Runs in the family…

My brother and I went to go visit my grandfather, Paw, the other day. It was a pretty typical visit. We filled him in on what had been going on in our lives; he gave us feedback in the form of grandfatherly wisdom and told us stories from his own life… Before we left I showed Paw a picture of the two of us my brother had come upon and sent to me.


Paw looked at the picture, looked back at me, then looked back at the picture and said with a laugh. “Well Shan, I sure am glad your hair grew in. You sure would have been ugly without it.” Laughing myself, I replied, “Paw, I sure am glad you’ve kept all of your hair. You sure would have been ugly without it.”

He smiled, looked at me with a mischievous gleam in his eyes and replied. “You’re a smartass, kid.” I smiled back (with what I’m assuming is the same look in my own eyes) and said, “Runs in the family.”

I love visits with my Paw.



A New Chapter

Yesterday was… rough.  It was my last day of work. And while I wish I could say that I handled it with grace and dignity… well… I didn’t.  In true Shan style, I:

– Cussed at everyone (to be fair, I told them all that they were “Fucking Awesome”)

– Cried in a bathroom in a bar

– Then fell asleep (a.k.a. passed out) on a couch in said bar

OK, so it’s not as tragic as it sounds.  It was a good last day at work.  It was a fun happy hour after.  And hell… it wasn’t the first time I’ve cussed at everyone, cried in a bar bathroom, or passed out in a bar.  It is the first time I have done the last two in my 30s, (and hopefully the final time, but never say never) and aside from that dignity blow, it was a good day.  The reason why I was crying was because it was such a good day.  For the very last time, I was experiencing everything that I am going to miss.

Speaking of things I’m going to miss… I’m really going to miss these guys.


It isn’t often that you become friends with people who understand you, who laugh with you and at you, who come serenade you at your desk, who have your back, and who will bring you a Dr. Pepper or piece of gum whenever you need it.  And for whom you would do all of the above (coke, no ice… big red gum…). It’s rare to find one friend like that, let alone two, at work.  I have my, ahem, former employer to thank for introducing me to so many great people that I sincerely hope I will be friends with for life, but the two pictured above take the cake.  To say that I love these guys is an understatement – they are more than friends, they have become extensions of my family.

Speaking of family…


Today I began a new chapter. It was a good day to start one.  My oldest turned 5 today.  I have been a parent for 5 years – blows my mind. She got her ears pierced today, it’s what she wanted for her birthday.  She was so good, no tears, big smiles after – reminded me of just how much she’s growing up… I’m so proud of her.  She’s a sassy little thing, but she’s got a huge heart and is tough as nails.  And her little sister – sweet as can be, fun-loving but mischievous as hell.  They are absolutely perfect, amazing creatures, those two little girls of mine.  Now I have the good fortune and the opportunity to spend more time with them and their daddy. My family has always been my purpose, my reason for doing everything that I do. There are things about this move that terrify me.  But I am confident that I am on the right track…

I’m excited to see what the future has in store for me.


My Child Went Potty in Coach OR Why I Don’t Like Stairs

“I have to go potty! I have to go potty!”, shouts my three-year old.  As she’s going potty.  In the middle of the Coach store.  At the height of holiday shopping season. Horrified, I watch the growing puddle under  her feet…

Later, as I’m in the mall restroom washing out my daughter’s clothing and holding it under the hand dryer while she stands there in a diaper I fashioned out of toilet paper so that she wouldn’t be bare-assed in a public restroom I realize that I may just have a new contender for the “Shan’s Most Embarrassing Moments Top 10 List”.  Not that I actually have a Top 10 list – shocking and hard to believe, I know, I make lists out of everything as any regular reader is well aware of  – but if I had one, that moment would be on it.

I have had a bunch of embarrassing moments in my 34 years, just to give you a small sampling:

– the time the skirt of my pep-squad uniform was tucked into the back of my bloomers (which are basically like underwear) so my ass was on display for all to see for at least three class periods before I realized it (thank goodness I have always had a pretty nice ass… or so I’ve been told, I’ve never really checked out my own ass)

– the time I farted in my office and then a coworker walked in literally right after and I had to pretend that I hadn’t farted and didn’t smell anything even though we could both clearly smell my fart lingering in the air

– the time I knocked myself out cold when I collided with the swimming pool wall doing the backstroke at a swim meet

– the countless times I have put my foot in my mouth

– the even more countless times I have fallen. Anyone who has spent oh, an hour or so with me has seen me fall. Half the time my husband doesn’t even think anything of it anymore unless I look truly injured.  But, there is one fall that has topped them all, and to this day no fall has been as embarrassing as “The Greg Martinez Incident”.

In sixth grade, Greg Martinez was the (unrequited) love of my life. Just like any other rational sixth grade girl who wanted to keep her love a secret, I had his name written over everything; “I love Greg”, “Greg+Shan”, “Shan Martinez” – you get the idea.  I may have well just tattooed it onto my forehead.  One day, as my best friend (who just happened to have a thing for Greg’s best friend – Eric something, I can’t remember his last name, clearly he was no Greg Martinez) and I were walking up the stairs to our last period class that we had together, I tripped.  On the last stair.

