Monday, October 31, 2011

All Hallows Eve

As we prepare to take little guy out to trick or treat this year, I can't help but be a bit sentimental.  This will most likely be his last year (as a kiddo, anyway).  Sure, he will walk through the neighborhood with his friends and act silly, but this is most likely his last year to just be a kid, dress up, ask for the candy and not feel "too old".  There is that age thing again.  It frustrates me that so many things are defined by age in our society.  Ah, another blog.

This year little guy came to us and said "I have to be something super scary this year.  With a weapon.  And blood."  Seriously?!  No more clowns, tigers, police men.  Now, we have to be a killer.  A scary man.  Something that actually COULD happen in our society.  Yikes.  The funny thing is he hasn't even seen a single scary movie to even identify with this persona!  (Well, I did try to see if he would watch The Ring with me one day.  Big mistake.  5 minutes in, he RAN upstairs and said I was a horrible mother.  Yep, not ready yet.)

So tonight he will don the infamous hockey mask and machete and run around the neighborhood with his friends trying to stab them.  How fun.  I'm sure he will have a blast.  I miss those days when we could just be free to be silly and have fun with no expectations of "proper behavior".  Yet another blog.

Happy Halloween to all my readers!  I hope you feel a piece of nostalgia as you watch your little ones nervously walk up the driveways to the doors of strangers and ask for candy.  That's not weird or anything :).  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Nightmare on Ex Street

Hubs and I joke all the time about what life will be like when the little guy turns 18 and we get divorced.  We even do it in front of people sometimes ~ forgetting that others really are divorced and trying to raise kids in that environment.  Those that know us well understand that we are passionate with one another and divorce is simply not now, nor ever will be, a way out of our marriage.  Hubs says he has more creative ways of getting rid of me (note to readers - if I show up missing, have them dig up the field behind my house!)

All kidding aside, we have "been there, done that" and wouldn't wish that on anyone.  Unfortunately I was married very young and subsequently divorced very young, which caused the much bigger nightmare of having to coparent with someone I didn't even want to speak to (and still don't... nah, I don't hold grudges or anything).  And a nightmare it was.  The kicker was that it's fairly clear now (hindsight is ALWAYS 20/20) that the ex was never even interested in being a father.

It is an extremely rare couple that can be married, have kids, get divorced and coparent.  Stating the obvious ~ if you can't work through your differences when you are married, how in the world will you compromise enough to coparent AFTER divorce?  I am very fortunate that my son is old enough that I will never have to see or speak to his bio dad again.  Bio dad did his own permanent damage to their relationship and my son learned the unfortunate lesson that not all people are good people, even those you may share DNA.  Thank god he's had Hubs since he was 3 to know true unconditional love ~ even better when it's someone you DON'T share DNA!

Looking around, I see a ton of divorced couples raising kids.  A VERY few of them have it right.  I'd say 1 out of 10 that I know.  I'm pretty shocked when I see it.  Perfect example:  my little guy has a friend whose parents are divorced.  He plays a sport with their son.  Every practice, I see his mom and dad sitting next to each other talking, laughing, smiling.  Cheering on their son.  They have consistently been doing this for the past two seasons.  It wasn't until half way through this season that I learned the two of them were not married to each other.  In fact, I learned the dad is remarried (and maybe has steps?)  What?!  How can that be?!  Where is everyone else?  How can they get along so well?

The obvious answer... they do it for their kids.  They care enough about them to show their kids how to respect each other.  They show a unilateral support system for their kids.  They don't care whose day it is, don't act angry the other one is there.  Quite frankly ~ it isn't about THEM.  It is ALL about their children and all of the rest of their own lives are unimportant compared to their first job of raising loved, cared for, well adjusted kids.  I admire them.  Their boys will totally understand when they are grown that their parents made the ultimate sacrifice for them... they supported one another through the parenting experience putting all of their own wishes aside.

For the vast majority of the rest of my fellow divorcee`s, it isn't working.  Whether remarried or not, they are fighting.  Fighting over whose weekend it is.  Fighting over who had the last holiday.  Fighting over who pays for what.  Fighting over past wounds, future spouses, kid's alliances and loyalties, new spouses, steps, halfs.  Involving everyone they come in contact with in the middle of their conflicts ~ the teachers, the old friends, the new relationships.  In a single word = nightmare.

