Posts Tagged With: excitement

back to school rant

I find myself wondering why certain people simply cannot be positive.
I mean, sure we all have those moments when we feel negative. When we’re at the end of our ability to give one more teeny tiny damn about whatever it is.
But I’m talking about people who are actively negative. Do they lack hope? Are they not skilled in observing the positive in any thing?
Imagine what their inner speech sounds like! Imagine what they heard as children…what they continue to tell themselves as adults. Why, it breaks my heart! What is it like to be inside that head with no idea of how to hope?
Honestly, it breaks my heart.
But it also makes me angry.
It makes angry because these negative people inflict the same things on their own children. The first thing that comes to mind is negative. Hope is a foreign concept.
I’m talking big broad concepts this morning, I know…but I’m angry.

I checked social media this morning to see all the “back to school” posts and photos. Kids I taught when they toddlers are in high school now. Kids I taught when they were toddlers are in kindergarten now. Kids I’ve known since they were toddlers starting college now!
I have so much joy seeing these photos! I have so much hope for these children!

And then I come across a post that made me want to kick someone in the face.
A post of our own Thing G starting his junior year posted by his mother. Who couldn’t put a positive spin on anything if a gun was held to her head. She has a knack for posting things to get positive feedback. When I read her posts,I’m often thankful that I know I’m enough. That I know my own worth even on days when I don’t feel it. I don’t need people to boost my self confidence.
This morning, I saw a photo of YBW’s baby captioned with the saddest bunch of drama you’ve ever seen. Words written with designs on having comments to boost the mother’s confidence and nothing about the child. The words she wrote focused on his diagnosis. Focused on the most negative aspects of his personality. Under the guise of her “being hopeful” his teachers would see his good traits as apposed to these negative ones.

I was so angry. How dare she use him like that to get attention?
I just want to shake her and say:
How about YOU see your child for his good traits!?!
How about YOU focus on what he is capable of doing!?!
How about YOU have a little faith and trust!?!
How about YOU stop putting YOUR stuff on a child that has enough on him already!?!

I’ve posted stuff about my children on social media for years. First day of school pics included. I’m sure that I’ve posted things that may be questionable. But I guarantee I’ve not done it with negativity. I guarantee I’ve not done it to get more attention.
Parents are proud. We live in an age where it’s no longer photos in your wallet that you bring out and pass around. We’re posting on social media, we’re sharing photos online. I mean come on! We’re even creating hashtags for events! Parents are proud to share their accomplishments, and the accomplishments of their children. I love sharing things about my girls.
I worry about motivation. I worry about how what you say and post online will be forever out there. I worry that one day a child will read what a parent writes and hear nothing but negativity. I worry the child will further internalize that.

I’m angry because it’s so not fair!
Children deserve better.
Parents deserve better.
And people who are exposed to you on social media deserve better.
It’s the first day of school, for the love of all things holy! How about a little hope!?! I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

Rant over. Please continue with your regularly scheduled reading.

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ask LuLaRoe questions and get LuLaRoe answers

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My investigation is heating up!
I met with the lovely LuLaRoe consultant this morning for more info about becoming a consultant. She shared such great information with me, answered all my questions, and assured me of her help every step of the way.
The more I learn and understand, the more excited I become.

I still need to go over everything with YBW before I move forward. But the answers I got today have convinced me this is the thing for me!

Came home and got comfy in my (free/earned) “butter soft” leggings while I do laundry and wait for the “bug guy” to show up. (for scheduled maintenance)
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hooked on LuLaRoe

I’ve become obsessed with LuLaRoe clothing.
Sundance lives in their leggings. They are the softest damn things I’ve ever felt! They’re oftentimes referred to as “butter soft”. (They ain’t lyin’.)
I’m not about the leggings. But I found out they make dresses. That’s it, y’all, I’m hooked!

At first I was all about the “Amelia”
amelia dress
This dress is so very me. The perfect length, those pleats and pockets and little sleeves. The material is soft and stretchy. I have three of these now.

Until I tried on the “Julia”
julia dress
It’s a tee shirt dress that is flattering as hell! I expected it to be shapeless, or worse, cling in all the wrong places. But it’s “butter soft” like the leggings, the perfect length with the perfect length sleeves (almost to the elbow). I have three of these and one more on the way.

I have one “Cassie” skirt. The softest damn navy and gray striped little pencil skirt you ever did see. I have one pair of blue leggings to wear under one of my “Julia” dresses, if you fold it up a little, it becomes a tunic and the leggings are cute under it. I don’t foresee more leggings in my life…but who knows?

