One More Drop – Hide a Key

I get locked out. Pretty much all the time. I’ve hidden keys around, under, and through my house but no matter how well I hide it, I’m always nervous someone will find my key and use it to steal all of my marshmallows or for some equally dastardly purpose. SO, I decided to hide the key where it wouldn’t matter if someone found it… at a friend’s house. Pick a friend within walking distance and hide a key there.

vacation-and-HDS-143

One More Drop is a series of tiny missions to help you add more Drops of Awesome to your day.

Posted in Daily Awesome, drops of awesome, One More Drop | 1 Comment

The Bad Hotel

We’d been driving for hours and we were tired. I pulled out my phone to find an inexpensive place to stay for the night and I saw a few options. Everything in our price range had Meh reviews so I went with the cheapest one, even though I sort of knew it wouldn’t be good. We drove into the parking lot and it was confirmed. This wasn’t going to be pretty. But I was tired and I decided to stay there anyway.

As we took the rattling elevator up to the second floor with a rough looking man and his dog, I began to seriously question my decision. We walked down the long, dim hallway, noise greeting us from nearly every room and the choking smell of cigarette smoke radiating from the walls.

We locked ourselves into our filthy room, helped the kids brush their teeth, checked for bed bugs and turned out the lights. The room was cold, dark, and noisy from the heater and the neighbors to the right, left, and above us. It smelled horrible. But we’d paid for the room and we needed the sleep before we started out on the road again the next morning. Wanda, a year old at the time, stood up in her pack ‘n play and screamed, reaching out to me and Dan in our cramped double bed. I picked her up. I sang to her. I comforted her. I laid on the stained carpet next to her and shushed her to sleep.

We didn’t get much rest. We had a horrible night. And we paid a hundred dollars for the experience. To put it mildly, we regretted the decision to stay there.

But the rough night was over. What could I do to fix the problem? I could apologize to Dan and the kids for my poor hotel choice, for not planning ahead and for not getting us out of there once I knew how gross the hotel was. I could decide never to stay there again.

What could I do to make the problem worse and ensure we stayed miserable for years into the future? I could decide that it was a tragedy that I’d chosen such a skeezy road trip hotel because since I’d chosen that hotel once, we were doomed to stay there every road trip for the rest of our lives. I could talk about how awful it was non-stop and decorate our home to match the hotel just so that every day I would remember what a bad choice I’d made. I could turn that hotel into the focus of my life.

Now that seems ridiculous, but how many times do we let our mistakes determine our entire future? Or even enough of our future to make us waste one day or one week in crippling regret? I recently said some things I regret. Stupid things. Thoughtless things. Things I thought were funny during a moment of heightened stress. I apologized to the people involved. I prayed and asked God to forgive me.

But the next day I still felt awful. How could I say those things? What did those things say about me as a person? How could my friends ever look at me the same way again? Should they ever look at me the same way again? These thoughts of shame and regret cycled through my head over and over again.

So because I was so upset about my mistake, I decided to live in that mistake for as long as possible. If it was a bad thing and I didn’t want it to be part of my life, then why did I let it take up so much time in my thoughts and in my heart? I had done everything I could to fix it… Except let it go.

By focusing all my energy on my poor choices, I was magnifying their negative effects in my life. I was decorating my house with pictures of the bad Hotel.. And I was succumbing to the inevitability of booking a room there again.

“That’s where I always stay. It sucks but I stay there.”

When you are bogged down by the things you’ve done wrong, you start to believe that you have no choice but to do them again, that it’s just the way you are, that you’re somehow defective or incapable of changing. If, after all, you spend your time dwelling on them, you aren’t changing.

Now, do I want to completely wipe the bad hotel from my memory? No. Not exactly. I want to remember it just enough at the back of my mind so I avoid going there again. I don’t want to think about it, but if the experience is buried way down deep in my brain, it can pop to the surface if I ever drive through that town again and find myself looking for a place to stay.

Next time I’m hanging out with my friends and I come to a place where I can go for a cheap laugh or speak words of love, I hope I remember just an echo of what the cheap laugh felt like and I hope I make a different choice. But for today, I need to let it go.

Today is so much bigger than yesterday’s mistakes. Today is a thousand choices waiting to be made and the first one will be to live where I am, because with the next choice I make, where I am can be a pretty beautiful place.

Posted in aspirations, driving, drops of awesome, vacation | 4 Comments

Creepy Cat Shopping

We were walking around after a dinner out the other night when we came across this.

cat shop

Dan pointed to the number crossed out and said, “That’s a pretty creepy way to get a cat. You just go around and find a cute lost cat poster, cross out the phone number and put your number in its place.”

Yeah. Fritzy seems to be just the kind of cat I’m looking for. Hand me the Sharpie.

