W to A

Growing up my last name was Wolfert. People made fun of it… Wolfart. Wolfat. Wolfy. I mean, really people?
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Anyway. I grew up and got engaged and then married and people were asking if I was going to hyphenate my last name and I was like why? Are you crazy?? I’m going from W to A. Top of the alphabet. First in, first out. No waiting for speeches.  No need to sit through graduation or search for my mailbox at work. We’re one and done.
Really, I wanted to just be one last name and when or if we had kids, we would all have the same last name.
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I went from a name I don’t think anyone else had to a name that I found out, a lot of other people have! I don’t mind though. It’s kind of funny to me because people now assume I speak Spanish or that I am Spanish. I wish I spoke Spanish. I can understand some of it. In reality, I am a whole bunch of basically eastern and central Europe. My mom’s parents are from Czechoslovaki and Poland. My fathers parents are from Germany, England and Ireland. My husband is Dominican which is a whole bunch of things mixed together too. So our kids are a little of a lot.
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*** Not my children***
I decided to change my last name when we got married. Honestly, I couldn’t wait. I think the week we got back from our honeymoon I was in the social security office with my marriage license and other documents.
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I have never really looked back or thought too much about it until past Wednesday night. At work they had a little thing to congratulate the people who have been with the company for 5,10,15,20, 25 years…I was called up in front of work for 5 years in. Oh god, how I wished I were back to W. I get so nervous being in front of people and I was called up 2nd and we had to stand while they called everyone else… It’s not that big of a deal but it did make me think of graduation before I was married and sitting there just waiting for everyone else to go.
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I mean, it’s a personal reason for everyone but this was honestly my thought when I got married. I was not attached to my previous last name at all. I had a friend who didn’t change her last name because her parents had girls and she wanted to carry on the last name. It’s a personal reason for everyone. It just crossed my mind the other day.
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How about you? Did you change your name? Would you change your name?
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Excerpt from “Little Me, Big World”

Chapter 2: my friends on my street

 

I rush home from my first day of school and throw my backpack on the floor. It’s 3:30 and my mom won’t be home from work for another hour and a half. I don’t have to be home till 6:30 so I have 3 hours to check in with all my friends and see what’s going on. My home friends are the other street kids. The ones in my neighborhood who are allowed out after school till dark. We are all different ages, but we play together all summer, school breaks and after school. We’re the street kids.

I head to my neighbor Sarah’s house. She’s in 7th grade now and she isn’t home yet so I run up the street to Kathy’s house. Her and Augie are already in front of the TV with huge bowls of fruity pebbles watching MTV music videos.

“Hey, guys!” I say and I run past them and in to Kathy’s kitchen to help myself to a giant bowl of cereal too. Kathy’s house has the best cereal selection.

“Hey Jess!” they reply.

Kathy lives up the street on the corner. I met her one day when I was playing in the field across from our dead-end street. She taught me how to make flower crowns and then we went to her house to eat cereal and watch Beaches.

Kathy is beautiful. She has straight strawberry blond hair, green eyes and a million freckles. She is one year older than me and she has a way older brother and sister. Her parents are divorced and her father lives with her grandparents (his parents) the next street over. In fact, we have to cut through that backyard to get to the Rock.

The Rock is a place in the woods that overlooks a lake. We go here to swim or hang out when we want to be alone. The Rock is my favorite place in the world.

Augie lives the next street over. He’s Kathy’s age, so they are in the same grade. That’s how I met him. His parents are divorced too. His father works as some sports news something and has Emmy’s in the family room. His mom moved to Milford and owns an ice cream shop that we sometimes go visit. We eat ice cream and play Nintendo in the basement with Augie’s younger brother Ben.

Ben is my sister’s age, 3 years younger, but they aren’t friends really. I usually leave my sister home when I go to Augie’s house but sometimes, she comes to hang out with us. When Augie’s parents divorced, Ben went to live with his mother and Augie stayed with his father. Augie’s father is away a lot on work, so his Grandmother watches him a lot. She lives next door with Augie’s great grandmother. Augie is Italian, brown eyes, brown hair and a little on the chunky side, like me. He’s the funniest person I have ever met and he’s always up for an adventure.

Once we are all sitting down, they tell me about their classes and lockers and how you’re not with the same teacher all day and you have a different teacher for English, Math, Science and Social Studies. You also have Art, Music, Gym and a language class. They got to pick between Spanish or French and they both picked Spanish.

