Sunday, November 15, 2009

I'm Blocked =/

So at my school they decided that blogger is to "chatty" and should be blocked. UGH. So I'm behind on my blogging. My free hour was the perfect time for that, and now it's one of the things that goes by the wayside in my home time. Sorry :(

I'll get back into it soon. I have too many kettles on the stove or irons in the fire or whatever cliche you want to use. :)

I'll be back soon. Keep checking in!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

She's Not Perfect, But Almost :)

I'm missing my Chloe this weekend, so obviously she is on my mind. I have an amazing little girl who has personality, charisma, twinkling eyes, and a heart of gold. Chloe has her shortcomings, as any three-year-old does, but it amazes me how well-behaved and compliant she is. She wants to please her mama, and those around her.

When I walked in her room I saw her Halloween treats. There on the floor (among the Polly Pocket and Little People mess) was her neon pumpkin, full of treats, and her Disney Princess trick-or-treat bag, about half-full (candy overload, people!). This girl has a weakness for chocolate bigger than even my own.

However, she has played in her room for two days, and the only candy she's consumed are those pieces she oh-so-politely asked if she could eat. There are no empty wrappers, no stashed candies, no trails of Skittles.

Obviously she has more self-control than I do since the reason I went in there was to swipe some of her stash :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

I'm As Selfish As They Come...

Here goes another one of those blogs where I (GASP) express my opinion and offend someone. Readers beware :)

I've been having one of those nagging feelings again. You know, the one where something just keeps coming up, and I want to say something but I don't? Yeah. That one.

A conversation comes to mind.

"Have you heard that new Revelation Song?" my friend asks. My face has a puzzled look, I'm sure. It's not puzzled because I don't know what she means. It's puzzled because it's not what I'd call "new."

"By Kari Jobe?" I ask. Now she has the puzzled look.

"No, I think it's Phillips, Craig, and Dean."

"Hmm. Guess I haven't." I respond. Almost by Divine Intervention, I get into my car and flip to KCVO. Lo and behold, I hear PCD singing Revelation Song.

Since it "FIRST" came out, it's been all over the radio, and we even sing it at church now. I like the song, and the version is good, but it's not MY Revelation Song. We sing it too fast. It has lost its power in it's new, jazzier form. Everyone who doesn't know better loves it, but in my selfish little heart I want to say, "I HEARD IT FIRST! I LIKED IT FIRST!"

I first came across the song in January 2008. I love a good re-make, but I have to say I think Kari Jobe's original version is much more powerful, and sounds a little less pop-i-fied.

Click Here if you want to hear for yourself.

The music lover/guru in me comes out when people mess with my music. Sometimes with her claws out ;)

P.S. if you DO like it and end up checking her out, I also love "The More I Seek You," and "My Beloved," so don't EVEN think you found them first ;)

Friday, October 30, 2009

A, double U, K, double U, A, R, D.

All my life I've been the victim of the awkward situation. It can be anything, and I've even joked that I may change my name to Murphy because I fit his law to a T.

When I was younger (and skinnier) I often had the problem of boys thinking I liked them when I didn't. I am a quiet girl, and I try very hard not to be rude (no comments from some of you), and so I suppose that in my laid-back, easy-going way I must have given these boys the impression that I not only CARED what they had to say, but I also ENJOYED their presence. Most of them were wrong :) Then I was stuck in that weird place of wanting to be nice to them, but not "liking them like that," and eventually having to say so.

In middle school my "not on the list" curse began. It never failed, there was at least one class per year in which the teacher would say, "Is anyone in the room who was NOT on my list?" At which point I would slowly raise my hand. Inevitably she wouldn't see my hand, and would begin moving on, when someone bolder than I would shout, "Andrea! You didn't call Andrea's name!"

"Why didn't you say something?" the teacher would question. I'd shrug, embarrassed. The whole time I was thinking, "I raised my hand, stupid. Isn't that what you teach us? Raise your hand don't shout out? UGH!"

The curse continued all the way to college. I, most likely the least-outspoken person in the class, was always put in a situation where I had to speak out. I wasn't on the list. I was called on when I was daydreaming. I was in the wrong class, wrong room, wrong building.

Even in adulthood I am constantly a victim of "...and did we leave anyone out?" at beginning of the year introductions. A co-worker will push me forward or shout my name. WHY am I NEVER on the list???

That's only where it begins. I can't count the number of times I've noticed someone's one crazy gray hair shooting out of their head, or a blackhead on their lip (I know, I know), or their un-zipped pants. I try to look away the instant I notice, but before I can avert my eyes, they ALWAYS notice me looking.

I'm also not a huge fan of eye-contact, so when I'm trying to find a spot upon which to fix my gaze, they always ALWAYS think they have a booger. I can see the thought go right through their minds! I KNOW they go to the bathroom after our conversations to check! I want to say sometimes, "You don't have a booger. I just don't look people in the eye."

Is it just me who falls victim to the ongoing awkward situation? Do you all face them daily as I do, or is it just stamped in my genes somewhere? Maybe I attract awkwardness. I've always labeled myself as awkward. Maybe it's not the situation...maybe it's....ME?

Monday, October 19, 2009


I have several "sparks" this morning in my mind, but nothing that is worthy of its own blog. Therefore, I am just going to shoot off my random thoughts and call it a cobblage (that's co-blah-zsh like collage with blog :) )

First of all, have you SEEN Faith Hill lately? She has always been one of my favorites. Her look, her voice, her personality. I just love her. When I saw her on a football commercial, though, I didn't even recognize her! I am almost certain she's had 'work' done, and to me that just makes women look WORSE. She's a beautiful woman, and it's sad to me that she feels the need to maintain the image of a twenty year old. Our society is so whacked!

On a younger note, I took Chlo and Mom to the pumpkin patch Saturday. We had such a nice time, and I got a pumkin and a half for two fifty! I also got some great pictures. We then ventured over to Cameron's birthday party. Social gatherings are not really my thing, so I was kind of dreading it, but it turned out to be a great time. Chloe had a blast, and I enjoyed catching up with Jodi and her family. Chloe told Jodi it was the BEST birthday party EVER! She had so much fun, and now all she talks about is Cameron :)

On my weight watching note, I'm doing ok. My basic method is not to weigh myself, but to gauge by my jeans and pants how I'm doing. I'm doing well I think. This morning I fought the urge to buy a doughnut from my 8th grade fund raiser. Instead I am currently having a Diet Coke and a (gasp) Nutty Bar. I know. But I didn't have breakfast, so I'm counting the peanut butter as my protien, and splitting the calories between breakfast and a mid-morning snack. See, it's almost like I'm eating well :)

It's a short week at school due to parent teacher conferences, which means some long nights in return. I'd rather work late and be off Friday, though, and there are rumors of Pizza.

