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Sunday, July 5, 2015

So did I tutu or not?

Last night, I wrote about how I got roped into doing a 5K today.

Well, I did it. And I survived. Barely.

Since I hadn't run a step since the half-marathon in May, I knew it was going to be hard and that I was going to pay for it. And before the end of the first mile, I wanted to die. But stubbornness prevailed for a while.

The first mile was all in the sun, and even though it was only 8am and it wasn't that hot out yet, there wasn't a lick of a breeze and it felt HOT. The second mile wasn't so bad - it wound in and out of a bunch of buildings (so much so that it seemed like a drunk designed that portion of the course) so there was quite a bit of shade.

The third mile was totally out in the sun again. And while we don't have real hills in this part of Kansas, there was enough of one that I had to give up and walk for a bit. I was mad and frustrated by that point, but I also tried to give myself a little bit of slack since I did this one (stupidly) without training at all.

Once I got up that hill, the course made another sharp turn and headed toward the finish line (and it was downhill!) so I knew I could make it. I spotted The Dude and the boys waiting at the bottom near the finish line, and seeing them always makes it better.

So I did it. My time was not fabulous by any stretch of the imagination, but I did it. I'm not in it for speed or medals or prizes - it's only for my own personal goals. And now I have a little bit more motivation to get busy and train over the next few weeks so that I can do the race in PA without dying on the mountains.

But the question remains: did I tutu?

He missed the shot when I was flipping him off.

I did not tutu. I just wasn't feeling the tutu, although I brought both of them along to the race before I made my decision. I decided that the sparkly sequins were a little more festive for the 4th of July than the tutu was.

However, The Dude did tutu momentarily - at least long enough for me to get a picture.

What a stud.

I do have to give him a shout out though. He's not feeling well - some kind of summer bug - and honestly, he was downright miserable. But he dragged himself out of bed to go along with us this morning to keep an eye on the boys and act as my photographer. I couldn't do this stuff without him, and I appreciate him more than words can say.

(And he lets me post ridiculous pictures of him. Bonus points right there.)

Friday, July 3, 2015

Wait, tomorrow?!?

Ah, The Dude. He should know that conversations like this never end well for him.

But being the good guy that he is, he usually ends up dealing with whatever crazy scheme I've cooked up for us.

A friend of mine messaged me today and informed me that there was a local 5K happening tomorrow. I had heard little bits and pieces about it, but didn't really pay attention to it. I think I was trying to hide from it because if I actually knew about it, I'd want to run it. Because I'm weird like that.

Anyway....I haven't run a step since I did the half-marathon back in May. I've been wanting needing to get back out there again but just haven't really had the initiative. But I want to do a 5K when we're in PA on vacation, and if I'm going to do one there in the mountains then I need to at least get my butt in gear and start running again here where it's flat so that I don't die mid-race and fall over a cliff or something because that would kind of put a damper on the whole vacation thing.

So yeah. Because I have nothing better to do than to make a fool out of myself first thing in the morning....

So I guess now the only question is:
tutu or sequined skirt? 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Lumps and bumps and bruises....oh my.

A week ago today, we had a scare. Kind of a big one.

I was working down in the Mom Cave, and the boys were upstairs. A friend had come over to play, and they were getting more than a bit rowdy. I listened to them getting louder and louder, and when it became more obvious that they weren't going to calm themselves down, I started to head upstairs.

Just as I put my foot on the bottom step, I heard a drastic change in the noise - now it was punctuated with screams of pain. I started running up the steps and the door opened, with Daniel yelling at me "MOM COME QUICK JARED'S HURT!"

Long story short, as he was racing through the house, he misjudged a turn and ran into a wall. Hard.

When I peeled his hands away from his forehead, I was relieved that there was no blood, but I watched in fear as the goose egg grew right in front of my eyes. We iced it immediately, with him still lying on the floor in the hallway. I talked to him, watched his eyes, listened to his responses - and decided within about 20 minutes that he needed to be checked. 