What comes out of that?  Kids that are more "flexible, resilient, go with the flow".  That's what they will say.  I know, because that is exactly what I used to say.  Nope.  Try another description:  confused, distrusting, vulnerable.  I don't doubt marriages have MILLIONS of reasons to end, but I implore those considering divorce with kids to CHOOSE WISELY.  Parents will always say they will sacrifice for their kids, but if they really mean that they would fight tooth and nail to push everything aside and put the kids first.

And for my friends battling their exes that are already divorced?  One day, this too will end.  Eventually you will no longer have to go through all the crap.  Oh sure, you may have to be around them at your adult kid's life events.  Or maybe not ~ you could get lucky like me and never have to see them.  Either way, I pray you have the strength to push through and stay focused on the main task at hand.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Just the Facts

This one will strike a chord, I'm certain.

I awoke this morning to a beautiful fall rainy day.  The weather shifted during the night and we dropped from 85 to 45 in a short amount of hours.  While I should have been dressing for a run, I didn't.  I looked up statistics on a controversial topic amongst some of my mom transportation.  Yep, I'm a dork.

So I want to give the facts... numbers are the most consistent means of persuasion in my opinion.  If they are indisputable, then it just is what it is.

In terms of TIME:  On average, my mom (and sometimes dad) friends spend approximately 30 minutes (at LEAST) of their time each morning and evening sitting in the "car rider lane" at their kiddo's respective schools.  For my math major friends, that's an hour a day (yep, I'm sarcastic today). 

According to the Missouri Department of Education, there are 174 school days in operation.  Total hours spent over a nine month period in the car rider lane = 174 hours.  You are getting my point I'm sure - LOTS of time is spent in the car rider lane.  I can think of a TON of productive things I can do in 174 hours! 

So for those of you with the argument of SAFETY, here are those facts:  In 2004 (last data captured), 45,625,458 students were bused in the United States.  This averages 54 students per bus.  In 2009 according to the national bureau of stats, 800 school age kids were killed in vehicular accidents.  Less than TWO percent of that total (16 kids) were killed on a BUS (those include ALL bus related accidents, not just the ones taking kids to school).  The remaining  98% of school age kids died either in their family's vehicle or on foot/bike.

Okay, so for the FINANCIAL facts:

The United States earmarks $17.5 BILLION dollars each year in state funding for school transportation.  That averages to $692 per student per year.  Obviously each year that figure gets cut due to the current economic conditions; however how do you suppose that money is raised?  YOUR TAXES!

Also - sitting in the car rider lane an hour a day adds an additional 180 gallons of fuel per year to your personal usage... approximately $663 a year to YOUR personal budget in additional fuel cost.  Not to mention that although you are virtually sitting still the majority of that time, the often additional trip to and from school adds on average an additional 3,600 miles to your vehicle per year.

And finally - I won't even go into the environmental concerns of adding an additional billion cars on the road (of which 30% of the morning traffic is attributed to parents toting their kids to school), the carbon dioxide that is swimming around the school as the other kids try to enter the building due to the car rider lane cars, etc.

What I hear a lot also is that the bus isn't a great environment.  Kids will learn things on the bus.  I've got news for my friends:  if you think the things your kids will hear and learn on the bus are any different than what they will hear and learn in the halls and at recess during school, I think you might be a bit naive.  Love ya!

As my little guy went to the bus this morning in the rain smiling the whole way, he reminded me how fun it is to ride the bus.  His bus in particular is a blast ~ the kids actually sing songs all the way to school and home every day.  His driver is awesome, knows all the kids personally and isn't cranky to be a bus driver.  They see their friends, forge independence and bravery and have some social time outside the confines of the school building. 

I'm sure there are some bus experiences that SUCK just like there are people everywhere in the world that SUCK.  But for me, there is an outstanding amount of evidence to show that it is a safe, economical, fun and time saving way for our kids to be transported.  Just one girls opinion...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Monumental Moments

As I enjoy my coffee this morning I am contemplating.  A very big set of decisions will be made today.  What an experience! 

