MichiforniaGirl

Taking the "Mid" out of "Midwest"

So, this stuff happened: Bring Me to the Blog

FOR HOMEBODIES WHO AREN'T *QUITE* SURE WHERE HOME IS.

After thirty-plus years in a place I love, my family of four suddenly moved from the Midwest to the West. We traded lakes for mountains and four seasons for eternal sunshine, and I know what I'm SUPPOSED to say: "This is incredible! Everything is okay and I am super duper fine!" But guys. Change is kind of scary sometimes, and this is taking some getting used to.

In the meantime, this site has become my home, and I'm so happy you're here. It's a place for beachside chats about all sorts of things, like moving and teaching and motherhood and marriage. And here's the thing about beachside chats: sometimes a few grains of sand sneak under your suit and things get gritty and a little uncomfortable, but the water is soothing and your skin is toasty warm, so you stay.

I hope you stay. I hope you'll help me prove that it's okay to admit when things aren't 100% amazing 100% of the time. I hope you'll help me celebrate our successes AND our messy, beautiful imperfections -- and that's coming from a Type A perfectionist, so this may take a minute. But I am on a mission to embrace change. I WILL EMBRACE IT, and I'd love for you to join me. Here we go.

ABOUT MELISSA

About

I'm a high school teacher from Michigan who (reluctantly) moved across the country when I was six months pregnant. Now that I'm in California, I spend my days babbling to a toddler, dancing with a 4-year-old, and wandering aimlessly around the two locations I can find without using Google Maps. The plus side: since the move, my work has been published by Writer's Digest and The Writer, and is also featured on The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, BlogHer, and Mamalode, among others.

I am a frustrating mix of contradictions (and, um, neuroses): as a member of SAG-AFTRA, I relish the thrill of a film set, but the stage fright struggle is real. I'm an anxious ambivert who both yearns for alone time and profoundly misses the company of other adults. I prefer my words (and my people) genuine, with a side of humor.

10 Most Popular Posts

Babysitters, This Is Why You Didn’t Get an Interview

Babysitters, This Is Why You Didn’t Get an Interview

Apr 24, 2017 | 10 Comments

There is a serious shortage of acceptable babysitters. We used to have four of them: they answer to Grandma, Papa, Granny, and Papaw. Then we moved to a land far, far away, and ever since then it’s just been…us. For everything. It’s not that we don’t need the help. In fact, sometimes it feels like we really, really […]

<span class="entry-title-primary">Diary of a Dog: Before and After Life with Kids</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">By Beaker</span>

Diary of a Dog: Before and After Life with Kids By Beaker

Mar 23, 2017 | 4 Comments

JUNE 2010: Not really sure where I am, but it is GREAT! Definitely digging this place. It checks off several must-haves. I’ve been here for a few breakfasts now, so maybe this is my new pack. The Two-Leggeds sneak me some gourmet scrambled eggs each morning after my own food, I get snacks just for being cute, and […]

The Space Between Baby and Boy

The Space Between Baby and Boy

Jan 22, 2017 | 6 Comments

We’re in it now, this space between baby and boy. We’re teetering, delicately and precariously, a roller coaster in its graceful pause just before the plunge. It was a little rickety at first, climbing that steep, steep slope: Sleepless nights. Endless spit-up. Needless crying. I felt each click click click of the ascent. But for now, we are floating […]

Melissa and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Melissa and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Oct 25, 2016 | 7 Comments

Today was a DAY, you guys. Just an absolute day. I’ve been meaning to write about the other four hundred thousand topics in my Blog Post Queue — which is obviously a very official space in a remote corner of my brain, where I carefully collect all the ideas that rush at me throughout the week and organize them into […]

A Love Letter to Michigan

A Love Letter to Michigan

Sep 22, 2016 | 10 Comments

My beloved Mitten, When I left last year, I knew, absolutely, I would miss you. Somehow I always understood that you are special — even as a child, even when my then-boyfriend-now-husband-who-is-from-Virginia called you “kinda flat,” even when I was nineteen years old and it was winter in Ann Arbor and I had to lean into a blizzard on the blustery walk […]

Well, That Escalated Quickly: Behind the Scenes of a Perplexingly Polarizing Post

Well, That Escalated Quickly: Behind the Scenes of a Perplexingly Polarizing Post

Aug 25, 2016 | 14 Comments

This is a post about irony. Well, mostly. The last couple weeks have demonstrated that an alarming number of people are super confused when it comes to identifying the underlying theme of something (which makes the English teacher in me curl up in a ball and sob a little bit). So this time, I feel like maybe it’s important to […]

<span class="entry-title-primary">I Cannot in Good Conscience Participate in the Love Your Spouse Challenge</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">...Well, not the way I'm supposed to, exactly.</span>

I Cannot in Good Conscience Participate in the Love Your Spouse Challenge ...Well, not the way I'm supposed to, exactly.

Aug 1, 2016 | 571 Comments

My marriage is not as perfect as yours. Seven years and two kids later, Facebook has absolutely convinced me of this. Written declarations of true love are forever cascading down my feed: You are my soul mate, baby boo-boo sugar lips. My one true love. I would never want to spend this life with anyone else […]

So You Don’t Want to Teach Anymore? Here Are 7 Guesses Why

So You Don’t Want to Teach Anymore? Here Are 7 Guesses Why

Apr 25, 2016 | 83 Comments

Today marks exactly one year without teaching. To acknowledge the occasion, let me take you behind the scenes of my blog and share the number one phrase — BY FAR — that brings people to my site: I don’t want to teach anymore. A plethora of versions abound. Done being a teacher. Don’t want to teach. I can’t teach […]

The Beauty of Being Lost

The Beauty of Being Lost

Jan 19, 2016 | 13 Comments

This morning there were errands. Millions and millions of tiny to-dos, buzzing around my head like gnats. Get the dog washed. Pick up diapers. Go to the post office. Stop at the bank. And the baby was with me and he was starting to fuss in the backseat and I knew he would need to eat in […]

<span class="entry-title-primary">One More Sunday</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">By Melissa Bowers and Joseph Booth</span>

One More Sunday By Melissa Bowers and Joseph Booth

Dec 27, 2015 | 12 Comments

“Did I ever tell you the one about the skeleton key?” he asked, leaning back in his chair and folding his hands. “Yes, Papa,” I said. If Grandma was the giving, earnest matriarch of the family, Papa was the storyteller. His job as a private investigator amassed him many a tale, starring everything from cheating […]

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