We got to the ER and he was taken right in to be seen (so thankful again for small towns). The doctor was awesome and decided almost immediately to do a CT scan to be safe, and because he had some concerns. Thankfully, the CT was clear, he was diagnosed with a concussion, and we were sent home.

He recovered quickly (almost too quickly) and was running around again later that day. The bruising started a couple of days later and other than being tender, he seemed fine. 

I took him to our pediatrician on Monday for a follow up, and she did an eye exam - which he failed miserably in the eye on the side of his head that got hit. Fearing that he might have done some damage to the eye, she referred him to an optometrist - where we went today.

After an extremely thorough exam, which included dilating his eyes for the first time ever, it was determined that he did not damage his eye. But, his vision sucks.

At the ripe old age of 11, he's getting bifocals.

There's a good chance that he'll grow out of his crappy vision. Or, since I've already cursed one kid with emotional scarring I guess he can blame me for being blind as a bat. Either way, I'm just so incredibly thankful that it's not damage to his eye.

Never a dull moment. Ever.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


This is Emily, or as many of you know, "My dearest Emily." Yes, I'm talking about that stupid Tooth Fairy Letter. I sure have a lot to say about this, so brace yourself and get ready to read it all.

Now, this letter was written to me when I was eleven years old. Eleven!! I wasn't six. I hate to break it to everyone, but, I no longer believed in the Tooth Fairy. I had stopped believing in the Tooth Fairy around age seven, having an older sister, this was reasonable.

When I woke up the morning of the letter arrival, it was taped to our bedroom mirror, a place we were bound to find it. I got out of bed, walked over to the mirror, read the letter, tore it off, and put it on a shelf that was close to my door. I didn't talk to Mom about the letter until I had woken up a little more and had eaten breakfast. I went back into my room and grabbed the letter. Laughing at how incredibly dumb the letter seemed for an eleven year old, I took the letter out into the living room and showed it to Mom.

"Really Mom?" I said, obviously not impressed with the now infamous Tooth Fairy letter.

All she said was, "Gonna clean your room?"

"Maybe," I say, walking into my room, wondering where to start on the disaster we called a bedroom. After many, many hours of cleaning a room, basketball practice, and many other distractions, the room was cleaned. That night, I went to bed, like any normal eleven year old would. The next morning, I did have a dollar under my pillow. We went on with life just like before.

Until, one day, a few months after the disaster bedroom incident, Mom was on her computer and I walked over to her and said in these exact words, "Hey Mom, I know you made that Tooth Fairy Letter famous."

I'm pretty sure she almost fainted. In case anyone is wondering how I know about everything, I will admit, I was a nosy person. Being eleven, I had a fascination with anything and everything Mom was doing on the computer. I would look over her shoulder and on more than one occasion, the Letter would pop up. I would read just enough of it to know what was going on with it, until Mom would go to a different website or tab or whatever. I had known about the letter going viral for probably a month or so. I never did tell anyone though, because that would mean admitting my nosiness.

Mom asked me how much I knew. And I told her. I didn't know very much at the time, just enough to know what was happening. She showed me some of the blogs, posts, comments (rude, funny, nice, everything), and some different websites where the Letter was featured. I read all about it for close to an hour, getting the full story.

And I was shocked. The comments!! "This is emotional violence," "She will need therapy after this," "You are a horrible parent," "You are f***ing up her childhood." Really!?!? In case you guys can't tell, I thought this letter was a dumb, but working, way to get me to clean my room. I didn't need therapy, but I think I should after reading all those comments.

Everyone listen up, the Letter was stupid. It wasn't "emotional violence." It was ridiculous. I thought it was funny, but half the country thinks Mom is evil, abusive, cold, manipulative, lazy, etc. If you ask me, she is definitely the opposite of everything on that list. 

Since the initial blow up of The Tooth Fairy Letter, I've followed along with Mom and have laughed with her at all of the people who think that I am needing therapy now for "such a ruined childhood."