Here’s what the Julia dress looks like in real life.
Heather gray with a navy cardigan (cardigans are my #1 go-to article of clothing), a cream, navy, gray, mustard and burgandy scarf and (gorgeous) brown boots.
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(It’s an instagram photo so I had to lose my head to show the cute boots.)

When I got home, I took off my boots and scarf to get more comfy.
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My knee sock game is completely on point.
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If you don’t know LuLaRoe, you must check it out.
Leggings and dresses and tunics and raglan tees and skirts, even “kimonos” (little sweater-y type things to wear over everything else), in women’s and girls sizes. Even “Mommy and Me” items that match or coordinate. This stuff sells like hot cakes! Everything is reasonably priced, comparable to local women’s clothing stores, and sometimes better made.
They’re all designed here in the U.S. with a limited number (1000) items per fabric pattern. That could mean any item could be any pattern. Some of them are not remotely my style, but others are absolutely fabulous!
I’ve learned in the last three weeks that people are simply mad about these clothes! You can’t refresh photos and type “sold” in the comments fast enough on the facebook “pop up sales”.
I love these clothes so much, I’m seriously considering becoming a LuLaRoe consultant. YBW and I are ironing out the logistics. He was reluctant at first, but the more we talk about it, the more open minded he becomes. I’m not a “sales” kind of girl, but I’ve already got a client base built up and ready to shop with me. The opportunity to “do what I love” excites me. I absolutely love clothes! And I absolutely love these LuLaRoe clothes!
If I’m a consultant, I’ll have first dibs on Amelia and Julia dresses to add to my collection.
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the snowy weekend

I saw the first snowflakes begin to fall at 12:30 Friday and finally stop at 10:00 last night.
We shoveled a solid 5″ Friday after dinner. It was already dark out and there was almost an inch of snow on the driveway and sidewalks when we finished. The wind was bitter but that didn’t stop me from grabbing the camera!
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I measured 16″ on the back porch at 8:30 Saturday morning.
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We have the most wonderful neighbor with a snowblower who came and did the driveway and sidewalk to the porch. Made our lives so much easier! We dug out Thing C’s car and shoveled again late in the afternoon.
When we went out this morning we had to dig out the end of our driveway from where the plow came. The snow was almost up to my waist! As soon as we opened a space our neighbor was back to get the last of the snow. Last time it snowed, I made him a giant chicken pot pie. We haven’t yet decided how we’re going to thank him for this huge snow.

Even after all this time, I’m always surprised at how useless Thing G is at anything that requires effort. I was so frustrated at the snow shoveling situation. I got one half of the driveway clear while Thing G wandered aimlessly with a snow shovel in his hands complaining about how cold it was. Thing C, God love that kid. He works hard and never ever complains. He shoveled and shoveled and never once gave up. He did the sidewalk and porch and sidewalk in front of our house all by himself.

I’m fortunate enough to have been brought up by people who made sure I knew how to do practical things. From cars to home repair, to planning and executing most anything “handy”. I can do simple electrical and plumbing work. I know how to hang drywall. I paint like a boss! I can change the oil and tires on a car. I even know how to hotwire a car. (Why my police officer father thought I’d need to know that is curious to me.)
I’m a capable kind of girl.
The former husband used to say that I was “more of a ‘man’ than most men we know”. He meant it as a complement, and he was right.
Being a capable kind of girl is handy and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m not afraid of hard work. I’m not afraid of breaking a sweat or getting dirty. I jump in and get the job done. And I’m an excellent planner. So, when I’m working with less capable people, I get frustrated. I try so hard not to, but I just do.
I don’t understand how someone as smart and capable as YBW chooses not to be handy. I think it was the way he was brought up, apparently his dad kind of jerry-rigged most things and was a bit of a shouter. So he didn’t actually learn how to do these practical things properly. I believe that soured him. He’s not incapable, it’s more like he has no real interest in knowing how to do some of those “handy” things.
I know he likes the creature comforts. He’s not unwilling to try to do these handy things.

I’m sad that none of these boys really has any “sense of adventure”. Nobody wanted to walk in the snow to see what was going on in our neighborhood. Nobody wants to go out and “play”. They’re content to sit in front of computers and televisions. It makes me sad. I want to go out and take some photos. I want to do some back flops off the railing into the snow on the back porch. Nobody wants to play in the snow with me.
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Yesterday after a delicious midday meal of chili and cornbread, (Yummy!) we all went our separate ways in the house. Some of us had worked really hard and deserved a break.