Note: Stairs and I have never been friends.  I approach stairs with trepidation and caution because stairs have always had it out for me.  I don’t know what I did to them in this life or a past one to make them hate me so, but it’s clear that they do not like me.  Never have, probably never will.

I was almost home free, I had only one more stair to go, but that bastard last stair reached out and grabbed my foot and I fell.  The interesting thing is that I actually somehow managed to fall backwards, crashing into the person behind me who caught me, then kind of shoved both of us forward so that we didn’t fall backwards and careen down the entire flight of stairs. Books and papers went flying as the person behind me landed on top of me, and in the force of the fall my head crashed into the wretched stair that had tripped me in the first place.  What probably took all of 5 seconds to happen felt like an eternity.  In a daze I struggled to get up and apologize to the stranger who I had almost killed.  “Hey, are you OK?”, the stranger asked. “You hit your head pretty hard.”  I knew that voice, and as I looked up I froze.  Because it was Greg Martinez. Greg Fucking Martinez, who had been walking to class with Eric Something when some girl who apparently was lacking in basic motor skills (me) almost took him out. He helped me gather my books that had “I love Greg Martinez” written all over them while I turned bright red with embarrassment and shame, and offered to walk me to the nurse because “It looked like my head was bleeding” which I turned down, swearing that I was “OK” and then limped off to class, bleeding head and all.

Now, if that had been a John Hughes movie, that was when the dorky girl would have gotten the guy.  I would have bitten my bottom lip and then said “Hi” as he sheepishly handed me a book, and he would have said “Hi” and then picked me up and carried me out of there while the Thompson Twins or Simple Minds played and we would have lived happily ever after.  (Until three months later when we would have broken up. Because this was sixth grade after all, and no relationship in sixth grade lasts longer than three months.)

You know, looking back, while I was mortified when they were happening – I’m glad to have had those embarrassing moments that I can look back on and laugh about.  Everyone has fallen on their ass a time or two, and those moments certainly make for entertaining stories at parties. And honestly, if my three-year old taking a piss in the middle of the Coach store is the worst thing that’s happened, then I’m doing pretty darn good.

Here’s to hoping you can embarrass yourself and live to tell us all about it.  I’ll bring the wine.


*I need to thank my husband who I left behind in the store to clean up the puddle of pee by himself while I cleaned the kid – that had to have been pretty embarrassing.  You’re a trooper and one hell of a Dad and husband.

WILOW – A Bunch of Random Stuff

Welcome to this week’s What I Learned on Wednesday post.  Today’s “learnings” if you will, are really just an odd compilation of things.  But, hey, at least it’s something, right?  What I would love, really love, is for you guys to start telling me what you learned, too.  I know you’re out there, so don’t be selfish and keep your learnings to yourself.  Your learnings could help other people learn.  Then it becomes one big learning factory!  So feel free to tag me in your own WILOW post, or comment on this one.  Let’s all become learned together.  (I just used the word “learn” in some form or fashion eight times, nine if you count the one I just used in this sentence.  That has to be a record of some sort.)

1.  Cold Weather becomes me – aside from making me sick and all…

Given what I just wrote, I’m not really sure how this will benefit anyone else, but my hair really loves this cold weather.  It’s keeping its curl, it’s bouncy, it’s shiny – I’m in hair love.  And thanks to Kate from thesmallthingsblog for teaching me how to fix it and what products to use (seriously, she’s awesome)!  The rest of me may feel like doodoo, but my hair is having a moment right now.

2.  Sometimes when a dry erase marker says on its label that it is dry erase, it is not telling you the truth.

I feel that this one is self-explanatory. But you should always do a spot check on a small section of the board before writing all over it, and then finding out later that the marker lied.

3.  Laughter is the best medicine.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I have been feeling under the weather lately (I think it’s the Leo in me that loves all the attention or proper non-attention that one gets when they are sick), and that nothing seems to be working to cure what’s ailing me.

{Side note: isn’t it nice how when you’re sick the people who you prefer to avoid, avoid you so you don’t give them your “germs”; and the people who you truly care about and enjoy spending time with check on you to make sure you’re ok?}

Luckily I have some good pals at work who always find a way to make me laugh (love ‘em like play cousins – which to be honest, I don’t really know what that means, but one of the friends that makes me laugh says it and it sounds good so I thought I would use it, please accept my apologies if the term play cousin is in any way offensive), and two little girls and great hubby at home who do the same, and it really does make me feel better.   And if you don’t have anyone to laugh with, watch Anchorman or Old School.  Those two get me every time.

4.  If your nail polish stains your fingernails, clean them with peroxide.  Gets rid of the polish residue and leaves you with sparkly clean nails.

Male readers, you may not appreciate the value of this tip that I recently came across, but the women in your life will.  Learning factory my friends, learning factory… pass it on.


This will be my sixth post in a row without a zombie reference.  I think that has to be some kind of record, too.  Oh wait, I just mentioned them.  Well shit…