In the Pursuit of….

“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” 
― Guillaume Apollinaire

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Day 26 – Old 27 Ice Cream and an old time ice cream shop. Their best thing….Hot Fudge Milkshake

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Day 27 – My puppy wuppy….Roxie Doxie and one of her favorite toys

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Day 28 – We had a girls night out with Kpuff and her beautiful daughter. We saw Malifcent. I didn’t think I would like it, but I did. Go see it!

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Day 29 – And the following day I had the two most beautiful girls in my town for a date. Their favorite place, El Camino, which is amazing and if you ever make it to Decatur go there. It isn’t your average Mexican restaurant. NOMS!

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Day 30 – Baby girl # 1 after a whole lotta games. She had a huge tournament that weekend. As in played 8 games all together. I decided to snap her picture because I have never ever seen her sunburned in her almost 13 years of life. EVER. The girl normally just tans and get dark. Nope she got red even with 50 sunscreen.

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Day 31 – I love this place and it almost feels like a second home. You know that feeling you get when you come home after a long vacation. Yea, I get that when I head in on Mondays. Ahhh!

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Day 32 – Baby Booties. Baby girl # 3’s baby booties knitted by Kpuff. I found them in a garage sale pile and in no way shape or form are they garage sale worthy. I have two knitted pieces that Kpuff did for my Banana girl and they are in my special place beside my heart (my closet).

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Day 33 – Baby girl # 2’s 10th birthday. She wanted a vintage type writer. She has got it! 🙂

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Day 34 – Baby girl # 3’s birthmark on her leg. Early on in her life Kpuff pointed out it was the shape of a heart. I have loved it since. Well I loved it before, but how cute. A heart!

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Day 35 – The girls bracelet/lemonade stand for trigemenial neuralgia. They raised 9 dollars in $ and we are giving half our garage sale funds so a little over $50 dollars to TNA Facial Pain Association. It wasn’t a huge money making garage sale, but I was so proud of them.

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Day 36 – Puppy and my guy (can you see him back there…those are his fingers toward the top). As soon as we cleaned up the garage sale both all three of us needed a little nap. I woke up smooshed up against my guy and with a furry dog smooshed in between us. I love afternoon naps.

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Day 37 – Yesterday was the first time I have seen # 1 play softball in nine games. It sounds like a lot but it was really just a travel tournament. It was so ridiculously hot that we tag teamed parented and I stayed back with girls and my guy and # 1 stayed in a hotel where the tournament was. So I was super stoked to see a game yesterday. I just the anticipation before a game. Everyone excited and warming up. It always takes me back to my travel ball days. Those are definitely some of my best memories of my childhood.

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Wanna see my other #100daysofhappy follow me on twitter @mommyrhetoric or read here.

Ten Things I am grateful for…

So today is Sunday and for that me that is usually a reflective day where I try and sit down and think about what I am grateful for this past week. I am really trying hard to see the positive in every day. And that isn’t necessarily because I see it so negative. It is just because I don’t even want the give the negative a chance to sit down roots. We have been through too much that I need to be be grateful for every single beautiful moment that we have because it was a gift given.

1. #3’s letter game. She always starts out, “Momma, tell me all the words that start with the letter B like biscuit.” And yes we play it at least 10 times a day, but I don’t care. As a studier of the learning of literacy I find it so cool. We go through word after word and some she gets wrong based on sound and some she gets right and blows my mind. She isn’t even in kindergarten yet and I know after this game she knows words like magnificent, beautiful and many, many more.

bdayabs2. # 2’s birthday yet again. She wanted two things that were very special to her. The first was a typewriter, but not just any type writer. She wanted an old fashioned looks super cool type. The second was her very first cell phone ever. I initially told her there was no way I would be able to locate a type writer. Then through the amazingness that is one of my students I got one. I have had it since May and have been over the moon since. And her cell phone. She got one of those too. Nothing fancy, but one that made her feel just as special as her older sis and one that keeps her connected when she needs it. We love that we gave her that. And she is 10. Double digits.