I got Rick Bragg’s new book of essays for Christmas.
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I ran a bath and went with Mr Bragg on a lovely southern journey. Honestly, that bath was the most delicious hot soak I’ve had in ages! I was warm through and through for the first time in two days. It was quiet and peaceful and I read a book I’ve been excited about since it was published in September.
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When the snow stopped at 10:00 last night, I took my last measurement.
Exactly 24″.
Two feet of snow fell in thirty four hours.
How cool is that!?!
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I guess I can be as excited as a little girl about the snow but accept that I’ll be disappointed at the way the snow day goes. I guess I’m remembering snow days from when I was little and when my girls were little. When we worked and played together outside, then came in for hot chocolate and played more together inside. The world isn’t like that anymore. This new family I find myself in isn’t like that. That’s not how they roll.
That’s OK, because I just got a text from my neighbor up the street inviting me to come play with her, her five year old daughter and two year old son!
I’m going to play in the snow. Y’all have a great day!

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accepting the new way of being

I’ve been home since September. With the exception of the wedding and Christmas, I haven’t really ‘done’ that much. I have these moments of inspiration. To paint the kitchen cabinets. To paint the bedroom. To rearrange the way we store things.
These moments of inspiration make me feel enthusiastic and purposeful!
I quite like it.
The moment I prep myself to consider tackling one of these projects I’m hit with the full realization that my brain is fighting against the rest of my body. I have the energy and the desire to step up. But every time I swing the bat, BAM! I’m hit full force with the pain I so successfully ignore while executing simple daily tasks.

I felt like I’d be at home and rest and heal and still get things done.
I’m considering forcing myself to begin a project. I’m excellent at finishing what I start. So by forcing myself to begin a project I know I’ll have to finish it. But, how will that impact the way I feel? What will that do to the healing process?
Let’s get real. I don’t really think I’m healing. I think this is just how it is. I’ve lived with pain before. I can do it again.
I’m sick and tired of waiting. Putting everything aside until I feel well.
I might not ever feel well again. Acceptance is key.
I accept that I might not “get better”. But I’m tired of putting my life on hold because of it. I’m just going to suck it up and do the things I choose to accomplish.
I will simply learn to function in this new way of being.

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busy and lazy Christmas fun

Thing 2 and I met Sundance and Girlie Thing yesterday morning for a bit of last minute Christmas shopping. We didn’t know Girlie Thing was going to be with her mom. I saw her before Thing 2 did and when I said it out loud, Thing 2 took off running down the store’s main aisle into the outstretched arms of her cousin. My heart grew three sizes that moment.
Sundance announced her progress since her surgery and Girlie Thing announced she has a boyfriend! There was a great deal of squealing and giggling.

Thing 2’s boyfriend D decided at the last moment to come here for Christmas. Which is wonderful! But…there are not gifts for him under the tree. I sent his Christmas Eve jammies and book and a couple of other things down to him earlier in the month.
But now that he’s going to be here Christmas morning, we had some quick shopping to do. The mom in me and the dad in YBW couldn’t abide him being the only person with nothing under the tree. YBW tasked Thing 2 straight away with the job of going with me to choose things for him. It was cute, he was all: This is your job! You can’t do anything else until it’s finished!
We not only managed to finish in one day, but get everything wrapped too!

Then the lazy fun started! Holiday movie time!
We started with Love Actually while I wrapped his gifts. The whole time making fun of the articles I sent her before I wrote about the haters in I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes….
We took a break when YBW came home to eat a quick dinner and then organized ALL the pressies, moved the bulk downstairs.
We snuggled up on the sofa and went straight back to it. Thing 2 wishes the haters some ‘Love Actually’ peace.
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We had a mini-debate on whether to watch The Holiday or Miracle on 34th Street (the original). Thing 1 wants to see Miracle on 34th Street, but we figured we could watch it twice…
We did the age old “behind the back choosing” and realized we wanted The Holiday most.
I popped corn and we got sorted on the sofa ready to go. Thing 2 gives two thumbs up.
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Today’s movies: Miracle on 34th Street (to be watched again at some point after Thing 1 arrives tomorrow afternoon) and White Christmas. (I’ve watched it two and a half times already this season, but Thing 2 has never seen it and I think she’ll like it.)

What will we do this evening you ask?
Why, The Nutcracker, of course! So much squealing and clapping!

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may the force (of Christmas) be with you

YBW and little D’s daddy, S went to see Star Wars this morning. They’re like kids in a candy store. I think if they weren’t “grown up men” they would have been clapping and squealing like ballet going little girls. Apparently they’ve got more self control than others of us.
I can’t wait to hear all about it when he gets home! I love to see him be happy and excited about the things he loves!