It isn't often that we experience monumental moments in our lives.  Sure, getting married is one of the life changers.  Having kids, that will do it.  But beyond that, we have experiences for certain but aren't really faced with to many choices and decisions that are monumental, changing your life path.  A divorce maybe (ugh).  Even deaths don't really do it as they are a natural cycle of life (unless a tragic accident happens).

So once we hit parenthood, we slip into consistent patterns.  Live lives fairly complacently.  Don't really change much.  Become older and more set in our ways, thus more resistant to change entirely.

I am anxious today.  A bit nervous, but excited.  I know the big decisions being made are great ones that will encite adventure, excitement, unknown experiences.  They will also have an impact on others too (including me) and cause a bit of anxiety, uncertainty, unawareness and a bit of saddness.  But this too shall pass and the end result will be a monumental change in the lives of others. 

I wonder why we don't consider change more often?  Lots of people I know would call change "drama".  How sad.  It doesn't have to be considered that negatively.  Changes can help a person be their better, higher person.  Experiencing life in a diverse manner will give you a more holistic view of the world around you.

So today I pray.  I pray for the decisions being made to hold strength, confidence, courage and excitement.  I pray we handle the news we receive intelligently, maturely and lovingly. 

I can't wait for my phone to ring!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Poke the Bear

Approximately once a month, with no specific pattern (eh hem), I turn into the most psychotic woman on the face of the planet for about 24 hours.  Hmmm.  Have no idea what that happens.  Just a hint ~ I was the in the BEST mood during the entire 9 months of both of my pregnancies since my hormones weren't active any longer.  Oh well, at least I'm self aware.

That 24 hour period of time this month culminated with my management of my LEAST favorite material item = my car.  I should either live in an extremely small community, college town or back in the olden times when my transportation could have been a horse.  I HATE cars... hate them.  Never liked them, not one little bit.  Means to an end, that's it for me. 

Those of you that know me now probably don't believe that because of my current transportation so I'll explain.  Yep, I drive a Saab.  So what.  Anyone can drive a Saab.  Or a BMW.  Or a Volvo.  Or a damn Lamborghini.  If you can't afford it new, there is this awesome idea of purchasing previously owned vehicles.  So that's exactly what I did on my 36th birthday with my hubs out of town ~ bought my midlife crisis (see, I act 50 even though I in my 30's). 

This car will be my demise.  I'm certain of it.  I am only $12,000 little dollars away from paying full retail, new car pricing for this thing.  This car has already surpassed the cost of my family home when my parents bought it in 1973.  Seriously.

But this experience is nothing new for me.  Just short of 40 years old, this car is my 10th car.  Yes, you read that right... my TENTH car.  My string of luck has included the following fun:

  • '77 Toyota Corolla (which I totaled... and it was my mom's car)
  • '90 Suzuki Sidekick (LOVED it.  First new car, ex took it in the divorce and sold it)
  • '67 Dodge Dart (my fav.. NOT.  Bright blue with blue vinyl matching interior, no heater and AM radio~ but my bro bought it trying to help me out)
  • '89 Dodge Hatchback thing (had it 1 month, the dealer had to take it back because the seller changed their mind on their new purchase and demanded their car back!)
  • '92 Mazda sedan thing (my only other brand new car, loaned to me for 3 months by the Mazda dealer for jacking me on my car sale)
  • '90 Beretta - first one.  Kinda treated it like a rental, it stressed me out because I didn't really pick it (Mazda dealer jack up situation).  Totaled it 3 months before my wedding.
  •  '92 Beretta - yep, did it again.    And yes, totaled this car as well.
  • '89 Honda Accord hatchback.  Paid $1,200 for the car, drove it for 2 years.  By the time I sold it, it had no brakes, no clutch and the power steering was out.  Probably my best investment.
  • '97 Honda Accord ~ probably my best car.  Willed it to Bubba at 18 and he sold it.
  • And now... the /'03 Saab.  Bought it in 2008 for way less than it's Blue Book and put $16,000 additionally into it since I bought it ($11,000 of which was under warranty, before you freak out)
So after shelling out $2,000 yesterday for a beautifully rebuilt engine, anger is at a new level for me.  All of my friends keep asking the obvious "why aren't you just selling it??"  Did you know there isn't much of a market for a car without an operating engine?  Turns out it loses quite a bit of it's value if it doesn't run.  Oh, and I still owe on the car... go figure.  Just burning money at this point.