3. A moment in my classroom. So I have been with my school going on three years now. All of my students I have had a lot. This summer I am teaching a course and most of the students are having me for their 5th or 6th class. This is unique I know for a traditional high school. But it is not at all unique for my school. Anyway, we were on a break from our class and two of the kids were standing next to me talking. We were having a normal everyday conversation and all the sudden I became so overwhelmed with sentimentality and emotion. When I met them they were barely out of eight grade and so much smaller and less mature (I don’t mean immature, I just mean young). Now they are juniors and they tower over me. I had to excuse myself because wow. I am blessed to be a teacher. I am blessed to have the opportunity to witness this amazing thing happening. Being a teacher truly is my calling.

4. So many talks with my guy. Can I just start this by saying TN sucks? But can I also say I am grateful that it came into my life. Some amazing things have happened since. I got to see what really matters, I got to see proof of how strong we all are, it has brought us all much closer and I know my husband in an entirely different way. I didn’t often ever get to see him vulnerable. In fact, it was so few I could count them on one hand. 1) our wedding day 2) the birth of # 1, 2 and 3 3) our sad loss and 3) the loss of his grandparents. But this year he has had to lean on me, give up some and deal with some of the ugliness that life can provide. But this week in particular we are doing lots of talking. Not just talking, but deep and meaningful talking. He does NOT talk. That is not his thing. But it has meant so much to me that he has opened up and tried to articulate a lot of stuff. And it all needs to be said. So for that I am grateful.

5. Very much time with my beloved Kpuff. Kpuff and I had a garage sale together. When we have been going through things Kpuff was also in her own private misery. It took a toll on our friendship. Not that we became less of friends, but it was tested. We struggled to stay in contact, we struggled to keep it together and honestly we struggled talking the real talk. Sometimes I believe it was because it was all that was around us. We were each others bright spots, but when you are going through difficult things sometimes bright spots are hard to bear. But this week we had a garage sale and we laughed a ton. We caught up like we never had. And we sweat together. How can you not be reunited after that? I am so grateful for those four days of seeing her every single day. I am so grateful our kiddos got to hang out again like they had so many times before her struggles and Kyle’s. It was good, good, good.

6. Movie Date and following conversation with my # 1. She is getting so big. When I am with her lately I have some of those moments where I wonder how it all  happened so fast. She is right at my height. She wears my shoe size. She smiles the prettiest smile and she has the most fun loving personality. I knew all of this but hanging out with her I get that quick reminder to pay attention because before I know it she will be driving, picking out colleges and moving on without me. And I was even more grateful because she seemed so big and grown up, but chewed my ear off non-stop about all things Disney. The amount of Disney fact this girl has is crazy stuff.

7. Time with my neighbors. I cannot tell you what my neighbors have done for me this past year. They have kept my family afloat with the every day parts of life that sometimes don’t get done. They have supported and loved my girls and what children could not use more of that kind of positive in their lives? They have shared their own lives with us and let us be a part of theirs. You have a garage sale and it gives your neighborhood a chance to reconnect. I don’t know what it is about looking through others stuff, but it always does this. So many times Kyle and I have discussed moving because honestly we could probably use something a little bit bigger. But it is always the neighborhood that keeps us. 728f06d47a82c4a4d4304e10cfe290a2We have lived here for 13 years and we have loved every single minute of it. I never believed that hub bub they show you on TV about neighbors and neighborhoods. But it is true. I am a lucky gal.

8. My love of my job. And yes I kind of said it before but this is different. I have been developing my curriculum for this year. I am teaching four new classes in our building and three are dual credit courses. This is ultimately the reason I was hired and what I have been waiting for for the last two years. I needed the last two years to transition from teaching college to teaching high school college students. But I am so over the moon excited to teach these courses that I allow myself to develop the curriculum as a reward for work that I need to do around the house or for my summer course. How dorky is that? I reward myself by developing curriculum? Oh well. I love my job, no secret about that.

