Friday, July 31, 2009

The Great Fall

We all have people in our lives that we think of as better then ourselves. Those people that we put up on a pedestal and hang on their every word and action. People that we use as a measuring stick for right and wrong. These can be real life people we actually know or celebrities or politicians we only wish we knew. Someone we aspire to emulate. It is all well and good until the pedestal tips and they come tumbling down humpty dumpty style breaking into a million pieces. At first it is a little hard to swallow the demise of an ideal but once you get past that it becomes quite refreshing. Once you realize that they pee and poop on the potty just like everyone else it sort of evens the playing field. All the things that you used to find awkward and weird about yourself become less that way. The things about the pedestal person that you used to see as sparkly perfection fade into average.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

You Know it is Time for School to Start When...

..your five your old changes her clothes 5 times in one day and leaves them all in piles around the house and in the end decides walking around in her underwear is a better choice.

..your eight year old asks you the same question 20 times all with in a 5 minute period and even when you answer continues to ask 20 more times.

..your eleven year old decides she is one of the adults and likes to sit and chat instead of play with her sisters and cousins.

..all three kids lose any kind of grip they had on personal space or keeping their hands to themselves.

..all the snacks are gone within 2 days of buying them but the fresh fruit rots in the bowl

..the kids are all up later then you are and sleep in until way past breakfast.

..your five year old is watching Sponge Bob in Spanish and actually knows some of the words.

..the kids think swimming in a pool is the same thing as a shower and they actually try and debate taking one.

..sand, mulch and flip flops camouflage the floor.

..the kids are actually starting to wonder what teacher they got and who will be in their class.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Own Cheering Section

There are some events in my life where I actually feel like I was a spectator and not a participant. Where I was sitting to the side watching myself experience something life changing. I remember the first time I kissed Chris. I was 15 and standing outside of the local catholic high school in the moonlight(appropriate right?) and there was a moment that time stood still and I was outside my body watching us kiss. I knew then that that was a special moment. At my wedding I had the same experience. I was watching myself walk down the aisle toward my destiny. Watching my veil blow in the wind and the tears stinging my heavily made up eyes. Watching my Dad slowly walk me down and hand me off to a new chapter. It was like I was in some alternate universe watching myself. Like I wasn't exactly experiencing the event but watching someone else. When I had my first baby it happened again. It was like I was sitting on my own shoulder watching and cheering myself on maybe because something that intense and life changing could never be happening to me. I remember with each of my other two babies it happened again but not quite as completely as the first time. Lately I have been having flashes of another event that will be so intense I will have to become two. I am pushing myself to train for a 1/2 marathon. Something I thought I would never be able to do. A lot of what we have to do to prepare is beyond my comfort level which is what I need at this point. So far my running friends have been there to inspire and motivate me but I can see that in the end it will have to me that pulls myself through. Completing this run is important for me for more then just the run. It is a symbol for me especially because the actual run is on my 38th birthday. A symbol that I am strong and in control and that age is a number not a defining characteristic.

Monday, July 27, 2009


I don't know if it is that I am headed down the hill toward middle age or what but lately I have become someone who just likes to ignore problems or issues and hope that these things fix themselves and go away. It doesn't matter if the issue is simple or complex, under the rug it goes. It is like I have some sort of Alzheimer's that crops up between recognizing there is any sort of issue and then actually addressing what is wrong and dealing with it. I have never been this way before. I always like to face things head on and get a handle on whatever it is so I can find a solution and move on. Lately things have vaguely registered in my head as problems and then I promptly tuck them somewhere between my gray matter and my problem solving lobe. Somewhere deeper I am obviously aware that I need to get a grip and deal but the hope is alive that everything will magically work itself out and I won't have to face any of it. The absolutely idiotic thing is because my subconscious mind is totally aware of me putting these things on the back burner, I am completely stressing myself out. I don't get it...ignorance is supposed to be bliss....

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hope Trumps Adversity

Lately I have seen and heard of enough hurt and pain and sickness to fill an Olympic sized pool. Every where I turn is a sad story of someone diagnosed with a life threatening illness or someone whose house was destroyed by a fire or a tornado. Tears spring to my eyes when I hear all of these heart felt stories and I have a hard time watching the entire piece yet I feel like I must. By the end I am completely astounded by the amount of hope these people continue to have even when faced with devastation. It is almost as if the adversity pushes some sort of button that ignites a spark that makes them move forward and believe they will regain their life as it was before. What I wonder is what they do with this hope when the crisis is gone. When the sickness is gone or the house is fixed do you continue to live your life with hope and use that hope to be happy? Do you use that hope to inspire yourself to reach for the stars and live your life to its fullest or does it pitter away into oblivion? Sometimes I wonder where I can find that kind of spirit and hope with in myself to face normal every day obstacles.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Shadow.

