Favorite Board Games for the Elementary Ages (and even younger)

I have a confession to make. I love board games and games in general. I love the simplicity of gathering together as family and playing games, no technology needed. The stories are given freedom to be told, creating a family history, the character is given opportunity to develop (win gracefully and lose graciously? hm???). Because I have this obsession with board games, we have {gulp} two full cabinets of games in our not-so-large house. I’d call it a hoarding problem, but since they are games we use, I’m not going there!

 

However, over the years I have also encountered some flops on the board game selection process. In an effort to steer you away from the ones my kids have loathed, here is my list of our family’s Favorite Board Games (we currently have kids aged 11, 10, 7, and 4… so this is the list that has worked well for us so far!):

 

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means if you purchase any of these recommendations from Amazon by linking through this blog post, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

 

  1. Apples to Apples: Big Picture. This is the game our kids begged to take on our holiday travels this year. We’ve been successfully playing it for three years now, which means our age range is from 2 years+. You do need to have a reading child to read the adjective on the card, but the playing pieces are just funny photos that you try to match to the adjective. It’s hilarious and the photos are really funny as well. I was thrilled to find something even our youngest could enjoy!
  2. Tenzi. I know this sounds extremely boring: get all 10 die onto the same number before anyone else. “How boring is that?” you ask. Well, if that’s all you do, I suppose it would get old quickly (although it takes more concentration than you’d assume to get TEN of those little six-sided fiendish playing pieces to agree). However, we start experimenting: “Get five 5’s and five 1’s,” “All even numbers,” “Only 3s and 4s,” etc. This is a game we play with friends and since it’s so portable I even have a purse-sized version for using when we are in restaurants waiting.
  3. Suspend. This is another winner for a wide age group of kids. The wire pieces must be suspended and not collapse as new pieces are added. (We also use this game for review for Classical Conversations. We assign each subject to a color of rod and the kids successfully answer a review question in that subject before placing the rod.)
  4. Trucky 3. This puzzle is more popular with our son and his friends than with  the girls, but it always comes out when friends come over. In fact, I may or may not have threatened his life when he left pieces in the walkway. Legos they are not… but MAN do they have sharp edges when your unsuspecting foot hits them!
  5. Reversi. When I was a kid, we had this game and it was called Othello. My sister and I played and played and played. I’ve discovered Reversi is just the same and just as enjoyable… but a little cheaper than Othello to buy. (Cheapskates, unite!)
  6. Monopoly. This classic is a classic for a reason. In addition to helping them with math and money, the strategy is wonderful for development. Uno recently saw the new version with bankcards and begged to get it. I don’t know if we’ll go there – I love simplicity and bankcards don’t have the same simplicity in my mind.
  7. Candyland. I personally HATE this game. It’s as much fun as watching paint dry. But my kids, they just can’t get over the amount of drool they produce while playing, so I guess it must be on the list.
  8. Uno Attack. Uno is Uno and it’s wonderful. Uno Attack – adds the element of surprise to the whole adventure of card playing. I’ve gotten to actually prefer Uno Attack to regular Uno, just because I like the giggles we get when someone is attacked.
  9. Bean Boozled. I don’t think this actually qualifies as a board game, and honestly your family may only play it once or twice. BUT this guessing game of good/nasty jelly bean flavors has a lot to love about it – especially the memories you’ll make while playing.
  10. 5 Second Rule. This is a newer game for us, where they give you a topic and ask you to name three things related to the topic before the five-second timer goes off. We’ve been enjoying it, however! I think it makes the cut!

 

I’d love to know your recommendations for games! Please share in the comments!

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Copyright © StealingFaith.com 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

8 Gifts that Keep on Giving – Top Picks for 2017

All over social media I see people asking what gifts they should give their kids this year. The options are overwhelming! I thought it might be nice to share some of the things our kids use regularly, day in and day out, that could be beneficial to your family as well!

 

 

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means if you purchase any of these recommendations from Amazon by linking through this blog post, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

 

Monopoly. What can I say, this is a tried and true, classic board game that gives hours of fun (and sometimes tears of frustration). We’ve played this game for several years, our box has now seen better days, and it’s still the go-to game for a quiet afternoon.

 

Slack Line. Our family members gave this to us over the summer and it has been amazing! You string the line between two solid trees and the overhead line helps keep the kids from killing themselves while playing. It’s quite a challenge and tons of fun – and we haven’t had one injury on it to date. WINNING!