That's the up-to-the-minute on The Real World. Have a fabulous Monday. It's going to be beautiful.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Those "seeds" combined with a low temperature got Chloe kicked out of school for a day or two. Apparently you can't have poop seeds and stay at school ;) So we're home and hoping to go back to school Friday. I no more than published that post when I got the call. Ah Universe. You crack me up.


Disclaimer: This blog is hilarious, may cause you to laugh out loud. This post does discuss toilet issues and may NOT be considered funny if you're eating lunch.

Yesterday evening Chloe informed me she needed to use the bathroom. She's self-sufficient in there, and only needs my help if she goes #2. She had already done that, so I figured I was in the clear.

After a few minutes, she yelled, "Mom! I need you!"

"What, Chloe?"

"I tooted and I made poop-seeds!"

"You what?!" I yelled from the livingroom.

"I HAVE POOP SEEDS!" she exclaimed, as if I should know what those are.

I went back to the bathroom to investigate, and when I pulled her forward on the toilet I saw it. There, floating in the bowl, was a small group of corn kernels. They weren't "connected," just, floating. I laughed.

"Those aren't 'poop seeds,'" I explained, "It's corn! Did you have corn at school today or yesterday?" She erupted with laughter.

"Yeah, I did," she giggled. She flushed the toilet, and went back to playing.

Bedtime came, and I sent her to potty before she went to bed. Pretty soon she yelled for me again.

"Did you poop AGAIN?!?!" I yelled from the living room. There was a pause, and then her reply.


I still laugh every time I think about it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Own Miracle

I subscribe to a weekly inspirational e-mail, a.k.a. "Knee-Mail" from a special lady. This week she discussed miracles, big and small, and shared her own with her readers.

Her Knee-Mail reminded me of a time many years ago when I had one of those small, yet powerful experiences that could only be described as miraculous.

As you may have noticed by now, I am terrified of storms. I have overcome my fear a little since becoming a mom. After all, once you've squeezed a human from your body and nourished it yourself, been poked, stuck, cut, and sewn in every imaginable way, it's tough to be scared of something as simple as weather, although I still have my moments.

Many years ago when I was a teenager, I remember a terrible storm crashing outside my bedroom window. It was the middle of the night, and I was scared to death.

"Please don't let there be a tornado. Or strong winds. Or lightning," I prayed. Someday I'll tell you about my need to be extremely specific when I pray.

I remembered my preacher saying that God cared about everything we had to say, and that he could even move mountains if we believed it. I figured if He could move mountains, he could surely calm a storm.

"Please, God, calm the storm. I'm scared and I want to sleep." I prayed aloud. Within seconds the wind died down. The lightning ceased. A quiet rain fell on my window. While my heart pounded at the magnitude of what had just happened, I had a still, quiet peace inside. That was proof enough of God for me.

The real miracle, however, happened a few years later.

Again I found myself in my bed during a terrible storm. I the thunder woke me, and at this point I was in my late teens or early twenties, and was not about to jump in Mama's bed. I remembered that night when the storm was quieted for me, and I prayed for relief.

Minutes passed, and the storm raged on, worse than ever. Frustrated that my prayer was not being answered, I turned up my radio to drown it out. It was tuned to KCVO, and I heard a song from years and years ago. I thought it was odd they were playing such an old song, but when the chorus came on, I knew I'd experienced a miracle once again.

"Sometimes He calms the storm
With a whispered peace be still.
He can settle any sea,
But it doesn't mean He will.
Sometimes He holds us close,
And lets the wind and waves go wild.
Sometimes He calms the storm,
And other times He calms His child."

I realized then that I could attain peace without the storm stopping, and I did. My eyes grew heavy, my pulse slowed down, and I went to sleep.

I do the same thing with my daughter. I can't always control what happens around her, but I can give her peace and comfort. That's what God wants to do with me, and I don't always sit still and let Him.

These days, in the storms of my life, I find myself praying for the storms to cease. Thinking back on these small miracles in my life, I have realized maybe what He wants is for me to find peace from Him.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Statue: An Original Poem by moi

In the middle of town
Stood a statue of stone,
But the citizens there
Wouldn't leave it alone.

It once portrayed beauty;
In peace it once stood,
Until one passerby
Said, "It's not so good."

She picked at its detail,
Then she took out her file.
She rubbed and she scratched it;
She destroyed with a smile.

For a while people thought
That the woman was mad.
They thought she was crazy,
And her marring was bad.

But she convinced a friend
He should come help her out.
They kept on destroying;
They planted seeds of doubt.

Just one piece at a time
They kept whittling away.
They watched as dust piles formed
And its lines became gray.

The good people in town
Were outraged and upset.
They tried to protect it;
It wasn't destroyed yet.

Then slowly but surely
Its protectors turned mean,
Took sides with destroyers;
It's like nothing you've seen.

More and more began to turn,
Began to use their files.
Just a few protectors
Couldn't stop acts so vile.

Day by day the dust pile
Grew more upon the ground.
The statue's points were dull;
The corners now were round.

Slowly now they watched it
As dust it soon became.
To some destruction hurt,
To most it was a game.

Now all that remains
Is a lonely withered rock.
It's nothing like it was;
It's something that they mock.

Its beauty is no more,
Image is diminished.
The things it once stood for
Now, at last, are finished.

That Kind of Love

I had kind of a rough evening yesterday. I was restless going to sleep, and just couldn't put my mind at ease. To top it off, there was rain and some storming.

I hadn't been sleeping long when I woke to run to the bathroom. It was raining hard, and I figured the storms were imminent. I knew the pitter-patter of little feet would be in my future, so I decided I'd beat her to the punch.

I was already awake anyway, so I figured it would me much easier to get her up, take her potty, and get her situated in my bed now than it would be in an hour or so when I was dead asleep.

I crept into her room and whispered, "Chloe? Do you want to come in Mommy's bed?" She didn't open her eyes, but she whispered back, "Yes." I hoisted her over my shoulder and made her potty before we settled in. She has a notorious habit of peeing in MY bed and my bed only.

She was so sleepy she couldn't sit up. I put her on the toilet and squatted in front of her, letting her rest her head and body on my shoulder. Her arms were around my neck.

