Monday, May 2, 2016

No Ego

Last Sunday I was on a stage in a kick-ass venue in Detroit working a crowd, getting a few laughs, loving the attention, having a blast. 


Look at my co-producer and friend, Angela A., and me, cracking each other up. So.Much.Fun.



The next day I slept through my alarm, broke up a fist fight in my kitchen (my two youngest children) and tried to tell the kids at my preschool what a big deal I was just a few short hours earlier.

Listen, I have no ego, at least not an inflated one. But I do have some really amazing stories of bravery, community, friendship, cool dudes at soundboards, history, discovering our truth and sharing it and love and the power of storytelling. Ahhhhhh. Co-producing the Listen To Your Mother show in Detroit is pretty rad.


First though, I must catch up on sleep and eat lots of chips and salsa and maybe cry a tiny bit because it's over for another year.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Big Hair, Lip Gloss and What I Know For Sure

So, I've been a little stressed lately. I mean like for the last few months. Getting a few jobs and having a few kids will do that. When I am feeling a bit overwhelmed, like a lot of people I eat a little more and I might drink a little more. It's all about vices and comfort.  I've also realized  when I'm feeling uncomfortable or uncertain or unsure... like Cher I try to turn back time. When I'm feeling a little stressed or unsure (or when I'm trying to hide my bad roots) my hair gets bigger and my lips get glossier. The 80s--it's my go-to comfort look. 

That's a very tired me on the left right before work. That's a member of Guns & Roses on the right circa 1980-something.

I didn't say it was a good look, I said it is my go-to comfort look. Yeah, looking like a dude that sings in a glam rock/hair band from the 1980s makes me feel better when I'm stressed. It's weird. It makes me a very good candidate for an ambush makeover on TV. It makes no sense, but I know for sure that I feel better when I tease my hair and put lip gloss on like it's 1988. Um, until I see pictures of myself. Waaaaa.


Here's what else I know for sure this week:


  • I AM IN LOVE WITH MY NEW PANTS!!! Yeah it's all caps because I'm yelling because I'm so excited. Yellow shiny pants with flowers? Um, yes. I got these to wear on stage at Listen To Your Mother in Detroit on Sunday. Come check out the stories and my pants, buy your tickets here

  • My kid isn't allowed to go to work anymore. Wade went to Take Your Kid to Work Day with Tim at the high school. Tim sent me a picture of Wade with blood all over his shirt and said "he got in a fight." I almost believed him because there were other kids there and Wade is pretty tough. But then I got the real story...some of the high school kids were playing catch in the gym with the little kids and a football hit Wade in the nose and well, blood everywhere. He thought it was a cool story. 



  • There's a game to go to almost every night. Woah. 


  • Lucy is a gamer. She started playing softball for the first time ever this year and she is doing great and most importantly having so much fun.

  • I'm obsessed with 1980s rock. Lately I've been switching the Pandora channel to 1980s rock. I work out in my basement to Def Leppard, ACDC, Guns & Roses and Scorpions. I feel like I'm in the weight room of my high school and it's 1989 and I love it.

  • I am still in love with Snap Chat. I mean I LOVE it. Maybe it's because I am immature, but I seriously have so much fun. Come play with me -- AngelaYBlood

  • Writing thank you letters is a good thing, but being thoughtful is THE thing. I love this video series Gatorade did about Peyton Manning. Here's one from his coaches about how thoughtful he was.


What do YOU know for sure? Tell me here or over on Facebook.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Color Coded Calendars, Van Halen and Baseball


I know I always talk about how life is so busy and yada, yada, yada. But you guys it is SO BUSY. Four kids going in all different directions and a very unorganized mother is a pretty crazy way of life.  It's so crazy that I might have been crying in the corner of a Walgreen's on Friday night after work before the elementary school carnival. Yup. It was ridiculous. Me crying because I didn't know how to do it all and be everywhere and everything to everybody and waaaa.