At this point I am DETERMINED to keep this car until I die.  Oh sure, I'll buy another stupid car that will take me from point A to B again, but this one will live in my garage for eternity.  I can't afford NOT to keep it.  It's a challenge at this point to keep the damn thing running.

Can't wait for my D-day (downsize day).  I'm pretty sure the Saab has a tow hitch ~ so I hope it can pull the bullet.  It better - this bear is EVIL when poked!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Strip Search

A person to remain nameless is taking on a huge adventure.... a new job that will be awesomely fantastic with travel experiences and great advancement opportunities. 

So to get this job, the application is around 50,000 pages long.  And exhausting. And intimidating.  Basically... it's a strip search.

Who have you ever known in your entire life?  Write down their name, address (current and former) and date and city, state of where they were born.  Who in the hell can do that?

Wait, it gets better.  Name your family.  Your ENTIRE family.  This person has a very fragmented family. BPs (biological parents) are divorced and remarried (one of them twice, the other one we lost count).  Name all of your siblings, your steps (step sibs), your halfs (half sibs), your adopted sibs, your foster sibs.  Some of them are married?  Go ahead and name their spouses and their kids and their stepkids, half sibs.  Oh, and write down their dates of birth and where they were born too. 

How many jobs have you had?  Let's do an anal probe into that as well.  Where, when, how long, what did you like, what didn't you like, why aren't you there any longer?  If you left, do you regret you left?  What would have been your career path if you stayed? (I didn't know you could have a career path at Hi-Boy... guess food manager there or something).

Not to even mention some of the scary questions relating to the actual job that is being applied.

I've been volunteering my time to this person to be of assistance but find myself being utterly useless.

Moral of the story:  KISS.  Keep it simple stupid.  If you do that then you never have to worry about filling out a 50,000 job application.  That and pray your BPs take that same mantra and don't get married 700 times and have a jillion kids between them.  I thank god EVERYDAY that I don't have to deal with that crap in my life anymore!  I would kill myself if I had to coparent with my ex any longer.

(Just as a footer ~ I MIGHT have a bit of difficulty exaggerating sometimes.  In case you want cold hard facts:  the application was 27 pages long.  With two additional addenda.  Yep, almost 50,000.)


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

No conditions

I'm quickly approaching the seven year mark of when my mom passed away. I can hardly believe it- it seems likes just yesterday I would pick up the phone every morning and dial her 417 number. From the time I got pregnant with my first son until she died, I spoke to my momma almost every day. Simple stuff really- upcoming travels (she HATED when I flew), Bubba's events (especially sports), how hubs and I were navigating marriage... Nothing was off limits. I told her EVERYTHING- every fear, every insecurity, every joy. She taught me to accept differences, give the benefit of the doubt and believe in the goodness of others. In few words.... Unconditional love. TRY to be accepting when it's hard. TRY to love those you struggle with. And most importantly.. trust yourself. I still hear her voice, feel her hand on mine, see her pride. I don't have all the answers - I didn't take Love and Logic or Parents as Teachers. But I know this: my boys will ALWAYS feel unconditional, non-obligatory, complete love from me until the day I die. They will walk his earth knowing whatever choices or mistakes they make I will be unwavering in my commitment to them. That is the most important aspect of parenting to me. The rest has a beautiful way of working it's way out!

(OH - and by extension, my girlie (aka daughter in law) will have the same level of commitment and respect.  My bubs chose her to be his life partner so she gets my unconditional love as well.  I've even warned him ~ you guys don't work out, you better know she isn't ever going anywhere!  She's officially part of our herd!!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Flash Alert!

As spontaneous as I try to live, my mornings begin the same way almost every single day of my life.  If I was successful at actually going to bed at a decent hour (before midnight), actually set my alarm properly (am - NOT pm) and can actually drag my exhausted butt out of bed (the trifecta) - I try to run with my neighbs.  Now some of my friends are SUPER excited about the mornings and can run at 5 am.  No, this is never a great idea for me. 

For one, ever since I started to train longer distances, I have a very specific running routine (oh man, this might be a pattern!)  I have to get up and be up for awhile first, drink some coffee, do some "business" and then I can go.  If things don't happen in that order... well, you get the point.