She did what she had to do, and I said, "Ok let's get your jammies up and go in my room." She squeezed her arms tighter around me, turned her head toward mine and whispered, "You're so nice, Mama. I love you."

I was her hero for letting her come to bed with me without her even asking. That made me "nice" in her eyes. All she wants is to be close to me, to have my attention, and to please me.

They say the love we have for our children is unimagninable, but I often wonder if she doesn't love me even more than I love her. She doesn't lose her patience with me. She doesn't mind if my elbow is in her back, as long as we're next to each other. She tells me I am skinny and beautiful. She thinks I'm funny even when I'm just being stupid.

She'll grow out of those unconditional love characteristics I know, but right now I cherish every moment that I feel THAT kind of love. No one else could ever love me the way she does. If only the world could see me through her eyes.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Today was the big day. It may have been more triumphant if I wasn't bogged down with what I've dubbed "piggie flu." No, I do not have Swine flu or any other flu variation. I just feel like crap and that's my over-exaggerative way to say it.

Today is Chloe's first day of pre-school. I still can't stop thinking about the fact that she's merely a few yards away from me at this very moment.

We talked about pre-school all weekend. She asked questions, I answered. We made her cubby collage. We picked a blanket and pillow to leave there for nap time. We picked out clothes for this morning. We put batteries in the camera.

I was running late (as usual) so I just snapped a few of her before we went out the door. We drove to school together, and I walked her to her class.

Her teacher, Mrs. Amber, was at the door to greet us. She called Chloe by name and showed her the cubby. She put blanky in there until nap time! Not sure how well that will go, but Chloe was willing.

Her eyes were lit up with excitement. Mrs. Amber introduced Chloe to a classmate, Abby. Chloe piped up, "HI Abby!" She is SO excited, and I truly hope this turns out to be a fun and productive day for her.

I can't wait to pick her up and hear all about the first day of school.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Divine Intervention

Consider this an update to my "GIVE ME CARBOHYDRATES AND CHOCOLATE NOW" themed post earlier today. Today I received Divine intervention. It was not, however, the "intervention" I requested yesterday.

I made it to lunch time without devouring my own flesh today. On the menu today was BLT on wheat, mozzarella cheese stick, and applesauce. I stopped at the Coke machine on my way to lunch for my trusty (yet not as tasty as her "regular" brother) Diet Coke.

I put my dollar in, received my Coke, and clink. A quarter. After some frustration I decided it's only a quarter, I won't get too upset over it. I'm HUNGRY!

I went through the line and was eating my lunch when I saw it. The junior class. Several members were scurrying about. They were selling...CANDY! Candy at lunch! Chocolate! Caramel! SKITTLES even! Oh sweet mother of Mary! I dug in my pocket for my fifty cents...

I pulled out my quarter.

Only God could have saved me from that candy bar...and that's just what he did. God and his "hilarious" antics. I licked my wounds by stealing a mini candy from Barb's basket. I guess everyone wins.

Stress Diet 101

Ok. So I'm not on a weight-loss plan or program. I don't REALLY even have a goal. I'm not actively TRYING to lose weight. I have noticed, however, that since my emotional life leveled off, I have found myself comfortable, content, even happy. You know what this means right? Fat.

I'm not obese by any means. I'm skinnier now than I was pre-baby. However, I became somewhat accustomed to the stress diet, and I'm struggling with this fat and happy thing. I was on the SD for so long, I lost most of my ability to reason and limit my food choices and intake.

Let me explain my stress diet to you.

Phase 1:
Stress begins. Knots in stomach lead to loss of appetite. Moderate eating to fasting occur. Weight loss begins. Jeans fit well.
After initial stress period (5-7 days), you will experience stomach shrinkage and appetite changes. Should last 1-2 weeks depending on stress level.

Phase 2:
Stress levels have spiked immediately following initial stress period (5-7 days) OR Phase 1 has lasted more than two weeks without ceasing. Moderate eating occurs with spurts of "bad food" binging. High stress levels burn calories taken in. Weight loss is noticeable. Jeans are loose.

Phase 3:
Stress levels have remained in effect for more than 3 weeks without ceasing with sporadic spikes. Appetite returns on SPIKE days, when body feels ready to buckle. Bad food binges are common, and you can eat what you want when you want. Periods of stomach knots/fasting and high stress (burning calories) cause more noticeable weight loss. New Buckle jeans in a size 7 are necessary, and they're not even that tight.

Phase 4: A period of maintained skinniness so long as mild stress is in place. Participants may volley between stages 3 and 4 until death or exit the program upon lack of stress, whichever occurs first.

I'm off the stress diet. Obviously this is an attempt at satire to some degree, and I in no way, shape or form endorse this "diet," nor do I think it was a healthy time. It's merely a comical look at the way stress affects my body.

I'm no longer stressed. I like food. Nothing stops me from eating it. Needless to say I can NOT put those dark denim Buckle jeans on, which is a good waste of 90 bucks.

I want to drop a few pounds by watching what I eat and drink, and I want to maintain a healthy weight (that still allows me to wear those ddBjs if I am in the mood for tight fittin' jeans that don't look small).

I have done really well this week. I have switched to strictly Diet Coke at work. I still haven't given up my sweet tea in the evenings, but I eat a good dinner and only a small sampling of breakfast or lunch.

Today, however, I am fighting the urge to go to Bullseye, get a doughnut, a Rice Krispie Treat, a fountain Pepsi, and a bag of Combos. And a Milky Way.

Someone is cooking down the hall. I have been looking through the pie and coookie sales fundraiser. I see food. I smell food. I WANT FOOD.

Man CAN live on bread alone and I'd give anything to have a loaf right now!

For now, though, I will blog. I will distract myself until I no longer have the option of leaving work. I will not succumb to my desire for carbs. Will power. It's not as strong or as effective as stress, but I'm exercising it right now.

Oh! Does exercising will power count as exercise????

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I Need an Intervention!

My computer has been on the fritz lately, so unless I take the work-top home, I don't have a home computer. I was thinking last night that I need to edit pictures from vacation and work on my current pictures.

Then it hit me.

I have no current pictures.

I've been mourning the end of my vacation subliminally since we passed through Arkansas late that Saturday evening. The last picture on my camera is the sunset back when it used to keep us company until about 8:30 in the evening.

Almost two months have passed since I took a picture of any sort. I see photographic moments almost daily, and I have not captured these.