I felt overwhelmed and like I was going in all different directions at crazy speeds. After crying a little I felt better, but I also knew I needed a plan....a plan to, gulp, get more organized. I mean at least for the next few weeks when ALL THE THINGS/EVENTS/GAMES are happening.

Like this past weekend, the carnival, baseball tournaments, little league opener, a baseball game, a softball game, friends' houses and Tim was out of town. Nuts!  I relied on friends to take some of my kids places and some of my kids had to miss a few things (like team pictures). 




Even though I was a little bit of a mess, Wade didn't let that interfere in his game prep. He's mentally tough. He's a baller and ready to play (but he also just has a total blast!).

Oh my gosh! Lucy is playing softball for the very first time ever and she looks so happy.



Peyton got his feet analyzed and we bought him new running shoes for track. Because he's running! So grateful that he is able to compete and walk and run and be happy after such a horrible leg break and surgery and therapy and ahhhhhh.



They are happy kiddos, but don't forget I was crying in the corner of Walgreen's muttering to myself that "I'm not so bad, really I'm not"...something has to change.  So in an attempt to get my shit together I turned to what else? Pinterest.  

I started looking up calendars and family organization and got bored and looked up fun quotes and pictures of celebrities. But then I focused on getting better at managing our family's time and found some cute chalk board options. Today's Pinterest Poser Challenge* is getting my shit together and making a mother f-ing chalk board wall calendar. Woot! Woot!

*In an attempt at not being a Pinterest Poser,** every week-ish I detail a new project/idea/recipe inspired by Pinterest.
**My definition of a Pinterest Poser is someone who is all pins and no substance.


There were lots of cute options (like this one and this one). But I went with a simple design that's straight up calendar. I assigned each kid a different color chalk and I filled in what their activities are for the week. Sure I had to ask Peyton to bring me a calendar as a reference and I might have said "how many days across?" 

I'm usually not such a fan of planning and counting days and filling in and filling up all the hours in a day. I'm more of a what do we want to do today? Anything we want. But that's not how life with four busy kids and jobs and shows and all the good stuff works right now.

Here's the before:




And here's the after:




I am proud to say that one day in, and we are kicking ass. I managed to remember to reschedule Lucy's piano lesson earlier and we all made it to her softball game. It's kind of a miracle.  Maybe all you people were right and there is something to this calendar thing. Maybe I'm going to be organized and totally together now. And maybe not. 

I've decided the calendar is coming down as soon as school is out. I want my days full of nothing but possibility and adventure this summer. 
This quote is more my summer speed.
I found it on Pinterest (here) during my calendar search.


But for now the color-coded chalk works (bonus is we have so many kids and so much to do, it looks very rainbow-y and I love that).

And I tried to find a way to make my boring but happy and cheerful looking calendar a little cooler by putting a quote from a Van Halen song on the top:

"Right now is your tomorrow...Catch a magic moment...Right here and now."

Remember that song?! It's perfect, right?!? Well, I think so.
Here's the song just in case you forgot:


(Click here to watch the video.)




Have you made anything inspired by Pinterest lately? Got any favorite holiday crafts? Let me know in the comments or over on my Facebook page.


Here are some of the Pinterest projects I've done/made/attempted:

