A Haiku & Review of Kroger Clicklist

The big day has come,

no more grocery shopping,

happy mommy wins.

Not much inspires me to read, much less write poetry.  But my world is forever changed for the better thanks to Kroger.  Their online ordering & pickup service started locally this past week and I literally couldn't wait to test it out.

Sure it costs $4.95 (starting the 4th time you use the service).  But you know whats worth more than 5 smackers?  My sanity.  I love that my friendly daughter wants to socialize with each and EVERY person we pass, aisle after aisle.  Her socialness and love of everyone is a gift I want to foster.  But after we've stopped three times to say "Hi" and tell our two-year old life story to strangers three aisles in a row, my patience is past gone.

I'm tired of sacrificing evenings with my husband because I have pushed off shopping until after I get the little one to bed.  I need to stop making spontaneous purchases (like Pumpkin Spice Cheerios) and stick to my list to support our family budget.  {PS those cheerios are top notch.}  

So I jumped in feet first today & am sold for life.  I am going to gain hours of my life back, reduce a huge source of stress for me every other week, and save money all at once.

So here's my rundown from today so you'll know what to expect if you decide to try it....

Online Ordering:

  • I used the Kroger app on my phone, where I already had my digital coupons loaded. Be sure to activate any coupons for things you frequently buy before you start.  {Next time I'll probably use my laptop to compose my shopping list} 
  • You can search for items to add to your next shop at the top of the page, or choose from things listed in your account that you've bought in the past.  I'm buying the same stuff 80% of the time, so I'm sure it will easier each time to repeat and adjust my shopping order.
  • You have the option to allow (or not) substitutions if what you want is out of stock.  With produce, you can give other comments too - for example I asked for green bananas.
  • Your Kroger card is already linked to your account, so just go to the checkout page & select a store & day/time for pickup. *FYI - lots of days and times were blocked already because I'm sure all the moms are testing this out, so I had to wait >24 hours to pickup my groceries.  So be aware!*
  • Prices are estimates - if you pickup after the weekly sales change, the prices will change so keep that in mind.

Grocery Pickup:

  • The spots to pull in are right up front & there's a sign with a number to call so they know you've arrived.  I was asked my name & if I had any paper coupons.  
  • In about 2 minutes or so, a super sweet gal wheeled out my groceries in crates and immediately went over some substitutions they made for me.  She was very clear that she was happy to remove any of those items if that was my preference.  She swiped my credit card on her iPad, and put all my groceries in the trunk.  I didn't need to sign &  never even got out of the car!
  • I was out of there in less than 5 minutes. Boom.

The Verdict:

We've started eating clean/Paleo-ish so I had a lot of fresh produce on my list and I am super picky about what I buy. I was honestly surprised by the quality of the items I received.  No bruising or cuts on my veggies. Fresh berries.  The substitutions in my order this time were minor -  they didn't have a large container of oats, so they subbed three small ones for the same price.  They didn't have a large box of Pull-Ups, so I got two smaller bags.  They were out of brand-name pumpkin puree, so they subbed Kroger brand, which I then got for free.  See - I'm saving money already!    

I'm sure I'll have to go in the store for a random thing or two off and on, but I will never again loose my mind over fits for marshmallow cereal with a toddler! Try it - you'll love!

{Trust me, I'm receiving nothing from Kroger for this post, I just know lots of moms who need time for ourselves - and this is an amazing way to gain time back in your day for YOU.  Or laundry.  Your choice!}

Olympic Tear Jerkers - Can't Stop, Won't Stop

I'm not sure that anything could be timed more perfectly than the Olympics are right now.  Sure Brazil is the hot bed of all things Zika and has water with levels of E.Coli that would make any microbiologist cringe. And generally I'd prefer not to watch a stadium full of dancers with nary enough clothing during the opening ceremony.  But in the midst of the world going crazy, nightly name calling on the news, and a general lack of kindness across our country, I'm not sure anything has the potential to rally our country right now like the Olympics could.

Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment, but I've been on the lookout for athletes & stories that I know will force me to shed emotional tears.  I look forward to the surprise wins and the heart breaking sad podium moments of dreams lost.  

Cue the Olympic music (come on...you know you love it as much as Bob Costas).....

There's the inevitable gymnastics team destined for a Wheaties box.  Please ladies - no broken bones AKA Kerri Strug, though you would surely guarantee a spot in my memory if you did.

And then there's any relay on land or water - oh the transfers! The stress! My poor fingernails are already dreading those events.

I'm really excited to watch Michelle Carter, better known as the ShotDiva.  I love that she's kept at training and excelling despite the fact that she's *gasp* thirty.  Don't get me wrong - I love watching the teenagers in gymnastics and the college age runners.  But give me someone who has entered legit adulthood and still works hard with enough consistency to compete with those guys on the worlds biggest stage?  You, my friend, have my utmost admiration.  Here's where the tears come - her Dad was a shot putter too.  And you know NBC will inevevitaly pan to him cheering her on.  And the faucet will flow.  Shot put doesn't get a lot of screen time, but I've got my fingers crossed that we get more than just a glimpse of Michelle.  (PS - she runs camps for girls to teach strength, confidence, &  that beauty is more than just on the exterior.  My heart just loves this!).