Speaking of (lack of) self control, Thing 2 will already be on the plane this time tomorrow! (I may have clapped and squealed.)
She just sent this to me in a text: SO excited to be with all of you! And the ballet and the nativities :3 ah! I can’t wait, Chriiiistmaaaas! (Sing-songy at the end there)
Oh, little girl, I could hear your sing-song voice as I read the words!

Exciting things all around this weekend!

I’ve got Christmas music playing, right now it’s James Brown’s Funky Christmas. James Brown singing The Christmas Song. I can’t even!
I feel like Thing 2. Terribly excited to be with my whole family. Ready to dance with the sugar plum fairies. All the baby Jesuses waiting for us at the Cathedral!

Oh how I love Christmas!
It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

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music makes the wedding go round

We met with the DJ this evening. He’s going to be perfect for what we have in mind to celebrate with our friends and family.
We talked about special music, those songs that absolutely must be played…

Wedding party introductions he’ll play Willkommen from Cabaret with Alan Cumming as the Emcee.
Willkommen. Bienvenue. Welcome.

First dance:
L-O-V-E ~ Nat King Cole
I introduced this song to YBW and he loved it (no pun intended…well maybe a bit intended)…it was a no brainer to make it our first dance.

YBW’s “dance” with Thing C:
The Pretender ~ Foo Fighters
Thing C played this with his first band at his high school talent show. He’s since moved on to his second band. (they don’t play this song)

YBW’s “dance” with Thing G:
Happy ~ Pharrell Williams
Thing G is the only one of our four who isn’t a music kid…but he LOVES this song! It brings YBW SO MUCH JOY!

My dance with Thing 1:
Raise Your Glass ~ P!nk
What’s the dealio? Thing 1 adores P!nk and we are totally “wrong in all the right ways”.
http://www.pinkspage.com/us/news/raise-your-glass-video-premiere

My dance with Thing 2:
Dancing Queen ~ Meryl Streep, Julie Walters and Christine Baranski (from the movie soundtrack)
We have a whole routine to this song…well part of a routine, anyway…
She just turned eighteen and remarked that she’ll never be the Dancing Queen again because she’s no longer seventeen. I think we’re all a little bit “dancing queen young and sweet only seventeen” no matter how old we are.

Last dance: (save it for me)
Let’s Get it On ~ Jack Black (YEAH! I got it in there after all!!)
Y’all saw this in let’s love…sugar

Whatever gets played in between is fine with me! I’m going to be so busy visiting and hugging my friends and family!

I’m stressed like crazy trying to get the last things finished.
Sundance had the idea we should make the napkins for the reception…Thing 2 and I’ve done literally nothing else for the last two days…Sundance, not so much.
Thing 2 says she’s going to punch her Aunt Sundance in the mouth when she sees her. (I gave her my blessing.)
We decided to take a break tomorrow and just be. (Yay!) Then we’ll get back on it over the weekend.
Thing 1, fiance N and Thing 2’s D will arrive Wednesday. My friend and mentor and her beloved will arrive Friday afternoon. The Arizona contingent won’t arrive till super late Friday (the trouble with flying backwards across the country) so we won’t see them till the wedding Saturday.

My ability to control my anxiety and “freak out mode” is SUPER low…I’ve warned everybody, but at the moment only Thing 2 really understands the magnitude of that.
I was having a total temper fit yesterday and she finally told me: Get your shit together Momma!(The kid doesn’t lie.) I was whining about people volunteering to help but not bothering to show up. My darling (ex) co-teacher is doing all our decorations and has flaked the last two times we were supposed to meet so she could get all the stuff. (I already mentioned the napkin idea girl hasn’t shown up to make any.)

I can’t sleep so I’m writing and drinking wine straight from the bottle. (Classy, I know. But it was only a glassful in the bottom of the bottle so I figured, why dirty a glass.) I might need a Xanax…or two.

I have one more thing to do before I try to close my eyes. Create the special mad libs that YBW and I will write for our guests in the beginning of the response book.
The bride/groom are honored you’re here to celebrate with us and kiss you all!

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something shiny with your name on it

I ordered the wedding favors today.
Wine charms. Little silver discs stamped with each guest’s name.
I ordered them via Etsy from a girl in Kansas called Coco. I’m not sure why I love that so much. But it really tickles me.
I even ordered one for each of the children. Now, the little kids can’t drink wine, but everybody loves something shiny with their name on it. I’d love to see my little D tie his to his bike as a name plate…must remember to suggest that to his dad.