This morning I actually got up right at 5:45.  Drank my coffee, unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, cleaned up the living room and was ready to run by 6:10 with my buddy JP.  We met right on time and had a pretty decent run (as opposed to last week when I had an epic failure - I'm remounting the horse after a 6 week hiatus).  I got back inside by 6:40 and went to chat with the hubs.

To keep my blog PG (or at least PG-13), suffice it to say I didn't get my youngest buddy out of bed until 7:25.  Yep, I lost track of time.  That happens to me OFTEN in my life ~ if you don't know this about me, I have a slight case of ADD.  Undiagnosed, of course.  I'm no dummy... I don't want that on my permanent record!

So the morning went into hyperdrive.  Get buddy dressed.  Feed him breakfast.  Finish homework we didn't know we had last night.  Take the dogs out.  Bring the dogs in.  Feed the dogs.  Take the dogs back out.  Bring the dogs back in.  Pack buddy's backpack and fill his water bottle.  Running around with my head cut off screaming every 5 seconds "Are you dressed buddy?  Are you dressed?  You're going to miss the bus!  Are you dressed?" To which I get "Mom~ of COURSE I'm not dressed!  I'm eating breakfast and doing my homework!"  Grrrr.

At 8:05 I throw him in the car.  Speed to the car rider line at school by 8:10.  Kiss and kick him out of the car.  Speed back home.  Kiss the hubs goodbye (who is smiling happily).  It's 8:15.  I'm in my running clothes.  I'm exhausted.  And I have a department meeting at 9:00.  Seriously?!

I pulled a total Danika Patrick move - showered by 8:22, stepping into the car at 8:30 am with make up on.  Only one small issue - wet hair.  It's no wonder my hair looks the way it does.  I forget to do it about half of the time.  So after sweating to death on my 80 mph drive in with the heater blasting, my hair is dry enough to pull in a pony and call it half good.

I rush into the board room at work at 9:02.  Luckily, I'm not late - people are still assembling.  In an attempt to hurry up and get my butt in a chair, I grab my giant purse/bag to grab my glasses out of it (of which they aren't - they are at home in the bathroom.. awesome).  And that's when the pinnacle of the morning happens - my purse snags the edge of my dress and comes right up on to my hip.  Yep - totally flashed everyone in the board room.  Fabulous.  Guess they didn't know when they hired me I would eventually show my ass - literally!  Oh well - at least the men in the department weren't in there yet.  The rest of the staff will know the real me (if they don't already) in short order!

I think it's time I try to figure out how to either slow down my morning or get up earlier?  Pretty soon I'll be up at 4:00 to watch Marcus Welby.  Ugh.

Monday, October 17, 2011

How old are you?

I find myself in a unique situation.  It is difficult for me to find women (or people in general) in a similar situation as I which causes me often to feel disconnected from my friends.

I am blessed to have a ton of friends - work friends, neighbor friends, my kiddo's friend's parent friends, etc. but none of them are where I am in life.  It gets frustrating because I often feel like I don't connect with them. 

If I really think about I have had this feeling for about as long as I can remember.  I was the 4th child (baby of the family) with a 14 year spread in age from top to bottom.  Once my sibs left home by the time I was about 12, I was an only child.  All that is to say ~ not a lot in common within my own family circle.

Making the decision to start my family when I was WAY young also caused separation from my peers.  I was the only girl married with a 9 month old at my senior high school prom.   My friends went to college, moved on and had their life experiences.  Again ~ not much in common.

I was 23 years old when my son started kindergarten.  Talk about intimidating.  I had NOTHING in common with the 30 year old mom's of my son's friends.  I busted it to be just like the other mom's all through my 20's ~ more responsible than my age, totally involved in school, etc.  I ended many friendships that I perceived as immature, because grown ups didn't drink and go out and act silly.  Mature parents did all the right things, said all the right things, always acted appropriately.  Again ~ disconnected.

I attended my son's high school graduation when I was 36.  Oh yeah, that would be common.  NOT.  Most of my son's friend's parents were in the late forties or fifties.  If they were graduating their youngest kids, some of them were even in their SIXTIES!  Some of them are talking retirement when I'm really at the turn of my career just taking off.  Grrr ~ disconnected.

