Best way to roast the broomstick. Must try. Five Stars.

This would make a great episode of Dora

Was it Monday night? Tuesday? I don’t remember, this week has been nothing but a blur with things toppling sideways and the surreal becoming even more surrealer, or maybe it’s surrealier. How about sureally? I LACK THE PROPER ADJECTIVE. That is now going to be my answer when someone asks how’s it going: I LACK THE PROPER ADJECTIVE. Like, something awful has happened, let’s say, a loved one has died! And you say to yourself, Self! Take a deep breath! It’s going to be okay! Except on the way home from talking to yourself, you lightly tap the back end of a car being driven by a raging asshole who immediately calls 911 and tells the cops he’s paralyzed.

Not that this happened, but even if it did, I LACK THE PROPER ADJECTIVE.

I think it was Monday night that we attended my Granny Boone’s viewing, and there I reconnected with hundreds of cousins I haven’t seen in years including Nate, son of my mother’s brother Lewis:

My cousin nate

Nate is just a few years older than I am, is happily married with five kids, but none of that matters, and that is not why I’m bringing him up. Sure, he’s cute and beyond charismatic, and you want him at your party even though he doesn’t drink. He’s the type of person who would strip naked and knock on your grumpy and spiteful neighbor’s door in the middle of the night, not because he’s drunk or because you offered him money to do so, but because the retelling of that story might make someone happy. He’s like Human Prozac.

There! I FOUND AN ADJECTIVE! Wait, that’s not an adjective, that’s a metaphor. No, a simile? Whatever, THAT THERE WAS LITERARY, DAMMIT.

Okay, so Nate was around during the first visit I ever took to Utah, the first time I ever saw a mountain IN MY LIFE, back when I was an awkward fifteen-year-old, all elbows and knobby knees, back when I weighed ninety pounds soaking wet and the kids at school nicknamed me Skeletor. And my hair, oh dear Lord, an unruly thicket of curls that hung all the way to my waistline, messy, frizzy and caked with cheap styling mousse I’d buy at Walgreens. These details are important, I assure you, I’m not just writing them here to make myself uncomfortable, although it sure worked!

Nate was being a gracious host and giving my brother and me a tour of Snowbird Ski Resort. It was late August, so everything was green, and all the runs looked like huge bald spots scattered across the mountain. Around one curve we spotted a lingering patch of snow about as tall as a house several hundred feet up from the road. And Nate was all, OH YOU GUYS! YOU GUYS! Let’s go skiing!

Let’s go skiing? DUDE. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I HAVE EVER SEEN A MOUNTAIN. But this was Nate, you see. The nude door-knocker, Nate. And to him this was the best idea he had ever had. Let’s take someone who has only ever seen this kind of terrain in that one Robert Redford movie and throw her in with the wolves. A story is just bound to come out of this!

And that is exactly what happened: a story. Because when I hiked two hundred feet up to the top of that snow patch, I took one look down the side of the mountain and was all NUH UH. NO. NOT EVER. And as I stood there shaking my head, Nate hopped with both feet right into that snow and skied IN HIS SHOES to the bottom of the hill, remaining upright the entire time. You see, he grew up surrounded by mountains. Me? I grew up surrounded by trailers.

So he’s standing there at the bottom of the hill waving his hand in an effort to get me to try it, and I’m not even looking at him. I’m gingerly walking sideways down the hillside beside the snow patch, trying not to trip on any rocks, when he cups his hands around his mouth and yells, “IF YOU RUN YOU’LL GET DOWN FASTER.”

A declaration no different than, “IF YOU AIM THE GUN AT YOUR HEAD YOU’LL BLOW YOUR BRAINS OUT.”

And I don’t know if it was the word RUN or FASTER, but something caused my left foot to disengage from my brain, and next thing you know I am tumbling head over foot down the side of the mountain. Like you might see in a cartoon. Bony elbows flying up and over knobby knees up and over a wad of hair that resembled a giant tumbleweed. I am certain that for the one hundred and fifty feet that I fell and fell and fell down that mountain that my brother and Nate could not make out was was rocks and sticks from the outline of my body. Like, wait? Where is she? Is that a bush or her head? Wait! There! I think I see an arm! Oh wait, that’s a twig!

