Making Modifications.

It’s August 18th.

83 degrees and sunny.

The kids are hot. And we need to use up our prepaid pool pass.

We grab a bite and throw our suits on.

No time for showers or primping. They are only open til 5.

And I’m a sweaty, stinky mess since my workout.


(Little Man sure does know how to capture some stellar moments-- that's sarcasm btw.)

But we are going to the pool. That is already decided. Hopefully I won’t see anyone I know.

Ten minutes later we arrive to an empty parking lot.

And it suddenly dawns on me. They are closed for the winter.

Upon closer inspection I learn they are open for a couple more weekends, but not on weekdays.

Seriously? I paid way too much for this stinking pass to have it already be closed. Come on, school hasn't even started yet.

Well, on the upside, I won't be seeing anyone I know.


Yet another valid reason to add to the already lengthy “reasons to dislike Cedar Rapids” list.

So what do you do in Iowa when the pool is closed?

Well, you do the next best thing.

Which is play in the nearest bean field, of course. (Located right outside the pool.)


I snap a photo and realize this could make for a great photo op.

That is until I realize my card is full.

So I delete a few pics. Problem solved.

And then my battery dies.

Ugh. (Why now? I ALWAYS have a spare, but in my haste to leave I left it behind.)

It isn't long before the kids are hot and ready to leave.

We need a new plan.

So we stop at a friend’s house to see if the kids can swim in their pool.

But they aren't home.

And sprinklers are soooo lame. Get with it.

Now I have 2 grumpy kiddos.

And this is most definitely NOT how I saw this day turning out.

Is it my imagination or does it seem like some days have it out for you?

Now to my point...

All this has me thinking about my motto for life. I'm thinkin it needs tweaked just a little; modified if you will.

You may remember my Mother's Day post which was the motivation behind my motto.

That being,"If you don’t have TOO high of expectations, then you are pleasantly surprised with just about anything."

Lately I've had many of these "pool moments"... moments that make your face scrunch up all funny leaving lines in all the wrong places. Moments that leave you wanting. Moments that are just downright annoying. Moments that your expectations actually exceed the possibilites...

Even though I was dreading the drive to West Virgina I couldn't help but be stoked about the adventure. The weather was forecasted to be 90 degrees and sunny. Perfect for rafting. Couldn't ask for better weather.

Except when it turns out to be 70 degrees and rainy.

And I was cold. I hadn't dressed adequately and the only thing we could find was a hideous black jacket that smelled like a foot because it'd been worn by who knows who and then stored in a box with other damp nasty jackets. We rented it for $10. Tears welled up as hubs helped me put it over my head. It smelled something horrible.

This wasn't the picture I had in my head. I was perturbed that my teeth were chattering and that we would be rafting in a rain storm in this nasty jacket.

Hubs wanted to take a photo of me with the rain and I'm pretty sure this face says it all.

And as a side note, I did eventually find my smile in spite of the flawed weathermen and fashion faux pas. It turned out to be a blast and we got so drenched that we would have never even known it was raining. The sun even made a debut for a couple brief moments in there.

But it took me a while to get there. And it has become apparent that I need to make modifications to my motto if for no other reason than self preservation.

After much thought and deliberation I have it...

Drum roll please...

My New Motto: Have no expectations.

"Happiness equals reality minus expectations." -Tom Magliozzi

Hopefully that will cover all my bases because there is no time for long faces or disappointments. Life is too short.

I'm on a new crusade. A crusade to find smiles.

Because we can't sit around waiting for our smiles to find us.

Please join me on my quest...


  1. Those shoes you have on in the last picture, I have exactly such a pair and they are so comfortable.
    Maybe invest in a sprinkler system to cool off in :)

  2. Ahhh you still look pretty darn amazing even though completely ticked off!!

  3. Love your new quest and that quote...Happiness equals reality minus expectations. So true! We are in control of our own destiny, if you want to have a great day, make it a great day!!

  4. Finding the balance between...
    Dreams and wanting things...
    Not wanting to have expectations for fear of bitter disappointment...

    Is a journey I'm definitely on. I don't want to be void of building dreams and aspirations but I get SO frustrated with myself when I have expectations and I'm let down.

    I think your plan to "look for the smiles" is fantastic...
    I'm with you all the way. :)

  5. Hey I've been reading your blog for awhile but I rarely comment, I know lame. Anyways, I've been so inspired and empowered by your last two posts. Especially todays. I think so many of us feel the same way you do but just aren't brave enough to blog about it. My husband lives by the no expectation motto and since we got married, about a year ago, I've been trying to adapt it more into my life. It hasn't been easy for me, I am a high stress, high expectations then teary eyes behind closed doors kind of girl, but it works. My husband is the happiest and calmest person that anyone who knows him knows. He's always content and satisfied with everything, and though sometimes in my high expectation moments it can be a little irritating, I'd say it's a pretty good way to live. So yes, I will join you on your quest, and good luck to the both of us : )

  6. Making modifications is exactly the right word for it! Having no expectations certainly helps you to be pleasantly surprised and avoid disappointments! I'm going to adopt that philosophy!

  7. contentment is a very difficult thing to achieve. I wish you well! I haven't figured it out yet!! :)

  8. Such a lesson I needed to learn right now. Believe me. Thank you!

  9. Closed for the winter in mid August? weird! I like the direction you are going. life is way too short to sweat the small stuff.

  10. good luck with the new life motto! if i have my hopes up for something, and it doesn't work out, it makes me sooo aggravated!

  11. Sounds like a great quest. I'm with you.

  12. thanks so much for this post - i need to try it - you have been such a joy to read - just what i need right now -
    big sigh - again thanks

  13. I have had alot of pool days lately!! I am totally going to join you!!!

  14. I just love your motto...i am definitely one that needs to soak up the moment even if it isn't the moment i wanted.

  15. Love your motto! It's always a pain when things just keep going wrong.

  16. slip n slide?

    and yes... the less the expectations, the better the experience. I learned it long ago- but often forget. I need to keep it in mind far more than I do... thanks for the reminder!

  17. You are really onto something, Lish. I really believe that the best smiles and surprises come when we least expect them. I try every day to be open to that possibility, and not to PLAN what things should turn out like.

    I love your grumpy-face pic!

  18. I LOVE your new motto and should adopt it myself. With no or low expectations, you'll always be happily surprised when things go better than you expected :)

  19. I'm with you and will adopt that motto for myself too!

  20. I loooove that pouty-faced photo. Too cute! And those legs? Seriously! I'd be smiling alllllll the time if I had your legs. lol By the way, I'm loving the new motto and your Smile Crusade. I'm definitely going to play along. :)
    Thanks for stopping by Our Mommyhood and commenting on my guest post, Lish. You are such a sweet friend! Hope all's well in lovely Cedar Rapids. :)

    Kristi, Live and Love...Out Loud

  21. Aww man not the battery! Geez, what's up with us this week! lol - Sorry to hear about the pool being closed what a bummer! The pools here close this weekend for the summer. They should at least wait until school goes back to shut down! That picture of you is so hilarious- I can see myself giving my husband that same look of disgust! LOL - I love your new motto! Hope the rest of your week goes better!!! ;)

  22. FAB motto! Expectations always seem to fail me :) I just try and go with it... sometimes that works others NOT SO MUCH! What's up with the pool being closed already?!? NO fun!

  23. Never read this post. It's great. love it.

  24. Love this! It is always the unexpected sprint that makes me laugh!
    Thanks for visiting today!
    Kerry at