We can't forget Michael Phelps - after all he's carrying the flag during the ceremony after all.  Sure he has the most Olympic medals of any American.  Sure he should give someone else a chance to win.  But then there's the redemption story. *Cue the tears*.  I never thought he would make it to Rio.  The last I remembered hearing from him was of multiple DUI's that were part of a sad spiral where he said he became suicidal.  But he was given a copy of "The Purpose Driven Life" by an athlete friend and he has said that God helped pull him out.  He went to behavioral rehab.  He started training again.  He got married and had a baby (well, his wife. Clearly.) But more than that, he reconciled with his Dad. This will be the first Olympics we may see his Dad in the stands.  And I can't wait.  It's such a great reminder that no relationship is too far gone to recover and that we all have self doubts - even those we see as super successful may not see themselves that way.  Here's a link to his story.

And then there's an Olympic first.  There is a team of refugees who are competing under the Olympic flag.  They are "nationless" for all practical purposes.  But the world hasn't forgotten them & I can not wait to watch them chase after their dreams, just like they would have for their countries of origin had the world unrest not have come to head when it did.  They are walking just before Brazil in the Parade of Countries & they very well will receive a standing ovation in my living room.  

Who & what are you watching?  You can count on me for some synchronized swimming & rhythmic gymnastics for good measure.  Is there a tear-jerking story you know is coming?  Because to be sure I want to set my DVR.  

America, let's take this chance to cheer on and celebrate our fellow countrymen.  No matter their age.  Their religion.  Their skin tone.  Their state.  We're all Americans & I can't wait to watch us show the world who is boss!

At The Crossroads of Cellulite & Childhood Dreams

You know what I don't love? Summer.  With it comes sunburns, excessive sweating, & clothes that expose more cellulite than I want to expose.  I've been on the countdown to Fall since May just pretending I could wish away the sun. This last week of temperatures busting at 100 degrees isn't exactly helping matters.

And then.....it happened.

An email about a Sunday School gathering.  With friends.  At a pool.

Sigh.

My initial thought was that this was a great chance to get the little one in a pool - she's been talking about "swimming like Nemo" for weeks, and here was my chance to make all her dreams come true.  But you know what I couldn't avoid?  A bathing suit.  In front of friends and acquaintances.  I'm just saying that's a whole new level of openness I wasn't mentally prepared for....so I took a nap that afternoon & woke up just in time to toss on our suits and head out the door.  Of course, still in denial that the coverup would come off.

Sure I can just toss my kid in with a floaty and she'll stay right next to me as I dangle my feet in the pool right? Or not.

Well here's how this went down.  We walked in. She was beyond excited to get in "the big bathtub" and we could barely get her floaty on before she jumped in.  No fear I tell you.  So I lean over the pool as she starts flipping forward grabbing mouths full of chlorine water (yum right?), and I know I've got to get in to get her started & upright.  So off went the coverup and in I went. 

The minor detail I left out was that there were probably 10 kids in that pool and ZERO adults.  Oh there were plenty around, but I was the only one in the pool.  Granted my daughter was the youngest by far and was clearly not yet in "supervised swim" mode.  Want to know what will send me into a super self-conscious internal meltdown?  Yeah this.   To the point where when getting out of the pool for dinner, I literally stood there for a few minutes deciding the exit that provided the most immediate cellulite covering.  Either set of steps forced me to walk past more people than I would have liked.  

Strangers on a beach is one thing.  Family is another.  This group of ten or so families was a whole other ballgame for me.    

But you know what made it worth it?  The belly-laugh two-year-old giggles as she jumped off the side of the pool into my arms.  How she begged for "more, more" as I pushed her around the pool.  The sweet thank-you's she offered unprompted.  

She just wanted me.  To make memories with me. 

And I just wanted to stress over cellulite. 

I'm so thankful that I was semi-forced into jumping right in, because we had an amazing time despite my body-image issues.  That moment reinforced to me what I don't want to pass on to my sweet girl.  I don't want her to think people are constantly talking about her because she needs to loose a few pounds.  Or that she's not lovable because she's not a certain size.  Or that she shouldn't take part in certain activities because of how she feels about herself in a bathing suit.  

My issues don't have to be hers - and I am choosing not to teach them by example.

The kicker for me in this whole thing was a comment from a fellow mom friend.  I made an off hand comment about not expecting to be the only one in the pool, and she said she wished she was as free as me to just "get in".  I felt like the odd-man out, but maybe I was sparking something in others.  Maybe just in her.  But one thing I know is I want to remember this moment.  Those smiles and splashes covered a lot of self-doubt.....and I don't want to let the cellulite win in those moments.

I choose not to have my little ones childhood memories & dreams be squashed by my own insecurities.  

So put on those bathings suits, shut down those internal voices & make moments with your family.  And if people are talking about you or me then they've got bigger issues to deal with than either of us!