My Professional Background - Once upon a time, I wanted to be a motivational speaker. Actually, I was a professional motivational speaker for about 5 years.:
Breaking and Entering

There’s nothing quite like kicking off the New Year with an Internet search for illegal activity and bonding with the new neighbors in the process, amIright?

As I mentioned in my last post a thousand years ago, our family came down with a series of illnesses that stretched from the Sunday after Thanksgiving until Christmas.


Brian and I both had two separate illnesses, and one of mine likely turned into a sinus infection that made my girls’ trip to New York in early December a bit less comfortable.

[Is she seriously complaining that her leisurely trip to New York wasn’t so perfect?]

Oh, it was awesome; don’t get me wrong. We shopped, we saw shows, and we ate like tourists. I just thought my eardrum might explode when we descended on the flight back home.

Let’s just say it all together now: First. World. Problems.

Then there were Averi’s double ear infections that had my hypochondria itching to take her to the emergency room. But since our insurance situation changed when Brian’s job did, I decided to resist the urge and make an appointment with her pediatrician like a normal person. Though JJ didn’t have the same extreme symptoms as his sister, the doctor preemptively put him on an antibiotic as well. Four days later JJ broke out in a total-body rash that had me again itching (no pun intended) to take him to the ER. Instead, I called the same pediatrician who assured me that JJ merely had a reaction to the antibiotic. We took him off of it immediately since he had no more signs of the infection. Two days later we were back at the doctor because he had double ear infections.

Welcome to parenthood.

Then when you throw a new job, Christmas, buying a house, moving into that house, and pregnancy into the mix, you can see why Brian and I nearly cried with appreciation when my mom offered to keep the kids in Georgia for two days after Christmas. We desperately needed that time to “relax” while we unpacked a few (hundred) boxes.

My mom suggested we leave our minivan with her while we drove her car back to Birmingham. This saved Brian the trouble of having to move the car seats and other kid gear. So, on the Sunday evening before New Year’s, we loaded our luggage and Christmas gifts into my mom’s vehicle and made the three-hour trip back to our house in Alabama.

It was honestly the most peaceful, relaxing drive Brian and I have had in a very long time. We talked, we laughed, and we listened to the radio (a luxury when you’re accustomed to Dora on constant loop). We made plans for how to arrange the house, and we made plans for the coming year. Around 9 p.m. we pulled into our driveway as relaxed as we’ve been since before Thanksgiving. Illnesses were behind us, the hustle and bustle of the holidays were behind us, and almost everything we owned was in the same location and ready for us to settle into our new home.

There was just one problem.

As we reached the top of our driveway and the car came to a complete stop, Brian and I simultaneously gasped. We turned to each other and cried out in unison, “THE KEY!”


We forgot our house key.

You know, the key to the house we just purchased like two grown adults who are responsible enough to purchase a home and things like that.

We forgot the stupid key. 

And the garage door openers.

They were three hours away with my car that we decided to leave with my parents.

I look back on this now as a moment in time when a psychologist could have told us an awful lot about how we handle stress as individuals and as a couple. Neither of us could blame the other person since we both made the decision together to bring my mom’s car. So, I did the only thing I could think to do. I immediately texted my mom.

“Guess what we forgot!”

Brian, on the other hand, went into problem-solving mode. He checked every window and door in our newly purchased home hoping beyond all hope that we were also irresponsible enough to leave one of them unlocked.

No such luck.

He got back into the car where I was by that time talking on the phone with my mom. Brian then pulled out his phone and did the one thing he could think to do. He called his dad.

So, there we were, two 33-year-olds who locked ourselves out of our house and who needed to call my mommy and his daddy to get ideas for how we were supposed to get ourselves out of this mess.

And this is where a psychologist could have analyzed the suggestions made by our respective parents. My mom, ever the type to go the extra mile, suggested we meet her halfway and get the key. Brian’s dad, ever the DIY-er, had no less than 15 demolition-style suggestions that involved breaking a window or door and then replacing them later. We hung up our phones and decided to think it through before we sent someone driving this way or took a crowbar to the home we just purchased.

“Well, I guess one of us should go ask the neighbors if they happen to have a spare key.”

Brian wasn’t too thrilled with my suggestion. Especially not the part where he properly assumed I meant that he should be the one to do it. Still, it seemed less painful than breaking a window, so Brian willingly went.

“Hi, nice, responsible couple who lives next door. We’re your 33-year-old, college-educated neighbors with children and a mortgage who locked ourselves out of the house. You don’t happen to still have a key to it, do you?”