 

Osmo. This game requires an iPad to use, but is a fantastic take on interacting with technology while learning. Our kids love the coding game, and pizza game also really builds on math skills. For those of you who are Classical Conversations folks, the drawing game can be helpful in making your map tracing come to life… lots to love with this one! Shhh… don’t tell… but the Hot Wheels game is on our Wishlist for this year!

 

Heating pad animals. Who knew this would be the thing they’d fall in love with?! I saw these last year at Bed, Bath and Beyond on clearance and purchased them on a whim. Today, they are showing signs of wear from constant use and their lovies. At night before bed we heat them up, then send them to sleep with their warm friends. I think there may be something to the weight of the animal on their chest while they sleep… regardless, this was a hit for them!

 

Magnatiles. Will they end up all over the place? Yes they will. Will they destroy your feet if you step on them like.. ahem… Legos? NO THEY WILL NOT. Magnatiles are attractive and without boundaries for building. And they don’t sneak up on you with tiny sharp edges in the middle of the night. Good times.

 

Bristle Blocks. I’m back to the classics because, well, it’s a classic! I remember building with Bristle Blocks as a child and my kids have used and used and used these. I’d recommend not mixing them with Play Dough. But outside of that, it’s great fun!

 

FriXion Erasable Pens. I suspect you’re going to call out my nerdiness on this one, but these pens are AMAZING. We use them for our schoolwork and for doodling. The really, truly erase! The colors are great, the writing experience is smooth and they’re just awesome. You do have to order them from Japan to get the multicolored pack, but they are really, really good pens. I’d suggest springing for the 24 pack right away because if you’re like me you’ll be unsatisfied with the smaller pack and end up getting the larger pack eventually anyway.

 

BluTrack Starter Set Toy Racetrack. I was skeptical about this to start with but it came to heavily recommended in one of the fb groups I follow that I decided to try it out. What a neat toy! It takes practically no extra space and it used with the toy cars that already inhabit my son’s pants pockets regularly. We roadtripped with this and it was an amazing toy for the campsite while we were cooking… for all of the ages. The bending track makes for tons of fun.

 

Hopefully this will give you some ideas of gifts that have an actual, we use this, recommendation. I’d love to hear about the things you have found to be amazing – maybe your treasure will be our next winner!

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Copyright © StealingFaith.com 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

Kindness Elves for Christmas (and two other family traditions)

It’s that time of the year when we start thinking of traditions for the holidays. Our family celebrates Christmas, and we do our best to minimize the “ME, ME, ME” aspect of Christmas that can be so prevalent with children. Here are a few ways we’ve tried to simplify Christmas, make December manageable, and create a special Christmas Legacy with our children during this time of the year.

This post will contain Amazon affiliate links. This means if you purchase any of these recommendations f Amazon by linking through this blog post, I will receive a small commission. Thank you for your support!

 

Jesse Tree. Several years ago a childhood friend sent me a box of Christmas tree ornaments and a book. She told me this was the Jesse Tree, a special celebration of Christmas her family enjoyed. In a nutshell, the Christian redemption story is told in 24 segments beginning December 1 with the Genesis story of creation, and ending with the birth of Jesus Christ. Each event is represented by an ornament and every day you read the corresponding text from the Bible and hang the ornament on the Jesse tree. It’s a really sweet tradition that puts the Christ in Christmas!

Since that time we have changed a little bit about how we celebrate. We purchased a spiral candle that we light as we read each day of the story, and use the felt ornaments pictured to go along with Ann Voskamp’s Unwrapping the Greatest Gift, A Family Celebration of Christmas. We just purchased this book, which includes ornaments and a 3D tree, to use this year – I’m really excited to use it!

 

The Christmas Express. Some of my favorite holiday memories as a child included viewing Christmas lights! Twinkle lights make everything seem so magical! A few years ago I ran across the idea of a Minivan Express on the blog Confessions of a Homeschooler. We edited the idea a little (we don’t drive a minivan!) and have thoroughly enjoyed this tradition!

One evening in December, without any warning at at, we send our kids to get ready for bed. When they arrive there they find a new pair of pajamas and a golden ticket for the Christmas Express. We gather in the kitchen, take a photo with our tickets for posterity, hand out a travel mug of hot chocolate and popcorn with M&M’s, and tour the town looking at Christmas Light displays while listening to Pentatonix or Straight No Chaser holiday albums. It’s amazing. They love the surprise of it all, and we love the opportunity to do something that’s practically free and fun for all involved.