9. Social Networking. Twitter has connected me to so many great educators, innovators and writers. Facebook allows me to stay connected with friends and family. I am tired of being cheapened by others. People lessen its value and sometimes equate it with tabloids. And I say okay, but it depends how you use it. If you use it to share positivism, love, innovation and passion there is greatness in that. And I do. Think #100days of happy where I am purposefully trying to seek out happiness in my life. That is God working in my life even through social networking.

10. My PhD stuff. I call it that because that is what it is. It is still very much taking shape, but it is taking shape. I am scared right now. In fact, scared and overwhelmed. But then when I break it down and look at it piece by piece I am not so much. I am excited to see and know knew things and people and places. I am excited to become a part of the Ball State Community. I am excited to add my voice out there. I am excited to work with my advisor. I am excited what it all means. This week I am dabbling again talking with my department and I am reminded why I chose this profession, this course of study and this program. Good people. Good thing.

And just a tiny reminder here…. #lovealwayswins

Okay Okay

Yesterday I took my almost 13 year old to see the Fault in our Stars. Which is probably one of the best books that I have read in a really long time. My first year teaching high school students I noticed that many of the girls and boys were all reading this book. During Christmas break I decided to see what all the fuss was about and oh my gosh. I knew exactly what attracted them.

First of all, John Green is an amazing author. He is very much in tune with kids of today. He is able to capture their thinking and feeling in a way that I think is hard for most adults. Therefore, it does not surprise me at all that he is a popular young adult author for that reason at all. But what I probably love most about this movie is the way love is portrayed.

Now I know there are many out there who won’t take their children to this movie or let their kids read the book. And for awhile I was in that camp too. But the more I thought about it the more I wondered why. I teach reading. I would encourage my students to read this brilliantly told story. I realized the reason I didn’t want her to see it or read it was mostly for me.

The conversation it could start might embarrass me or worse her having to talk to me about it. Then to sit in a theatre and see it with her. Then I again remembered in my classroom the things that go on and are said and I run a usually pretty conservative classroom. Kids are curious. I realized I could address all of it head on with her or I could let someone else (possibly a peer) address it with her. And these are topics that happen every day in curriculum that I am required to teach. We do talk a lot about things like death, being afraid, and life choices.

But more than anything the love story that is in TFIOS is a realistic, though fatally flawed, encouraging version of love. I want my daughter to know those kinds of love exist. I know sometimes that the love lines they feed us in contemporary and traditional literature is unrealistic. It there to teach us something. It is there to create the conversation of what real love looks like.

And is talking to my almost 13 year old about what love should look like that bad? I think not. My whole marriage I have tried to portray what love looks like. The respect, the kindness, the loyalty and even sometimes the anger. This movie had all of that. It was not some idealized version frought with unattainable and unrealistic possibilities.

As I read TFIOS, I was reminded of the movie and by far better book, A Walk to Remember, which oddly enough has a very similar story line. But the young couple goes on to get married. But the marriage was created because of the religious tension in the movie that was trying to suggest that a relationship cannot be complete without marriage. And I am neither here nor there on that front. But I do feel like it was for the purposes of sex that the marriage happened in that movie. And that was one part that just always sat wrong with me. Marriage is about so much more than that.

So yea, not that I needed to defend my choices, because I do not. But I took my daughter because the conversation that ensued after gave me a great opportunity to have an awesome conversation with her about love, life and relationships. Love can be everything that was portrayed in the novel and movie.

“Sometimes people don’t understand
the promises they’re making when they make them,” I said.
Isaac shot me a look. “Right, of course.
But you keep the promise anyway. That’s
what love is. Love is keeping the promise anyway. Don’t you believe in true love?” 
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

Ready for the fight.

I think I have made no qualms about our lives and how they have changed since TN struck. I do at times feel like a broken record and wonder if the world (or at least my reading world) wishes I would just get over it. And I know realistically two things. They don’t want that and I won’t. I can’t. How could I? The physicality of the disease and surgery and living with it knocked my husband over. For me it has been very different c8a61f54b064ed3b647d326116dffec4because I am dealing with all of that and having seen my husband at his absolute worst on the brink of something I can’t even utter. I have tried to rationalize that and put it into words here and I can’t.

