That Time My Page Got Kicked Offa Facebook, And Made Me Thankful For Google Photos, ALMOST!

I received a notification from Facebook recently, letting me know that...HEY!!!...we're going to delete this page you created, forever ago...because WE ARE FACEBOOK...and whatever Facebook wants, FACEBOOK GETS, right?!?! At first, I was all...meh, there hasn't been any activity on this particular page since 2010...and A LOT has happened, since then...soooo, who cares...g'head, deeeeeeleeeeeete it!!! And then, the logical more smarter part of my brain kicked in (yes, it DOES exist!) and something inside me said....hey, DUMBASS!!!....maybe you should click on over and see what got Facebook all...WE'RE KICKING YOUR PAGE OFFA FACEBOOK...you know...just in case.

Glen_2010
Hey look! The year I let my son color the top of his head blue, because it's funny to think that he's halfway through boot camp now, but I am and always will be THAT mom!

OMG! I totally forgot about TFH Photoblog - started in 2009, when photo journals were ALL the rage (and Facebook was still a toddler), using the BESTEST, AWESOMEST, I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S NOT BUTTER, not to mention, ABSOLUTELY FRIGALICIOUS camera...EVUH!!!...gifted to us from GarthNHRN...back when people still used cameras and...you know...we actually had spending money.

Riptide
I called this one, Riptide -- dang, that was pretty clever of me (WAS SO!) 

I then remembered about Google photos and...HEY!!!...there is a whole BUNCH of stuff backed-up and stored over there, too...in fact, there's quite a few my kids would NEVER appreciate my posting...as much as I do...RIGHT NOW!!!

Girls Room 1 Girls Room 2
Like that one time...in 2013...when we repainted the girls' room and it was SUPER-clean...for about a week...ahhhhhhh...THOSE were the good old daze, my friends!!!

Jim Craig and Me
1980 U.S. Hockey Olympic Gold Medalist Jim Craig and...ummmmm...well, you know, I don't know who THAT weirdo standing next to him is, sheesh, what a dork!

Oh, and that time I met MY teenage crush, Jim Craig...look it up, youngsters...which brings to mind ALL of the awesome opportunities and partnerships I've worked towards, as a blogger, since the beginning of time...including my current full-time job...thanks to this here blip in the blogosphere...BUT...I still look good, DANGIT!!!

Doofy
The last time Doofus visited with my parents, to help celebrate my Dad's birthday last year, because he was SUCH a good dog, we miss you, Doofy!

And then there are photos that pull at my heart strings...LIKE A VIRTUAL TUG OF WAR...because who knew these little moments would one day bring on HUGE feelings of joy and gratitude, ALL THE FEELS, captured in one photograph.

I think it's also NO small coincidence that today happens to be Throwback Thursday, weird, right?!? RIGHT?!? Riiiiiiiight. And just think, if it wasn't for Facebook YELLING AT ME, on a Throwback Thursday, I maybe would've missed this opportunity to stop, drop, and scroll through a decade's worth of This Full House. All the feels. ALL OF THEM!

Because one day...not too far into the distant future...these kids will have kids of their own and...well...my extremely-spoiled grandchildren (by me, of course!) will thank their [insert some really cool and hip grandparent-like term of endearment, I haven't come up with yet, here] for giving them the opportunity to get to know what their parents were really like...when they were annoying...I mean...tweens and teens...BUT NOT JUST YET!!!

In the meantime, if anyone needs me, I'll be sitting here watching this video I found of Glen, taken during one of our family hikes this past Spring, when he tried to walk on slightly frozen water -- it's been 7 weeks since he left, it's hard to believe he's already halfway through boot camp -- I imagine he'll think worrying about getting his sneakers wet lame now, because Marines, OOHRAH!!

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Finding OUR Waldo

Our son signed up to become a Marine, at the beginning of his senior year of high school, through their early enlistment program, which means we've had almost a full year to prepare for Glen's departure – although it seems like yesterday I grounded him until boot camp

19399266_1462569090429974_1231236675346829445_n
Glen's recruiter, at Glen's high school graduation

And we played out each day, with a little more reverence for military families, while trying to better understand and appreciate our son's life-long dream of serving in the military was going to happen, whether WE were ready or not.

Still. I personally found myself feeling greedy and becoming even a bit needy – asking him to help me with the food shopping, or convincing him...why, YES!!!...I would feel MUCH better, if he would join me in an early evening walk...growing greedier and needier, every step of the way.

Thisfullhouse2017
Our "group graduation gift" to Glen was a weekend family getaway to D.C.

On the day he shipped out, the six of us set our alarms for 3:00 a.m. and spent the next 90 minutes waiting for Glen's recruiter to arrive at the house – it was one of the worst and best mornings of my life.

