Random Thoughts: The Lake Effect Edition

Riding roller coasters and going down water slides has inspired me to finally, *finally* order contact lenses. Plus driving in sunshine without sunglasses is very painful for me.

Maybe I’ll get around to ordering a new bathing suit sometime soon, too.


I have a one-piece suit that I wore one summer after one of my babies. It’s not very current.

Bathing suits don’t really fit me that well. I have no boobs. I don’t mean I have small boobs. I have NO BOOBS. Pregnancy and breast feeding ruined them and I went from a barely-an-A cup to… long nipples, basically. Bathing suits simply exacerbate my boob-less appearance.

Here’s the thing, though: I don’t really care.


Dan is very self conscious in a bathing suit. He complains all the time about going swimming with the kids, and he complained about going to the water park this past weekend.

But once he gets in the water with the kids, he has so much fun. He loves swimming, he loves water slides, he loves his kids.

So when he started complaining about how he looked in a bathing suit this weekend, I looked him straight in the eyes and said, “Dan, sweetie, no one’s looking at you.”

I have a 40-year-old body that has delivered four kids. While I may be rocking a normal, not-pregnant weight, my muscle tone is pretty crappy, and I have a saggy butt and cellulite.

Ain’t no one looking at me, either.

Believe me when I say that this way of thinking is extremely freeing. I still wish I exercised regularly — or at all — but even when I do start exercising again? It’s going to be so I feel good, not so I look good for other people at the water park.


As long as my husband finds me attractive (all indications are that he still does), and as long as I am in decent health (exercise would make me healthier), then I’m not overly fashed about my appearance in a bathing suit. As to Dan’s appearance, I worry less about how he looks than I do about his heart health. Dan is a very handsome man, and, yeah, he needs to lose some weight.

But my heart depends on his heart. So that’s why I would like him to exercise, and eat better. Not so he’s rocking a 20-year-old hardbody.

That would just be an added benefit. *wink wink*

Lake Effect

When I was a teenager, I thought a lot about leaving Erie.

That desire to flee one’s hometown is probably endemic to teenagers everywhere, though.

In the years I have been living in Pittsburgh — not surprisingly — Erie has changed and grown. Now visiting as an adult, I find Erie a fun get-a-way, and a great place to go with my kids, in no small part because my parents live there still.

Yesterday we got home from a picture perfect weekend. The weather was ideal; the kids were fantastic; and much fun was had by all. I went to a spa (yes, Erie has a spa, has for about 10 years now — who knew?), out to dinner with my best friends in the entire world, met my husband for drinks when he final managed to get away from work and make the 2-hour drive. And that was just Saturday.

My best friends and I in front of the Freeport Bar. The conversation was awesome.

Sunday, I was forcibly (in a good way) reminded how fantastic roller coasters are to ride. I got to enjoy an amusement park — a far cry from the Waldameer of my childhood — and a water park with my children. Flora and Kate shrieked through every ride. The most fun was Waldameer’s version of the LogJammer — my dad water bombed the car my mother, Kate, and I were in. We got soaked, and I loved it.

The park worked out perfectly; we strolled around for a while with my parents and my Aunt N (one of my father’s sisters) and the three kids, then they took Michael home while Dan, Flora, Kate and I went to the water park.

We went on (almost) every water slide. I chickened out on the enclosed slides. It was so refreshing to just be a party of four, where we could pair off easily. Not surprisingly Flora wanted to be with her daddy, and Kate wanted to be with me.

The weekend was just delightful. We saw family and friends, ate good food (well, mostly. The Saturday restaurant was perfect if you liked fried food and meat. But the company made me really not care that my cheese raviolis clearly came out of a bag),  and the joy I took in my children, whether we were riding down water slides, running with sparklers, or just cuddling on the couch at the end of a long day, was just a reminder of how great a love I have. How blessed I am in my life.

Did I say “picture” perfect? Well, not quite. But it was still fantastic.

Smack Talk

I recently learned that someone has been talking behind my back, telling people to avoid me. This person apparently said that I was crazy, and I had no control over my kids, and people shouldn’t be my friend.

When I first was told this, I was angry. But then I just got sad. For the other person, not for me.

Not everyone has to like me or be my friend. I’m totally okay with that. I don’t like everybody I meet either.

And not everyone has to like my kids. I think they’re the bees knees, of course, and — with Dan — the best things to ever happen to me. As to them not being “in control”, well, I have publicly admitted to having trouble with one of them. I’m learning.

But I don’t think it’s cool to tell other people not to like me because you don’t like me. You can say, “Well, I don’t like her.” I have said this about other people. (I’m not proud of this.) But I’ve never said, “I don’t like her so you shouldn’t either.”

Not since grade school, anyway.

And that brings me to this: We often talk about social media or the blogging community as “being like high school” or being a popularity contest. But it’s not. Unless you are actually under 18 and still in high school, don’t treat other people on Facebook or Twitter or in the blog-o-sphere — or IRL, for that matter — as if we are all still in high school.

For the most part we are all adults who will be friends with people we want to be friends with. We will read or not read whom we want; we will comment or not comment, follow or not, “friend” or not as we see fit.

Believe me, I don’t consider myself above the fray. But I don’t talk smack about other people. It’s just not the kind of person I am. I would like the same courtesy extended my way. Please and thank you.

And just leave my kids out of it.

Great minds talk about ideas; average minds talk about events; and small minds talk about people. — Eleanor Roosevelt