Monday, February 25, 2013

What Forbes Doesn't Know

Last week, we Rockfordians, had the pleasure of seeing Forbes latest list hit the internet news stands of the 20 Most Miserable Cities in America .

Our city, the one we call home, sweet, home, was listed at #3. Ouch. Well, not really though.

As a recent boomeranger to my hometown, seeing Rockford ranked in the top 3 of the so called "most miserable cities" made my heart sink for approximately 30 seconds and then I moved on with my day.

This Rockfordian recently migrated back after living in a city that is always ranked in the top 5 of most beautiful, most charming, most attractive people, most young professionals, etc... Our stuff doesn't stink in Charleston, if you know what I mean. We're envied by many and we're where people save up their hard earned dollars to vacation and get away from their miserable cities, I would imagine.

That being said, Forbes doesn't know a few things that I do.

What Forbes doesn't tell you is that our real estate prices are insanely awesome. My hubby and I are house hunting and I'm like a kid in a candy store. We've looked at some gorgeous homes, some even in the 4,000 sq foot range for a quarter of the price (if that) that I would've been asked to pay elsewhere. It's amazing and 100% the opposite of miserable.

What Forbes also doesn't tell you is that many of our residential areas are still filled with ample land (real, green, kick your shoes off grass), trees, and wildlife that I would've had to travel to a state park to see elsewhere. I've been back for 8 months now and I still LOVE driving down the roads here and seeing so many wooded areas, parks, and subdivisions that don't look like a cookie cutter explosion. The hubs and I get to live on almost 2 acres of partially wooded land in the middle of the city, and we actually have horses just a few houses down from us. Horses and barns and silos amongst the neighborhoods. Ahhh, can you smell the fresh air yet?

What Forbes has actually told you somewhat correctly is that we do have an unemployment problem in Rockford. What I believe to be a truer statement is that we have an education problem. Without a culture of education and higher education, the attainment of the right job is almost impossible. However, what Forbes doesn't know is that there are many people here working to fix this issue. You have to start somewhere and they've certainly started.

Are there miserable people here, sure. There are miserable people everywhere and sadly, they're often the more vocal of the bunch. However, are there many more people here that aren't miserable? I'd have to believe so.

Am I personally miserable? Far from it. I love eating my way through the amazing restaurants here that could stand up next to the restaurants in Charleston that I have put high upon a pedestal. I love seeing so much green grass, so many rivers, snowflakes, along with good people who work hard just like anyone else does in any city, albeit most beautiful or so called "most miserable".

Your city is what you make of it, and not what Forbes thinks about it.

Honestly, Forbes should've asked me, the girl who left the south kicking and screaming to move back to Rockford slightly against her will. I would've told them straight up, "It's not as bad as you think, my Forbes friends. Actually, it's kind of awesome, even if I'm eating my own words from 10 months ago."

Monday, February 18, 2013

I Wanna Be in the Show!

I have nothing fancy to say today. Nothing of great humor, sarcasm, or wit to share with you. But what I do have, my friends, is a little ditty to get your remaining Monday hours kicked into high gear. Thanks to my motivators a la LoverBoy circa 1981.

Shut your office door, unless of course you want a massive dance party to erupt, turn up that speaker volume and let's work it for the weekend together!

I don't know why I love this song so much, but I always have. When he so confidently asks "you wanna be in the show? C'mon baby let's gooooooooo!" I get so pumped! I don't know what the show entails, but I want to be a part of it. Count me in! I'm so joining this show. Every. Single. Time. Even on a dreary Monday.

So give it a listen with a little volume. You know you want to.

C'mon baby let's gooooooooooo!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valetine's to the Loves of My Life...

To my hubby who has known me for over a decade and has yet to run away while holding scissors. Thank you for loving me through think and thin, ups and downs, happiness and frustration, house floods and snow storms, the occasional acne and bad hair days (okay, not so "occasional" on the hair), and everything else that life sends our way. I love you deeply and am glad that you're mine.