But I do know it is one of those moments you can’t take back and you are in completely alone and isolated. And I know I am not alone. But it isn’t a conversation I can have with my friends. It isn’t a conversation I can have with my closest confidant (my husband). I think back to the other spouses in ICU and ICU patient waiting area. They were in their 70’s and 80’s. There were a few parents and even they were older than me.

I make no secrets, I have struggled with that fact and as much as I want to get over it I cannot. So instead of feeling bad for feeling the way I do I just need to embrace it as much as I can as our new story. Our path changed. Our priorities changed. And we all need time to adjust to that. To accept this reality as our new one. I can fight it and be angry. I can fight others and be angry at them for having a normal life. Or I can choose love and thank God for the new reality.

And I do and honestly always have. I love the perspective and clarity it has placed in my life and on my heart. I love the new sense of what matters that is in my life. I love the sheer strength and love that it has created in my family. I love the faith it has created and grace it has endured. I learned to fight for what is important and do everything in life with love and passion or it isn’t worth doing. But the lessons I learned had/have a rough edge. They come with a whole new set of tough realities.

My guy and I have some very rough decisions to make in the next year. Decisions that will honestly set us into the next portion of our lives. Decisions that can completely altar where we have been heading. But they have to be made with complete and utter faith and clarity of our new reality. I am not really in the business of being vague to draw readers in. Especially where trigemenial neuralgia is concerned. I want our story out there and heard. Unfortunately, I have to here. For the protection of his story. For the protection of my family.

But I can and will say that love and fight seem like complete and exact opposites. But they are not. I would have never ever adopted the phrase Love always wins if I even thought that Love wasn’t a fight. The word wins is defined by Websters as to gain the victory or to overcome an adversary. Every single part of TN has been that since the very beginning. It won’t stop till the day I die. But if you fight with Love. The love of a human, the love of your God, the love of your family,the love of your children, the love of a profession or just the sheer love of life I can guarantee you one thing….Love will win. It will win because it has too.

So even though my narrative has changed and I am changing with it. I fight as a warrior for my love. And my Love. My love for all of the above will move mountains, create awareness, change the worlds my girls live in because I choose it. I deem it. And I am ready to fight.

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Trigeminal Neuralgia is a neurological brain disease that  is estimated that 1 in every 15,000 people suffer from, a condition characterized by intense, electrocution-type facial pain. There is currently no test for definitively diagnosing TN, nor is there a cure. There is also a shortage of research into treatments and medications to help sufferers of TN pain. If you feel so moved to fund research do so here. (All info taken from TNA)

And yet another birthday whooshes passed…

Oh my gosh I cannot even start this post without tears. How is that fairing for 8:30 am on the day of my # 2’s birthday? My # 2 is double digits today! Double digits people? How is that possible?

This song makes my momma heart sap up before it even starts. What can I say about my # 2? I have blogged so much of her journey. And now that we are in such a comfortable spot with her I am so proud of who she is, what she represents and where I know she will go. I could share with you the story of her birth. The empty grieving spot she filled for her Dad and I. The way she contradicted everything the world tried to tell us about her. The moment we breathed life into the idea of her she was God’s work. His work and our Faith. Which is why she carries the middle name Faith.

abs2Everything about her is unpredictable and I love that about her. She gets that from her Momma. She lives her life as a contradiction to what people expect from her. They say she wasn’t due on June 25th because there is no way with their science (ultrasound and dating my pregnancy). She came June 25th. They say she will be a huge baby (I mean look at my belly) and she comes out barely 6lbs. They say my delivery will be long like with # 1 and it is 4 hours of active labor as compared to 18. Within the first week of her life she pretty much contradicted every single thing we all said, thought or predicted about her. That is how she has lived the rest of her life since.

I am not sure she is always comfortable with always being and doing the opposite of what peoplefamily4 expect of her. But I say what a lucky girl to have that so early in life. She will appreciate it as she gets older, that much I do know. Her tenderness and kindness is overwhelming at times. She cares more for the world and the people in it than I can even comprehend sometimes. A sweetness that is so hard to even see in some yet she exudes with so much Grace.