I attribute it to my put-it-off/forget-it tendency. At the most awkward times (in the shower, drying my hair, at 2am, driving to work) I think of things like, "Oh I need to put my camera in my bag so I always have it!" or "I haven't charged my MP3 player." I rarely follow through on my "ah ha" moments, though, and thus find myself picture-less.

The same goes for my writing. My grading. Making phone calls.

Things I am Thinking About NOW That I Haven't Done and Probably Won't Until the Last Minute:

Editing vacation pics
Printing vacation pics
Scrapping vacation pics
Printing "regular" pics
Working on scrapbook
Buying supplies for Christmas surprises
Making Mom an Eagles CD
Putting away garage sale stuff (FROM JUNE)
Fixing toilet handle in spare bath

I could go on, but I won't.

I need an intervention.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fleeting Thoughts

I have a lot of writing potential today, but no organization, so I'm just going to focus my creative juice into a cookie-cutter blog. Hope you enjoy. This can also be modified and used for an e-mail for those of you who enjoy the survey but don't do blogging or Facebook.

Outside my window... the sun is shining. Kids are talking. The leaves are still green, but they have that "look," like they could turn at any time. It LOOKS cool, and not just because I know it is. The sky is so blue, it has to be cool.

I am thinking... about eating school lunch (chicken alfredo), that I don't want to put books in right now (even though I should be), I want brownies, and I really love my new fall red zip-up.

This week I will try to... keep up with my house, get all these books in, enjoy my last weeknight/morning free, because Chloe starts coming with me next week.

I hope to teach... the 7th graders to write descriptive essays later, and Chloe to be confident in herself. Someone called her gross at Kindra's and it hurt her little feelings. :(

From the kitchen... if you don't smell bread of some kind, I'm not cooking. Biscuits, crescents, warm-and-serve rolls, home-made bread, garlic bread, cinnamon rolls. Every meal I cook these days includes bread. Probably why I can't drop the 5lbs I gained back. I also rock at scalloped and mashed potatoes. Go carbs!

I am wearing... Light tan pants, the kind that have a little stretch to them and make my butt look firm(-er than it is). A dark brown, brushed cotton t-shirt from Maurices that fits so great. And my fall-red (not dark, not light, kind of distressed) zip-up sweat(er)shirt also from Maurices. Long gone are the days of Buckle hoodies and jeans :( Oh, and my brown Eastlands, which are the new Doc Martin ("new" as in I wear them because I'm old and broke, but I love them just as much).

On my playlist... My recent adds include "Need You Now" by Lady A, "We Rode in Trucks" by Luke Bryan, "Address in the Stars," by Caitlin and Will, and "Say Hey (I Love You)." This time of year, however, causes me to listen to "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room," by John Mayer and "Sitting at a Bar" by Rehab among others.

I am reading... I just finished "Deadline" by Chris Crutcher which was good. Probably won't be starting any more books for a while.

I am hoping... that Chloe loves pre-school, that Christmas comes soon, and that I can lose these 5lbs without the "stress out" method that usually makes me skinny.

I am thankful for... fall weather. Chloe's new pre-school. Good friends. My great job. Sonic pop. :)

I am remembering... last fall. Beer bread at Robin's. Heritage Days. Weaubleau softball concessions. Weaubleau kids. And that I need to print vacation pictures SOON!

I am creating... Christmas presents this year to save money. An idea for another novel (but can I do it again?), and a hole in the ozone with my aerosol hair spray, but I don't care.

I am praying... that people will leave me alone and stop gossipping/lying about me.

Around the house... it's somewhat clean. Chloe's Polly Pockets are here and there. It doesn't smell like fall. I need a new candle.

One of my favorite things... Sonic Coke. Bread (of any kind). My purple sheets.

A few plans for the rest of the week... I don't have anything planned this week, but I hope to watch Grey's Thursday. :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Get your shoesies, get your sockies, and hurry run to school (boom boom)

The title of my blog today is a song my brother and I made up years and years ago. It really had nothing to do with school for us, it was just a stupid song we sang when we needed to get our shoes on for something. My mom brought it out of the depths of her memory and taught it to Chloe, who now sings it (and varies the items she's 'getting') when she leaves to go somewhere.

On Monday, October 5th, she'll be singing it as she gets ready for her first day of pre-school! Chloe was accepted into the Calhoun Pre-K program. Think pre-school meets daycare.

The program allows children day care as well as pre-school taught by certified Pre-K teachers. It is open (and charges) on Calhoun school days only. While the thought of taking Chloe from Kindra, who has helped me raise her while I had no choice but to work is sad, I'm very excited for this opportunity for Chloe.

In her own words, "I'll have mine own teacher, an I'll get to play on a playground, and maybe paint!" She got the news yesterday, and by coincidence her new jeans came in the mail. "OH MOM! You got me new school clothes!" she exclaimed.

My baby girl is growing up!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

To Be (Naive) or Not to Be (Naive)...That is the real question

As a parent I find myself often reflecting on my own experiences and trying to decide if I should do it the way it was done with me, or if I should be more or less conservative. I already know that I'm much more liberal than my own mother, which doesn't make her right or wrong, it just makes us different.

Raising Chloe, I debate often about whether to be reserved with her on somewhat "taboo" topics, or whether to be the one to feed her the honest, gory truth, knowing she's going to find it one way or another.

I could tell you a million embarrassing stories about how naive I was as a child and pre-teen. I won't embarrass myself (or you) too much, but this is something I have been contemplating lately.

I distinctly remember my first high school dance. I was a freshman. I was quite intimidated by the seniors there. I was worried they'd laugh at us or make fun of us. I was wrong. They were absorbed in their own adventures. I looked over during one of the up-beat songs and saw a couple of juniors dirty dancing. As you know, I didn't watch the movie until later on, so I had NEVER seen this before! I stared at them in the dark, and I wondered what had happened to these guys since they left our middle school!

I recall sitting at Lindsey's dining room table with her, trying to get the courage to ask her mom what a certain word (that I won't publish) meant. It wasn't in the dictionary, we'd already checked. When we finally had the nerve to ask her, she told us, without ever changing her tone, exactly what we wanted to know.

In a way I want Chloe to be that girl at the dance. I wouldn't mind if she couldn't figure out why B.J. gets made fun of. I'd be ok if she was one of the few who listened intently as her 6th grade teacher explained the birds and the bees and she'd never heard of such a thing.

What I'm not ok with, though, is her being laughed at for having a squiggle pen that vibrates when it writes, and not knowing why she's the butt of a joke. I'm not ok with her learning street terms and their definitions from the class slut in the 8th grade. I'm not ok with her being pressured and asked if she knows what so-and-so is and then laughed at, only to Google it when she gets home.