DIY Snowman Ornaments- click here
Milk Carton Halloween Luminaries- click here
Fall DIY (Painted Acorns)- click here
Kale Smoothie- click here
Power Tools- click here
Painting Sticks- click here
Homemade Pesto- click here
DIY Map Craft- click here
Homemade Chalk Paint- click here
A Flower Crown- click here
The Rainbow Challenge- click here
DIY Trundle Bed- Click here
DIY Artemis Costume- click here
Taking Pictures of Your Kids- click here
Gluten Free Pretzels- click here
Cinnamon Sugar Doughballs- click here
Painted Lockers- click here
Melted Beads- DIY Suncatcher- click here
Tissue Paper Pom Pom Garland-- click here
A Delightfully Simple Birthday Party--click here
Make An Awesome Omelet--click here
Outdoor Lights Inspired by the show Parenthood- click here
Herb Garden with Chalkboard Pots- click here
Backyard Graffiti Art with kids- click here
Happiness Notecards- click here
Gluten Free Rainbow Cake- click here
Fruit Roll-Up Fortune Cookies- click here
Make Your Own Magnets- click here
DIY Painted Clay Necklace- click here
Dixie Cup Lights- click here
DIY Ornaments-click here
Gluten Free Clay- click here
Make Your Own Stamps- click here
Birthday Shirt- click here
Gluten Free Pop Tarts- click here
Front Porch Kid Art Display- click here
Door turned into Table- click here
Summer Wish List Chalkboard-click here
Peanut Butter Nutella Cookie Sandwiches-click here
Painted Mason Jar Vases-click here
Cinco de Mayo Paper Flowers- click here
Earth Day Cupcakes- Click here
Nail Art-click here
Homemade Photo Booth Fun- click here
Fake Bangs- click here
DIY Subway Art- click here
Furniture Painting and Bench/Chest Makeover- click here
Thanksgiving-y Project/Gratitude/Holiday Countdown- click here
The Smoothie-click here
The Free Printable Turned Artwork in a Boring Hallway- click here
The chalk board-click here
Seven Layer Dip in Individual Cups (my favorite so far!)-click here
The pumpkin address-click here
The Kitchen Dancing Sign--click here

Friday, April 22, 2016

Prince & The Soundtrack of Our Lives & What I Know For Sure

I walked into the lobby of the Filmore in Detroit to pay the last installment for our venue (the very cool St. Andrews Hall) for my Listen To Your Mother show (which is just a little over a week away!). 

"Oh my god, the purple bandit is dead," said the woman behind the desk.  "Oh my god."
A photo posted by Angela Youngblood (@jumpingwithmyfingerscrossed) on



On the car ride over, I had read that Prince had died. I felt a bit of shock like this woman.

"I loved him," she said, her eyes wide with disappointment. She asked who we were there to see and then answered her cell phone which had a purple cover on it. "I know, I can't believe it, he's dead," she repeated.

She turned up the Prince song playing on her radio. She walked out from behind the desk and we started dancing to the song together, paying tribute to the "purple bandit." It was surreal and wacky and real and something I'll never forget.

Just like I'll never forget rocking out to Let's Go Crazy in my living room after school and roller skating to Raspberry Beret in my garage and sneaking downstairs to watch the dirty scenes in Purple Rain. Or blasting Baby I'm A Star over and over to get psyched for any big event, it was my go-to song for over a decade. Or wondering what partying in 1999 would be like and then dancing to that song on New Year's Eve 1998. 
A video posted by Kate Hudson (@katehudson) on

Prince was on my concert wish/dream list, I never made it to one. I was a fan, but not mega super fan, have-to-buy-all-of-his-music-fan. For me, Prince and his music were about moments in my life and memories. His death was too. Dancing with a stranger in a lobby in Detroit to a Prince song, I can't even remember which one, honoring music and pop culture and life and sadness and joy and connection--I'll never forget that. 

That whole soundtrack of our lives thing, it's true, music matters. I know that for sure.

Here's what else I know for sure:


  • I love my kids. Duh right? But I really love when they all get along and look out for each other and root for each other. It is just one of the awesome parts of having a big family.
My kids can walk to the store by themselves now. The big ones watch the little ones. They love it and I love them.




(click here to watch the video)


  • I am Team Kelly. I have loved Kelly Ripa since her first day on All My Children and I don't want anyone not treating her with respect. 
What do YOU know for sure this week? Tell me!!!






Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Baseball Games, Recitals, Work Stuff, Oh My!--The Busiest Time Of Year

Last week Tim and I took a deep breath and said "we can do this" while looking at each other with frightened eyes. We were preparing for one of the hardest times of year....the last two months of school. Otherwise known as the busiest, craziest time of year where everyone has an event, a party, a game, a play, a recital, a dinner thing, work events, fundraisers, practices, final exams, track meets, softball games, baseball and baseball and more baseball. Ahhhhhh!

