Monday, October 25, 2010

I Heart Faces * Pink Week

The weekly challenge at I Heart Faces is Pink Week for Breast Cancer Awareness. What speaks to breast cancer more than a little girl we can only hope will grow into a world with a cure. I just loved this photo so I put a pinkie wash on it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.

I'm a big believer in the Eleanor Roosevelt school of thought: No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

I'm sure there have been people who have treated me poorly but for certain there are none who have made my life hell.

But I would like to thank this prompt for making me feel fortunate!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.

There are two answers that come naturally to this question.

The first is my husband. A long time ago someone told me to marry the man who wanted to join my life and not make my life. And I wasn't really sure what that meant until I met Brooks. He lets me be who and what I am and still loves me. He encourages the good in me and sticks around to laugh at the bad. He has without question made my life worth living.

But then there are my kids.

Before children I never worried about death. I always just saw it as a natural progression and felt lucky to have been able to live the life I have and really believed that every day is a gift. And then I had kids. And now? Now I fear death. The thought of leaving them before I am ready and before I feel like I have done my job with them makes me quake in my boots. It just might be my biggest fear.

So I suppose that I'd have to say that my answer is my family :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.

This is sort of a dumb question. And makes me think that this whole 30 days deal was started by some bored high school kid who wanted note passing inspiration. But I've started, so I'll finish.

I don't ever want to have to sit in a hospital at the side of a loved one. I'm not an idiot, I'm sure I'll lose plenty of people through my life. I just hope they all die very old and at home in their beds. And preferably in their sleep. So there.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.

When I first read this question, a big part of me wanted to respond that I've already done it! I wanted to be in a loving marriage, check. Own a home, check. Have children and stay home with them, check, check, check. Truly, all of the things that were super important to me, I've got.

But those things beget other things too. Now I want to see my children grow up and become kind, successful, loving men. I want to see them get married to kind and loving women. I want to see them have children of their own. I think that a large part of having children is watching your dreams for yourself become your dreams for you children. All my hopes are for them now.

Selfishly, I guess I'd like to travel more. I came up with a bucket list a while ago but most of it I'd honestly be fine also not doing. In my most lazy admission, I'd like for Brooks to retire and have some good years of just spending time with him. Sheesh, guess I'm just boring!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.

I'm a pretty forgiving person.

Don't get me wrong, I NEVER forget. But I do forgive because I don't think you can move on without forgiving.

I'd like to say that there's truly nothing I have held on to, but that would be a lie. There is also NO WAY that I could even begin to be cryptic enough to blog about that forgiveness. So I'll be honest and admit that I am holding a grudge right now. And the grudgee probably knows who I am talking about.

So I'll just leave it at that and say that I'm working on it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.

Another tough one. For me. And I'm faced with a decision here to either lie, or be honest and completely over-share. I'm going to try and be honest, but just a little cryptic. So sorry if this feels awfully vague.

A long time ago, in the life of a girl far away (heh) I had a very good friend. A bestie. And this friend and I, we went through some crap together. A BIG crap, if you will. And so there we were, standing in this crap up to our eyeballs and suffocating. So I ran. I crawled out of that pile-o-crap as fast as my arms and legs could dig. And then I ran. I ran for my life. And I did. not. look. back. Not even once. Not until I felt like I was as crap-free as I could cleanse myself. And then I took a deep breath, and I looked back. And this friend, this very good friend who would have done anything for me, this friend who would have helped me in a heartbeat was staring at me, undoubtedly wondering why I wasn't coming right back to help. But I was afraid of all that crap. I was afraid of what might happen if I went back. What if I couldn't dig my friend out? What if I got stuck again myself? What if I could never get out?

So I did not go back.

I turned around and walked away. Away from the crap. Away from my friend.

At the time it felt like the only thing I could do, the only decision I was capable of making. It felt like survival. But looking back? Looking back it feels like cowardice. It feels like abandonment. It feels like I was a terrible friend. And I can't even tell you how often I think of what I could have changed if I had made a different decision. How would my friends life have been different. And how might it have changed mine.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 02 → Something you love about yourself.

Ok, well, this is tougher. Why do we have such a hard time praising ourselves for what we do well? Or being positive about who we are?