I have all the mad lib responses back except for one of Ben’s frat brothers who apparently lost the invitation, Sundance and her family, and my sister-in-law and her family.
Sundance knows I’m shaking my head at her, but I also know they’ll be there. Sundance has known YBW since they were in elementary school and Girlie Thing is reading at the wedding.
My sister-in-law and her family aren’t going to be able to make it. She and I have already talked about that. I am sad, but I understand. It’s about doing what’s right for your family, and right now them coming here for a weekend in October isn’t going to work. I told her that our love was solid and it was fine if they didn’t come. I do have a bit of sadness, but I understand how hard it is to make everything work for your family.
Thing 2 and Boyfriend D’s responses finally arrived early this week which made me SO happy!

I’ve given the final count to both the caterer and the event coordinator and the three of us will meet at the winery next week to make sure we’re well sorted.

There’s a laundry list of things that still need to be completed.
I’ve got time.
Sort of…next week is October. I better get a move on.

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observe. accept. love.

Some you may know of the app facebook has that shares memories. It’s called “On This Day” and it shows things you’ve posted on that day in previous years.
I don’t check this all the days, I just happened to do it this morning because of something someone else posted that involved me.

Here’s a post from this day two years ago:
dancing girl at great falls
While we were at Great Falls today, I saw this little girl jumping from rock to rock singing, “I am awesome!” (The tune was precious.) Her mom just watched…she didn’t say anything and the little girl didn’t do anything but jump and sing about how awesome she is.
This is why we shouldn’t be saying, “Good job!” Or sometimes not even, “You did it!”
She didn’t need anything from anybody. She knows intrinsically that she is enough…I want to be this little girl please.

Seeing this post stimulated the memory of how moved I was in the moment watching this little girl. She didn’t need anything from anyone. Her mother stood nearby watching, but said nothing. Not “that’s not safe”. Not “way to go”. She said nothing. She observed. She accepted.

My years of early childhood training have given me a different way of looking at the world. At children in the world. The need to have freedom to take risks. They learn through play. They learn through risk taking. They don’t need to be praised every forty-seven seconds. They don’t need a trophy for participating.
They need to feel safe. Safe to explore. Safe to try. Safe to play. Safe to learn. Safe to experience that all-important “I did it!” moment of accomplishment.
It’s obvious to me that this little girl felt safe.
It’s obvious to me that her mother felt safe.
She let that child (who was not yet school-age) take risks by jumping on those rocks. Her mother knew she could fall and get hurt. And that wouldn’t have been fun for anybody, but the little girl would have learned from that. She would have known how to have sturdier feet the next time. She would have jumped more solidly.
That little girl’s mother said nothing while she sang and jumped from rock to rock and back again. But even more interesting to me is that the child never said, “Watch me!” She was completely focused on her task, jumping from rock to rock and singing: I am awesome! It didn’t matter to her if her mom was watching. It didn’t matter to her that she was or was not praised. She was working hard and she was having a blast doing it!

“Watch me, Miss Robynbird!” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that from a child in the last two years.
I cringe every single time one of them says it.
I have said: You can do it. You don’t need me to watch you.
At first they didn’t understand, I could see the deflation happen in their little bodies. But over time, they began to understand that I trusted them and I made the environment safe enough that they could try anything. They began to ask their peers to watch, this created opportunities to build their cooperation skills. Created opportunities for them to mentor each other.
I feel good about that.
I’ve said: You did it! more times than I should have. But never will you hear me say: Good job! I might say: Well done you! Give me five.

YBW and I had a conversation about praise. He believes everyone wants to hear it. I couldn’t agree more. But my point to him was praise causes people to look outside themselves for validation. They’re not motivated my curiosity or desire to try/play/learn. They’re motivated by and for someone else.
Of course we all want an “attagirl” once in a while. Working hard and not getting recognized sometimes feels icky. But praise is a double edged sword. The other side of praise is criticism. I grew up with enough criticism for three kids and precious little praise. In all honesty, I’d trade praise and it’s ugly twin to feel safe enough to try without anyone’s opinion.
When I work hard and finish a job well done I feel that sense of accomplishment. I experience my own “I did it!” moment.
Would it be nice to hear praise?
Absolutely!
Do I need that praise?
Not really.

We’ve created a new generation of kids that thrive on praise. That are motivated by praise, by participation trophies. That graduate from high school only so the principal has numbers that grow.
What if we took a giant step back and took a page from the mom’s book?
What if we observe?
What if we accept?
What if we love?

I want to be that little girl. I want to be enough for myself like she is.
I want that for all of us.

Categories: education, love, me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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