When Kyle had his surgery this winter we were so worried about her. She feels everything so intensely. But of course, she did what she does and proved us wrong. She was so brave and strong. She honestly kept most of us strong when we didn’t want to be. She worries sometimes when he isn’t feeling good that things will go back to the way they were. That tells me that she felt it more than she ever admitted to any of us.

Yesterday when she heard there was a tornado in our state she sat on the couch and cried. She cried for the people whose lives were possibly destroyed and for the what ifs. She is a planner. She sees animals and wants every single one of them. I have no doubt when she can choose she will house a zoo just to share all of that love she has to give. She is a hugger, environmentalist, wants the best for everyone she knows always and will tell you if you aren’t being your best, loves a good love story (can I tell you how many times she has asked to hear Kyle and I’s story?), is the mother hen in every single situation and has so much knowledge and ability at her young age that I know that whatever she does in this world it is going to be profound and change the lives of many people.

I am the luckiest Momma in the world to get to parent this beautiful person. I am excited to see what she continues to bring to the world. I am quite sure it will be full of Grace, Faith and Love. Her sensitive heart will bring much goodness and happiness to the people that are in her world. Her stories are long, creative and telling of who she is as a person. I have three daughters. My # 1 looks just like me and acts like her Dad. My # 3 is a combination of us  both. But my # 2 she looks just like her Daddy, but has all the passion, love and Faith as her Momma.

I tell you now keep your eye on her. She is gonna change the world!

An excerpt from Chapter 1 of her Book “Happiness”. She wrote this at the age 9. What?!!!?:

One day in February a little girl was in her village with her mother, she walked downstairs for some dinner. The table was wooden and as she sat on the wooden chair it creaked and sounded as if it would break in two parts. The smell of fresh potatoes from the farm filled the room. The plates land speedily on the table. Ma had made a chocolate pudding from the indoor freezer. The wooden stove was open to let heat into the house. The snow outside was fluffy and cold. 

Just Write: Dear Banana Girl

It hit me yesterday. You are my last baby. My last baby girl and you are starting kindergarten in roughly 7 weeks. 7 weeks is all that stands between you and your continual steps away from me. I never really realized how much I wanted and needed you until you were there. Once you were there I could feel you completing our puzzle. The calmness and my ability to sit down relish the moments came over me quick and fast. I knew the time would go fast but still as we prepare for these last few weeks I begin to worry if I shouldn’t have slowed down more.

At first I worried that your sisters would be jealous that I sat down and took more time. I worried they would be upset that I realized the moments fleet. The diapers they go. The baby food eventually stops being thrown. So I waited. I took our time. With nursing. With sleeping. With the stroller. With it all.

The ferociousness with which you live life in is a beautiful thing. I am witness to it everyday. I don’t know if it is because you are the last or if it just because I am tired. But you are determined to show us all that you talk like us and act like us. To show us that no matter how short you are or short tempered that you are our equal.

You have the sass that only your momma could be proud of. You have the determination (read: stubborness) of your father. You fight with every ounce of your being for what you believe to be right. Only to see that the fight you had hurt someone and you begin to cry. You follow it up with , “I still love you” in hopes of lessening the hurt.

Your caring soul is a beautiful testament to your passion for life and people. You are the proof that if you love a child unconditionally with no expectations of who they need to be in this world they will find their way. I have no doubt when you walk into that kindergarten classroom your eyes will sparkle for the new people and places that you will see. Your brightness with steal away your teachers heart. And your kindness will make you a multitudes of friends.

But don’t you ever forget that I am here. Your momma always. I am your safe place and you are mine.

Saturday Sharing: The Screened Edition

I love my Saturday Sharing Posts. They are almost the highlight of my week, with Just Write Tuesdays pulling in first. This week I had an epiphany. I realized that I am barely even spending any time at all with the television. Instead, I am snuggled warm and close with my Ipad fully tuned and streaming Netflix. To say I am obsessed is a complete understatement.