The girls and I sat around the kitchen table, all bleary-eyed from cry-laughing, while Glen and his Dad tested each other's endurance for dead arm punches and purple nurples, because boyzzzzzz will be boyzzzzzz.

Sunrise
Saying goodbye to Glen was hard - heralding a new beginning for our Son, by welcoming the sun, not so much.

The girls suggested we go to the beach to watch the sun rise, in an attempt to distract us from all the, well, you know.

If you were to ask me to describe what it was like watching Glen walk out the front door...knowing we wouldn't be able to see or speak with him...I mean, no phone calls, no emails, no Skype, no texts...nothing more than an occasional snail mail...for the next 13 weeks...well, it's sort of like me asking you to hold your breath...for as long as you can...and then punching you in the gut.

Mailbox
First letter has been written and is on its way to boot camp!!!

Every day, my husband lets me be the first to check the mailbox, hoping TODAY will be the day we hear from Glen – nope.

It's been 12 days and, although we've received word from his DI (drill instructor) that he's doing fine, no letter from Glen, but it's okay, he's sort of busy, I guess.

My husband and I have joined a couple of Facebook groups in support of parents and family members who have recruits attending the same boot camp as Glen. Here's the really cool part – every week, the parents attending boot camp graduation take photos of other recruits training around the camp and, as a courtesy to new military parents, post these photos to the Facebook group, hoping we'll catch a glimpse of our recruit, with captions like, "Find Your Waldo!" and "More Waldos!

Waldo Sighting First
w, that first kid in line is REAL tall...heyyyyy...wait a minute...there's no mistaking that cleft chin and those flared Thompson nostrils...OMG!!!...that's MY kid!!!

We've found four additional sightings, this week!!! And we'll probably continue spending every evening, scrolling through thousands of photos, and texting each other...this sort of looks like him, yes?!?...for the next 11 weeks...and then it'll be OUR turn to pay it forward and help other parents find their Waldos...because that's what you do for family...besides, what's another kid or eleventy-hundred, right?!?!

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

What's That Smell?

If you were to ask me, as a parent of older kids, "What do you believe has been the MOST effective aspect of your parenting style?" I would need to be allowed some time (at least 48 hours) to be able to verbalize a coherent answer...BECAUSE TEENAGERS...and then...after thinking about it for 72 hours more...I would have to say...HUMOR!

What I've lost in patience, my funny bone has grown exponentially, over the years, but NOT as much as my improper grammar usage <---- although, I nailed this run-on sentence (the misplaced modifier was unintentional) and my over use of comma splice is stellar, yo!

Grammar
Yesterday, our oldest had a doctor's appointment to discuss an issue that could've been much MUCH scarier (turns out, it's not as serious as we first thought, THANK GAWD!) and she asked me if I would go with her...you know...for moral support, because (raising four kids, and all four of their grandparents now dealing with a plethora of health issues, as well) I'm good with waiting room banter.

"Phew, what's that smell?"

Although I was asking the wrong person, because our oldest daughter has a terrible sense of smell, I really didn't need any validation -- hello, my name is Liz and have you seen the SIZE of my nose?

A few minutes pass, and my daughter is doing her best to pacify my insisting the whole room MUST smell what I'm smelling!

 "THERE! You smell it now?"

I also have a bad habit of thinking out loud.

"I don't smell anything."

Now, I'm beginning to doubt myself, because the smell sort of comes in waves. I start stealthily sniffing myself. Nope, not me.

"Honestly, it smells like poop!"

I begin to look around the waiting room that is now filled with soon-to-be Moms, remembering how everything smelled absolutely awful when I was pregnant, I mean they HAVE to smell what I'm smelling!

"Maybe it's just my imagination."

THERE IT IS, AGAIN!

"Okay, you guys HAVE to smell that!"

[sound of crickets, chirping]

Clearly, these poor women are not accustomed to waiting room banter, but a couple of trips to the pediatrician should ease them into it, nicely.

Or maybe I need to add "phantosmia" to my ever-growing list of weird crap my body has been going through, literally, lately?

OH WAIT, then I remembered the woman who walked by us with her little boy to use the bathroom.

"I'm going to go check the bathroom."

AH-HAH!

I walked up to where the receptionist was sitting, knocked on her window and whispered, "Someone left a soiled diaper in the bathroom," to which EVERYONE chimed in:

  • So, THAT'S what that smell was!
  • Ohhhhhh man, NOW I SMELL IT!
  • I was trying to breath through my mouth!
  • Smells like that kid has a healthy appetite!

And my favorite, being:

  • "OMG! I thought maybe it was "our" imagination."

Moral of the Story: Never underestimate the power of our olfactory receptors, because we Moms are bound to become the collective brain trust of bad smells!

[sound of crickets, choking]

Stupid nose, dumbass diapers.

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Desperately Seeking Adultier Adults, Since 2003!