There are two teams in each grade because there are 3 Elementary schools combining into one Middle school and there are all these new kids. Kathy already has a boyfriend who’s in fifth grade at North Mianus Elementary and we are going to walk down there after we finish our cereal and get dressed. Middle school sounds awesome and I am so happy that I am here with them and not home.

Kathy finishes her bowl first and heads to her sister’s room to find something cool to wear when she sees her boyfriend. I will never have a boyfriend, I don’t think. The last kid who liked me was Patrick and when he tried to kiss me, I punched him cause that’s gross, and that was the end of that friendship. Then he moved away. I’m pretty sure that Deacon likes popular Rebecca along with every other boy in our grade.

Kathy puts on a hot pink mini skirt and a neon green tube top with different neon-colored squares all over it. She layers two pairs of scrunchie socks for added color and coolness and then we raid her sister’s makeup bag. Kathy pumps the mascara wand like a pro and applies mascara, lip gloss and blush. Augie and I apply some gloss because it smells and tastes like strawberries.

While she’s getting ready Augie and I try on all her sister’s clothes and laugh at each other. I pick a black tube top with a neon green fluffy skirt and Augie puts on her prom dress and stuffs the chest with tube socks, and we laugh till we cry. When Kathy’s ready, we head out. Augie says he’s going home to drive his dad’s Bronco in his driveway and smoke his grandma’s cigarettes. He invites us but we say maybe next time because Kathy has a date….

KEEP READING!!! FREE on Kindle Unlimited until 11/13/2019.

Just another moody Monday.

It’s Monday.. Again.
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Every weekend I say I am going to sleep and every Monday I am so tired. Last night I couldn’t fall asleep till almost midnight. My husband somehow stole all the pillows except 2 from me and then my daughter came into our bed at some point and proceeded to steal my remaining pillows and punch me in the face a couple times. It was impressive.
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I had my alarm set to work out this morning but I was so tired I got up to turn it off and then went back to bed. I think I managed to doze for another 15 minutes. I am so tired right now though.
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This weekend was nice. We went to a friends house Saturday to hang out and then Yesterday we chilled at home. I watched a bunch of cheesy movies and my husband made me mushroom soup. It was really good. I didn’t do all my laundry though so I’ll have to do some tonight.
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This week there is a work appreciation dinner that I have to go to for working at this place for 5 years. I really don’t want to go but I heard that it’s frowned upon if you don’t show up. I’m not ungrateful but I spend 40 hours a week with these people already. I see them more than I see my own family some days so having to go to a dinner and be away from my family even more does not appeal to me at all. I’m going to go because I feel like I have to. Besides that, I really don’t think I have anything else going on this week.
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What about you? Any plans this week?

Chubby Fingers and me.

I was reading this article the other day that said that “Chubby Fingers” was now a trend on Instagram or twitter, or something like that and I thought really?? This is MY time then! I always thought that I had chubby hands and fingers my entire life. I’m looking at my hands now, and maybe they are pretty. I have always loved my nails.
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** not my hand but I couldn’t upload my picture… This could really be my hand though**
I never wore rings cause I always felt like it just accentuated my fat hands. Seriously, the only rings I have ever worn are my engagement and wedding band. I find myself pulling them off and on once in a while. I think, if it’s easy then I am fine, if I have to tug a little then I think it’s time to go on a diet. It’s crazy how I find things to measure myself.
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I think I always wear pants because I have always thought that I had big legs. But lately I am starting to look at dresses and skirts. I actually bought a dress the other day. I might even wear it outside eventually.
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It has been really nice to see more people like me who are not “perfect” but still pretty. I am currently a size 12 and I always felt like even the models that are a size 12 don’t look like me. It is a little unfortunate to hear advertisers boast about how “inclusive” they are with their new “plus sized” model. In my opinion, size 12/14 is barely plus size, and even if it was, who cares? Why do you have to say the size at all?
I am happy that now it seems I am seeing more real people. There is still a long way to go. The point is, it is nice to see things that actually represent something like me and to hear other people call it beautiful. We really should all celebrate ourselves.
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Happy Friday! This weekend will be low key. Going to a friends house to hang out Saturday and decorating the yard for Halloween on Sunday. Husband will be making mushroom soup Sunday and I can not wait. I love his mushroom soup. The weather is getting colder and I am now looking for new soup and stew recipes. Those will be coming up soon!
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How about you?