I imagine Brian said something like that.

I imagine because I was too humiliated to witness it myself.

Unfortunately—or maybe fortunately since we had only met them once—our neighbors did not have a spare key. Brian got back in the car with me and pulled out his phone. And before he took the hammer tool I bought him for Christmas to the home he bought us all for Christmas, he decided to consult one final, reliable source: the Internet.

Who else would you consult before you decide to break into a home? The upstanding Internet, of course!

And that’s when I really saw the MacGyver side come out in my husband. I liked it.

“Oh, this may work! I just need to borrow a few things from the neighbors.”

Well, that’s a conversation I really didn’t want to miss. So, we went back to the neighbor’s house together at 10 p.m. and knocked on this lovely couple’s door.

“Hi, there! Remember us? Yeah. We’re pretty sure we can break into our house, but we need to borrow a step ladder and a wire coat hanger.”

They kindly obliged, gathered the necessary tools, and decided they would come back to our house with us in case we needed any help. Like they weren’t quite sure we ought to be allowed to operate a tool as powerful as a wire coat hanger without supervision.

Give us some credit, people. We’ve got this.


The three of us watched as Brian skillfully used that stepladder and coat hanger for 30 minutes or so to cause a chain of events that I will not share with the entire upstanding population of the Internet. But I’ll have y’all know it was impressive. MacGyver impressive.

Our new neighbor squealed with excitement as Brian managed to get us inside without breaking a single door or window. She exclaimed, “This was fun! What should we do tomorrow night?”

Brian, ever the quick wit, pointed to a different house on our street and responded, “Break into their house!”

You know, we may be too irresponsible to be homeowners, but I’m glad we’re able to laugh in the midst of our frustration. It’ll come in handy when we’re mistaken for criminals and arrested for breaking and entering into our own home.

We’ll call ourselves The Latchkey Bandits.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to hop on the trusty Internet and research electronic keypads.

Also, security systems.

So how many of you grown men and women are willing to admit to me that you have locked yourselves out of your own homes?

(Dad, I won’t tell them about how you locked yourself out of your house THREE times in TWO WEEKS while mom was out of the country. That’ll be our little secret. The apple doesn’t fall far, I guess.)


Comments to "Breaking and Entering"

  1. Dona

    January 7, 2015

    Oh, girl, you never fail to start my day with a chuckle and a warm heart! I’m waiting to hear what G-man has to say about his ordeal! And by the way, I’ve locked myself out of my car, only to find it not only wasn’t locked, but still running. Twice. I shall not cast stones. Dona

    • Katy in a Corner

      January 8, 2015

      Haha! Your story just reminded me of the time Brian and I went on a date one afternoon in the North Georgia Mountains. We spent the entire day shopping and hiking. When we returned to his car that evening, it was running. Locked. It was running and locked. All day. We should have known that would set the course for our entire relationship. I haven’t thought of that in forever. Good times. 😉 As always, Dona, thanks for the comment. You’re awesome.

  2. Laurie

    January 7, 2015

    Oh, have SO been there! Only it was before Google. Locked my 7-month pregnant self out of our very old house while my husband was on a trip and was able to open a cellar window just enough to drop (carefully!) my 2 1/2-year-old son in and coached him into opening the front door. Not long after, the same little “Houdini” had to be used again when my husband locked the keys in our car at my parents’ house. It was a station wagon and I can’t remember what was forced open enough for my son to crawl through, but after he retrieved the keys and/or unlocked the car, my husband managed to lock the keys in the car AGAIN an hour later (because, obviously, we handle stress so well! And can only imagine what my parents were thinking!) Reading your posts takes me back to those hectic, happy days.

    • Katy in a Corner

      January 8, 2015

      Oh. My. Goodness. This is incredible. I can just imagine having to lower one of my children through a basement window and then coach them through the process of letting me in. There is no way that would work. They probably would have stood there staring at me. And then probably started playing with something while I watched them. Such a classic maneuver on your son’s part. He was probably really handy to have around!

  3. Marissa

    January 7, 2015

    My husband and I have locked ourselves out of our home several times. Fortunately (unfortunately), we have a crappy sliding glass door that if you pick up and push the right way will unlock and slide open.
    I also used to lock myself out of our apartment all the time. My husband (then boyfriend) stop dirving home from work to let me back in to get my car keys after the billionth time and I would wait in the bakery down stairs for our landlord’s office to open. It happened so often that the girls at the bakery and office knew as soon as they saw me that I had locked myself out again.