It's a fun time of year but holy shit so busy. Trying to be everywhere and get four kids where they need to be is a challenge. Are we up for it? Not sure. Will we do our best? You better believe it.

JT's baseball season kicked off with a few (ahem, five!) scrimmages over the weekend. I saw part of one (because I was running Lucy to softball and working on work stuff that had deadlines and you know, all the stuff!) and he looked so happy.  

That's the thing, it may be hectic but I feel so grateful that my kids are active and healthy and happy. They just may be a little late to a few practices, games and events because well, there are so many! 

We can do this! And then it's summer and I cannot wait. Woot! Woot!

I took a few pics with my fancy-ish camera at the part of the scrimmage I was able to make it to. Check it out:




The younger sibs hanging in the dug out. 


Friday, April 15, 2016

Sun Is Everything and What I Know For Sure

What do I know for sure this week? That I need sunshine and routines. Last week was our spring break and it suuuuuucked. Sorry to sound like a teenage boy, but it did suck. It was cold and rainy. People were sick. We didn't go anywhere. But this week? People are better, the sun is out and I feel alive again.

I'm even setting up my front porch, which makes me beyond happy.
My beloved porch and my beloved JT 
(in full baseball gear because that's starting too).

My one surviving daffodil 
after the dogs trampled over the others. Spring!!!!!

Alright! Alright! Alright!
(supposed to be read aloud in a Matthew McConaughey voice)

The sun is everything, I know that for sure this week.

Here's what else I know for sure right now:
  • I AM IN LOVE, with SnapChat. Again not to sound like an immature teenager, but you guys it's totally awesome. I am not quite sure what I'm doing yet, but god damn is it good silly fun. Come follow my stories, I'm at angelayblood

  • I'm excited for the show! It's Listen To Your Mother season and my show in Detroit is 3 WEEKS AWAY!!!! Did you get tickets? If you live in metro Detroit or want to fly in for the show, please do it. Click here to buy tickets. It's going to be an amazing day. 

  • This song that has my name is way better than Mick Jagger's version. It's the Lumineers, I love them and I LOVE their whole new album.

(Click here to watch!)


  • My big kids drive me crazy, but I'm also pretty impressed and proud of them. They spoke with me to our church last Sunday about volunteering at a homeless shelter in Detroit. They were awesome. They are awesome. I love them. So I bought them giant Frappucinos at Starbucks afterward. 
Awww Lucy is taking a picture of her drink. Love it!


  • It looks hokey but I still want to see this movie. Love all these people.


(Click here to watch)

What do YOU know for sure right now? Tell me!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Sorry

Last week, while Tim was sick with the flu for days, I painted our bathroom. I also ripped out the old caulk around the tub and replaced it with new caulk. Sure I didn't build a new bathroom or anything, but I was still pretty impressed with what I did. 


Hell yeah, I felt very Helen Reddy I Am Woman in this moment.

When Tim finally got out of bed he wanted to help a little bit, but I wouldn't let him. I wanted to do it. I wanted to start something and actually finish it. I wanted to feel proud of something. Because lately I feel scattered (even more than usual) and well-intentioned but like I'm screwing shit up everywhere.

I feel like it's not enough, like I'm not enough, like there's not enough time, I'm not organized enough. I want to do everything. I want to be a good worker, a good mother, a good wife, a good friend, a good person.  


Most of last week, I was feverishly painting the bathroom a color called Quiet Rain which you better believe I sang Prince's classic "Purple Rain" with my paint color over and over..."Quiet rain, quiiiiiieeeet raaaaaain..." Oh my gosh, even when I'm feeling like a complete failure at everything, I can make myself laugh with my dumb jokes. Thank god.



This is me, mid-song.