I've been blogging for a while -- like the equivalent of a Jurassic period of time, in Internet years -- and man have things changed since those early days of dialing in and waiting more than a nano-second for your modem to connect, I could:

  • Clean up breakfast
  • Take a shower
  • Or not
  • And then eat MY breakfast, for lunch

And I'd still have time to pick my two oldest up from pre-school, before FINALLY getting online!

via GIPHY

For my first blog post of 2017, however, I'm going to attempt to do what I've done for the last 13 years -- THIRTEEN years, that's a WHOLE teenager, you guys! --  I'm going to continue to share stuff that will hopefully help OTHER folks feel WAY better about themselves.

via GIPHY

Because adulting is hard, right?!?! Not to mention, when you're already sharing valuable head space with other adults, successfully adulting adultier adults, RIGHT?!?! 

[passes remote control, hugs throw pillow a little tighter]

Riiiiiiiiiight.

[cracks knuckles, blows side bangs out of eyes]

You've heard of Pregnancy Brain, right?!? How about Mommy Brain, or maybe Momnesia?!? Yep, I feel it pretty safe to say we've each experienced bouts of forgetfulness; however, did you know that the severity of these bouts increases exponentially by the number of kids you have living in your house, at the time?!? For example:

  • Kid #1: Note to self -- remember to order multiple copies of school pics, one for each season, because...OMG!...soooooo cute!
  • Kid #2: Note to self -- maybe order the Spring pics only, because...well...they've GROWN SO MUCH since September...and they seemed to have gotten a little more pricey (the pics AND the kids) and the Spring pics really DO have the prettiest backgrounds.
  • Kid #3: DAYUM, SCHOOL PICS ARE 'SPENSIVE!!!
  • Kid #4: Wait, what grade are you in, again?!?!

So, today I remembered to order Glen's (a.k.a. Kid #3) senior photos.

Glen As A Senior, I think
Glen's senior pic, I think!

Because I just found the reminder (hiding on top of the printer, with the rest of the incoming mail) and we're late (with ordering pics, not like late late, because NO MORE PREGNANCY BRAIN FOR ME!), we're 2 months past the DEADLINE, but I felt ZERO guilt when hearing my husband on the phone with the studio, because DAYUM SCHOOL PICS ARE 'SPENSIVE!

Garth(NHRN): I paid them the balance and they're going to mail the pics to us!

[blank stare]

Me: Great, and if the grandparents happen to ask about them in a couple of months, I'll know EXACTLY where to look!

Long story, short: I'm sorry to have to tell you that adulting does NOT get any easier, especially when adulting adult and almost-adult kids, BUT you DO become more forgiving, especially with yourself, so there's that!

On the other hand: Don't let someone make you feel like you're not doing this whole adult thing right, because THEIR KIDS will probably grow up to believe they've been doing it ALL wrong too, anyway -- YOU'RE WELCOME!!!

On the OTHER other hand: My kids feel real lucky whenever I do get their names right AND thank goodness Kid #4 has made it to her sophomore year...in one piece...or at least, I'm pretty sure she's a sophomore...ahem.

[sound of crickets, chirping]

Stupid school photos, dumbass adulting.

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Yes, My Daughter And I Love Kinky Boots And OMG, TODRICK HALL!

I was excited to have been invited to attend an evening performance of Kinky Boots The Musical on Broadway last week, and absolutely thrilled about my being allowed to bring a guest, so I asked my 15-year old if she would like to join me, you know, for a Mother/Daughter Broadway date, or something.

Todrick-Hall-as-Lola-in-Kinky-Boots-2-cJenny-Anderson
Todrick Hall (c)Matthew Murphy

OMG!!!...was her response, followed by...TODRICK HALL!!!...and then...OMG, TODRICK HALL!!!...and this is about the time I started to feel really, really excited about these tickets...beeeeecause...OMG, 15-YEAR OLDS ALMOST NEVER SMILE...and...OMG, MY 15-YEAR OLD CANNOT STOP SMILING!!! 

 

Rainstorm or nah, #KinkyBoots here we come! #motherdaughtergoals

A photo posted by Liz Thompson (@thisfullhouse) on

So, whose idea was Kinky Boots, and why should EVERY teenager (and future parents of teenagers) see it?

Aaron-C-Finley-Todrick-Hall-and-Cast-2cMatthew-Murphy
The cast of Kinky Boots (c)Matthew Murphy

I'll be totally honest with you, not having read the book (written by Harvey Fierstein) and never having seen the British movie (inspired by true events, which were broadcast in a British television documentary in 1999), I was a bit nervous about the story line, because...you know...kinky boots. So, I did what EVERY parent of most teenagers would do -- I hit up Google. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there is a fascinating human story behind those red and awesomely-glittery kinky boots...not to mention, the music and lyrics were written by...OMG, CYNDI LAUPER!!! 