Anyway, I think the thing that I appreciate most about myself is that I'm honest. Probably to a fault. I don't think anyone would ever call me nice, definitely not sweet, possibly funny or generous, but most definitely honest. I think it's not only something that comes naturally to me, but a trait I've spent some time cultivating. Selfishly, because it's easier. I don't like to be untruthful. I'm not a bad liar, but most certainly an uncomfortable one. And at this point in my life, I have no desire to expend the energy necessary to perpetuate any lie. Although I do wish that I had slightly better control over my facial expressions at times.

Honesty is also something I demand from my close friends. Know me long enough and you'll know not to ask my opinion unless you really want it. But also that when I ask yours, I expect nothing less than total honesty back (even if it is to say that my last haircut really made my hair look half fake). I'm sure there is a way to be both delicate and honest, but I don't know it and I'm not going to try and find it either.

So yes, I love that no one could ever call me a liar. A bull in a china shop? Maybe. But definitely not a liar.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself

This is tough.

There are plenty of things about myself that bug me. But I think the one that bothers me the most is that I have a stupid fear of being alone or being left out. And when I say stupid, I mean ridiculous. Like I can't let Brooks leave the room without telling me exactly where he's going, why he's going there and when he'll be back. And if he is gone too long? I'll start to panic a little. Why? I don't really believe that he'd just take off and not come back. So why panic? Sheesh.

It also tends to rear it's ugly little head in my friendships. I tend to get a little jealous if friends get together without me. I know, totally dumb. And I don't mean that I don't want my friends to have other friends. That doesn't bother me at all. I like to have different sets of buddies myself. Variety and all that. But if my friends all get together without me, I start to wig a little. And I'm a grown-ass woman so I know how crazy that sounds. And it's not like I'd say anything or complain about it, because I don't. I just stew quietly a little. I really really hate feeling left out. It's so bad that I'll go on outings even when I'm tired/sick/or just don't want to because I don't want to sit home and feel left out.

So there's mine. Probably the thing I hate most about myself. What's yours?

Friday, October 15, 2010

30 Days of Truth

Blogging is a great way for me to get out some of my thoughts and I love being able to go back and see what was going on in times past. But one of my most favorite things about the blogging community is the inspiration you can find! A whole slew of bloggers are doing a 30 day challenge - 30 days of truth. I might take more than 30 days, but I'm going to try it! Here is how the days fall out in case you'd like to play along...

Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself.
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself.
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Colorblind or Creative

If you have small children, you watch a good amount of Nick Jr. (for those without, it's all kids shows with no commercials). In between shows they sometimes have art activities or other fun stuff for the kids. The "parent" on today's segment was an African American man. The "participants" were an African American boy and a little white girl. As we were watching it, I wondered if Finley would associate skin color with parentage. So I asked him, do you think they're brother and sister? Do you think that's their dad?

His first response? Laughed at me. Oh it gets better. Then he tells me that that man adopted them because the parents who gave birth to them were too young to keep them and so they gave them to that man. This was said in total seriousness. I asked him why he thought that and he said "Mom, I know!"

I might have to start watching Teen Mom after he goes to bed...

Monday, October 11, 2010

To Dash at THREE!

My Dearest Dashel,

I can't believe you are THREE!! Where did the time go?! I know that Kell is really the baby of the family but in many ways you fill that role better. Fin and Kell are chatty and the first to make their wants and needs known. They are the most independent. You are my sensitive child. You are the first to ask to snuggle with me every morning, to sit on my lap at any opportunity and to ask if I love you (just in case I haven't already told you so that hour). And of course I do. I love you so very very much.

You started preschool this year. Your teachers are Miss Sherrie and Miss Char in the Blue room. You and Finley both go in the afternoons - you on Tuesday and Thursday and Fin goes alone on Wednesday. Wednesdays are hard because you love school SO much and can't understand why you can't go then too! You're learning by leaps and bounds and your teachers had nothing but wonderful things to say about you when I met with them this week. I was able to volunteer in your class for your Birthday treat day - it was so wonderful to see you having such a good time and getting along with everyone. I'm so glad that you're happy :)

At home you're working hard on mastering your colors. I think you just aren't so motivated and I can't blame you since you have two constant playmates. You and Fin fight just like any close brothers would but most of the time you're nothing but sweet to Kell. And when it's just the two of you, you can play for hours with no intervention from me. Boy is THAT nice! Our days are super busy with school and playdates - we are so very lucky to have so many friends here. They have really become our family over the past few years and I largely have you boys to thank for that.