 

Kindness Elves. This will be a new tradition for our family this year. I’ve never really gotten on board with the Elf on the Shelf idea for a few reasons: I’m not that creative, I don’t see why I want an imaginary elf making mischief I don’t want my kids to emulate, and there are too many ideas on Pinterest which scares me a lot! Ha!

However, this year I’ve stumbled across a wonderful idea from The Imagination Tree that sounds pretty phenomenal. It’s a Kindness Elf – where the elf still can be hidden but suggests practical ways to be kind to one another during this season that can often feel full of hectic selfishness. I love it! We purchased these Elf ornaments, inspired by traditional Swedish Tomte Santas, and I will be using these Kindness Elf Idea Cards to make our December more “others”-focussed. I can’t wait!

 

These are a few of the things that we do in December to set it apart as special. We’d love to hear more about your traditions!

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Copyright © StealingFaith.com 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

Jim Davis / Garfield Preschool Art Project

This coming year in Cycle 3 of Classical Conversations we will be studying influential American artists. One artist is Jim Davis, who created Garfield! We decided to experiment with an art project… Caught in the Cookie Jar. It’s actually a combination of a few different art projects, but so far it’s been approved by our 4, 7, 9, and 11 year olds.

 

First you start with the black and white of Garfield.

(Here’s a pdf file to print at home)

Davis_Garfield

Color

 

Fold carefully! In theory you should be able to fold in half and then line it up on the line marked on the side, but each printer is different so just make sure that the lines match up around the lips/nose area.

Viola! You have a sneak Garfield Caught in the Cookie Jar, inspired by Jim Davis!

 

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Copyright © StealingFaith.com 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

Things I’ve Googled Lately

My brain works like hummingbird wings. How about yours?!

In light of my browser tab issues, I’ve been trying to close tabs to make my computer feel good about it’s processing capacity again. I’ve been reintrigued with soooo many topics!

 

Here are a few of the highlights of the Google adventures lately (and yes, this is literally how my brain works. I can’t be the only one with questions zipping like hummingbirds through my brain – can I?!):

 

yellowstone with family

folding cotsCamping with Families

how to make rabbit tea

benefits of rabbit manure

Is MeWe a viable alternative to Facebook

taco bell menu

Will Smith Graham Norton Carlton

make a Bagpipe out of a garbage bag

Mexican Hot Chocolate Slow Cooker Recipe

What is patchouli used for

what is the subjunctive mood

you’re fired bugs life gif

glass luncheon plates

bump underside chin

mission tortillas on sale near me

wisdom and righteousness lapbooks

name of feather duster in beauty and the beast

dvorak serenade for strings 4th movement

where is prague

fly predators

when did marco polo live

what happened to barrabas after he was released

magic 8 ball answers

where is the book of the acts of solomon

what is vaguebooking

how to make an origami bunny from a dollar

april the giraffe animal adventure park

 

What have you been searching for lately?

 

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Copyright © StealingFaith.com 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

Too Many Tabs


My computer has been having a break down. It starts exhibiting the rainbow wheel of death and then huffing and puffing at me with its fan and generally giving me the idea that I have royally ticked it off in some mystical manner.

 

I approached my resident computer expert, Lizard. Explained the situation. He happily walked over to my computer. Took a look. Reeled back from the computer as though it were a snake about to strike, and said, in a voice laden with accusation and incredulity, “Just how many tabs do you actually need open at one time?!”

 

I don’t have an answer for that because in this arena, need is a relative term. What I can say is that Pinterest was made for me when I believed it was a simple way to just keep track of interesting items or research topics. But now the super-cool folks have taken it over and when I visit Pinterest it’s always an attempt to learn how to do something in a way that’s way more creative than I can manage on my own or as a mental tool to confirm how woefully lacking I am as a mother/human being. Pinterest and I are really not friends.

 

So my next plan of attack is to right-click open all things. It works wonderfully! See a link you want to explore more later? Right click open a new tab. Researching for that road trip? Create a tab for each leg of the journey with a new tab. The possibilities are endless!

 

Then I began to notice a slight slowing of the loading speed of my web pages and thought, “Self, perhaps having 30+ tabs open in one browser window is confusing. You can’t really see the headings of the pages. This makes it difficult to navigate. Perhaps this is the reason the pages are loading slowly. Let us create a browser window for each topic of inquiry of the world wide webs.” And thus it was accomplished and for a time all things continued with purpose and speed.