For now, I find my approach a little more liberal than my own mom's. Chloe knows the proper terms for male and female anatomy, and she knows where babies come from, although HOW they get in the tummy is still God's doing.

It's scary raising a little girl. I want to impress strong morals and values on her. I want her to make good choices with her life. I want her to avoid compromising situations, but I also want her to be aware. I want her to know the dangers, I want her to hold her own. I want her to "get" the jokes, and then be the one to say, "You guys are disgusting. Get a life."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Allergy Eyes

If I wrote a blog about every hilarious thing that my daughter says, I would be online all the time. Every day I send Mom an e-mail about something cute or funny Chloe said the night before. Among the e-mail worth quotes are, "Mom, I look fabulous," "You're so precious, Mudder," (I'm still trying to twhart the "mother" comments), and "Gimme a oochie hug!"

Last night, however, she picked up a conversation Mom and I had and tried to use it for her own benefit.

Mom's been having trouble with her eyes, and was telling me she went to the doctor and he gave her some stuff for her allergies and some drops for her eyes. That's really all the conversation entailed. We talked about other things, watched Beauty and the Beast (non-scary parts only) with Chlo, and then Chlo and I went home to get ready for baths and bed.

After her drink, her second trip to the potty, and her fourteenth "oochie" hug, she was quiet for a while. Just as I had turned off my light and was about to lie down, she came tip-toe-ing into my room.

"What is it, Chloe?" I asked her.
"I can't sleep," she complained.
"Why not?" I asked, expecting the thunder or "bad dream" excuse.
"I have a- a- allergy in my eye."
"You have a what?" I asked, not sure I heard her right.
"A allergy in my eye."

I told her the only way to get an allergy out of your eye is to keep it closed. She went to her room to try it...I didn't hear her again until morning.

Kids really do say the darndest things :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

You were right, Johnny. You can't win no matter what you do!

I heard about it at school. My girlfriends talked about it all the time. I had the soundtrack, but I was not allowed to watch "Dirty Dancing." It was, after all, rated R. It was full of rebellion and sex and issues bigger than my naive brain could understand. I didn't even know what it was about, I just knew I hadn't seen it and probably never would.

That was until TNT bought the rights and showed it, edited, on cable. I was sixteen the first time I saw it, and I fell in love with Johnny just about as fast as Baby did. At first I thought I just loved it because it was "banned." Maybe because the word "dirty" was in the title. But then again, I'd seen more grotesque dancing at my school dances than I had on that movie.

I soon came to realize it was a timeless classic. It was a romantic story of the good-girl falling for the rebel guy. Only in this movie, the rebel guy turned out to be honest, hard-working, and trustworthy. Did I mention he was also hot? He was THE ultimate boyfriend.

Patrick is gone now, and it's almost like Johnny is gone, too, and Dirty Dancing is now just an old home movie. It's that bitter-sweet memory of the times we (never) had and the best boyfriend any girl could ask for.

Baby said it best when she looked at him with her big eyes and said, "Me? I'm scared of everything. I'm scared of what I saw, I'm scared of what I did, of who I am, and most of all I'm scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I'm with you."

In a way, I think the sixteen year old girl in all of us feels that way about Johnny, about Patrick, about the movie itself, and will never really get over losing "our" Johnny.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning...?

When I was taking college classes I usually only went to school two to three days a week. Since I was home a lot on the weekdays while my family and friends were at work/school, I got in a WONDERFUL habit of spending time with my Mimi. We went shopping, went to lunch, and just hung out at least once a week. How I MISS those empty days with no responsibility or bills, when I would drive or walk to my grandma's house and meet her.

September 11, 2001 was one of our planned days. She had a couple that she would have lunch with once a month. They have known me since I was a baby, so they enjoyed when I came along. That particular day we were headed to Rudy's in Warsaw at 11:00.

I woke early so I could watch T.V. and have plenty of time to get ready in a leisurely fashion. I was sitting on the couch at my Mom's house with a piece of buttered toast and had just turned on the T.V. Mom had been watching Today before she left for school, and before I had time to hit the guide button, I heard the sense of urgency in the tone. I could tell they were unscripted, and as I watched, I learned of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center.

"What an idiot," I thought to myself. Then I felt bad. Maybe the pilot had a heart attack. Maybe his plane malfunctioned. As Matt and Katie discussed the possible explanations and waited for the voices in their ears to give them details, they showed footage of the burning building. The smoke rose from the towers, then all of a sudden, a plane flew into the second tower.

At first I wondered how they had footage if it was accidental. It took me a while to realize that was a second plane. I had witnessed it. The world, or New York anyway, had been panicking about the first plane, and never saw the second one coming.

I kept listening, trying to understand what was happening. I knew it was bad. I knew something terrible was happening, but I didn't understand what. As the morning wore on, and more details came in, it settled in my mind that it was an attack.

I tried not to worry about it. We went to lunch at Rudy's. It was a warm day. I even remember that I was wearing capris and black sandals. We talked about it and what it meant.

By the time I got home from lunch, the world was in sheer panic. There were rumors of war (I won't lie, Revelation crossed my mind). People were lined up at the pumps trying to get gas. Rumors flew that prices would soar, or that we'd be without fuel altogether. People flooded Wal-Mart looking for bottled water and non-perishables. For the first time in my life, the belief I always held that American soil would never see war was vanishing.

I was scared.

I waited in line and filled up my car with the maximum twelve gallons. I waited eagerly for my mom to come home so I could talk to her about it, see what she heard. I watched T.V. all day long, trying to get any clues as to whether or not I was safe. In Warsaw, Missouri was I unsafe? Would there be more attacks? Even MTV showed nothing but footage. It must be big.

In the months that followed the talk died down. We declared war, and America changed from the country I'd known. Country song after country song hit the airwaves. They were angry, they were sad, they were patriotic. I related to all of them.

"Uncle Sam put your name at the top of his list, and the Statue of Liberty started shaking her fist. And the Eagle will rise, and there's gonna be Hell when you here Mother Freedom start ringing her bell and it'll feel like the whole wide world is raining down on you...oh brought to you courtesy of the Red White and Blue.." it made my adrenaline rush, my heart pound.