Shy didn't even begin to describe me as a child. I was a wispy blond thing with a personality to match. I never looked anyone in the eye and I hated to be talked to by any adults. I could never stomach constructive criticism and I certainly didn't appreciate uncertainty in anything. I found out years later that my 3rd grade teacher told my parents at conferences that I would never amount to anything much and would certainly not attend college. Luckily my parents chose not to tell me that little tidbit until 20 years later after I had completed college graduating cum laude. I spent most of my 2nd and 3rd grade years trying not to cry. People took my extreme shyness for not understanding things and my quietness for dumbness. Once at a birthday party at Farrell's I was so intimidated by the stretcher filled ice cream birthday surprise and horns, drums and loud singing I hid under the table. I physically got down on the floor and hugged my knees and hid. It wasn't even MY birthday party! I was probably around 8 at the time. Today something made me relive all these painful memories. A little incident happened to my middle daughter, Olivia, at camp. First of all Olivia could be ME at 8. She is wispy and blond and fairly unsure of herself. She cries often and this is really the first summer we have tried an all day camp with her. She is in camp with her friends and her older sister and has done fairly well until today. I arrive to pick her up and her sister informs me Olivia cried 3 times. One of the head counselors comes up and tells me Olivia was rather "emotional" today. None of this was much of a surprise but what came next when we got in the car to go home was. I was taking my two girls and two friends home. They told me how mean the counselors were to Olivia. They apparently took her aside and told her that if she didn't stop crying they would call me and that they would be mad at her the rest of the week. They MADE her play the game that she was initially crying about (because she didn't understand the directions ) and she went on to cry 3 more times because she was so worked up about the threat of them being angry at her. I was of course beside myself. I told Olivia she really needs to find other ways to express herself besides crying HOWEVER they did not act like they should have acted either. I shot off an email voicing my concerns (notice I said email because I am still not outspoken enough to call and confront directly). All this has triggered my childhood memories and how I so wanted NOT to be shy and lonely but I could not help myself. I remember desperately trying to make myself raise my hand in class or to want to talk to the girls around me during lunch. I swear to you I did not come out of my shell at all until I hit 30. I hate my DNA for repeating itself and making Olivia deal with all of these torturous issues but I do have to say in the end I feel like I am a better person. I have a lot of compassion for people with differences and I try so hard not to prejudge. I have fought hard to earn the self confidence I have and the wine helps with the rest.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Paper Thin

Today when I was putting on my same old gray v-neck t shirt and I had one of those vivid flashing memories that you see in the movies. I had this vision of a girl I knew in high school. She seriously prided herself on having a different outfit for every day...never re-wearing things for a month or MORE at a time. Now that I look back I see things that I missed then. This girl was unhealthy and totally obsessed by her eating and body. She was a bigger and taller girl to begin with and then joined the swim team and lost weight. Then she began to obsess about what she ate. I remember her telling me with a smile that she ate Cheerios mixed with Diet Coke or water for breakfast every day and brussel sprouts on saltines for lunch. At the time I didn't even bat an eye at these idiotic choices. I actually tried it once and as I was gagging I thought how cool she was to be able to stomach it. At one point I am completely certain I would have been able to see directly through her paper thin body if I would have looked hard enough. Everyone was aware of her sickly phisique yet no one bothered to tell her how harmful it could be. How things change! I now wear the same 3 or 4 rotating outfits not because I don't have other clothes but because I don't want to dig down into the totes in my closet to find anything else. I laugh at people who spend time trying to be a fashion plate on a daily basis. Life is way too short to waste time on such skin deep endeavors . When I eat I think about the savory flavors and the nutrients going into my body and how it will make me be able to run faster or play harder. I don't think about how to obtain a skeletor like frame or how to be skinnier then my friends. The biggest problem is it took me 20 years to figure all this out. How do I teach my daughters that there is more to life then expensive clothes and a skinny ass??