 

Which leads me to my current issue. After Lizard acted so shocked, I decided to take stock of my computer habits. I currently have six browser windows up on my computer, and they have no less than five tabs open each (some… um…. significantly more…). It appears I’m going to have to channel my avenues of inquiry or face the disgruntled noises of my computer forever. Sigh.

 

How do you manage your computer tabs? Any hints for me?

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Copyright © StealingFaith.com 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

Soccer Resilience

It’s a late night over here as we just arrived home from a soccer tournament. During the drive home I literally began to envision the taillights of the cars in front of me as Minnie Mouse heads with red bows around the ears.

 

That’s the way my brain works.

 

Lizard has been coaching a club team for soccer this year, which means that once a month we travel to a tournament. His team has great kiddos on it, but, bless their hearts, they just aren’t that competitive. Like… hm… if the team attitude were to be a simile, the kids are like a dog that rolls over and offers easy access to the jugular upon meeting anyone new.

 

For Lizard, who tends to be significantly competitive, this has been a coaching challenge. He recognizes that he can’t play the game for them, and that he has to just keep casting the vision and look for the victories that occur with a great pass or strong defense and pretty much ignore the final score of the game. In all of their games this year, they have never won and mostly they have been trounced.

 

Until today.

 

The early game was a tie and then, my friends, the evening game was a win!

 

Everyone was super excited for the players but then afterward we learned that for some of these kids, it was their first win… ever. They all have been playing soccer for a number of years before they ended up on this club team. But they had never, ever won a game.

 

This knowledge puts a whole different spin on the idea of team soccer for me. To be honest, if I spent years attending practices, dragging my family to tournaments, etc. and we never, ever won, I would quit. I would say, “Enough is enough!” and make comments about discretion being the better part of valor and take my soccer shoes and shin guards home to hide in the dark recesses of my closet.

 

However, these kids have figured out life a little better than I have so far. Day in and day out they chose to live with the defeat but still show up the next day to practice, still make the commitment to appear and put in effort.

 

It puts a new facet on the word resilience for me. Yes, the kids are fairly non-competitive in personality, but my esteem for them has raised even higher today as I recognized how resilient they are to keep on keepin’ on. There’s such beauty in being willing to do something even if you’re not the best person who’s ever tried to do that thing.

 

Our team is resilient. That knowledge makes the good time even sweeter.

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Copyright © StealingFaith.com 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

The Dead Stuff is Disappearing

This has changed my life forever.

My heavens, friends… Let me share something that has changed my life.

 

Swiffer Dusters.

 

Really.

 

I’ve never been a fan of dusting. It seems like the whole purpose of dusting is just to suck joy out of your life one dust mote at a time. As a kid I remember dusting sporadically, and it caused me to sneeze, which wasn’t enjoyable because one thing I inherited from my dad was the ability to sneeze at volume similar to a sonic boom (and it’s literally thrown my back out before during allergy season).

 

To make matters worse, as an adult I learned that the majority of dust in your house is actually dead skin cells just floating through the air. Ewww! After learning that, dusting seemed like a way to have a close encounter with a dead essence and so I’ve felt pretty secure in my decision to avoid dusting until there’s enough built up to actually create mud when dampened. (Lets not even talk about the layer of nastiness that exists on the ceiling fans. I’m pretty sure crickets could use the dust babies on the fan blades as a snowboarding play area.)

 

However, it’s come to my attention that Grown Ups Dust Their Homes. (At least a little.) And though I’ve found that most things grown up seem to be not nearly so much fun as I thought they would be when I was a kid (except eating. I find that the best part of being a grown up is getting to choose what food I eat, when, and where…) I do attempt to act with maturity on occasion.

 

Which brings me to the dusting conundrum.

 

We have dust. Lots of it. And I want to live in a clean house. At least a little.

 

I did some research on the dusting problem and the Google took me to blogs that told me that dusting really doesn’t have to be a swishing of dirt from one locale to another accompanied with sneezes that could shake the rafters. They told me that Swiffer Dusters are statically treated and actually trap the dust on the cloth.

 

I didn’t believe them. This is crazy talk. But when I saw them at my local bulk warehouse I decided the initial financial investment was small enough to at least give it an attempt, even if it ended up a total failure.

 

Oh. My. Heavens. {I need a moment to compose myself before I go on. Don’t worry, give me a minute and I’ll just breath through the emotion.}

 

They work. These little suckers work. They trap the dust, keep it out of my nose and from falling to the floor. They work!