Job changes and lunch dates.

A year and a half ago my husband was miserable at work. He’s in IT and his job refused to move forward. He was beginning to feel trapped because you have to keep moving forward in that field to stay relevant. Also, he wanted to go into other parts of IT. I guess this could be for any field as technology changes.
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Anyway, his job was pretty cushy for us. He made good money, our health insurance was amazing, and we got a yearly weekend trip to Vermont. We don’t ski, but our kids loved swimming, ice skating and doing the mountain coaster. On top of the job frustrations, he also had an hour commute each way in traffic every day.
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A lot of our kids stuff fell on me because I have a job in town and luckily, they are pretty lenient when it comes to leaving because of child things (sick, holiday concerts, field trips, snow days…). It got to a point that we decided it was time for him to look for something new for his mental and physical well being. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how cushy something is, it continues to follow you around when your unhappy 40 hours a week.
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There were some things that any job would need to check off in order to make the move worth it. He needed to bring in the same income (if not more because more money, more problems), and benefits. We bought a house a couple years ago and besides the new debt, we now have to make a certain amount monthly to be okay.
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He wanted it to be in town. He wanted to be able to wear jeans and sneakers to work. He’s IT, why do you need a button down and slacks when sometimes you are crawling under a desk or up in the ceiling? He searched for a while and then finally got a job offer in our hometown. They matched what he asked and he made the move.
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After a year an a few months, he is much happier. His commute is 20 minutes now as opposed to 2 hours. He can help with the kids (pick up, drop off, if they are sick, when there are snow days…). It’s nice for me. Perhaps the best part is we get to go to lunch together now.
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My husband and I go on weekly lunch dates. It’s my favorite time. Before we needed to call out, take a half day or get a babysitter just so we could go on a date and now we get to do that weekly. I love this. He’s my favorite person and I love being able to spend more time with him.
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There is a trade off. The health insurance is not nearly as good as his last job so in reality what we thought was the same meant he ended up taking a small pay cut. While he isn’t miserable going to work anymore, I feel like he works much more now because he is always on call. Weekends, weeknights, holidays, vacations, he has ended up working at all these times in the past year and I do get annoyed sometimes. They said unlimited time off, but there seems to be no real time off. That is my frustration.
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Overall, I think the benefits still outweigh all the negatives from the previous job. We will continue growing, pushing and learning.
Plus, I get to see his cute butt in jeans everyday.
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What about you? Would you move jobs and what would it take? For us, I think we made the right choice.

Costumes, Parties and Friends!

It’s October 15th! I really can’t believe how this year is flying by. The kids have picked out their costumes this year.
Girl will be a Lion,
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*not my daughter but her costume*
and Boy will be the gigantic blow up dinosaur.
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*Not my son, but his costume*
 They look adorable and hysterical.
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My mom didn’t let me or my siblings celebrate Halloween growing up, that was the “devils holiday” she said… Whatever, I say, it’s not that serious. I let my kids dress up for the Halloween parade at school and then we take them out around the house for a couple hours. I leave a big bowl of candy on our stoop and it’s always empty when we come home.
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We have decided on a Paint Bar birthday party for Girl in December. Then we are renting a hotel room down the street from our house so she can swim all night and in the morning. Then she wants her scavenger hunt on her actual birthday.
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I told the kids they get birthday parties from age 5 till 10, and then we cut it down to a couple friends and something fun like a sleepover or a movie and dinner. I think I might keep the scavenger hunts around for a few more years.
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I can’t believe the holidays are so close already. Once Thanksgiving hits, I feel like I blink and it’s New Years. How about you? Are you ready for Halloween?

Current Fall Faves 2019

This is what’s currently going on in my house. I do not have any connection to any of these products except that I like them and I want them.
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Next book club recipe: Shots, Shots, Shots!
Every time we do book club at someones house we do a pot luck and everyone brings something. I was bringing a tropical fruit platter all summer but this time I am going to bring some shots. We’re doing a fire pit night at one of the girls houses. It’s going to be Halloween themed because it the weekend before Halloween.
I can’t do pudding shots cause blah. And jello I am okay with but some girls at book club, not so much… So I am thinking about these two:Fireball Pumpkin Pie Shots

Fireball pumpkin pie shots.