The Deadliest Catch Sharing…

 

I did watch TV this week, ONCE. We have been long time watchers of The Deadliest Catch. The last three weeks I have tried to watch. Two thingsfb60f82b8b68dd883ae873f2c453d2f6 happened. I either fell asleep or my beloved Netflix, like a siren, called my name. Those poor DC guys are not the horrible to watch. I just love the commercial free tunage I get from NF. I am really anxious to see how the guys on the Cornelia Marie do. I was a huge fan of those boys and their dad. So I want to see them succeed. Unfortunately, the trappings of Don Draper have been pulling me away. And no worries, Captain Sig is another fave. He is a good, good man. But they all need to STOP smoking now!

The Netflix Stream Sharing…

I shared in one of SS what I had been watching on NF. It started with Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill, Orange is the New Black and now I am onto Mad Men. So let’s talk about Mad Men for a minute. I started watching this show about two seasons ago (I think). I had a friend who always posted her favorite lines from the show on Facebook. The writing impressed me just from that standpoint, so I had to tune in and see what was going on. I haven’t missed an episode since.

After I finished OITNB season 2, I was trying to decide what was next in my line up and I just happened to be looking at the same time when the current season of MM was coming back and it said it was on NF. I immediately knew I wanted to watch it from the beginning because I felt like I was missing quite a bit from the previous story lines that I never understood. I am so grateful I did or am. I love it. I see what drew in such an audience. And man do I love reminiscing about their way of life. Their meaning that time period. I do realize that it is made for TV, but it just has really made me think.

My favorite mind boggler that I am wondering how true to reality it is is the scene where the Draper family goes on a picnic and they just get up and leave all their trash. I was just absolutely floored. It seemed so weird to me that they are not conscious of the mess at all. But then I wandered if that is just how mainstream the culture of recycling and environment has come. Needless to say I love this series and I am getting ready to start season 3. But to go with DC, they all need to STOP smoking now. So much smoke.

I would also really like to watch Parenthood from the beginning. Or Gilmore Girls. But GG is only on Amazon and I have prime instant viewing but GG isn’t on it, so I would have to pay. Parenthood is on NF and I may watch it.

I often scour lists as well to see if they have suggestions. But I find my best recommenders are my peeps. I just ask people what they are watching. I do watch a few movies here and there when I can. Most of the time though I like seasons of stuff. I was already doing this on my DVR and realized that Netflix allowed me to be even more lazy about it. I don’t have to fast forward through commercials. I would tape whole seasons of shows on DVR and watch them.

So let me know if you have any recommendations. I also love PBS dramas so those may end up in my line up as well.

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Want to see what else I am sharing? Go here.

Yeah, I guess that changed things.

“That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.” 
― Charles DickensGreat Expectations

I was reading my blog reader yesterday and I came across Broadside’s “Life Changing Moments” blog and I felt inspired. I felt inspired because I feel like my guy and I are trying to start anew. Our lives have changed, they aren’t over, but it is definitely one of those things that makes you stand back and take inventory. We wear life on our faces. In our bodies and the way we feel and speak and think. We resist those changes and sometimes even try and convince ourselves they are not there. Until one day we look in the mirror and we recognize who we are and we appreciate how we got there.

I thought long and hard about my moments last night. What were they? When did they happen? And why are they my moments? And there are a few reasons why I think each of them are my moments. And they are probably obvious ones, but not the obvious reasons. They are the moments good and bad that consume my soul and whisper their story (my story) to me over and over until it becomes so ingrained in my heart that I can’t forget, nor do I want to. They were moments of achievement, wanting and of hesitation and pain. They changed me and my very being in unchangeable ways. The kind of ways you can’t go back and redo.

With each moment (with the exception of one because you can’t photograph it) I have tried to include photos that show the transitions.