And then I landed, no joke, I am not even kidding, I LANDED IN A THORN BUSH. Face-first into a thorn bush. Seriously? I couldn’t just fall down a mountain? I had to land IN A THORN BUSH! (Imagine me shouting that while making jazz hands. I’m just saying.)

Wait! That’s it! I FOUND IT! Life right now?


  • Mary-Catherine

    So sorry to hear about your grandmother…and the thorn bush.

    I absolutely love your new hair…there’s just nothing cuter than a good pixie. I would love to get my hair cut like that but there is no way I could pull it off.

    I’ll never understand the people who say such horrible things about you, or so obviously hold a grudge over the fact that you make money off of your blog…owning a blog that receives income is really no different than say, writing a book, or having a television show…and the coolest thing about that is, if you don’t like it, you don’t have to read/watch it. Pretty simple! A lot more simple than sitting at your computer and trying to come up with something hatefully clever to say about someone you have never met. I cannot imagine how sad a life must be when it is so consumed with hatefulness.

    The fact that you continue to write, unabashed, is exactly why I like/admire you so much.

  • girlplease

    Wow. Nate IS hot and sounds wonderful. Shame he’s married.

  • I think IN A THORN BUSH is quite a good descriptor. Sending you and your family love from the East Coast, and hoping that life will pull itself out of those thorns for you.

  • Linda Atkins

    I’m enjoying the lovely photos of your family–you are a fine-looking bunch! It also seems rather brave of your family to let their images be shared here. I was really kind of touched by the picture of your father and his wife. Very nice!

  • Rob

    Dammit Heather, when are you going to introduce the hawt gay cousins in your family? STOP THROWING THE NATE CANDY AT ME!

  • Pam

    Yes, those are a couple of really nice portraits of your family that Jon took. Did you really do the SHINGLES! dance to get your Dad to smile?

    Nate is very cute, for sure. I bet he helped you out of the thorn bush rather than point and laugh like some nasty mean ole brothers and cousins can be!

    Backpack! Backpack!

  • I just wanted to say that I’ve enjoyed your blog so much. It’s been a great inspiration and was the catalyst for starting my own new Mom blog. I have a 10 week old boy so I enjoy reading what you’ve been experiencing this time around. It helps Moms know they are not alone and I particularly love the no holds barred, honest approach to your writing!

  • Um, I just looked at the Hate page and nearly started crying and had to stop after the first two entries. I can’t believe how horrible and mean people are. I guess I thought I’d get a chuckle out of the stupidity, but instead I just feel so sad. Kudos to you for being able to handle such a tirade -I feel empty and the stuff wasn’t even directed at me. So, sending virtual hugs.

  • You fell in a thorn bush?
    I fell down a hill.
    Into a pile of red ants.
    While bleeding.

    I feel like making a song for everybody who’s ever fallen down a hill, only to be serenaded by some bush (or pile) with all the right intentions: To add to the irony to the situation so we can go HA! later.

    It’s like the cherry just has to be added to the cake. Honestly? I fucking hate metaphorical cherries.

  • Lori

    Heather – you and your family are in our prayers. I just finished looking at the Hate page before I read this new entry. I can’t believe people can be so vile!!! Keep your head high and keep doing what you do. There are so many more of us out here who enjoy your blog and hope only good things for you now and in the future!

  • Laura

    A big huge hug for making me smile even when you’re “in a thornbush.” I am one-week new to your blog – thank you for sharing so much and with such humorous eloquence!

  • Ahhh family. Our cousins are like that too we each take turns in the “story chair” and tell funny- humiliating stories about each other. It’s great!

    Nothing like humility to help heal the grief of the passing of a dear loved one.

    Thinking of you and your family.