To my parents and brother who pretty much have to love me, but never make it look like a job or obligation. I'm the luckiest girl in the world to have you all. You've shaped me into the person I am today (on my good days, of course;) and you make me so very proud to be a Meyers. I love you for being some of the best examples in my life, while also being some of the funniest yahoos in it as well.

To my sweet, little Piggy who wakes me up multiple times every night now. I love more than there are words to explain it. You're my child and my full bodied tall wagger after a long day. Thank you for mama's sweet flowers and chocolates:) I can't believe you drove all the way to the Lil Chocolatier just for little ole me. You and your daddy are my best friends.

To my girlfriends who are way prettier than a collective group of women should be. I love you for being you, and for allowing me to do life with you, even when we're 1,000 miles away or just right down the street in Rockford. I cannot wait to celebrate new marriages, new babies, and new memories with you. I hope you're mine always.

To fountain cokes, funyons, yellow cake with butter cream frosting, McGriddles, Downton Abbey, and Pandora radio while I'm working- I heart you. For like ever.

Happy Valentine's Day! If you haven't hugged someone yet today, get on it. You never know who might be dying to hear that they're thought about this day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Life Lessons from The Bachelor II

It's no secret that a few contestants on my not so guilty pleasure, The Bachelor, tend to lean a little towards lunatic every season, but I do believe that season 17 is bringing some real heat when it comes to the crazy meter.

This week I have only one, very important life lesson from my beloved Bachelor episode in St. Croix and it is that Tierra must die, I mean, get her sparkle beaten out of her,  I mean, go into hiding for about 6 months until every woman over 32 cools off. No joke, girlie. Run.

This week, we watched Tierra's eyebrow fend for itself with a pretty rude and ignorant slam against anyone who is single in their early 30's. Spoken like a true 24 year old. I get it, I really do...ssomewhat.

I, too, thought at the ripe old and very wise age of 24 that I'd be married very shortly, have my first child at 26 and the second and last at 28. Ha! Give me a second while I finish belly laughing which will most likely turn into a silent, ugly cry into my Merlot.

In all seriousness, I literally shuddered when her words "When I’m 32, I want to be married with kids and have my life set. Why hasn’t she found somebody who she can settle down with?? I’m like, you’re 32 years old??” Oh, sweet, crazy, sparkly Tierra. Do you really think it's that easy? Do you really think the universe looks at every woman and says "Oh, you're 26?? Poof. Here's the love of your life. And don't worry, he will never dull your sparkle." No. It surely does not. Not even close.

I truly think ABC might need to consider a relocation program for Tierra stat until all of her so called "cougars" take a few, short deep breathes. And eyebrow reconstruction might not be a bad idea either, because let's face it, we'd all know that brow anywhere. Even if it's hiding out in the hills of Appalachia for protection.

So, Tierra, my life lesson for you is this: If it were that easy to find the right person to "settle down" with, this world would be a much different place. It'd look like Valentine's Day every day, birds would be chirping Journey ballads all Disney-like while tying pretty bows on every relationship, and every 32 year old would have 2.5 children, a dog, and a swagger wagon. BUT, because most of us live in the real world where emotions can't be worn on your face like a terrifying eyebrow at all hours of the day, it does take some people a little longer to find the one whom their soul loves. And there's nothing wrong with that. I like to think I still have my "sparkle" and I got married at 33. Gasp.

I'm sorry you had to be sent home in a mini-van from the gorgeous island of St. Croix, but I do hope that you took the time in said van to consider what could have possibly gone wrong. Treating everyone with respect, and not just respecting men, might do wonders for you. I think you'll soon learn that guys are going to come and go in your 20's, but the true loves of your life and the ones that you "settle down" with during some of the harder times are your girlfriends. Value your female relationships; they are the ones that help get you through your 20's. Trust me.

