• Confessions,  I'm Apparently Old.,  UGH.

    Mr. Sandman, Bring Me A Dream. PLEASE.

    Take a look at this, an arrangement of just a few of the products that are involved in my pre-bedtime routine. It wasn’t always this way, my having to bring in reinforcements. Way, way back when I was in my twenties, I could brush my teeth, use the bathroom, get into bed, snuggle up to Jim, pull the covers up to my chin (I always loved being cozy under the blankets!) and fall asleep nearly immediately. I’d stay asleep until morning and even if I “only” got seven hours, I felt so well rested! These days, in my midtolate forties (to me, forty-six is not mid- and not late-; it’s…

  • Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?,  I'm Apparently Old.,  UGH.

    Sometimes It’s Best To Let Other People Make The Decisions, No Matter The Outcome.

    I’m easily stressed. This is not news to most of you. It’s mostly because I’m a worrier. And a perfectionist. And…well, need I go on? When I find myself in the middle of a stress spiral as I am this week—for many reasons, all of which have been resolved/finished/taken care of—the part of my brain that normally makes decisions easily just…shuts down. “What do you want for dinner, Melisa?” “I don’t know. I can’t even think about that right now.” “Okay, do you want salad, or how about grilled chicken? Or burgers?” “I don’t know. I don’t care. You pick.” Like THAT. I am also a life-long nail biter, which…

  • Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?,  Family Fun,  I'm Apparently Old.,  My Kid Has Mad Skillz,  Queen of Denial

    Six Of One, Half Dozen Of The Other

    I have always been very proud of the way I can remember things. From dates to pop culture factoids to details about all kinds of things, remembering is one of my greatest skills. Well, it was. As I’ve grown older (and frankly, more dependent on Google Calendar), my memory bank is shutting down a little more often than it used to. I like to justify it by saying that since I’m older I have more information that has to be held in there and so it’s only natural that some of the little things would fall through the cracks, but I don’t necessarily believe that. It’s just my way of…

  • Amazing People,  Best Thing Ever,  Blessings,  I'm Apparently Old.,  My Kid Has Mad Skillz,  Proud Moments

    A Simple Birthday Message

    For J, who turns nineteen today… I knew I wanted to write a post on your birthday, but I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to say. I kind of wanted to say that I can’t believe you are nineteen already but that, although true, sounds overdone. I definitely wanted to write about how I have just one more year of saying I have a teenaged kid, but that’s stating the obvious… I was going to write that I am so proud of the young man you have become. You’re a caring, thoughtful, and responsible person, and I couldn’t ask for any more than that. You care about your school…

  • Childhood Memories,  Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?,  I'm Apparently Old.,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    TV Or Not TV? That Is The Question.

    It is not an understatement to say that television has been a major presence in my life. I’m convinced that the reason why my skin is so fair is because as a little kid I was much happier sitting in front of the TV than I was outside in the fresh air and sunshine. It’s also probably part of the reason why I was reading at a third grade level in Kindergarten, because “Sesame Street” and “The Electric Company”. It’s also probably why I never could perform a proper cartwheel. During the 1970s my TV habit grew, and this was BEFORE CABLE, kids. We had the rabbit ear antenna attached…

  • I'm Apparently Old.,  Proud Moments

    You’re Welcome.

    I know I have a few “long-time, since-the-beginning” readers of Suburban Scrawl out there, and I figured that–on this very special weekend for our family–you might as well feel old like I do. You know, since you’ve been around. When I started blogging here at Suburban Scrawl in 2007, my younger son was twelve years old and in the sixth grade. Today, he is eighteen and a high school graduate. Who wants to go grab some dinner? I hear they have pretty good early-bird specials at 4:30. Then we can watch the news and head to bed early. (Also, thanks–TO ALL OF YOU–for reading and following my family’s adventures.)

  • Confessions,  I'm Apparently Old.,  Proud Moments

    The Post That’s Not About How Time Flies, Even Though It Does

    I have written many times about how quickly time flies. That’s not what this post is about, though I can’t write about life’s milestones from my perspective as a forty-something mom of an eighteen-year-old and a nearly-twenty-one-year-old without inadvertently injecting a little bit of that sentiment. I mean, at this very moment in this very house we’re preparing for the fact that the kid in this picture, the one on the right who it seems was just starting preschool yesterday, is graduating from high school this Sunday. This being our second time around the block with this graduation business and his being a different kid, I’m not at all surprised…

  • Childhood Memories,  I'm Apparently Old.


    For the better part of the 70s, my family lived in a duplex in the south suburbs of Chicago. I remember lots of moments from the carefree years spent there: I had a very happy childhood and thinking back on those days always makes me smile. I don’t know if the neighborhood was “full of kids”, though I had several good friends who lived practically within arms’ reach. One of my best friends at the time lived a few doors down, one lived in the other half of our duplex, and two others lived in the two duplexes behind us, across an expansive lawn that ran behind the houses like…

  • Fun in Chicago,  I'm Apparently Old.

    I Was Here First.

    This conversation actually happened at the base of the Marina City towers (my lifelong dream home) over the weekend: D: I would love to live here. Me: I would love to live here. I have wanted to live here since I was a kid. D: Well, you’ve only wanted to live here longer than me because you’re… Me: Because I’m…OLDER???? *rolling eyes* I KNOW. I’m older. I was here first. D: Anyway, I want to live here. Me: Sigh.

  • I'm Apparently Old.,  Random Thoughts,  Reflections on Parenting

    The Other Side

    I had just turned eighteen the month before Jim and I were married. When I moved to Norfolk, Virginia–where he was stationed for sea duty–we rented a townhouse off of the Naval base in a military family-only subdivision. That neighborhood proved to be something wonderful for me, a much-younger-than-average new bride whose husband would be going out to sea for weeks and months at a time. In the first four years we were married, he was gone for more than two-and-a-half years. It was okay, though. Even though it was difficult to be apart at the time (this was before cell phones and internet!), my being left at home alone…