Sunday, January 31, 2010


I took a much needed break from the boys tonight and spent the evening with my very dear friend Denna. It was exactly what I needed, despite that it is absurdly late and I should now be asleep. This is all I have for my next-to-last January post.

Staring at the lines.
All the lines I see there
contrasting each other
and yet blurring slightly.
I want to reach out and smear them around
and feel the mixture
on my fingers.
New patterns from all those old lines
could be beautiful.
Or possibly
spin me out of control.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


I had this whole idea for writing about hands, but it's not really coming together. I guess I'll just ramble a while since I really have to post SOMETHING in order to put me one post closer to fulfilling my goal. This whole topic came to mind when I was driving home from work yesterday and thinking of driving and noticing my hands on the steering wheel. Then I was thinking about all the things written or said about hands. Then I was thinking about my hands.

I am completely brutal to my hands. They are tiny and useful so one would think that I would try to take care of them, but it seems impossible. I have slammed them in car doors, cut them on packaging, shut them in the door of the dryer, burned them on molten glass, and just tonight I smashed my knuckles into the bed frame looking for something Owen lost in the guest room. I'm surprised my hands even function at all.

Despite how unkind I am to my hands, I really like them. I'm glad for all the things I am able to do throughout the day because of my hands. Let me just say right now that I'm sorry for all the terrible things I've done to them over the years. Oh, and I'm also sorry for how weird and crazy this post is, but I've obviously gone completely insane and now I'm just using my hands to type my craziness out onto the interwebs.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My To-Do List

I have a lot on my mind. Yes, I know everyone does, but I think all the stress at work and the being sick and the having sick kids has overwhelmed my brain. I'm having trouble keeping track of all the stuff I should be doing or even want to do. What better time for a to-do list post? Here are some things on my to-do list, in absolutely no particular order:

1. Have a good weekend. Last week, last weekend, and this week were terrible. This weekend MUST be a good one.

2. Find the motivation to finish that one thing at work I've been putting off because no one cares that it isn't finished.

3. Get another tattoo. I'm surprised that didn't make the #1 spot since I've been obsessing about it so much. But I did say no particular order.

4. Fold the laundry. Almost all of our clothes are clean, but they are piled in the laundry room in baskets. Somehow I have managed to find the time to continue washing and drying the laundry, but not the motivation to fold it.

5. Catch up on the boys photo albums. I don't do scrapbooking. I have neither the time, nor the creativity, to scrapbook. However, I have determined that I will put their photos chronologically in albums instead of stashing them in boxes like my mom did with photos of my sisters and me.

6. Finish reading those three books I've started. Yeah... I suck.

7. Figure out how to transfer my BC prescription from our old insurance prescription service to the new one.

8. Volunteer again at the Freestore Foodbank. Great organization and I think I should support them with my time and not just my money.

9. Get a pet otter. They are so cute! (Okay, so Ryan already told me I can't have one and I know this is completely unrealistic, but I still want one.)

10. Learn to speak Spanish. What list would be complete without learning a second language? Plus, I need to understand the locals a little when we go to Spain to visit my friend Maria.

11. Learn to play golf. My husband and my son are already into it and my youngest is interested. I own clubs. I need to learn to play so it can be a family activity.

12. Get the blue marker stain off the carpet in the living room. Ryan made an attempt at it today, but now it's just a big, blue smudge. I need to take care of it before we can have company again.

Okay. I think that's enough for now. I know the pet otter thing is ridiculous. But I've said I want an otter for years, so I have to put it on every list even though I know in reality that is crazy and I'm not getting one. For the remaining items.... good luck to me.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Five More Days

Five more days and I can take a break. Five more days of spending my days trying to think of what to write and then my evenings starting at the blogger text field trying fill it with enough words to make a post. Five more days and I can go back to posting only when I feel like I have something worth writing.

I'd like to think that had I not been sick and tired for half the month I would have been able to come up better posts this month. Probably not, but I can tell myself that. I've gone back and read some of my posts from previous write-every-day months and some of them were fairly decent. This month, not so much. Oh well. Five more days.

Well.... four now.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What's a Little More?

I watch far too much television. I know I should be studying parenting methods or scrapbooking or.... ha... right. Okay. Or I should at least be doing something I would actually do like reading or writing, but after I've sat at my desk all day and then returned home and drained out all my remaining energy playing hide-from-creepy-monsters or chase or tag or trains or hide-and-seek, all I want to do is veg. I want to do something that requires absolutely no mental effort on my part at all.

Admittedly, there are a lot of shows I watch that I could easily stop watching, but there are quite a few that I have to watch every week. Sometimes I feel bad about this, as I am just wasting my life away watching television when I should be doing something productive. But... I really don't know that I have the energy to actually do anything productive.

Well, maybe that is not true. Even as I'm writing now, I am watching the most recent episode of 24. I think the show is absurd, since no one ever thinks to put in Jack's file that they should listen to him no matter how crazy he sounds, yet I keep watching it. And most weekends I am watching something while I write. I guess watching TV just goes along with my entire life of multi-tasking -- trying to be a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, an employee, a co-worker and do a decent job of all of them without going insane. I'm not sure why I should feel bad about that. I am a little crazy and I do watch too much TV, but what's a little more?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Please Come Back

I know I promised no more posts complaining about the weather. So this is a post about my longing for Summer. I miss wearing dresses and heels to work. I miss wearing knit dresses and flip-flops at home. I miss the long evenings where we can play outside with the boys after dinner. I miss taking walks. I miss feeling the grass on my bare feet. I miss open windows.