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Pursuit of Happiness

Have you ever wished you had the answers to all the questions about your life? All the answers that lead you to figure out your true and unknown happiness. Unfortunately the answers don't come that easy. In this world it is all about trial and error and error and error. Even when you think you have come to an answer that will lead you to complete happiness it is often just another step in the process. The thing that seems to get lost in the whole process is the effect all this has on those that are already positive forces in your life. To tell the truth I am not sure that it is possible to ever find those answers that you hope so deeply to find or those that you feel you need to find for true happiness. Many times I think that throwing away what you have to search for the unknown can be a choice that might lead to more questions then answers.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Snag

I guess it is good that in life you have things that snap you back to reality when you start to stray. When I get a little too happy or a little too sure of myself something always sets me straight. Lately I have been feeling so glass half full positive that it is almost scary. I have been hopping out of bed to exercise, eating healthy and even (((GASP))) feeling like I look decent in my clothes. It has taken me 6 months to erase the negative body image thoughts. Six long months to not look at myself in the mirror and cringe. Then one quick incident today totally snapped my frame of mind back to before. One of my kids snapped a picture of me with my phone without me knowing about it and I happened to come upon it..I certainly didn't look how I want to look. One quick glance and back 6 months I went. No matter how far I have come in a millisecond it was all gone. Then the question becomes how do I react to this consumption of negativity? Do I let it overtake me and give up on my quest to be strong and healthy??? Do I turn it around and force it into motivational positive energy to work a little harder and focus a little more?

Monday, July 13, 2009


Eleven years ago today I became responsible for another human being. I remember how slow the time moved before she was born and how fast it has moved after. When I think of how much she has changed from the chubby little toddler into the inquisitive young girl it makes my head spin. I am taking the time now to savor the faint line between what was and what will be. The princess stuff has evaporated into Taylor Swift and the Jonas Brothers. The blond pigtails have been replaced by pink highlights and the easy to read books have turned into novels. Eleven years from now she will be 22. I expect there to be as many changes and challenges in the next decade as there were in the first one. I hope I can remain her mentor and guide her through the next chapter in her readiness for adulthood. Hopefully when she is slamming her bedroom door and crying angry tears she will remember that my job in her world is to teach right from wrong not to be her best friend. Most importantly I hope she realizes not only the depth of my love for her but the fact that she will always be a part of me...the best part.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Not Me Monday!

Joining in with My Charming Kids and the Monday tradition of Not Me Monday! Join in and enjoy some free therapy!

My sister did not take my almost 11 year old to get her hair done for her birthday and let her get bright pink highlights..nope that would certainly make me hyperventilate. I definitely didn't sigh with relief when she told me it will eventually wash out..nope that would make me uncool.

My 5 year old could never have decided to run away and when I offered to help her pack she certainly didn't start to cry and say I didn't love her...nope didn't happen.

I did not avoid the Micheal Jackson funeral only to see the replay of his daughters speech over and over the next morning and I absolutely did not shed a tear when I saw it.

I could never have gone to look for a specific kind of flip flop and figure out that my extremely big feet could not fit into any size they make. I did NOT end up having to buy ugly men ones.

There is no way that I had a glass of wine two days in a row before 4 in the afternoon...nope NOT me!I absolutely positively for sure am not considering doing something that I have always said I would NEVER in a million years do....certainly NOT.

I did not burn over 1200 calories running 6 miles only to turn around and eat quadruple that in pizza, wine and ice cream nope that would have been silly!

There is no way my 5 year old said, " MOM! now there are two little weiners in the tub" when her two boy cousins got in with her and there is no way I spit my gum across the room when she said it!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Keys to Nowhere.

It is always so hard to get it through my head that there is no magic key to happiness. When you think about it we are all always trying to reach some sort of goal in life whether it is weight loss, a bigger house, a new job or whatever. The feeling is there that once you reach that goal everything in your life will be all sunshine and butterflies but in reality one single thing can not make that happen. It is important to enjoy every day and look for accomplishment within the midst of our battles to reach our supposed serendipity. That way when we reach the goal and realize it isn't perfection we will have enjoyed the ride. By enjoying the ride I mean praising even the smallest victory and being kind to yourself even if you fall. Lets face it we should all be kinder to ourselves and everyone else. Being kind makes you feel good inside especially if you can manage to be thoughtful in the face of failure and adversity. Just imagine something kind you could do for yourself right now that doesn't involve money or having to wait for a result and do it because unlike keys or remotes once you have that thing you will have it always and it can't be lost.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Favorite Photo Blog Hop