Moment # 1

It was not only meeting, but marrying my husband. I had only ever met and dated jerks before him. I had this penchant for finding the wrong guys, and for allowing them to treat me horribly. Somehow I always convinced myself that it was love or what I deserved or a combination of both. And then I met him. I didn’t realize it or know it at the time, but he was exactly what I needed. Once I realized it, I didn’t want to need it because I am fiercely independent, so I tried pushing him away. But that lasted short. And before I knew it I was all out fully swept away in love with him. The things I thought he threatened in my independence actually were our strengths. I felt comfortable becoming who I was and he allowed me to explore that and pushed me to become better. The more we built our lives the more I knew he was the “one”. But this is one life moment there was definitely a before and an after. Before I met him I was confused about who I was and where I wanted to go and who I wanted to do it with. After it all made sense.

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Life Moment # 2

Probably again pretty obvious it was becoming a mother. The thing is I was never confused about that or had no idea. It was a matter of getting the rest of my life together to become a mom. But I had some fairytale ideas of motherhood and what it looked like. So the adjustment with # 1 was rough, but thankfully my most flexible baby girl was # 1. She never missed a beat and loved me just the same. And still does actually! This was something I was just meant to do and with each one I got better at it. With life and its bumps I am still learning. But my girls are my everything. They keep me focused and achieving more. I also feel like the perfect person to be the mother to girls. I am trying so hard to show them you can do and be anything you want, but you gotta work for it. I have been a successful business woman, a stay at home, a teacher and a professor. Those are all my professional titles. To them I am just mom and they know that comes first.

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Moment # 3 

This is probably a sadder moment in our lives. But we lost a pregnancy between # 1 and # 2. And this change was more my own innocence being wiped away. It was this loss that my guy and I grieved together as parents. We had grieved before, but it was different and there was always one of us removed. It was my grandma or it was his. But it was never ours. We really wanted another baby and I will never forget having to tell him that I thought I was losing our baby. I knew it in my heart. I won’t forget his face. And I won’t forget our loss of hope. Neither of us held the hope and innocence for pregnancy as we did before that moment. It was a sad loss and one we eventually overcame, but it forever changed us and the way we looked at the world.

Moment # 4

My obtaining my Masters degree, was so huge for me. It was huge for a lot of reasons. And a lot of them are entirely selfish and have nothing to do with anything other than me. I wanted to better myself. I wanted to study writing. I wanted to become a voice in my field. I wanted to prove all the statistics that teachers had thrown in my face since I was the product of a divorced family and shove them in their face. I wanted to prove I could do it to my algebra teacher who told me I would be nothing if I didn’t understand slope. I wanted to prove to that professor who said the academic life was not for me because I was a mother wrong. There are whole lot of thats. But mostly, I wanted to be a first generation college student with her BA and MA and maybe even PhD. I want to show my girls and myself that with faith and love all things are possible. I remember on my graduation day last year I was in my classroom alone and dressing for the ceremony. I became absolutely overwhelmed by the feeling of accomplishment. For so long I had worked for and tried to achieve that moment. I imagine the PhD to even that much more sweet. The first photo always took my breath away because that was the moment I got hooded. I walked down the stairs and there was the photographer. The first person to see me and this accomplishment. The second one was a bad selfie, but a selfie none the less of me taking in the moment. Being there and aware. So important in these “moments” to recognize them. And maybe that comes with age and time.

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Moment # 5

And this one is most obvious, but the most life changing. It aged my guy and years. If you don’t believe I will show you pictures to prove. Pictures that were taken about a year apart. My guy’s TN. I realize it may feel a bit like I am beating a dead horse with his TN. But trust me I am not. I have been trying to place into words why I feel so displaced from people my age. I hang out with friends and people my age and I feel disconnected. I feel disconnected because what we went through and continue to go through is one of those moments that inspires this post. There is a distinct before and after and you can’t go back even though you desperately want to. I can’t unsee my husband and machines in the ICU. I can’t unsee the pain in his eyes and me willing him to want to live. I can’t unhear the words I heard. I can’t unsign the paperwork I signed and he signed when he went in for a high risk surgery. It changed both of us to our cores. I am still trying to get to the other side of this. It is there and we are finding it. But damn we grew up. We learned life is hard in a way that people our age should not have to. But it has made me savor life, love and the pursuit of good. It has forced me to find my voice in a way I hadn’t managed to yet. It has solidified my marriage and my family and our resolve and strength. So yea we got some extra grays and a few more wrinkles. But we found everlasting love in so many more ways than I could type on some blog.

