Thursday, January 1, 2015

ring in the new year like a pirate...that's what I always say

Just checking in to make sure you properly rang in the New Year!
As a middle-aged mom of several adult-ish people I feel obligated to be as lame as possible on New Years Eve.  However, there is no rule that says I can't live vicariously through the fun people with real lives.

So, did you finally pop that bottle of champagne?  Maybe break out the leftover fireworks from the 4th of July?
Never any harm in sending the neighbors and their dogs running for Prozac.  That's what I always say.
Or perhaps you settled for snuggling under your new electric blanket with that favorite person.  Throw in a collection of Nora Ephron movies, macaroni & cheese, and some Diet Coke and I would snuggle in with you myself.

Unfortunately, my big plans for the evening were less exciting than that.  I spent most of my time running errands and feeding people.
However, we did get to crash a local party right before midnight, and that was fun!
I had heard there would be rum cake and I was concerned it wasn't being properly appreciated.
Turns out it was.
"Why is all the rum (cake) gone?"
By the way, thanks to Johnny Depp for the one of the greatest movie lines ever.  My kids are less grateful.  Something about the way I look in a pirate suit.

At any rate, the party ended at midnight and by 12:14 we were home and in bed.
By 12:17 I was watching the first of two episodes of Gilmore Girls just because I could, and just because no one tells me what to do anymore.
I have been saying that since I was five years old and I'm still convinced that no one believes me.
Hence the staying up past my bedtime with the cheese puffs giant bowl of fruit.

Well, I'm off to make my resolutions.
I'll check back in with you soon to see how you handle the Super Bowl.
Until then, Live Large, my friends!

I'll be the one doing laundry at 3 a.m. in a pirate suit, just because I can.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

that motherhood cycle

Motherhood is a funny, funny thing.

Sort of like a club.  But really nothing at all like a club; because everyone else seems to be in it with you.
And aren't clubs supposed to be exclusive?

I just remember looking around one day and realizing that I was in the club.  I was a mother.
I had a minivan.  There were sticky hand prints on my walls.
The laundry was piled up all over the place; and my number one job was answering questions.

And I remember seeing my own mother differently in that moment.  All of a sudden it occurred to me that she was a person, just like me.  And I wondered if I had ever made her feel like she was less than a person?  Because, as a mother, there were certainly days when I felt like less than a person, and more like some tired, lumpy creature that never slept or made sense.
And it honestly had never occurred to me that my mother had once been a young girl planning her own wedding day, the husband and children she would have, the vacations they would take together, and the dreams she might accomplish.  Somehow I had overlooked the fact that she had probably given up on some of those dreams in order to see that I reached mine.
How had I not seen her before now?

I am convinced it is because you have to be in the club in order to recognize other members of the club.

At that moment I not only recognized my card-holder status; but knew I had to change.
I wanted to treat her with the love and respect she had deserved for a very long time.  I wanted to appreciate those quirky parts of her sense of humor, those things that make her the human being that she is, the one she will always be, and the one she was before I came on the scene.

It also made me want to stop putting so many expectations on my own children.  They aren't responsible for my happiness, or for any feelings of self-worth I do or do not have.  They may be everything to me, but that does not mean that I will always be everything to them.
Because someday they will have children of their own and the cycle will begin again.
They will finally understand what it means to be in the club; and I will be older and wiser.  I will smile and nod while they tell me about their moment of clarity... how we are all just human beings in need of love, respect, and relationship, regardless of the role we play or have played in one another's lives.

I will smile and nod because I will remember the moment I realized the same thing; and how that was the moment my mother finally felt free to connect with me as one adult to another.
And that it was also the moment that I set my own children free to be the person God made them to be, without owing anything back to me.

Now go hug a mom.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Housewives Anonymous

The blog post I wrote when I was a full time housewife.
Perhaps this is why I went back to work.

I haven't been blogging lately. Instead I've been thinking.
It's actually much more difficult than blogging.

Why all the thinking?
Because as of late, I have found myself greeting each new day with a new sense of dread. Not an old sense of dread, but a new sense.  Because it is tacky to use yesterday's dread.
Why the dread?
Read this and tell me you wouldn't be best friends with dread each day.

Bake fresh bread each week.
Make at least one amazing dessert every week.
Cook a minimum of three nights a week. From scratch.
Always have a pot of coffee brewing.
Keep a spotless house.
Maintain an open door policy for friends and family. With coffee. And the amazing dessert of the week.
Homeschool two high-schoolers.
Run a taxi service.
Check on the elderly in the family.
Check on the children who have grown up and moved out. Is everyone still eating their veggies? There's an amazing dessert over here. And a semi-warm pot of coffee.
Hello? Anyone?

Become a famous blogger in 27.5 weeks.
Remember to blog, and don't forget to take fabulous blog-worthy pictures.
Edit fabulous pictures and spend 3 hours putting together a picture-worthy blog post.
Tweet about it. Instagram it. Facebook it.
Hand out blog business cards.
Read 20 new blogs per day and comment on a minimum of 12 of these blogs. Reply to all comments on personal blog.
Consider taking up drinking.
Learn to speak the Russian language.

Become a fabulous photographer.
Watch photography tutorials, practice practice practice, and have separate business cards ordered solely for photography business.
Do the laundry.
Remember to walk past the dishes in the sink and feel guilty.
Or at least look guilty.
Scratch that.  Feign guilt over not caring about status of dirty dishes in case someone brings it up.

Make sure someone feeds the cats.
Check to see that we still have dogs and that someone fed them.
Get that gate fixed.

Ride the horse at least once a week.
Finish all of the homework that goes with a full time course load for a Bachelors degree.
Read a good book.
Eat more veggies.
Drink more water.

Above is pretty much what I felt like the perfect housewife/mother should be able to accomplish in a regular day/week.
I realized that I was lying to myself, but for some reason, I never allowed that to deter me from constantly aiming for my false sense of perfection.
Until recently.
When my days began to look exactly like this...

Wake up.
Feel immense sense of dread over impending failure.
Go back to sleep.
Wake up again.
Check Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Realize my life is lacking in the usual glamour one can only find on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Go back to sleep.

Finally climb out of bed by 11:30.
Read a book.
Check Facebook.
Check Instagram.
Check Pinterest.
Wallow in the despair of a life lacking in glamour.
Rinse and repeat the next day.


That's Ephesians 2:4 in the Bible.

Basically He and I had to have a little chat.
Turns out there are approximately three things I am responsible for and it also turns out that we have had this discussion before.
I just keep forgetting.
I get caught up in the lights/camera/action of all the newest trends and hobbies; and before you know it, I'm a jack of all trades, and a master of none.

Three things, Christa. Three things.

That's it for now.
And maybe the occasional pot of coffee that has been reheated three times already since this afternoon.

Hang in there, girls, you're not alone.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Bipolar Tendencies

The weather around here is absolutely gorgeous today!!
It makes me think of Spring, and flowers, and that dream I have of visiting New York City while Central Park is in bloom.
Unfortunately, I have been burned more than once by Oklahoma's bi-polar tendencies when it comes to weather.   She teases for a week or two in January, perhaps a couple days in February, and then tosses you aside for a last minute fling with a Blizzard come end of March.
Said the girl with the chip on her shoulder.

But what would be the harm in going along with it just a bit?  I promise to keep my heart out of it.
Maybe not go all the way with short sleeves and wide open windows or anything.  But it wouldn't hurt to switch to the lightweight jacket, and perhaps open the sunroof on the car.

Probably better wrap this up and go double check outside again, in case she's changed her mind in the last ten minutes.

Not that I would care.
Said the girl in the shorts and the tank top.