 

I’ve dusted the computer. The printer. Every picture frame, the window sills, the venetian blinds, the front of my cabinets in the little ridge that looks pretty from a distance but kind of gross from far away… I’ve dusted the light fixtures, the top of the mantle, and the wrought iron ivy leaf wall hanging that hasn’t been cleaned since it was hung. I dusted the potted plant leaves and then, feeling terribly courageous… I dusted the ceiling fans.

 

It worked!

 

This has literally changed my life. Now granted, the fluffing up of the swiffer deal and sticking it on the handle did make me feel a little like I was getting inappropriate with Babette from Beauty and the Beast, but I got over my inhibitions once I saw the glorious cleanliness emerging behind the fluffy wonderfulness.

 

It was so exciting I called my mother. She was suitably impressed that I was willingly dusting for the first time in my life and seems to feel like she might like visiting our house a little more, now that there aren’t floating dead skin cells all over the place.

 

So there you have it. My current obsession and victory. If you want to be like me, feel free to scoot on over, order this sucker, and try it for yourself.

Swiffer Dusters Handle and Refills Unscented, 24 Count

 

And that’s all I have to say about that.

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Copyright © StealingFaith.com 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

26 Responses to “Are You Pregnant?” When You’re Not Pregnant At All

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NYYU6ksWB1I/Ulrm1LMQJFI/AAAAAAAAAE4/IkSg7kWavQg/s1600/Bloated+Belly.jpg
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NYYU6ksWB1I/Ulrm1LMQJFI/AAAAAAAAAE4/IkSg7kWavQg/s1600/Bloated+Belly.jpg

I’d like to talk about something close to my heart — literally. The lard baby.

 

Last week Jennifer Garner – yes, that Jennifer Garner who is able to pull of a seriously crazy Thriller dance imitation in the movie 13 Going on 30 and is married to Ben Affleck – blatantly stated that she has a baby bump… without a baby inside.

 

Friends, Jennifer Garner has a lard baby, too! She told Ellen Degeneres all about it, summing it up with these words: “I am not pregnant, but I have had three kids and there is a bump,” she explained.

 

“From now on ladies, I will have a bump. And it will be my baby bump. And let’s just all settle in and get used to it. It’s not going anywhere. I have a bump. Its name is Violet, Sam, Sera.”

 

I’m not sure there is a way for me to like a person I’ve never met more, but if there is, Jennifer Garner has just paved the way.

 

I haven’t had to deal with magazine readers scrutinizing my midsection, or bold headlines discussing my fertility. But I have had strangers ask me when I’m due with my next child. The only thing is… I’m not pregnant and we’ve made it medically unlikely that I my uterus will ever again house a rapidly growing tenant.

 

Perhaps you, too, have experienced that awkward moment when people break the law of never asking a woman when she’s due without visibly seeing her stomach lurch, making it blatantly obvious there’s either an demon-possessed intestinal tract or a fetus fighting for space in that midriff. My lard baby has been celebrated while waiting in line at a Love’s rest stop, in a sporting goods store, at a homeschooling conference… at all of these lovely locations when you’re really not thinking about sucking your gut in.

 

No one really wants to be on the receiving end of the situation, but it still happens — and what are you supposed to say in response?

 

I typically try to take the high road and explain to people I had four tenants in my uterus in a space of six years, I love potato chips, and I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to the function of my own sweat glands. I try to smile and encourage them that I’m not upset and lately I’ve been telling myself that (now that I’m nudging 40-years-old with my tippee-toes) it’s a compliment these strangers think I’m young enough to be in the process of replication.

 

But, my friends, I also feel the need to prepare some creative come backs. If you have any, please leave them in the comments. In the meantime, here are twenty-six clever, tart, and/or hilarious responses to “When Are You Due?” when you aren’t due at all I’ve found (and embellished):

1. “I’m not pregnant, but I just ate a meal the size of an infant hippopotamus.”

2. “I’m actually not pregnant — perhaps that’s just one of the many things you can’t tell by looking at my body’s size and shape.”

3. “Oh no, that’s not a pregnant glow. I’m just super attractive. Thanks for noticing!”

4. “Don’t worry.  You’ll be the first to know when it happens because I always tell strangers before family.”

5. “Why?  Do I look fat?!”

6. “Actually, I just gave birth…but my body doesn’t realize that yet.”

7.  “I don’t have a baby in my tummy. It just looks like I do, thanks for encouraging me to support the Spanx brand.”

