40 By 40 #10 – Do Fun Stuff With People I Love

Every summer, we spend a few days at Lake Chatuge with my aunts Sylvia and Cameron. My kids always enjoy skimming across the lake on the giant hot dog, and this year, I thought heck, why not me, too?

There are answers to that question that involve my age, muscle soreness, and my chiropractor, but that’s another story for another day.

Do fun stuff. Take a few pictures, but not so many I miss the moments. Laugh at myself with the kids. Show them that 39 isn’t too old for adventures – that I may just be getting started.

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40 By 40 #9 – Milkshakes at the Cardinal

If you’ve never had a strawberry milkshake from the Cardinal Drive In in Brevard, NC, then you’re missing out on one of the great pleasures of life. For $3 and change, you get a fresh milkshake full of real strawberries that freeze just the right amount while in their cocoon of frozen dairy goodness.

Bonus points if you share one with a pretty awesome kid.

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Two Years Ago Today – Tubing Adventure

Two years ago today, Sterling and Catie went tubing along the Green River in Saluda, NC. We’re planning another tubing adventure for next month – after Sterling is home from Body Farm summer camp and my kids are in that glorious month between public school starting and their school revving back up after Labor Day.

I’m so lucky to have her helping me raise these girls.

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Saturday Night Pizza Cravings

Having a kid who likes to bake is basically messy and expensive. Sure, it can be heartwarming and all that, too, but mostly, it’s a wreck.

Today, I can offer a glimmer of hope to parents who find themselves in the same sticky boat.

This week was stressful for all of Team Tuckermom. By Saturday afternoon, all I wanted to do was pajama up and watch House of Cards. I did that, then fell asleep only to have the angry rumblings of my stomach wake me up around 8 o’clock. I was sleepy, cranky, and hungry. It wasn’t a good mix when I was 2, and it’s not a good mix at 39.

“Want to grab some dinner?” my husband offered.

“No. No pants,” I whined into my pillow.

“Want me to get you some pants?”

“No, you’re missing the point like you always do and by the time I put on pants and we  went to dinner everything would be packed and the wait would be a hundred hours, so going out to eat is a pretty dumb suggestion. Am I right??”

(If, at this point, you wonder why he stays married to me, know that I ask myself that same question on a regular basis. It’s probably a mix of true love, dedication, and inertia, and I’m grateful for all three of them.)

Catie tapped on the door and poked her head in. “I can make you dinner, mommy. I’ll make a white pizza, if you want.”

For real, kid? How can I maintain my temper tantrum when you come in all cute and generous and genuine like that.

So 30 minutes later I had a white pizza with fresh basil pesto and a family who had not disowned me to share it with. I was amazing. It really was one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had. All of her trial and error in the kitchen totally paid off.

So, fellow parents, when you walk into the kitchen and it’s a wreck, even after they “cleaned” it, or you’re presented with cupcakes that strongly resemble hockey pucks and smell faintly of garlic, take a deep breath (but not near the cupcake). Hold on to the hope that things will improve, and when they do, it may take the form of a perfectly baked pesto white pizza.

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Varying Degrees of Luck

In the great TuckerMom catastrophe of 2016, I lost tons of writing, photos, and memories of the past 15 years. I learned a lot about data backup, if we’re going to get all “silver lining,” but the truth is, it still stings.

This morning, Dad posted an article from EurekAlert on the evolution of the tail and mentioned that he’d always wanted a tail of his own. This is not even close to the strangest thing my Dad posts on Facebook. There’s a page with cult-level following on his conversations with my sister’s blind, deaf dog. (It’s Emmitt’s World, we just live in it.)

My first thought was, “He’s right. Tails are probably way underrated.”

Almost immediately afterwards, I remembered a moment with my girls in Apalachicola, Florida several years ago. They sat on a dock and Catie leaned her head into her sister’s shoulder.

“We are really lucky,” she said.

“Yeah. We are.”

“I mean, we’re not ‘born with a tail’ lucky, but I pretty much like my life.”

“Fair enough,” Emmaline replied. “I get that.”

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40 By 40 #5 – Finish It!

I love writing, especially short stories and flash fiction. I enjoy the process of coming up with ideas and plots, developing characters and their motivations, and thinking through possible twists and turns.

I have a handful of flash fiction, and an even bigger collection of short stories I’ve written over the past 25 years, but it’s only been in the past 3 or 4 years that I’ve tried my hand at longer pieces – novels.

I still love the writing process. I love the thinking and the planning and the outlines. I love writing key scenes and stitching them together. Where I run into trouble is finishing the damn thing.

So this week, while I’ve been on my own up in the mountains, I’ve devoted a lot of time to plugging away at the keyboard. Fueled by caffeine and a promise to my writing group, I’m nearly there.

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