INGREDIENTS
part Fireball whiskey
part vanilla vodka
part Pumpkin Spice Baileys Irish Cream
Shake and serve. I’ll bring the whip cream too.
And/Or I am thinking about these:
Halloween cocktails shots, blood sample, vanilla vodka, pomegranate juice, plastic syringe
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 ounces vanilla vodka
  • 2 1/2 ounces pomegranate juice

I think I might try both of these. Anyone have any really good ones to recommend?

Currently reading: Beloved.
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We read “Paradise” in book club two months ago and some people liked it, some people gave up reading it, other people read it but were confused by it. I liked it and I was confused on some of it. I decided that since I have already finished this months bookclub book and have a few weeks before we meet and pick the next book, I am going to read Beloved.
I just finished Opioid, Indiana:Image result for opioid indiana image
I saw it at the library and picked it up. It was good and a really easy, fast read. I seriously read it Monday night and then I gave it to my husband to read.
I am currently finishing reading “Petals in the Wind” by V. C Andrews, which is the book after this months book club book “Flowers in the Attic” It’s really crazy. I don’t know if I will keep reading the series. I think there are 3 more books to follow… I might just wiki it to finish out what happens.
Currently eyeing: The sweatpants overalls.
It’s fall in the northeast. I saw someone wearing something like these a few weeks ago and I am jealous of that comfort level. I might get these for next bookclub, lounging around the house or all of winter. I’m serious. The only thing holding me back at the moment is the price tag. I already have sweatpants and a sweatshirt and I am not sure spending $95.00 on sweat pant overalls makes any sense at all. It actually doesn’t. But they look comfy as hell.
Swoveralls. What a fantastic idea. Swoveralls.com
And The cloth paper towels.

LUCKISS 100% Bamboo Dish Cloths & Rags Super Absorbent Eco Friendly Kitchen Towels with Scrubbing Side for Washing Dishes White Dishcloths 12 X 12 inch

These are on Amazon for $16.00. The cost of a package of Costco paper towels that I buy at least monthly.
I was thinking about how much we really spend on paper towels. I yell at my husband and kids about how many actual sheets they really need to pick up a spill or dry a glass… I am a little nuts, I admit,  but they are expensive. I think I am going to try something like these and see how it works. If we can cut down on our paper towel usage and not add to much to the weekly laundry, why not?
Currently making: The chicken wing rub for baked wings. This is from thechunkychef.com but for some reason I can’t paste the website. So visit there because there are some good recipes that I will be trying in the future.
Baked chicken wings with spicy dry rub
Oh man, these are good. I made these last weekend and I am going to make them again soon. I liked them dipped in Ranch, my husband liked these dipped in blue cheese. Next time I want to make the Gorgonzola sauce, I bet that’s amazing.

INGREDIENTS

EPIC DRY RUB:

  • 1/2 Tbsp ancho chile pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 Tbsp light brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (less if you’re worried about the heat level)
  • 1/2 tsp dried mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried ground thyme

WINGS:

  • 4 lbs chicken wings, thawed completely if using a frozen bag
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil

CREAMY GORGONZOLA SAUCE:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3-6 Tbsp buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 -3 oz crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

INSTRUCTIONS

MAKE DRY RUB AND CHICKEN WINGS:

  • Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with 2 sheets of aluminum foil (or 1 heavy duty sheet).  Top that with an oven safe cooling rack and spray it with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Combine all dry rub ingredients in a small mixing bowl, set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, add chicken wings and vegetable oil.  Use a rubber spatula to toss gently to coat.
  • Sprinkle in about half to 2/3 of the dry rub mixture and use your hands to massage it into all of the chicken wings, coating evenly.  Feel free to use all the dry rub, but for a coating like in the photos, 1/2-2/3 of the mixture does just fine.
  • Add chicken wings to prepared baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes.

MAKE GORGONZOLA SAUCE:

  • To your food processor or blender, add mayo, buttermilk, sour cream, 1.5 oz of the gorgonzola cheese, garlic, lemon juice, pepper and salt.  Process until smooth.
  • Transfer to serving bowl and stir in remaining gorgonzola cheese.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
Currently drinking: Apothic red wine.
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I love a good red wine in the Fall and I love this wine. Seriously, $7.20 a bottle at Total Wine. This is currently my fav. After I had my son 10 years ago, my husband and I use to get a bottle of wine every week after grocery shopping. This was recommended and it stayed with me.