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bf5What about you? Do you have moments? Tell me about yours!!

 

Casting my shadows behind me.

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It is that time again…I am not gonna explain so much. I am gonna participate in Wordless Wednesday kind of.

Day 19

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Day 20

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Day 21

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Day 22

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Day 23

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Day 24

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Taco Pizza- I gotta share the recipe by request. You can use any dough recipe. I use this one. I freeze it because it makes a lot and we like our taco crust thin. But you could easily sub pizza dough by Pillsbury. I make taco meat. I make my own taco seasoning when I have time. As well, I add about a fourth a can of refried beans to my taco meat for texture and it makes it go further.  Top with any cheese that you like. Usually we just do a taco cheese. But you could do anything. I prebake the dough for a bit and spread it out with corn meal on the bottom. I like the texture it provides. It doesn’t do much more than that and keep it from sticking. I take it out after about 5 minutes and top it with about 1/4th of the refried beans left (kinda like you would pizza sauce). Then the meat mixture and cheese. You could add onions if that is your thing too. Then I shred lettuce, smoosh tacos and cut tomatoes while it is baking. Usually I make wholemade ranch dressing because it is my thing and reminds me of my grandma. But if I can’t a Hidden Valley Ranch Packet will work just fine. When it comes out of the oven @ 375 after about 8-10 minutes you can top with the salad mixture, Doritos and then the ranch dressing. It is the best and it warms up nicely. You can just add fresh Doritos and salad ingredients each time. Top with ranch and enjoy! Better than any restaurant I assure you.  You could also serve with salsa.

Day 25

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Join the 100 Days of Happiness or just check out mine!

MommyRhetoric Pins Again.

So yesterday I decided to get back on this bandwagon. It has only been what about two years? I was always kind of miffed that I didn’t finish it. But I got a job. Yesterday it was really hot around these parts, so I needed to find something to entertain my two youngest while # 1 and my guy were at softball.

I saw this pin on pinterest and decided we would give it a go. The best part for 2.00 dollars my girls were entertained both with making it and playing with it.

Pin38) The softest play dough recipe and I agree with that sentiment. The texture of cornstarch and condition make it really soft. As well, if you buy a scented conditioner it smells really good and moisturizes.

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I bought the cheapest conditioner I could find, generic cornstarch and I already had food coloring.

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It is a little more messy than play dough, but not as messy as say moon sand (I refuse to let that in my house anymore. I mixed this in a disposable container with a plastic spoon. I struggled with conditioner on the things bowls and silverware we eat with. I know it would be washed. This part of the process is the messiest. The ratio from her blog said 2 parts cornstarch to 1 part conditioner. My recommendation would that you eyeball this. The first round it was game of add more of cornstarch, add more conditioner.  The second round I made the ratios similar to the suggestion and mixed it. Then dumped it one the table and got it into a clump. I could tell if I needed more of something. Once it was together I kneaded it in the air until it all came together. It also can be made by preference. Maybe you like it more moist or more dry. You get to control that here.

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Then we added color. You don’t have to do this, but my girls wanted it. They also wanted pastels so we went with two drops of food coloring and then I kneaded it similarly to how I kneaded it to make it come together. Eventually the color will evenly distribute.

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I will tell you it does leave a powdery residue. But it easily wipes off with little trouble with just water. Thankfully, it is just cornstarch which will not stain or get gloopy. If you let it lose it moisture it just brushes right off.

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And maybe adding a little more conditioner would help, but both of my girls opted for a drier dough than a wetter dough. But honestly, they played with it again today and it isn’t bad at all. I would definitely recommend that you try this if you have kids. It is cheap and the entertainment keeps on giving.