The majority of my 20's and 30's I acted like someone I wasn't, trying to fit in and be "appropriate" to connect with others.  It was forced and uncomfortable much of the time.

Today, I'm often finding myself still there.  Yes, I have a second child who is in elementary school.  Yes, I live in a neighborhood with other elementary school kids.  Yes, my age on PAPER is close to those around me.  But still, a giant separation exists. I think it exists because although my hubs and I were finally blessed to have a second child together, he came much later than the first born. 

I've been married almost 20 years (23 if you count the first one which I rarely do!).  I have very few friends with that longevity and those that do have it are in their late forties, early fifties with their kids out of the house.  The hubs and I have been through it all and still learn everyday how to appreciate each other for the people we have (and are) becoming.  We throw down like no other ~ in the best of ways and sometimes not so great ~ but that passion is what keeps us together.  Our marriage is SO much better than it was even 10 years ago when we were struggling to raise a young man.

I've experienced being a mother from birth to adulthood ~ I've been tired and disconnected from my spouse, I've set rules and expectations in my marriage as to what the right mom and dad's look like,  I've tried to "keep up with the Jones'" ~ buying all the right brands, all the right toys, all the right STUFF.  I've waited up at night for the teenager to come home, watched him marry and become a father.

I am less than 10 short years away from downsizing, simplifying life TREMENDOUSLY and living my true, non-materialistic self.  And all my current friends?  Well, they won't get me (again).  They will think I'm weird because I'm not like them ~ I can just hear it now "JD, you aren't OLD, you are exactly our age!"  When I slowly duck out of the lime light of social media, material objects and "required participation" I am sure they will be perplexed.  Probably think I've lost my mind, become introverted and depressed or something.  But friends - it isn't about my age.

What they don't know now that they will learn when they are where I am now is that I had years of life experience ahead of them.  That is why I am so comfortable in my skin and don't care what others think of me.  I've already been through where they are now and I'm out on the other side of it by a significant amount of years.

Yep, act like I'm 50 but I'm still in my thirties.  At least for another month!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Finding the Funny

I'm smiling today.  Not really because I want to but because I was told to. 

A seminar speaker (yes, another one) that I heard a couple of weeks ago said we have the power of positive thinking.  We could actually sort of will something to happen in our lives if we remained positive about it.  Seriously.  Who in their right mind believes that?  Oh ~ she sure did.  We even did an exercise where we looked at our partner (the BFF) and said outloud something we wanted but in the past tense, as if we already had it.  Of course I said "Oh my god BFF, I LOVE my new car!  Did you see it yet?  It is so freakin' awesome and I'm so excited to drive it!"  Oh yeah, that worked.  Next day I found out I needed an entire freakin' new engine.  Ugh.

So I don't totally buy into the whole "positive thinking" mumbo jumbo.

But she did say something that I think might be accurate.  If you look hard enough, really really hard, you can find something funny in everyday things.  Gut laughing funny.  Man, I could use a big dose of that today!!

I'm hoping to stumble into something funny soon.  Supposedly it's right in front of me.  Another hmmmmm.  We shall see!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


As I chat with the BFF today, I was reminded of an awesome skill that she and I both seem to possess ~ the skill of pushing things aside to "deal" with later.  Some might want to call that procrastination however it is not.. I assure you!  I am one of the biggest procrastinators on the planet so I'm very aware of how that operates.

This discussion reminded me of a comment that was made to me a few months ago from another friend.  The talk was on how easy it seemed to be to have friendships with the opposite sex but somewhat struggle with same-sex friendships.  This area can be quite sticky for some depending on their marriages or partnerships if the spouse or partner isn't naturally trusting.  Thank god I don't have that problem in my own marriage!  I have several friends that aren't really trusted to hang out with members of the opposite sex. 

So back to the comment:  I was told I "compartmentalize".  What in the hell is that?  Of course I know the meaning of the word but I had no idea whatsoever how it applied to me.  Further explanation made it all clear:  my friend indicated I "think like a guy".  I put my thoughts and emotions into boxes of sorts.  Home... work... this group of friends.... that group of friends.... this part of the family.... that part of the family... and neither the 'tween shall meet.  However that saying goes.  Basically I don't cross my life paths.  And this goes so much further beyond just categories of people~ it applies to my EMOTIONS as well.  Move this emotion over to allow the experience of another one.  It wouldn't surprise me if I think like a guy ~ I was raised by a guy, had two brothers, tons of guy cousins and uncles and primarily only played with boys when I was a kid (get your mind out the gutter!)  They always seemed easier to get along with and didn't judge me on my hair or clothes ~ just liked the fact I could climb the tree and play army as well as they could.