Jerks.

Posted in around town, world domination | 1 Comment

Hubby Can Draw Drops of Awesome Art Print Giveaway

Tons of great things have come from releasing Drops of Awesome out into the world. One of my favorites is that it helped me discover Brandon Miltgen’s art. We met through my blog and when I saw the Drops of Awesome art he created, I had to hang it on the wall of my family room.

drops print

And there it lives, even now.

I posted a link to his work when I first discovered it and several people asked me where they could buy it, but he wasn’t set up to sell prints back then.

But… dun dun dun…. his wife recently set up an Etsy shop to sell is work and you can go there to get the Drops of Awesome print or a ton of other great pieces.

To launch the shop, Hubby Can Draw is giving away a free 14×11 print of the Drops of Awesome piece. To enter, just:

1. Visit and Like Hubby Can Draw’s Facebook page;

2. Share any post from the Hubby Can Draw Facebook page (Be sure to mention that you found Hubby Can Draw through Daring Young Mom to be part of the giveaway!)

That’s it! Anyone can enter from today until Saturday, the 27th at noon. One random winner will then be chosen from all the entrants and contacted through Facebook for their free Drops of Awesome print!

So head on over, and be sure to browse their shop – it’s got a bucket’s worth of awesome art for sale.

Posted in contests, Reviews | Leave a comment

Hear Us Roar

preschoolFirst day of preschool and they’re reading a dinosaur book. For the first week the teacher has the kids come in small groups so she can get to know them and help them feel comfortable with the routines. Wanda is on the mat with two little boys listening to a story about a dinosaur who goes to school.

“What if a dinosaur came to our preschool?” the teacher asks.

“They can’t. All the dinosaurs are dead,” one four-year-old boy pipes up.

FACT.

The story continues until they get to a part where the dinosaur roars. The teacher asks the kids to roar like a dinosaur. The boys both give nice, cute little roars.

Wanda, on the other hand, has spent the last two years working out with me and my online fitness coach Erik, who believes in the release that comes from letting go with a soul-felt, visceral roar after each workout. These are roars that make your neighbors call 9-1-1, roars that release every pent up feeling in your body, roars that make a poor, unsuspecting preschool teacher startle-jump, eyes wide, her hair flying out behind her like Beyonce in a music video with one of those giant fans blowing while you wonder, “Where is all that wind coming from?”

Yeah. That happened. We’re the Thompsons. That’s how we do.

We really do. Especially me. I often feel like I have that giant fan effect on people I talk to and work with. When I was recently asked to take a turn being the Primary President at church (this involves doing some administrative tasks and teaching the kids), I spent the first two weeks on turbo speed, scaring the stuffing out of the other leaders I work with. I calmed down. A bit. But I go zero to super-annoying very quickly and I have to work hard to keep myself in check.

With this book project, it’s something I struggle with. While my publisher is working on releasing around forty books this year, I’ve just got the one and I have so many ideas spinning around my head, speaking engagements, updating the website, Drops of Awesome umbrellas, charitable giving, book signings, giveaways, interviews, CREATING A MOVEMENT OF AWESOME, squirrel!

I don’t have the money, time or energy to execute half the things I think would be awesome for this book, but I can sure rapid-fire email or talk the CEO’s ear off about them.

Right now, thanks to my amazing readers and friends, the journal is doing so well that we sold out the first print run within two days of release day. This is amazing and exciting and also, WHERE ARE THE BOOKS?!

Answer = The books are at the workshop even now, but the next run won’t be in your hands until mid-October. It’s sort of an exciting problem to have since when Familius asked me a couple of months ago how many I thought we’d sell, I said, “Ummm… At least fifty?”

But it is still a problem and I’m sorry we couldn’t see into the future well enough to keep up with demand. In the meantime, they’re keeping the price at 40% off retail on Familius.com for the next 30 days while the books are printed. So ordering now, especially if you’re looking for Christmas gifts, or other bulk orders, will ensure that you get them at the beginning of the next rush and with the discounted price.

Also, in the meantime, I’m working on a little Drops of Awesome shop. Stay tuned for updates. Fun things are coming.

drops wristbands

Posted in drops of awesome, education | Leave a comment

It’s the Presents That Do It

[This is a guest post by Dan!]

Wanda recently had a birthday. Among her many joyous activities she had some time to sit down and do a little drawing. She was drawing a picture of a little girl and I asked her “is that little girl five years old, like you?”

birthday

“Nooo! She’s FOUR just like me!”

“Don’t you turn five today?”

“I’m four until I get my PRESENTS. THEN I’ll be five.”

So there you have it: aging is a product of the presents.

Posted in he's so fine he blows my mind, kid stuff | 1 Comment