Aaron-C-Finley-Todrick-Hall-and-Cast-cMatthew-Murphy
The cast of Kinky Boots (c)Matthew Murph

In Kinky Boots, Charlie Price (at the time of our showing, Aaron C. Finley) reluctantly takes over his family’s failing shoe factory in Northern England, following the sudden death of his father. Help comes from the unlikeliest angel, a fabulous drag performer named Lola (OMG!...TODRICK HALL!). Together, this improbable duo not only revitalizes the nearly bankrupt business, but helps one another grow into the men their fathers always dreamed their sons would become and transforms an entire community through the power of acceptance.

Todrick-Hall-and-Angels-cMatthew-Murphy
Todrick Hall and the Angels (c)Matthew Murphy

I was raised on Broadway show tunes, and so were my kids -- I feel it safe to say all four can name (and sing) quite a few family-favorites, in 5 notes or less -- and the choreography behind Kinky Boots was indeed stellar, it did NOT disappoint, plenty of Broadway glitz and glam for everyone!

Haven-Burton-cMatthew-Murphy-email
Haven Burton (c)Matthew Murphy

HOWEVER, my friends, here's the thing. The thing is, Kinky Boots is more than just a Broadway show...it's a lesson in humanity, this show has a HUGE heart, plain and simple. I found myself SO WRAPPED UP in the story line, I mean, the characters were SO VERY relatable, I felt as if I knew each and every one of these people, for real -- Haven Burton, who played Lauren, had me snort-laughing, I wanted to be her new BFF, throughout the show. 

Todrick-Hall-cMatthew-Murphy

Todrick Hall (c)Matthew Murphy

I kept looking over at my 15 year-old, to see if she was enjoying herself, but her face was blank (just so you know, 15 year-olds excel at blank-face), and then I basically sobbed through Todrick Hall's entire solo performance of Hold Me In Your Heart -- this song speaks to ANYONE who's ever struggled with acceptance (raises hand), or who's fighting with forgiveness (raises other hand), and this is where I decided that...YES!!!...Todrick Hall is absolutely BRILLIANT!

The best part of the evening? Thanks to my friend, Holly (who also invited us to the show and is responsible for this magical experience -- thank you, Holly!) who pointed out the stage door and suggested Hope and I make time to wait and see if we could get an autograph (and possibly a photograph) from Todrick Hall.

 

I look kinda rough in this but i met Todrick Hall yesterday!!! Kinky Boots was such an amazing show spreading the idea of just be yourself and dont care what other people think. Now for the sentimental part: Todrick Hall has been my idol for years now. Todrick was the person who taught me to be myself and to stop caring what people thought and to not be afraid to be unique and different. He signed my playbill and smiled at me and looked in my eyes when talking and put his arm around me for the picture!! I got ten steps away and had to go to the side wall cuz i was shaking and hyperventilating from just meeting my role model and idol 😂 not gonna lie i cried when i got home and im still trying to wrap my head around meeting him and just oh my god last night was the happiest and best day ever! Walking ten blocks from penn to broadway in the pouring rain was so worth it! #kinkyboots

A photo posted by Hope Anne Thompson (@hopeannne) on

And I would walk another ten city blocks...in the pouring rain...wearing a pair of kinky boots...just to see my 15-year old smile...not to mention, my having been a part of her happiest and best day...EVER!!!

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Here's the really best part, we get to share our love of Kinky Boots and offer a special discount code to you (yes, YOU!) you should really go see it:

Save up to 40% on select performances through 2/12/17!
 
Visit kinkybootsthemusical.com and use code BOOTS3
 
OFFER DETAILS:
Mon, Tues, Thurs performances through 2/12/17
$87*
Select Orch/Front Mezzanine
(Reg. $99-117)
 
$45*
Rear Mezzanine 
(Reg. $79-$97)

Friday, Sat, & Sun performances through 2/12/17
$107*
Select Orch/Front Mezzanine
(Reg. $109-$147)
 
$75*
Rear Mezzanine
(Reg. $79-$97)

Conditions:

Offer valid on select seats. Blackout dates may apply. Offer valid for all performances now through 2/12//17. This offer cannot be combined with any other discount and is not applicable to previously purchased tickets. Regular Prices $55-$147. Limit 8 tickets per order. All sales are final. No refunds or exchanges. Offer subject to availability and includes a $2.00 facility fee. Normal phone and Internet service charges apply. Offer may be modified or revoked at any time without notice. 
And please, for the love of all things red and sparkly, take a moment to check out the True Colors Fund, because creating a world in which young people can be their true selves is totally worth a minute...or twenty...thank you!
 
Disclosure: I received two tickets to see Kinky Boots. No other consideration or payment was received for this blog post.
© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.