    • Katy in a Corner

      January 8, 2015

      This is when people like you and I should find a trusted neighbor to hang on to a spare key for us. Maybe two trusted neighbors in case one of them is gone. Thanks for sharing, Marissa!

  4. Bekah

    January 7, 2015

    I just love the stories that include your mom. I am AMAZED at the lengths she goes to to help (There might be a smidgeon of gratification that she feels in getting to tell everyone how MUCH she is doing and how busy her life is, but we won’t talk about that for the purposes of this comment). She really is a very generous, helpful lady that I admire and love a lot. And I would know, because I once called my mom to ask for a little help with the two small children I had when I had the flu and couldn’t get out of the bed and my husband had a brand new job and was working like 12 hours a day, and you know what she told me?! People have had to figure out how to have the flu and do their lives for thousands of years. You’re not the first. You won’t be the last, and you’ll be a stronger person for it. Gee, thanks, mom…..I wonder what Katy’s mom is doing. Because next time maybe someone ELSE’S mom will come have pity on me.

    • Katy in a Corner

      January 8, 2015

      Haha! This is such a great comment, Bekah. Unless your mom reads it, and then she’s REALLY not going to help you next time. She’ll say, “Nooooooo, why don’t you go call Katy’s mom?”

  5. Robyn

    January 7, 2015

    I don’t remember ever locking myself out of my house, but I have locked myself out of my car on MANY occasions. In the 80’s it was a lot easier to break into cars and houses than it is today. You can call Brian “Macgyver” all you want, he is actually becoming his dad 🙂

    • Katy in a Corner

      January 8, 2015

      That wouldn’t be ALL bad. 😉 Especially the part where he fixes stuff after he breaks it.

  6. Heather Garcia

    January 8, 2015

    Congrats on your new house. Have fun turning it into a home.
    I used to work at a grocery store and became really close with some of my customers. I was asked to house sit for a customer so I said sure. One morning I was getting ready to get in the shower and ran out to the garage to put my towel in the dryer not knowing that the door to get into the house locked when it shut. So there I am standing naked in a customers garage freakung out! I had no idea what to do. I wrapped the towel around me and went knocking on doors. But it was morning so none of the neighbors were home. Finally I knocked on a door and the lady recognized me as a cashier at the grocery store and gave me a robe to put on while her husband went and broke into the house for me.

    • Katy in a Corner

      January 8, 2015

      EPIC story. And it beats mine by a billion because 1) it wasn’t your house and 2) you were naked. So sorry that happened, but thanks for sharing it with us. 😉 Seriously. Epic.

  7. G-Man

    January 8, 2015

    I meant to respond to your post yesterday but I was too busy looking for my keys.
    Yes, I can admit it. I did lock myself out of the house three times in two weeks. There was a good reason for that however……..I was SOOOOOO distraught over being away from your mom for so long! Yep, that was it.

  8. Katie

    January 9, 2015

    I just locked us out of the house on Christmas Day – fortunately(?) our backdoor can be breached with a credit card and a screwdriver. I’m looking into getting that fixed.

    • Katy in a Corner

      January 13, 2015

      Oh no! On Christmas! Yeah, I think you and I should look into getting ourselves a lock with an electronic keypad for Christmas next year.

  9. Kelly

    January 13, 2015

    Ok so one day after a long work day I picked up my kids from school and day care. As I’m crossing the highway towards home my clutch went out. Called the tow truck, they came and got the car. I have them the keys and headed home. Once I got home I realized I didn’t have the house key. I went around the back and discovered the laundry room window was partially open. So I did what any mother of the year would do and stood on a chair, popped my 2yo in the window and instructed him to slide backwards off the washing machine. With relief he was just fine. So I told him to unlock the door for mummy. He came to the glass back door, smiled and said, “you can’t get in”. Me: No, honey could you just unlock the door?
    2yo: “one mim mit” (minute) I watched as he took the kitchen chair over to the pantry, climbed up and got down the pack of Tim Tams. He then sat on the floor and proceed to eat all the choccy biscuits. I’m standing outside telling him his brother is hungry and unwilling to call the fire dept and tell them I put my kid through the window. He goes back into the laundry, with the kitchen chair and throws some bickies out the window for his brother. Once the pack was empty, the kitchen covered on chocolate fingerprints he opened the back door, reached out his arms for a cuddle and says, sorwee mummy. Little devil. 🙂


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