"Have you forgotten how it felt that day to see your homeland under fire and her people blown away? Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
We had neighbors still inside going through a living hell. And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout Bin Laden? Have you forgotten?" A few months later when the war was criticized, when Bush's name became mud, when soldiers were dying and the Hollywood starlets were anti-war I was mad. This song evoked pride and feelings of support.

But the one that has touched me the most, the one that still brings tears to my eyes was Alan Jackson's "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning." It was performed live at an awards show, and I will never forget his performance, in his ripped jeans and suit jacket.

"...Did you go to a church and hold hands with some stranger? Stand in line and give your own blood? Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love.

I'm just a singer of simple songs, I'm not a real political man.
I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran.
But I know Jesus, and I talk to God, and I remember this from when I was young: Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us, and the greatest is love."

That song reminds me of how the whole country seemed to turn to God. For just a moment on the timline of the world, we united in prayer. We read scripture. We were kind to each other. We loved strangers. For just a brief second in time, we were one.

When there is a funeral people always say they hate that it took a tragedy to bring them together. I guess that's how I feel about 9/11. We have gone our own ways. Kids today don't even remember the occurrence. We found a place of safety in our country again, and a sense of apathy about the war and the soldiers.

But every now and then, I go back to that day, and I ask myself, "Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day?"

Never. Forget.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Do I Have Wrinkle-Free Pants Clean?

Do you ever let something fester so long you feel like you'll snap the next time it's brought to light? That's kind of the way I have been feeling lately. I'll begin my blog with a disclaimer: I mean no personal injury to anyone reading this blog, or anyone those anyones know.

I shall begin.

Lately it seems I have been the listening ear to conversations about being a stay-home mom. I listen/read sympathetically as my friends, whom I care deeply about, express their frustrations, concerns, and exhaustion. Their husbands don't help out enough, or their husbands work too much. The babies aren't sleeping all night yet. Their kids demand their attention all day, they can't get everything done, and they NEVER get a break.

I sympathize with the stay at home wife and mother. While I do envy them, I have to say I enjoy my job and I'm not sure I'd be cut out for the stay-home gig. Although, it's possible I convince myself of that to thwart my jealousy.

Anyway, lately I have found many of these conversations alluding to the "luxury" we working mothers have. After all, we have adult interaction, we have a break from our ever-needy children. We have "more" income. We get vacations and holidays and weekends.

Wait a minute. Do these stay at home-ers realize that we working moms are STILL moms? Let me try to put this in perspective without sounding too melodramatic or whiny.

5:45: Alarm. Snooze. I have wrinkle-free pants clean (I think).
6:10: Finally roll out of bed. Shower, brush teeth, express hate for the morning.
6:20: Blow dry. Are my eyes open? "Chloe. It's time to start getting up."
6:30: Dress. Straighten hair. Flip Chloe's light on. "Chloe! Mommy monster is going to get you!"
6:45: Shoes. Pick out Chloe's clothes. I can do my make up in the car. "CHLOE!"
6:50: I'm dragging her out of bed in her PJs. She refuses to open her eyes. Kindra won't mind to dress her.
6:55: Grab something from the fridge for lunch. All I have is a Milky Way mini? I'll eat in the lunch room.
7:00: Out the door, drive to Kindra's. I get a grumpy goodbye and a cross look for waking her up.
DRIVE/Apply minimal make-up.
7:38: Arrive. Quick chat with a co-worker on the walk in. Write on the board. Check school e-mail and answer. Line-out the folders, worksheets, etc for my day.
8:04: 8th graders arrive. "You guys have eleven minutes until class starts," I say EVERY day with an encouraging tone. AKA I'm not in kid mode yet.
8:15 eight graders learn reading.
9:05 They leave. It's my "free hour." Do all my running. Copies for tomorrow, blah blah the life of a teacher.
10:01 eighth graders learn English.
10:51 I'm working in the library. Only 250 books to get in the system. I should eat lunch in here. Wait. I had no food. Run to the lunch room. Fifteen minutes of adult conversation with constant hum of teenagers.
12:07 7th graders learn English. I enjoy observing them.
1:00 elementary students have library time. Checking in/out books.
1:53 Send little ones back. Work on those 250 books again. Or should I put in grades so I don't have to take them home?
2:55 Walker bell. Finish up my stuff. Quick social interaction in BELC.
3:15 DRIVE.
3:52 Pick up Chloe. We have to go to Wal Mart. We have no food.
4:43 "Thanks, you too." Push the cart to the car. Load groceries. Load Chlo. Drive home.
4:51 Unload Chlo, unload groceries. Put away. Start dinner.
5:14 "Hi Mom. . . Oh just cooking dinner..."
5:40 Sit down with Chloe. Is this really the first time we've talked all day? She is telling me all about her day at Kindra's. I'm wishing I had been home to play with her.
6:15 dishes. I should sweep and mop the kitchen, but I am tired. And Chloe wants to play Polly Pockets.
7:00 "You need to get in the bath now. I'll make it deep with Princess bubbles." Start laundry (after the water runs), there is a mound of towels. Polly Pockes everywhere, but I haven't checked my Facebook farm all day... :)
7:45 "Baby you have to get out. The water is cold." Jammies, comb, lotion. I love this part of the day.
8:00 She HAS to watch Wubbzy. Laundry goes in the dryer. I clear a path in the living room and call it good.
8:30 She needs a drink. She needs a bedtime story. She needs to say a prayer. She needs my attention. She needs to potty. She NEEDS to go to bed. Because 6:45 comes too early for her. She settles for juice, potty, ONE book, and a long snuggle. And five kisses and one squeezy hug.
9:00 I'm exhausted. My house is a mess. I haven't balanced my check book. I want to take a bubble bath and watch tv. I fold clothes in front of the tv and then head to bed. Do I have wrinkle-free pants for tomorrow?

Working isn't a luxury. It's not a social hour. It is WORK! I still struggle to make ends meet, and I'm always behind on my "second" job as a Mom. Is it a job I LOVE? Yes. Do I have a better schedule than most working parents? For sure. But
would I rather have all those hours to spend with my daughter so I don't have to divide my attention between her and the world in the six free hours I have in a day? Definitely.

The only real words of wisdom I can come up with for this she-said/she-said dilemma is a quote from my friend Sebastian, "The sea weed is always greener in somebody else's lake..."

Sunday, July 26, 2009

You've Got the "MUSE"ic in You...

It's no secret I am a lover of music and writing. Most of my friends who are "average" listeners and readers think of me as somewhat of a music guru and fantastic writer. I have a lyric for everything in my life (and theirs); I even measure time by music. They stroke the ego of my inner writer, and while I enjoy the accolades, there's really NOTHING like the feeling of having a common bond with another person who is equally (or more) talented in your area of interest.