This year for your birthday, Daddy took the day and we went to Six Flags - you love it there! You and Fin ride everything that isn't bound by height - you boys are fearless! Kell was able to enjoy a few rides this time too and I know in a blink he'll be running right beside you and Fin! We're celebrating this weekend with all of your friends. The Sorensen's are hosting a joint party for you and Briar (who will turn two this weekend) and it will be a fall extravaganza in their backyard. I know you'll have a blast.

That's all for now since everyone is waking from their naps and I have to get Fin to soccer. I can't wait till it's your turn on the field.

All My Love,

Saturday, October 09, 2010

A Mothers Work

An online friend of mine recently authored an eye-opening blog post about what it's like to be a mom who works outside the home. I guess it was especially interesting to me since I live on the other side of that white picket fence. In case you didn't know, I'm a proud Stay at Home Mom or (SAHM). It's such a hot button issue, I can't believe I've never written about it before.

In her post, she spoke about the fantasizing that goes on in either camp - what life would be like if you were to hop over that fence and feel that green grass growing under your own toes. And so I wonder. Especially on the bad days here when I'm at my breaking point and I just want to walk outside and scream at the top of my lungs. I wonder how that other half lives. I wonder if I would be happier over there, or if I'd just find myself wishing for the other life. I'm not delusional, I know that it's a challenge to miss those milestone moments in your childs' lives. I know it's heartbreaking when your children ask you not to leave them. And I know it must claw at your soul to watch another woman mother your children.

But in an office, you are a person. You have a job with an end, a product, a result. Something you can stand behind in the end and say "I did this". In an office, you sit and do your job, eat your lunch or get out for lunch, go to the bathroom by yourself and on a good day you might even hear that you did a good job. Sure you can make the same argument for children I guess, but that's really more of an end-of-life recognition where your boss says you did well. But in an office, you have an autonomy that you simply do not have at home. And that I do think that every working mother understands. Probably even appreciates.

There are other things too, like no one says to the working mother "Oh I know you stay home with the kids, so will you head XYZ Committee?" And yes, of course you can say no, but there is a tremendous amount of competition that goes on between SAHM. Everyone wants to be the room mother (or at least, everyone wants to SAY they are the room mother). Everyone wants to volunteer in their child's class. And yes, conferences and events at school can be tricky for the working mother who must arrange for time off. But when you have more than one child, they are still tricky as I must think of child-care. If the working mother had to beg off one of these events, she would find herself excused for her job. A SAHM? I'm sure there is a soap opera and bon bon joke in there somewhere...

And speaking of competition, the SAHM carries the full burden of child-rearing. No one expects the mother who works outside the home to be teaching her children their shapes, colors, letters, numbers, how to read...But the SAHM? We're responsible. If the child isn't potty trained by their second birthday? Judged. If their child can't name all of their colors at the same time as their peers? Judged. And if they fail to send their child to Kindergarten ready to read? Judged. What about your child's health? The SAHM mother best be sure that her children get plenty of exercise and also develop the most healthy of eating habits. Those habits are for life peoples!

She also touched on something that has been in the front of my mind lately too. As we look for a larger house to give our family a little more room, I am often reminded that we could have more income in a few years when I am able to return to work. Being a stay at home mother means working as hard as you can (often harder than you imagined was possible) for a few years in an effort to make your position obsolete. That is the end goal right? To raise kind, intelligent people who will be able to live without your constant care and attention. It kind of makes me have a new respect for models and athletes - having a job with that short of a shelf life blows.

So yes, when Kell goes to school in a few years I will be able to return to work. But I didn't really have time (ok, or motivation) to get any kind of career off of the ground before I had children. But what if I had? Even if I had finished some professional degree that offered me a field to return to, I'd still face a staggering lag in salary. Economists have said that giving up a career to be a SAHM can cost upwards of 1 million dollars over a lifetime. Ouch!

Would I change my decision to stay home with my kids? No. Not a chance. These days are few and precious. I know plenty of women who would be miserable with my day-to-day. Women who thrive in an office and would find this clean, dress, cook, clean, shlep life stifling and isolating. And certainly I don't think this SAHM gig is for everyone and I'm beyond supportive of my peers who shatter that glass ceiling and go into an office to make the world (or at least their home) a better place every day. But that just wouldn't be me. I've always been more sweats than pantyhose anyway ;)