to have a glass of wine.

9. Decide to do just a headshot this year. Convince 3yo to put on a red long-sleeved shirt and a sparkly headband.

10. Get kids settled on the front steps in the perfect pose.

11. Realize you left the camera in your office.

12. Come back with camera to find kids jumping in moldy, wet leaf piles.

13. Decide it is definitely not too early for a glass of wine.

14. After downing glass of wine, decide to take pictures of kids jumping in leaves. It’ll be cute, right? Kids in leaves, smiling, happy, etc. The sun is setting. It’s pretty! Good stuff. Should’ve done this from the beginning! GENIUS!

15. Upload pictures that night to computer. Find out that the wine colored your judgement.

16. Debate between picture of wet, filthy, moldy-leaf-covered kids wrestling in the mud (but with their eyes open) – or picture of wet, filthy, moldy-leaf-covered kids sitting in the mud looking at camera (but 5yo’s eyes are closed).

17. Pick out a random photo from the summer where both girls are sweaty and a little disheveled, but at least have their eyes open and they are sort-of smiling.

18. Upload mediocre picture to Shutterfly. Pick a generic border. Click “purchase” with a heavy sigh.

19. Decide that next year, you’re spending the money you’d normally spend on holiday cards on something for yourself instead. Like better wine.

photo credit: Glenn Waters ぐれんin Japan. via photopin cc