8. “I prefer not to talk about that. It’s bad luck.”

9. “My OB once said he never assumes a woman is pregnant until he sees a head coming out. Maybe you should do the same.”

10. “Nope, not pregnant yet, but we are having so much fun practicing! Would you like any tips?”

11. “YES, I am going to have five fat babies and name them all Dave! They shall be known as ‘The Daves’.”

12. “Wow, that’s awkward.”

13. “That’s a rather… personal question, isn’t it? What other personal questions would you like to ask me?”

14. “Oh, enough about me – let’s talk about you! When are going to >insert overly-personal life event here<?!”

15. “I hope not… it means my birth control isn’t working.”

16. “We’ve been trying for so long… (looks away) I think I might be barren.”

17. “Why do you ask?”

18. “Actually I’m infertile. Do you think you’d like to donate your eggs? I could pay you.”

19. “Oh, Heavens, no, I can’t *stand* children!”

20. “My insides are a rocky place where [husband’s] seed can find no purchase.”

21. “Not yet, but the night is still young!”

22. “Are you really that interested in what goes on in my bedroom? You don’t look like that type.”

23. “No baby, just fat!”

24. “I am not pregnant, but I will assume you are admiring my lovely glow.”

25. “I’m not pregnant, just wearing a tummy enhancing dress.”

26. “OH MY HEAVENS —  WHAT DO YOU KNOW THAT I DON’T?!!!”

 

Again — I’d love to hear your own comebacks in the comments. Jennifer Garner, the lard babies of the world, and I both thank you.

 

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What I Learned from my 20-year High School Reunion

hbobis / freeimages.com
hbobis / freeimages.com

I recently had the privilege of attending my 20-year high school class reunion. Considering the amount of angst I felt while considering my participation, it seems reasonable that a blog post is in order about what I learned from the event.

 

(I’m still in a state of shock that there’s a “zero” after that “two,” but that’s beside the point.)

 

I didn’t attend my 10-year reunion, as I was newly married and didn’t want my husband to realize he’d married one of the class nerds. The 20-year reunion was a little less threatening to me as I’m more comfortable with myself and who I’ve become. Even so, it was nerve-wracking to wonder if these people were going to be mean and petty or decent adults.

 

Here are my observations:

 

1. We’ve all gotten fat(ter). May I just say it’s unfair that Spanx has not yet gotten around to marketing their products to the masculine demographic because wearing a panty with the squeezing capability of turning a newborn calf into a squirrel was a large part of my willingness to appear in front of people who only remember me as a girl all elbows and knees and frizzy hair. The dudes just don’t have access to the same physical aids. Such is life.

 

Our diets and lack of physical activity have taken their toll on us all. I blame childrearing and an abiding adoration for potato chips. Perhaps others can only say their jobs keep them too busy to spend the hours working on their physique. Whatever the excuse, all of us (some a little more than others) are an inflated version of our 18-year-old selves. That’s alright. We’re all still in there and we’re all pretty forgiving of the occurrence because we’re all guilty.

 

But really. I wore Spanx and even though I almost gave myself a black eye trying to pull them up after a potty break, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

2. We’ve realized this getting older thing isn’t black and white. I was pleasantly surprised to see all of the members of my graduating class talking to one another. By the end of the night they traditional stereotypical groups did tend to separate out again, but it wasn’t in an exclusive way – it seemed to be a natural process of people catching up with those they spent the most time with in high school.

 

People shared pictures of their kids, mentioned divorces, talked about jobs won and lost… and were generally supportive of one another whether they were talking accomplishments or failures. There were many different life paths in one room for a select period of time — and I don’t think anyone there thought they “had it all figured out.”

 

3. I’ve moved past high school. I was pleasantly surprised that everyone I spoke with was genuinely friendly and cool but at some point through the evening I realized it doesn’t really matter what my high school comrades think of me and how my life turned out. I have nothing to prove to them.

 

I am absolutely accountable to my husband, family, and close community… but not to people I see once every twenty years. They are welcome to have whatever opinion they’d like of how my life is turning out but that opinion is not needed for me to continue with my own adventures and lifestyle. What liberation!

 

4. It’s worth going. If you’ve been hesitant about whether to attend, based on my own experience, I’d encourage you to do it. The reunion was most certainly a surreal experience in many ways but it was also enjoyable and I was genuinely happy to spend time with people I haven’t stayed in touch with over Facebook. Not everyone shares openly on social media, face-to-face conversations are quite helpful!

 

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