  • Me & Danger don’t mix — You’re brave for trying! I would have booty skiied to the bottom.

  • Wonder’s Mom

    Best compliment I ever received was when my boyfriend/baby-daddy/more-significant-than-any-other called me Human Vicodin. As a pharmacist and occasional prescriptee of such, I find it a very nice thing to be called. So is Human Prozac (and yours is so pretty in picture form).

    Loved your story. The adjective that came to me right about paragraph twelve though, was ‘akimbo’. As in arms and legs and frizzy hair all… Now I can’t stop saying it. akimbo.

  • Anonymous

    Wondering how such a large amount of the comments on your monetizing the hate page are about John… Poor man!
    We love you John!

  • I’m very sorry to hear about your grandmother, Heather. And you know what? You’re very lucky after all. Some of us, like me, grew up far away from relatives.

    The structure of my family is small and it was always about me, my sister, my brother, my mom and my dad. Though it was a small group, we still had lots of fun riding our country and getting to know nature on our weekend’s family trips!

    In the end, it really is all about love. 🙂
    Greetings from Brazil!

  • Anonymous

    I’m the grumpy and spiteful neighbor. I’m waiting for that knock on my door. Where’s that human Prozac?

  • Lilliah

    #140. Anonymous made a statement about the Hate page that really caught my attention:

    “I don’t have a blog site, I am not an ASS kisser or a *oh my It is just one huge fat aching reminder that the human race has actually not evolved very much past the BURN HER AT THE STAKE! period and it scares the crap out of me”

    Heather, I think that seeing it all in one big pile of venom-filled nastiness really gives us perspective on how it must affect you. There have been times when I’ve read something someone wrote about you, and I could kinda-sorta understand how someone who was really constipated and had a lot of misdirected anger might easily make assumptions about you and spew out some randomness about it, but seeing it in an endless stream like that should make anybody who is remotely thoughtful or reflective about themselves stop for a second and wonder WHY THE HELL they are writing such useless crap. I get it- some people are upset about your overpriced etsy throw pillows, and they think you should be with a gross manly-man who grabs his crotch while watching football and yells at you to get him a beer or something (or whatever their idea of a “man” is.. I’m guessing I don’t even want to know!), but at this point it’s, like, getting really OLD, isn’t it? I know you’ve been reading this shit for years, but I feel like my eyes are going to roll back in my head if I read one more post about your chin or how you think Leta sucks and you don’t deserve your money- it’s so moronically REPETITIVE. Just you wait- I bet that some day you’ll find yourself with a whole new group of angry followers who hate you because your Hate page is too boring and repetitive!

  • Lisa

    Heather, I am sorry about your grandmother and hope that your family can celebrate her life along with the grieving. I also wanted to comment how glad I am that you’re no longer commenting on the “hate” page. It’s funny to read (those people are crazy with nothing better to do) and glad you’re above the fray. Love from Chicago!

  • You use the caps lock MUCH better than Kanye. We need to see that hair. You know that, don’t you?

  • anonymous

    You need to write for stand up comedians.

    I was laughing by butt off.
    You’re wicked funny, I was my lol and annoyed everyone sitting near me.

    Thanks for the vision of you as a teen, and good thing you grew into the most amazingly beautiful adult. 🙂

  • This is why I hate snow and winter. Bad things happen! It’s cold and wet, and seriously what part of that sounds like fun?

    Story A: My little brother was sledding one day, and was not paying attention to where he was going. He sled under our wooden fence (you know the ones where the splintery wood rails fit into the slots of the splintery wood poles). When he came out the other side, his neck and chin were covered, COVERED, in splinters!

    Story B: When my husband was in high school, he went skiing for the first time. He and his friends got to the slopes and Steve decided that he didn’t need a bunny slope. He went straight for the The black diamond, first time on skis ever! He ended up doing one of your tumbleweed stunts that landed him in the ER. He now has a scar on his lip and has to wear a retainer with a fake tooth in it. He’s not skied since then.

    Dora should not play in the snow!

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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