I happen to have a friend like that. We aren't what you'd call "typical" friends, or even really close friends. We don't share family anecdotes, we don't meet for lunch or coffee, and we don't have a lot in common on the surface, but I'll explain that later.

What we do have, is a kindred spirit. We came to be friends in an unlikely way, and despite my tendency to push people away, and what we call my "flaky" behavior, this special person has remained my friend, always there, even when I don't think I need anyone to be there.

Besides all of that, my friend is an avid reader, and an excellent writer. I remember the first time I sent my friend a chunk of my writing. You see, I also know the critical side of this person, and I was ready for it. The applause from my close friends was nice, but I needed criticism and feeback from a serious reader. From an enthusiastic writer. My stomach turned as I opened the first e-mail response, nervous about what would be said.

What I got, instead of harsh criticism, was praise and encouragement. I couldn't have finished any of my substantial writing without this. I went from reluctantly sending my writing, to waiting impatiently for a reply. Now every time I sit down to write, I look forward to sending my finished product for discussion.

Among some of our other commonalities, such as intelligence, loyalty, quiet awkwardness, and social retardation (sorry, we both know it's true), is a love for music. We have very similar taste, and I say that's because we both have impeccable taste :) Most of the time. I believe my Lady Ga Ga faux pas has been forgiven.

But what inspired me to write this blog was an e-mail interaction we had Friday night. I sent the following e-mail:

So I heard this song in Maurices today.
It sounded kind of Fray-ish.
It was really repetitive
It kept saying something about don't go or something?

I got a text at midnight.

"It's Never Say Never by The Fray. The song, that is. You also need to hear Absolute."

The actual line I was referring to says, "Don't let me go." I bow to the music king :)

Thanks, Landon, my sixteen-year-old, English-loving, blonde moment prone, large-vocabularied, grammar geek, math genius, music expert, amazingly talented friend, for being an always-there, encouraging friend and inspiration. I know, it sounds so cheesy. But it's true :)

***3 Baby Edits: He's 17, we're never late, and we HATE broken plans.***

Friday, July 10, 2009

Keep the Change?

Let me begin this post with a confession: I don't tip at Sonic. Call it cheap, call it frugal, call it down-right rude, but I just DON'T do it. If someone is serving me food in a sit-down setting, takes my order, asks me if my food is right, cleans up my mess, and has to refill my Coke three times, then a tip is in order. However, someone who drops a sack of food in my window, which may (or may not) be what and how I ordered, does not, in my opinion, deserve a tip.

My grandma is one who always says, "Keep that change, honey." Even if it's only three cents. I, myself, find a ten cent tip more insulting than none at all, but maybe that's just me. I usually use my debit or MySonic card, which eliminates the tip-awkwardness altogether. But, on the rare occasion I pay with cash, I'm finding a little stronger effort to get a tip out of me.

A few years back I recall a trend among car-hops in which they would (oh so politely) say, "And would you like your change back?" To which I ALWAYS replied, "Yes, thank you." I mean. Really. Didn't she just basically say, "Can I have a four cent tip?" I'm sure the girls appreciate a tip for their trip, but to ask for one seems a little crass to me.

That trend, I have found out recently, has gone by the wayside. Now when I pay with cash and my total is over 80 cents, I don't get my change. The car-hop simply says, "Thank you!" She smiles and darts for the door. I sit, dumbfounded, wondering if that girl just stole twenty cents from me.

I'm not trying to be a Scrooge. I'm not saying the girls don't DESERVE a tip. I'm a single, struggling mom who treats her daughter to Sonic on the rare occasion an extra five bucks come up. I save my loose change and actually wrap and spend it. I feel like that is my twenty cents, or two cents, and if I CHOOSE to give it to someone I will, but I don't like having my change stolen from me little by little.

I haven't had the nerve yet, but I'd like to push the button one day and say, "Your car-hop just stole seven cents from me!" The manager, however, might not get my humor.

So for now, I make sure I have a dollar's worth of change in my car if I'm headed to Sonic. Just yesterday I dug up 87 cents in change to avoid breaking a dollar and losing 13. Am I going a little over the top here? Maybe. But I do belive this is America and I should have the right NOT to tip :)


Since I have dropped my DirecTv to the lowest package to save money, I jump all over the free movie weekends and previews. A few weeks ago I had IFC for free. Usually the IFC movies are unrated and somewhat boring, but I stumbled upon a documentary at 6am one morning that had me hooked from the first scenes.

I lay on the couch, half hoping to find my way back to sleep, but this movie had me completely enthralled. It was the life-story of this 70s country singer, Guy Terrifico, who was his own worst enemy. The movie is titled: The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico.

The story was intriguing. Drugs, girls, beer, famous singers, bar fights, it had everything. Toward the end of the movie you learn that Guy was shot at a show, but through a strange turn of events, his body was never found. It leaves you believing it could have been a conspiracy and Guy is still wandering around in Cuba today. Even Kris Kristofferson and other country artists from that time period give some convincing evidence.

After watching the movie I called my mom and was asking her about this guy. That's her time period, after all. I was shocked when she told me she had never heard of him! I told her the whole story and how interested I was. I was hoping I could even find a biography on him or something. I WANTED to read more about him!

When I got online later that day I decided to search him and his story.

Hold your laughter please.

It was a hoax. It was a MOCKumentary made in Canada a few years ago. The whole story is fictional, which is why Mom hadn't heard of him! I was crushed. I was so wrapped up in the mystery and whimsy of the story I didn't realize (at 6 a.m. mind you) that the movie was just that: a movie.

I could write a book on all the things I've believed over the years. You can call me gullible, I guess. Maybe I'm just a romantic, a dreamer. This little faux documentary, though, really broke my heart.

When I'd wallowed long enough and double checked every reliable (and unreliable) website, I decided to swallow my pride. Shameful, I dialed my mom and told her the "real" story of Guy Terrifico. She didn't have much to say, but by her laughter I'm guessing she thought it was, well, Terrifico.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

...And the Thunder Rolls

I thought we had escaped the terror of spring storms when we'd hardly had as much as a lighting bolt by the time school was out. No one mentioned we'd spend June listening to sirens wail and branches crack and break as Mother Nature unleashed her fury on us.

Last night was one of those long nights. When the rumbles began around midnight, I tried to block them out as best I could. I tossed and turned and tried to occupy my mind. Soon the National Weather Service was blaring its buzz from my radio, so I decided to perk up my ears and listen.

