That One Time I Got My Butt Kicked at BlogHer ’11

In addition to the things I learned about parenting while at BlogHer ’11, I had a unique butt-kicking experience.

Near the beginning of the How to Pitch a Book session, we were asked by the awesome moderator and panelists how many of us were planning on pitching a book. The room was full of women who boldly raised their hands. I did a half-arm raise. You know the one: elbow at your waist, upper arm kind of flipped up, hand kind of willy-nilly. Very non-committal. Am I raising my hand or am I just posing? It’s anyone’s guess.

Sassymonkey called me on it. Called me right out on my pathetic little hand raise.

I tried to say that it didn’t matter. I was sitting on the side of the room near the wall. The panelists couldn’t see me. No one was even behind me, next to me, in front of me or really near me, except for her, to know that I didn’t raise my hand. I tried to justify the heck out of it. But Sassymonkey knows me a little too well.

She knows that my attending the session was already out of my comfort zone. She knows that when the panelists made a joke about handing out Xanax after the session, I contemplated holding them to their word. She knows that the thought of writing the story that bubbles under the surface of every word I write makes me shut down and put up the protective walls.

Eventually I stopped justifying. And she stopped kicking my butt. And then Elisa made the official announcement about BlogHer Writers ’11 in NYC this October. And I went ahead and bought my ticket. Because it’s the year of possibility, right? So much has already happened this year that has shocked me — in good ways, indifferent ones and a few OMG-NOOOO! ways — that I have to acknowledge that stepping out of my box has been a good learning experience. Not just for me, but for the people that have reached out to me after I’ve taken a chance. Every time I think I’m doing something for others, I get back what I’ve given, ten-fold.


Will I be seeing you in New York City in October? Let me know.

fire life

State of the ‘Stache: Where It Stands

Since FireDad is coming to San Diego with me for BlogHer ’11, I thought I should update my readers about the State of the ‘Stache. I haven’t posted about it for awhile because, well, his mustache is as mustache-y as it’s going to get. He can’t let it grow too long or it interferes with the seal on his firefighter mask.

And so, here we are.

Mustache BW

He wasn’t really pleased that I was taking a picture before we left for camp. But, come on, that brick wall was the perfect photo opp. Don’t make that face at me, Mr. Mustache Man!


And so, there it is. The mustache. It’s funny to me. Not the mustache, but how used to it I am. The family photos on the wall from this past fall? When I look at them, I think his upper lip looks… well… weird. The mustache has grown on me. Well, it grew on him, but I’m used to it now.

Apparently I am finally married to a real firefighter.

Speaking of mustaches, however, the boys found fake mustaches in the bookstore at camp. BigBrother was very excited. “We can surprise Daddy when he comes down to camp! It will be SO funny!” And so when FireDad walked in the door, we went running upstairs to be-mustache ourselves.


Can’t see? Let’s look closer.


FireDad was deeply amused. He thought it was a fantastic surprise. The boys wore their mustaches for the rest of the day, though I was a mean mommy and made them remove their fake ‘staches for their program. I thought it would be distracting for the other kids. And parents. Funny, but distracting. “Mommy, why do you have umpteen photos of that kid with a fake mustache but only one of me?” I did it for the kids, folks.

But yes, the boys thought they were hilarious.



As did I. I’m surrounded by mustaches.

I almost bought FireDad some mustache business cards for BlogHer ’11, but basically ran out of time. It’s a shame. It’s just as well. He’s been threatening to spend the entire time in the Pacific ocean with aviator sunglasses and just a Speedo. You have been warned.