I've always thought of myself as a "what you see is what you get" kind of girl.  My sun and moon signs are both in Scorpio depicting I truly am exactly as how others see me.  I strive to be real, not put on any airs and show the world exactly as I am without being something I am not.  Obviously, this is a bit of misnomer to me - how can I be exactly as I am if I am constantly "compartmentalizing" myself?  Do people see that I do this?  Is it a bad thing?

As kids we are brought up to believe we should behave a certain way.  A wife should behave one way.  A mother should behave another way.  A friend should behave this way.  So it's no doubt to me that I have created compartments for each portion of my life especially if any one specific part requires me to behave in a way inconsistent with what I REALLY strive to be.
But maybe there is just some hidden meaning in the word and she didn't want to say it to me ~ hmmmmmmm?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Non-Mundane Monday

Ah, Mondays.  My friends typically get bummed out by around 6 pm Sunday night, knowing Monday is coming.  I'm such a planner that I love Sunday evenings, hence don't mind Monday's that much ~ the ritual of finishing up work clothes laundry, signing little guy's school paperwork, re-writing the weekly schedule on the fridge, setting up the coffee pot to brew at 6 am, etc.  It's like a do-over for the week before, so I get a chance to do this week better than the last one.

This Monday is a bit different though.  I feel a surge of panic, indecision, inconsistency.  A lot of major decisions will be made this week and I'm nervous.  If you know me at all, you know that change is exhilarating for me.  I thrive on it.  I am usually pretty "go with the flow".  I don't feel so flowy today, however.  The future is a bit unclear for a family member of mine but the decisions made this week will most definitely impact me in a big way.

So I'm a bit on the fence today.  One of the most difficult things in the world I think is to be an objective, supportive, unconditionally loving person to those that you love even when you find yourself confused, uncertain and scared.  It's the biggest feat we are given as parents as well ~ raise them to the best of your abilities and then love them throughout all of their life journey, no matter what.

I'm praying for strength today, to be courageous and put my own feelings aside.  Something a mother is accustomed to doing but nonetheless, uncomfortable (especially for a fairly assertive girl like me).

Thank god I have the support of my hubs ~ I wouldn't make it through most of my journeys without him and he allows me to be crazy, confused and scared even when he thinks I'm nuts.  Everyone needs someone who's GOT YOUR BACK!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Morning Bliss

Any of my mom friends reading today will totally relate to my morning bliss...  aka, FIRST ONE UP!  I absolutely love Sunday mornings.  I'm always the first one up and we typically don't have anything to do right away (yes, I'm aware... Pastor Schwartz would be not so happy to read this).  I make my coffee, clean up Saturday night dishes that didn't fit in the dishwasher and snuggle down in my chair with a blankey thinking about the upcoming week.  Nope, I don't dread it ~ I try to envision all my opportunities, ask God for guidance in my decisions (which I ask for A LOT) and identify things I'm grateful for. 

Today, my gratefulness overflows.  The hubs and I worked our tails off in the house yesterday, mainly because of a cranky washing machine.  So as I sit and enjoy my coffee this morning, I am reminded how grateful I am that we have a home to work our tails off in, that we have stuff we have to clean and that we have bodies that allow us to do physical work.  The little things...

I hope all my mom friends are having a quiet cup of coffee this morning.  Maybe just 1/2 a cup, but I hope you get a moment to reflect before the decent begins, the kids are hungry, the hubs is up and your daily wonderful chaos begins.  Be grateful you have chaos!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Belly Laugh

Keeping in trend with my new education of self, I was reminded last week of how crucial it is that we try to have at least one moment each day to laugh.  I don't mean chuckle, smile or sort of half laugh politely ~ I mean thrown hands in the air, hysterical laughter that makes your belly shake and your eyes tear (or completely sob, whichever the case). 

