How {not} To Take Your Kid to College

TeenOne and I have been friends a long time – 19 years, in fact.

  • Mistake #1:   Don’t think your kid is your BFF, she’s not.  She’s your kid.  You’re the grown up.

Since we’re such close friends, there was some kind of subconscious me that didn’t think she’d ever leave.  But this thing called an Acceptance Letter came for a visit and never left.  Annoying.

So there we were, barreling down the highway toward “college,” but we treated it more like a road trip.  You can call it denial, I called it, “taking quirky instagram pictures whilst out-of-town.”

college drop off day 1

After about five hours of beautiful coastline (yawn), we pulled up to her vacation destination college.

college drop off day 2

  • Mistake #2:   Don’t send your kid to a school about a billion-ty times nicer than where you live.

I took that photo with my iPhone and sadly, that’s exactly how it looks there.  Not just where we were — all sides of campus.  Believe me, I looked for the ugly.  Best I could do was the backside of some engineering building, where she’ll never go.

We were prepared for chaos and discord, but instead were welcomed with the most efficient check-in system since our last stay at the Ritz Carlton.  OK, we’ve never stayed there, but if we had? I’d expect similar treatment.  I didn’t even have to push the cart crammed with dorm gear, a very friendly student did it for me.  Even the guy giving directions to the parking lot was handsome and full of cheer.  Harumph.

  • Mistake #3:  Don’t expose your kid to people nicer than you are, she’ll realize her life was a lie.

I won’t bore you with the details of moving three teen-aged girls into a dorm the size of my master bathroom, just let your imagination run wild.  It was sort of like stuffing everything you own into a suitcase and then shoving three people in for good measure.  There was no drama, unless you’d enjoy a story about me, always standing in the wrong place and sweating through nervous verbal diarrhea.  Nothing new there.

While I was having my own personal hygiene issues, ThatGuy was having a moment of his own.  A moment called, “I really, really, really wish I were still in college and why won’t those guys tag me into their volleyball game?”

college drop off day 3

  • Mistake #4:  Don’t get sucked into the, “Maybe people think I’m a student, too,” lie.  They don’t.

So, she got all moved in and her roommates were nice, blahblahblah this isn’t happening.  We walked the campus and surrounds, trying to pick it apart but it was all good.  I started questioning my own living situation and wondered why she was getting to live at an oceanside resort when I was heading home to a front yard with a crabgrass problem and a cat with a litterbox-location disorder.

Anyway.

We took care of some housekeeping, like dragging her through campus to find her classes and nagging her about eating right.  There were washing machines on her floor, but they don’t take quarters like they used to.  It’s a reloadable-card  situation.  Just in case we thought we were done spending money on this adventure.

The good news is, the machines are idiot proof.  The bad news is, we’re idiots.  We thought we were loading the card, we were mistakenly buying a spare card… what can I say, it was hot and laundry is stupid.

college drop off day 4

  • Mistake #5:  Don’t bother teaching your kid to do laundry.  Teach them how to push buttons and slide credit cards.  All set.

I could go on and on with Mistakes #6-99, but let me fast-forward to the big one:

  • Mistake #6:  Don’t stay a second day.

We had absolutely no business ruining the carefree, organized, scenic Day One by staying for Day Two.  Our intention was to smother her finish any last-minute shopping (interspersed with gazing into her eyes and professing our pride and adoration).

What really happened was something else.

We hadn’t slept well.  She hadn’t slept well.  We hadn’t eaten well.  She hadn’t eaten at all.  We’d showered and dressed in a Super-8 hotel.  She’d risen with the sun to beat tracks to the dorm showers before everyone else got there.

There were no speeches.  There was little-to-no eye gazing.  We all realized  it was time to go home.  And those were two different places.

Sounds sad right?  It was, for a few hours.  ThatGuy and I said nary a word for the first hour of our drive home.

Then my phone blew up.

Text after text from TeenOne, and was she upset with us?  Not at all!  She was chatty, and busy, and happy and… dealing with life just fine and dandy without us, are you KIDDING me???

Well, Amen to that.  I guess we did something right, after all.

 

Chronicle Bill Pay {App}

Overview

It’s bill-pay day here at ThatGirlBlogs, and I’m reminded that I’ve been meaning to tell you about my new system.  I am *not* an affiliate for this company, it’s just so darn useful I have to share.  I should also tell you that the screenshot above is NOT reflective of my own income/bill situation, it’s downloaded from the app site.

You see, Bloggies, I’m a forgetful girl.  ThatGuy has entrusted the bills/taxes/budget to me for 22 years and it’s definitely had its ups and downs.  When we’re in a down?  It’s usually because I’ve either:

  • forgotten to pay a bill
  • overpaid a bill

Overpaid?  Yes, usually by paying twice in a month (forgetful), or by panicking and making a decision to pay something in full without regard to what’s coming up in the que.

This app totally saved me, and I’m not being overly dramatic when I say that.