In closing, I'd love to see a follow-up show on you at 32. I'd love to see where you are and I hope for your sake that you're happily married. I do not hope however that your brow will reappear on the next season of the Bachelor Pad. Yet again, I shudder at the thought.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Breath of Fresh Air

As a fan of all things blog world related, I very happily stumbled across the very rare man blog today.
Honestly, I don't know that I've really seen any man blogs out there that don't even business posts, movie reviews, etc... So to tumble across a blogger gem that discusses love and marriage by a non-professional love guru was a shock and a breath of fresh air!

In the blog,, this groom discusses his personal thoughts on the use of social media in a marriage, how to make your wife feel loved and special when everything in our lives tend to compete for that attention, making time for dating each other, being each other's biggest fan, etc... 

I won't bore with you any more of my details on a dude's blog about life, love and winning your wife back, when I think his words would mean a heck of a lot more. If you have the time, click on the link above and check him out.

In a society where marriage is becoming as endangered as our beloved bald eagle, we could use a few more men like him to stand up, declare blogging as not just a woman's world, and take a proactive stance on not just keeping his marriage together, but making his wife an object of his adoration and attention.

Isn't that what we all want, anyway?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A 911 Call Story

Let me preface this story with a few tidbits about our hometown. It's a great city, even more so than I give it credit for at times. With that being said, we have had a recent spike in crime and especially home invasions over the last few months. I'll admit that when I hear car doors shut at the church across the street from our home after hours, my heart races a bit until I realize that it's just one of the Zumba junkies arriving for their 5:00 am class. And seriously, who does Zumba at 5am? Anyway, I digress...

This story begins with my little younger brother cleaning the snow off his car in the driveway at 5ish in the morning as he heads for work. It's dark, it's early (or way late depending on how you look at it), and it's freezing. As he's cleaning the car, a large, older model SUV with tinted windwos pulls up and stops in front of my parent's home. No one gets out, but the dome light comes on and my brother can see 3+ men in the vehicle. One man takes a long swig out of what appears to be a liquor bottle. And then...the ski mask comes on. Ski masks, y'all!

What does my 6'2 bean pole of a brother do? He quickly opens the garage with the key pad, literally slides under the door as it's only a few feet open at this point, shuts it back down and locks it. He then runs into my parents room, where they peacefully sleep, and frantically tells them that "some kids might be coming in a minute" and urges them to be ready. Can you imagine? If Tim woke me to "some men/some kids might be coming inside in a minute" I can guarantee you that I would pee the bed. On the spot. While crying because I just peed my pants and because I'm terrified.

Both my dad and my brother lock all the doors, my brother starts pumping his BB gun, as that's about all we have in terms of weapons, and decides to call 911. My mom relays this portion of the story, because she's disoriented, confused, and now watching my brother run between the various windows in their home, while pumping the BB gun like a mad man about to protect his earthly possession, all while giving a play by play to the 911 operator.

Brother: "They're getting out of the car now. Oh man, they have shovels!" As he's thinking to himself, they can cause some damage with those if they come in here.
911 Operator: "What are they doing now?"
Brother: "They're acting like they're shoveling! They're acting like they're shoveling!"

As we get to this point in the story, my mom is now belly laughing and breaks in "they ARE shoveling".

What started as a potential home invasion 911 call ends as the non eventful shoveling crew reporting to work. These yahoos in ski masks, apparently hired by the neighborhood to shovel the walkways, were not there to steal, kill and destroy. They were there to shovel. Not to act like they were shoveling, but to truly shovel.

Moral of this amazing story, that is way funnier when my family tells it first hand, is this:
1. Shoveling crews usually arrive in marked vehicles, not pedophile like SUVs. I can see why this would be odd that early in the am.
2. Apparently if you're a professional shoveler you might take a swig of Whiskey to warm your insides before pulling on your ski mask and braving the IL winter.
3. Visualizing my very tall and lanky 30 year old brother dive and slide under the garage door still makes me laugh out loud when I think about it. I wish we could know what the burglars shovelers thought of this man diving under the garage door!
4. If you wake me in the middle of the night with a possible intruder, throw me some TP, fresh PJs and a BB gun.

I bet that 911 operator had a fun story to share with her family over the dinner table that night. I know I thoroughly enjoyed it!