Judging by this blog post, I think I turned out alright. I am not emotionally scarred. I am perfectly happy. 

Thank you for reading!!!


Monday, June 22, 2015


In case you missed it, I went on a little tirade on my facebook page earlier today. You can click here if you want to read all of the comments, but this is what I had to say:

I've been seeing a lot of posts in my newfeed today saying that single mothers shouldn't be recognized on Father's Day because "they already had their day in May, and they don't get to be honored twice" or "mothers get their day and fathers get their day, and no one gets two" or "no one recognizes single dads on Mother's Day, so it's not fair". 
I have an idea. 
Grow up. 
When are people going to learn that people are free to celebrate whatever holiday they want to, however they want to celebrate it, whenever they want to celebrate it, wherever they want to celebrate it? 
I might choose to celebrate Christmas by dancing a jig in January in Tahiti - and is that anyone's business but my own (and anyone who might be unfortunate enough to witness such an event)? 
Not everyone celebrates Christmas or Ramadan or Valentine's Day or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or Samhain or Hug Your Cat Day. And not everyone celebrates every holiday in the exact same way. 
Tolerance, people. Tolerance. Quit getting bent out of shape about stupid stuff, and worry about the important things in life. 

Right after I posted that, we had to leave to go to Daniel's baseball games. I checked my phone a few times once we got there, but my battery was dying so I plugged the phone in to charge in the van and ignored it for a couple of hours. But I kept thinking about it because some of the posts that I saw today really tweaked me.

Seriously, people - who are we to decide who gets to celebrate Father's Day? Or Mother's Day? Or any other holiday out there?

Father's Day. A day meant to honor fathers. I get it. I really do.

But you know what? It's not 1910 anymore. Times have changed. Nuclear families with a mother, a father, 2.3 children, a station wagon, and a dog named Rover aren't the only families that exist anymore.

Why is it that some people feel that the only people to be celebrated for raising children are the mother and father, and only on certain days of the year?

We should celebrate ANYONE who helps to raise a child.

The mother (or mothers). The father (or fathers). Step-parents. Adoptive parents. Foster parents. Aunts, uncles, or grandparents who step into the role for any reason. Neighbors. Daycare providers. Teachers. Friends. The single parent's significant other.

ANYONE. Every day.

In this day and age, with the problems that we face in our society - bullying, abuse, violence, abandonment, drugs, poverty, homelessness (and the list goes on) - we should be grateful for any person who is willing to help raise a child at any point.

A teacher may only be directly involved for 9 months. A foster parent may play a part for a few days or several years. Extended family may provide an intermittent or a steady support system. The mother who opts to give her child up for adoption in the hopes that the baby will have a better life than the one that she can provide - her choice makes an impact on that child's future.

So many people have a hand in how kids grow up these days. So many. So why is it that we get so hung up on who can celebrate Mother's Day or Father's Day?

Daniel wanted to take The Dude out for ice cream today. The Dude isn't his biological father, but he's been in this child's life longer than his biological father was. Daniel knows that The Dude isn't his father, and he doesn't call him "dad" (unless he wants something) but he still wanted to celebrate Father's Day.

And that's ok.

Everyone needs to just stop focusing on what other people are doing. Some people want to acknowledge single mothers on Father's Day and single fathers on Mother's Day - so what? It doesn't hurt anyone. It might even brighten someone's day.

Stop with the judgmental crap.

Celebrate all parents, no matter what form they happen to be.

Celebrate family.

Pick a day, any day, even *gasp* multiple days, and go have an ice cream cone and just celebrate.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Haters gonna' hate....

I've been doing a lot of thinking about this whole blog thing lately.

I know I haven't been writing as much recently, but that's mainly just been because I've been so busy that it's been hard to sit down and take the time to actually write something. It's way faster to just slap something up on facebook instead. But there are times when actually sitting here and writing a blog post helps me to get things off of my mind.