Wednesday Update.

Hi Everyone! It’s Wednesday.
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The kids are off from school, Husband is taking the day off and I am working from work. Ugh. It’s sooo hard to come in when everyone is chilling home in Pj’s and relaxing AND it’s raining and cold. So I ran out of the house early and my boss said I can leave a little early because of that, at least there is that. I hate coming to work when everyone is home. I love those people and I want to be home with them too!
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I have decided to leave my books up. All of them. The response from everyone was so positive and supportive and I truly appreciate it. You are all right, some books aren’t for everyone. Thank you for your support!
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This morning my husband uploaded the pictures from our trip to Cape Cod. I love these pictures because we had an awesome time but it made me realize that I really have to lose weight. I feel like I look okay in my clothes, but then I look at the pictures and I am just not happy with myself. I mean, I look fine but I look heavier than I feel. So, I know I said it last year, and then I fell off. Then I said again, and then I had holidays, birthdays, book club and summer and I watched what I ate, but I still ate what I wanted. I tried to start working out and then made excuses. It’s hot, it’s cold, it’s raining, I’m tired. Well, I am going to start the diet again even at book club. I have to go back to tracking everything, even wine.
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Plus, I have a wedding to attend on 11/1/2019 and I rented the runway and I need to fit in one of those dresses. I am excited about that though. I got the idea from my sister in law. It was $88.00 and I get one dress in 2 sizes and then a back up dress. I can’t wait to get them and try them on. You get them for 4 days and then you send them back. I will definitely have a review of that afterwards. Have you ever tried this yet? What did you think?
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That’s pretty much where I am at right now. I need to continue writing my next book. I think I am going to upgrade to the next WordPress package for a year to see what that does…
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Does anyone have the business account? Is it worth it in your opinion? I just want to try some of the plug ins to see what those do.
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Do they help? Are there some that you love and would recommend?

Would you take your book down because of a bad review?

It’s Monday. I actually don’t mind it today.
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I published a couple books with some stories from my life. I realized they were all on the short side so I took the advice of a couple people and combined them all together, I called it “Moving Forward” and self published on Amazon. I had a couple people read them. Out of those people I had a couple positive reviews and then I saw on good reads I was rated 2 out of 5 by 2 other people. It made me feel really bad. That’s not a good rating at all. My most recent book, “Little me, Big World” was given 4 out of 5 by 2 people. That will stay up.
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So I am trying to decide if I should take down my first books. My husband said they were interesting to him and he thinks I should keep them up. I don’t know. I’m trying to figure it out. When I wrote the books and then combined them to create one book with my stories, I was thrilled when I received an email from a man who said he enjoyed it and he liked the way I wrote. Then I see these 2 stars, twice and I am really questioning if I should keep this book up. I’m not going to take it down just yet. I am still thinking about it.
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What would you do?

I was Invited.

My daughter has a friend and her mom is actually one of the few moms that I feel comfortable hanging out with and I can talk to for a while. In fact, my husband and I doubled dated with her and her boyfriend and went to drag queen bingo about a year ago. We had a blast.
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Then they got married, bought a house and she found out she was pregnant. I am very happy for her but we’ve both been pretty busy so we haven’t really connected except for a few texts over the months and our daughters hanging out a handful of times. Either we went somewhere or she picked up my daughter and they went somewhere.
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Anyway, I am invited to her baby sprinkle this weekend and I don’t think I am going to go. When she text me about it, I said I would put it in my calendar. Then a couple weeks later I got the invite and I put it on my fridge and forgot to RSVP. So now I don’t know if I should just show up or not. Or should I call like “whoops”?
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I know I hate it when people just show up to the kids birthday parties without RSVP’ing. And I usually RSVP even if it’s just to say I can’t make it. I totally flaked this time and forgot.
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Besides that, I don’t know anyone who is going except the mom. I am going to buy a gift and I will give it to her but my anxiety is at a high right now. I am torn about what to do but I don’t even really like going to parties where I know a bunch of people and the thought of going to one where I know only one person makes me so nervous. So I think I am not going to go tomorrow.
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I don’t know, what would you do in this situation?