The theme for this week is favorite photo. Thanks for stopping by to check out my picture..I can't wait to hop around and see all of yours.
This picture is one of my favorites. It is lovingly titled the Amelia blanket. My 5 year old likes to come in our bed early in the morning and she likes to snuggle CLOSE. My favorite part of the picture is her little hands on Chris's face. Love it!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, July 6, 2009

Moments of Inspiration

When I am struggling and hit a wall or find lots of obstacles that are blocking my happiness I have to dig deep to find something to inspire me. Many times it forces my mind to overcome matter. Lately I have been finding inspiration in some really interesting things. First I have found inspiration in my new obsession, running. The adrenaline rush and the muscle pain are making me look at myself so differently. I see myself as stronger and able to achieve what ever goals I set. Another thing that really inspires me is food. I know that might seem strange especially when it follows directly after me saying exercise inspires me but it is true. Taking a bite of some really great food and sipping some wonderful wine always reminds me of family gatherings and fun times. Thinking of family makes me feel secure and loved and that is always inspiring. Having caring supportive people in my life is probably the biggest inspiration of all. It is exceptionally mind provoking when I see my children do something on their own that is caring and for the good of others. Seeing the good in people makes me want to be a better person and work hard to pay it forward by inspiring others.

Not Me Monday!

Joining in with My Charming Kids and the blog carnival Not Me Monday!!!

I could never have put my kids in camp and run out of things to do so I sat in my car playing on my phone.

I certainly didn't utter the phrase "no hitting, pinching or body slamming" that would have been silly.

I could never have sat outside sans sunscreen to try to get an island tropic tan ...absolutely NO way would I risk my skin health!

I did not spend 4 hours cleaning out three little girl rooms..nope that would have been a huge way to waste a Sunday!

I could never have ordered two swimsuit bottoms and no top by mistake.. Both in the same color but two different sizes..nope NOT me!

I would never have abandoned my husband's strict recycling regiment while he is out of town ..nope that would not be environmently friendly.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independance Day?

While running this morning with two friends we were discussing how we still feel like we are in our early twenties in our heads (but in reality we are in our thirties and some of us later thirties). The problem with feeling so young is that the inadequacy and self confidence issues of our twenties are still beating so strongly inside. When we are teenagers we all want to rush time to get to our twenties so we can be independent. I remember when I was 22 and newly married and just starting my first full time job as a teacher. I was so unsure of myself and my choices as an adult that I would come home and cry a lot of days. I remember standing in front of my class and making choices for my student's education and then the voice in my head would taunt me and say are you sure about that??? I remember cooking dinner...ok burning dinner for my new husband and kicking myself for it. Now a days it is certainly not as bad as all that. I have grown in a lot of areas but I still wonder who waved the magic wand and made me an adult and in charge of 3 little girls and a house and pets and cars and schedules. Some days I just don't feel ready for the responsibility that comes a long with all those things. Some days the voice still speaks to me and all those self worth issues seem to rear their ugly heads. I wonder if all women have the same types of feelings inside or if it is just another quirk of mine. I have to believe that somewhere deep inside we are all second guessing ourselves in one area or another and no one is as confident as they might seem to be. So while discussing all of this during our run we concluded that instead of feeling inadequate and scrutinizing ourselves we should mark our accomplishments and celebrate them. Our 30 something minds decided this but somehow I wonder if our 20 something minds will let that happen.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Moral Hang-Ups

When you think about it growing up actually makes your eyes shut to curiosity and innocence. It really is a shame because curiosity and innocence lead to creativity and imagination. As adults we could all use a little more imagination. Children don't think twice about playing doctor or playing baby and changing each others diapers using diaper wipes ...but I digress. These games aren't sexual or horrendous like we adults see them, they are simply created out of curiosity and perfectly normal. It is so hard not to have your moral compass and your temper explode and blow everything out of proportion. The problem is that by making these things bad or dirty causes kids to think of their bodies that way. As an adult our job it to take these opportunities as learning tools. These types of things open the door to talk about private body parts and how they aren't to share. I know that this post sounds level headed and calm but in reality I am writing it to simmer myself down, to try and remember what it is like to be 5 and wonder about everything and everyone especially about similarities and differences. I try to remember that an elbow and a leg are about the same to them as a bottom or a boobie until we make it something different.