Another song I got stuck in my head was Justin Bieber's "Sorry." I sang a few lines over and over and over. I sang it so much it made Tim feel annoyed and slightly lightheaded again so he went back to bed. It was more than an earworm though (you know what an earworm is right, it's a song that gets stuck on replay in your head). It was an anthem. I mean I'm not missing anyone's body like Justin sings about, but I am sorry.


I am sorry for the typos in my last writing assignment. I am sorry for not calling you back. I am sorry for messing up the lunch times. I am sorry for not entering all that data entry for work on a more consistent basis. I am sorry I couldn't stay awake for the movie. I am sorry I ate the entire frozen pizza by myself the other night. I am sorry for having anxiety. I am sorry for not knowing the right things to say or do when a friend is hurting. I am sorry for not volunteering in my kid's class. I am sorry for not following through. I am sorry for being a little cranky. I am sorry for taking myself so seriously. I am sorry for not feeding my kids healthier foods. I am sorry for not paying attention more.


But singing and feeling all sorry mostly made me tired. And maybe that's what I really am. I'm tired of feeling like I'm fucking things up. I know I need to let some of this go and give myself one more shot at forgiveness(ahh it's from the song, I can't stop!). It just piles up sometimes and I find myself singing Justin Bieber songs over and over and over (and quoting them in blog posts) until I've driven everyone I love away. 


When I finally finished the bathroom, I stepped back and sighed with relief and pride. I finished it and it doesn't suck. There are no globs of caulk running down the side of the tub or uneven paint splotches on the walls. It's just a bathroom off the kitchen with peaceful, gray-ish walls that I didn't leave totally messed up. 


I may be sucking at so much right now, but the bathroom is a step in the right direction. A step toward letting go of my guilt and overly high expectations. I'm on my way to picking a new song, a new anthem and a new attitude. Or at least I'm going to try because I believe it's not too late...oh my god that's part of Justin Bieber's song isn't it? Maybe I can't stop singing that song ever and maybe I'm not sorry about that part.


In case you want to sing along, here's THE song:



(click here to watch the video)

And come on this is AMAZING, you've seen this right?

(click here to watch the video)


Friday, April 8, 2016

Spring Break 2016- It Wasn't All Dumb

This past week we were all on spring break--the kids were off school, Tim was off work, I was off work. Even though we didn't have trip planned, it was supposed to be one of the best weeks ever because duh, no school! no work! I. could. not. wait.

But sadly, it was one of the dumbest spring breaks ever. EVER! It snowed. Tim got sick. Wade got sick. One of the dogs had some gross issues. The teenagers were grumpy and moody. It seemed like almost everyone we knew went some place with sun and fun and happiness and posted all the pictures on Facebook just to be mean (I know they weren't really trying to be mean and somewhere deep in my heart I am happy for them, truly happy, but mostly I am bitter and jealous). I danced around all week like a clown trying to get everyone in a good mood. I explained over and over that we didn't need money to have a good time (we have some big doubters in the family!).  And now I'm exhausted and crying just a little bit.


But then I looked back through some of my pictures from this week and realized it wasn't all dumb. There was some joy, there were some smiles and laughs. It wasn't all rosy and happy and goddammit 

I worked hard for those smiles and I'm going to hold onto those memories. Not the dumb ones. And next year, I'm going someplace warm.



Bowling = cheap fun. (I promise Peyton had a little fun.)



I love old school arcade games. The kids were a little confused, but I loved them.


Lucy had enough of us. Lol.

The sun was out for a minute and the kids were wrestling like animals on the trampoline. Whatever.


Awww, isn't that a sweet face? Lol. I saw this face a lot. He was SO OVER IT (most of the week).


Lucy having a little fun on the most uncolorful nature walk ever (everything is so brown).



I had to search for the green.





Too cold for baseball practice but Wade still wore his batting gloves everywhere....even when coloring.

Tim finally got out of his sick bed to do laundry. Best spring break ever. lol.

It was snowing lightly and freezing, but we really wanted to play softball/baseball.