About the time the creepy, automated robot voice said, "...Service has issued.." BAM. The power was gone. Utter darkness. Silence. Thunder. I slipped into the hall and peeked at Chloe. She hadn't moved. Surely she'd be crying for me any minute. She hates storms. And she REALLY hates the dark.

I fumbled through the dark house, my pulse a little faster than normal. I knew I needed to report my outage if I had any hope of having electricity again. Already the rooms were becoming muggy and warm. I finally found the phone book and dialed my cell. No service. I danced around the living room with my arm outstretched, trying to locate a signal.

BOOOOOM!!!!!!!!!! A bolt of lighting illuminated the sky and thunder roared. Branches blew and cracked outside the window. I began to 'what-if.'

"What if that was a tornado warning on the radio? Maybe the power being out affects the sirens. What if there is a tornado? Maybe it HIT the siren and it can't go off! I'm going to die!"

I darted to Chloe's room and "accidentally" kicked her bed. Oops. She didn't stir. "Psst. Chloe. Chloe, it's storming. You should come in Mommy's room so you aren't scared."

"Mumb lumm eat somfin," she mumbled sleepily in reply. I was pretty sure she was saying she was scared to death and needed to cuddle up next to me. I threw her over my shoulder, her body limp and lifeless, and tossed her onto my bed.

I finally got through to the power company. And just to be safe, I called in for all my neighbors, too. I was sweating. I tossed and turned, jolting at each crack of thunder. I pulled Chloe closer. "It's ok, Mommy is here. We're safe," I whispered to her unconscious ear. She responded with a shallow snore.

Finally I worried my mind enough that it shut down and drifted off to sleep. The comfortable buzz of night time noises returned, and the house cooled again as the power was restored a few hours later. My phone rang this morning. It was my mother.

"How did you guys do in the storm last night? Were you ok?" (She knows my terror over storms).
"Well, Chloe got pretty scared and came in my bed, but I was fine..."

Monday, June 15, 2009

Cyber Stalkers (re) Unite!

It's no secret I am a regular user of social networking sites. There is just something about the thrill of those little notifications telling you someone has sent you a message, posted a comment on your profile, or better yet, wants to be your "friend." I am a bit of a MySpace snob, but I'll pretty much accept anyone on "The Stalker Site" aka Facebook. Notice I said, "pretty much."

I guess this all started about two years ago when I really got into MySpace. Many of my friends and acquaintances were becoming users as well, and it was really fun finding people I had lost track of and seeing who was interested in re-connecting with me. Every now and then, however, I would get a request I just didn't want to accept. People have a weird obsession with my business anyway, so I tried to screen out people I thought seemed insincere.

So, this girl, who shall remain nameless, requested me on MySpace. I ignored it. She is someone I was NEVER friends with. In fact, not to sound too snobby, but I never liked her at all. And not in the mean, "I'm better than the poor little girl no one likes," kind of way. More, "I can't stand your annoying face and the fact that you think you're the shit" kind of way.

When she requested me on Facebook a few months later, I didn't think much of it. I just clicked "ignore" and went along with my business.

Let's just say that by now, the requests must total fourteen at least. I finally blocked her on Facebook, and have yet to figure out if she's just too dull to get the hint, or if she is THAT persistent. It's almost like she's stalking me. She even started showing up in unusual places.

I tried not to think much of it when I went to CMSU to be finger printed for work on a Friday afternoon in October, and I had to look the other way to avoid her as she walked in the door I was exiting. I called it "coincidence" when I took my car to the dealer for a replacement keyless entry and she was working on the car next to me. And when I pretended not to recognize her, she was SURE to remind me who she was. As. If. I. Didn't. KNOW.

The last straw with my pseudo-stalker was Saturday. It was my ten year reunion. It has been TEN years since I graduated high school. I'm not a rocket-scientist, but I'm pretty sure that the premise of a reunion is for the graduating class to reunite every five years or so. Senior year is the year that brings people together, and forms our opinions of high school in general. That is the group we reunite with.

I had noticed on the reunion's facebook page (yes, it has one) she was attending. I started pondering her involvement. Wait a minute. Didn't she move freshman year? She did! So the girl, who didn't even graduate with us, who I'm PRETTY sure stalks me (although I tend to be a bit over-dramatic at times), who friend requested me (and several other stubborn ones) FOURTEEN TIMES showed up at our ten year reunion, and acted like we were all the best of buddies.

I tried to avoid her presence as much as possible, but when she pulled her ghetto-mobile up to the shelter house and began blaring distorted, questionable music, I ducked behind a pole as each Warsawian drove by to see what the ruckus was.

What started as a simple battle of wills has now become a staunch effort at avoidance on my part. Do they have a cyber witness protection program?

****As I am looking at group pictures on Facebook I see my stalker, FRONT AND CENTER in all the pictures of the "Class of 99" I giggled.****

In Transition

It seems like the last several years I have constantly been "in transition." I find myself wrapping up one part of my life and waiting for the next part to begin. Starting a marriage. Waiting for graduation and a first job. Changing homes. Waiting on a baby. Changing jobs. Changing jobs. Waiting for a raise. Ending a marriage.

It's no secret I feel I've learned a lot over the past year or two. One of the things I have learned is that being "in transition" doesn't mean I have to put my life on hold. In fact, some of my best living has been done "in transition." Somewhere along the way I have picked up the skills I need to evolve into the woman I envision for myself.

Four months ago when Chloe and I inhabited this home by ourselves for the first time, I was scared. Friends and family added to my worry, magnifying the things that I was already concerned about. How will you make ends meet? What will you cut out? Too bad you have a car payment. Too bad you have to drive so far to work. Won't you be scared? Who will watch Chloe when you have work duties? I quickly made a decision not to WORRY about the transition, but to LIVE it.

By being active rather than sitting back and worrying, I have actually made a difference in my own life. Somehow I'm running my household very similarly on half the income. I've always budgeted money fairly well, but now I'm using every trick I can come by, like buying my meat the day I am cooking it, so I can get it half price. Cutting back on TV channels, and turning my thermostat up two degrees. It's amazing how much the little stuff adds up.

I may be in some kind of transition for the rest of my life. I can't die waiting to live. Now is the time. I have learned to live each day and take it for what it is, good or bad. I now know that this too, shall pass, whether it's good or bad. I'm cherishing the good things, brushing off the bad, and learning how to be happy for the very first time.

Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.