I got that moment this morning, and it was so totally out of the blue and silly but I couldn't help myself.  I was on the phone with the BFF and we were having our normal daily banter (yep, I talk to the BFF every single day of my life (or try very hard to) and have since we were about 18!).  We have almost the same discussion every morning:  what's up with your kids, what's up with mine, what drama did you encounter last night, how are we gonna pay our bills, love our kids (that's usually the main topic) even though they drive us nutty... same ole same ole.

As we were running over last night's events and today's agenda, we both spilled that we must go to the store.  There is no food in the house.  We are out of the "necessities".  In short:  she needed toilet paper.  Okay, why is that funny?  Well, at least once a week, she buys toilet paper.  WAY more than the average bear (no pun intended, Charmin).  She lives in a house with 3 girls and 1 guy, hence the over-usage.  I, conversely, live in a house with 2 guys and 1 girl, so it seems to last me FOREVER.  I know, way TMI.

So she has come up with a plan.  She has thrown down the gauntlet in her house and achieved her Queen status:  NO MORE THAN 2 SQUARES PER VISIT.  I died laughing... rolling off the couch laughing.  Pee my pants kind of laughing.  Seriously, this will work?  I say.  Yes, it will work.  I mean it!  I laugh even harder.  God I love that woman ~ I have NO idea what I would do if I didn't have her in my daily life!

Try to take time to get in a belly laugh today.  My entire day was reshaped the minute I let that out!

Thursday, October 06, 2011


I am ever amazed with how something can come out of my mouth one way and be interpreted another.  Sometimes I wish I could record myself and play it back, listening to my inflection and tone.  In my brain I hear things a certain way but it seems I am often not able to communicate my point.

I blame it on being the baby of the family (BTW, I blame most things on this beautiful familial position).  As the baby, one has to shout to be heard, must assert thoughts and feelings into a full home with the smallest voice.  As a kiddo, I not only shared my house with my brothers and sister, I also shared it with about 15 other kids on average ~ my mom ran an in-home daycare.  From 5 am to 7 pm, the house was always filled with babies, toddlers and school age kids shouting, screaming and playing.  If I wanted my mom's attention (which was ALWAYS), I had to be bossy, sassy, loud and overall a pain in the ass.  Yep, sounds like a few "babies of the family" I know now!  So if you have multiple kids and find that the baby of the family is a bit tedious and exhaustive - cut them some slack.  They just want to be heard, be special and have their own representative voice in the house.  I'm sure you already know they are always right, so just acknowledge them and move on.  They just want a little bit of extra attention!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

New age, new perspective

So it dawned on me after attending a conference with the BFF last week on Women's Health that I still have a TON of work to do.  I have been reading other's blogs lately and definitely think I need to brush up on mine and reinvent it a bit.  Sure, I still love to run.  I just don't want to talk about it anymore.  I think training for two marathons in the same year have caused a bit of burn out.  So I'll put that on the back burner... it's time to focus on other stuff!

Back to the conference - we learned so many things about women that day.  We don't know how to relax.  We don't know how to maintain our weight.  We don't know how to prioritize our time.  We don't know how to take good care of our bodies.  Basically, we suck at seeing OURSELVES. 

But wait!  We aren't supposed to focus on ourselves, right?  ESPECIALLY if we are moms (and wives) - it's an unwritten rule.  SACRIFICE.  Sacrifice your body, sacrifice your dreams, sacrifice your money, sacrifice your time.  That's what we are required to do, isn't it? 

I'm saying NO MORE.  No, I'm not running away from my family and living on a beach (although that might be fun?)  But it's time to figure out how to include MYSELF in this equation.  I really started the transformation last year on my birthday, realizing it was the last year in my 30's.  I exercised more, ate better, tried to strengthen my friendships ~ still I feel a bit lost.

But as I'm quickly approaching 40, it's becoming even more clear to me.  If I don't do it now and I wait it out (as most of my friends plan to do), what will become of me by the time I'm ready?  What will I have let my body look like, what will my soul have become, what interests will I have if I don't focus on the development of me?

So as I approach the new age, I'm going to try a new perspective. I'm going to take time to blog as often as I can through my journey. Be prepared - some days may just be me being confused or frustrated.. but hey, it wouldn't be a journey without that!  So here goes, over the fire!