Chronicle Bill Pay is something I found while searching the app store on my iPhone.  I think I searched on something like, “finance,” or “bill reminder,” or, “broke and desperate,” I don’t remember.  I chose it based on its endorsements (and a free trial, let’s face it).

blogpost

I realize this graphic is hard to read, but I wanted to show the benefits listed on their site.  I’m really only concerned with two things:

  • I get bill reminder alerts whenever I want them
  • It’s sync’d on the Cloud, so I can use the iPad, iPhone etc to check/pay/review bills

Here’s what the App will NOT do:  create a budget or run a lot of fancy reports.

It’s strictly a bill paying app, but so far that’s all I’ve needed.  You can print from it, but it’s not going to do any kind of in-depth budgeting.

How do YOU handle your bill paying/budgeting?  Do you have any killer apps to share in the comments?  I hate to download anything in the App Store that wasn’t endorsed by a friend, because I have so many apps I never even use.  Your tips are always appreciated!

Shoot the Moon {photography}

moon (c) shelly shuey

Do you like my picture of this month’s SuperMoon?

Well, I hope you like it plenty, because I’ve since learned this is the last super moon until 2017.  I’m happy with it — mainly because I’d never had a picture of the moon come out very well before that night.

Before you ooh and ahhh at my photographs, you should know that I called my good friend, Google for advice.  (S)he told me to use these settings.  I tried that, but found I had to make a few adjustments before I was happy with the pics.

In the end, I used a 70-200mm lens to shoot in Manual mode with an Aperture of F/16, ISO 200, and Shutter Speed of 1/200 – the Sunny 16 rule.

I later came to know of something called the Loony 11 rule, but my settings worked because the moon was just so darn… super.  In fact, it was so bright it woke us up in the middle of the night, like a giant lightbulb in the window.

Which it was.

moon01.large

(c) Shelly Shuey ThatGirlBlogs 2014

 

{Welcome} Swoozies & Bou-coup!

our_story-c0f151cfad38abe12063ff6333adc9a2

No, that wan’t a sneeze & a hiccup, I said Swoozies & Bou-coup, and they’re the newest affiliates here at ThatGirlBlogs!

Party Time!

What do I mean?  Only that between Swoozies & Bou-coup, you can get all of your party invites, favors, decorations, plates, napkins, you name it — at deep, deep discounts.

Don’t take MY word for it, check it out — we’re talking big-cute for small-dollars:

Thanks for joining forces, Swoozies/Bou-coup!

xoxo

ThatGirl

Jesus Calling {true story}

image

I never answer my phone, in fact I’m sort of hated known for it. I mean, I’d answer for John Cusack for sure… Rick Springfield… Adam Levine…   It’s a short list.

So imagine my surprise when I was ignoring screening a call yesterday, and my Caller ID’s robotic voice said,  ”Je-sus Chr-ist.”  I looked around at no one there and said, “Did that phone just say Jesus Christ?”  I was curious.

Not curious enough to answer, mind you, but curious.

I forgot about it until later that day when I saw the message light flashing.  There it was:  Jesus Christ (cue angels singing).

Wanting a logical explanation, I did what anyone would do in this situation, and consulted the experts:   Facebook.  Turns out?

I wasn’t the only one who got “the call.”

A BUNCH of people got the call, and one friend?  Called him back.  No way I was doing that.  Jesus and I go way back, and I don’t do confrontation, just ask… anyone, really.

When my friend called, there was a recording that said she’d reached The True Church of  Jesus Christ.

OK, I don’t think he’d choose the 916 area code if he was building the (true) church.  Wouldn’t he go to Hawaii or somewhere a little more temperate?  I feel like he has options.

He’s certainly not calling me from a phonebooth in the rain, I’ll tell you that much.

Or is he?

20th Century Fox

20th Century Fox

Printables via {Pinterest}

leavesforpost

Did you know you can find free Printables on Pinterest???  When you find one you like, open the file and print!  Instant decorating for any season.  The “Leaves” artwork above is just a printable on heavy cardstock, and the frame was something I found jammed in a drawer somewhere.  Free + Free!

I gotta tell you, right about now?  My favorite word is, “Free.”

Here are a few sites with printables to get you started — or visit my Pinterest board for more (link at the end of this post).

 More on the Pinterest Board, Updated Daily:

Follow Shelly Shuey’s board Free + Printables on Pinterest.

{P} for Playdate. Followed by {T} for Tequila.

playdate

When we were kids, there was no such thing as a “Playdate.”

We did not jump around the house, chanting,

“CanIHaveAPlaydateCanIHaveAPlaydateCanIHaveAPlaydate?”  

like a human pogo stick.

Having a friend over wasn’t enticing at all.  Better to be outside, playing with matches or climbing trees without a net.  Forget the Wii — about as techie as we got was that game, Simon.

You wanna have a playdate?  Here’s what has to happen first:

[Read more...]