So here I am.

I don't really pay attention to my numbers anymore. There are some bloggers out there who focus on how many followers they have (or lose), how many people view each and every post, and they make it all about the numbers. It's a game. They intentionally post something to stir the pot or to increase their numbers - and that's ok. It really is. More power to them and all that jazz.

I'm not saying that I don't look at my numbers at all, but I don't stress about them. They are what they are - sometimes they go up (and I start to hyperventilate) and sometimes they go down. Sometimes they stay the same for weeks or months at a time. Whatever.

I've had one thing go viral (gee, guess what that was?) and a few things get more hits than others (food stamps, anyone?) and honestly, the chaos surrounding stuff like that is way too much pressure for me. I don't really like it. There are times - more often than not - that I really wish that silly Tooth Fairy letter would just disappear.

Earlier this evening, I posted one of my time-lapse videos of me cleaning my kitchen. And I captioned it "It's been a while since I've done one of these." These videos are fun to do, and they help me to stay focused on whatever it is that I'm doing (usually cleaning). And I post them because they're fun. But I've gotten a couple of comments from a couple of people who have been less than impressed with them. They said things to the effect of "how could you let your house get so dirty?" or "I would never leave that much crap on my counters" or "your kids should be cleaning that mess" or whatever. And for some reason, I allowed those comments to bother me and I quit posting the videos for a bit.

Why do I post videos that show just how trashed my house can actually get? Because it's life. It's my life. My house gets messy. It gets dirty. There are times when it gets downright disgusting and I can't even stand it. But it's real, and it happens, and I deal with it. Sometimes the kids help (if they're home and not busy with something else) and sometimes they don't. Sometimes I enjoy cleaning by myself. Often, they're cleaning their rooms while I'm taking care of the kitchen or living room or whatever. But regardless of the reasons behind the mess and who is cleaning it, it's all a part of life.

People in the past have suggested that I should write a book, but that's really just not my thing. This blog and my facebook page are how I choose to document my life - the good, the bad, and the messy. I continue to share it with all of you because it's created a neat little community and the interaction is (mostly) fun. The criticism makes me look at things differently and decide if I need to change something. But at the end of the day, I'm going to write about and post things that I find interesting, or that I want to remember, or that I think someone else might be interested in seeing. There will always be someone who disagrees, and that's ok. The world would be a very boring place if everyone agreed with everyone all of the time.

The haters can keep on hating. And while they do, I'm going to go clean up my messy bedroom.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Baseball and Gratitude

The past few days have been..... I don't even know how to explain it. 

Busy. Calm. Chaotic. Peaceful.

I've been running around with the kids, going back and forth to baseball practices and games, running errands, and doing all of my usual stuff. 

But last evening....

Alex had baseball practice (his first one since getting the cast off of his arm), so Emily and I took him up to the field. While the team practiced, she and I played catch in the area between the ball diamond and the swimming pool here in town. 

The weather was perfect. To my right, boys played baseball. To my left, families played in the swimming pool with country music blaring from the snack bar speakers. Kids rode by on bicycles, a couple of women walked by with a dog, and occasionally a train flew past on its way to parts unknown. Every now and then if the breeze blew just right, I'd catch a whiff of chlorine and feel a slight mist of water from the pool.

The batting cage at sunset
There are times when I still can't really believe that this is my life. After the struggles that we went through to get to where we are today, sometimes it still just doesn't seem real. 

But, that unreal feeling - that is this really my life? thing - it's what keeps me grounded. 

I came so close to losing everything not so long ago. I did lose my home, my van, my marriage - and I know how completely hopeless I felt at the time. But now - I have a home. I have a dependable vehicle. I have The Dude and the kids and this crazy wonderful chaotic life and it's good.

I see how far we've come. I see how much progress has been made. And I don't take any of it for granted, because I know how fast things can change. 

Sometimes it just takes an evening of baseball to remind me.