I miss Summer so much that it is almost physically painful. I sit at my desk and wish for the sun reflecting off the side of the building behind me to illuminate my cube. I sit at our dining room table and look at the trees behind the house and wish they were green with leaves.

I have lived in the Midwest all my life. When I was younger, there were fun things to look forward to about each season. The more time that passes, the more I love Summer. I also love the end of Spring and the beginning of Fall, when the weather is Summer-like. There is that old cliche' about absence making the heart grow fonder. In this case, I can assure you I would be much more fond of Summer if it didn't stay away so long.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I Need Out

It is confirmed. I am a terrible mother. Okay, not really, but these last five days have been some of the longest of my life. I went to work on Tuesday, but stayed home the rest of the week due to illness. I have established once and for all that I could never, ever be a full-time mom. I am about to go out of my mind. Even though I was working at home Wednesday through Friday, I was still at home. With my kids. And Friday and Saturday it was only the three of us.

This isn't anything against full-time moms. This is completely personal. I have been thinking all day about what to write for today's post, but I have done nothing this week I can write about other than take care of, clean up, talk to, listen to, read to, play with, and comfort my kids. By the time the boys were in bed and actually asleep the last two days, I collapsed on the couch and watched Food Network Nighttime until I fell asleep.

Don't get me wrong, I love my kids. I do want to be there when they are sick or when they learn something new or when they need me. But I need a break from them. On a regular basis. With the exception of my horrific trip to the doctor yesterday, I have not left the house in those five days, and the only break I had from the boys was after they went to bed. I love them, but I need the chance to miss them.

So maybe this makes me a terrible mother. Or maybe it just makes me a realist. I love my boys and they love me. But they are boys and they will graduate from high school and they will go off into their lives and I will only hear from them when they need something or on holidays... if I'm lucky enough for them to remember to call me. They are independent little people who have their own lives, even though at this stage they still need me.

So at least now I know for sure. Any days in the future when I am sitting at my desk at work and the thought crosses my mind that maybe my kids would be better off with me at home, I can think back to this week. And I will remember that, for their sake and mine, it is better for me to work and to have have time away from them so that when I am with them we can really enjoy each other.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Are You Kidding Me?

Have I mentioned that the boys and I have been sick all week? I think I have, but I just wanted to re-establish that before I launched into this tirade. Owen woke up just after 6 this morning, sobbing and saying his ear hurt. I had to get him up and bring him out on the couch because he was crying so hard he was going to wake up Luke. I held him while he cried and said he didn't want ears because they hurt. I gave him ibuprofen, in hopes that would help him feel better. It helped to the point that he stopped crying, but he still just sat there holding his blanket over his ear and saying it hurt.

I called the doctor's office as soon as they opened and they said to come right in. Thankfully I had managed to sneak in a shower after Owen stopped crying, so I scrambled to get us all dressed and out the door. Now, I LOVE our pediatrician. He is like a Norman Rockwell doctor, very calming and pleasant. When you take your kids to see him, he just has this way of making you feel like you are doing fine and everything is going to be okay. This being a Saturday, we did not get to see our pediatrician. We got to see Dr. Terrible.

There are only three doctors in the practice and in the past four-and-a-half years we have had only one other interaction with Dr. Terrible (when our doctor, Dr. Wonderful, was on vacation). I came away thinking he had a terrible bedside manner and didn't seem to like kids at all. I was hoping this time would be different, but it was not. He walked in the exam room and just looked at us. I said hello to him and he finally asked "How are you today?" Really?? I've had one uninterrupted night of sleep in the past week, and that was more of a medically induced coma rather than restful slumber. I was holding a crying 2 year old on my lap who was writhing in pain and my four-year-old had crazy bedhead and snot running down his face because I couldn't hold Owen and wipe Luke's nose constantly and there were no tissues within reach. How do you think we are? Of course, I just replied that we've all been sick for a week and we've had better days.

He looked in Owen's ears and confirmed what I think was pretty obvious. Owen had a raging ear infection. Now, knowing how these things usually work (my kids only seem to need to see a doctor on the weekend), I had requested to have Luke looked at while we were there and paid two co-pays for the visit. Dr. Terrible stood up and said that he would put Owen on antibiotics and acted like he was getting ready to leave the exam room. So I said to Luke, "Luke, would you please let the doctor look in your ears too?" Why I didn't just ask the doctor to look at Luke too, I don't know. I don't think that in my ill and sleep deprived state I can be held entirely accountable for why I may say one thing over another.

Well, Dr. Terrible took this as an opportunity to launch into a lecture on how I shouldn't give my kids options on things because now, what if Luke won't let him look in his ears? Looking at Luke standing there, obviously waiting to be examined, I looked Dr. Terrible and said "He will." To which he continued his lecture about how he preferred to establish with patients what he expects of them and when they are given a choice, they may throw a fit. Oh, believe him, he has teenagers and he knows that kids shouldn't be given so many choices.... blah, blah, blah.... All the while, Luke is standing there, ear toward the man, waiting for him to look. "It's a psychological thing. When you give kids a choice or ask, they can think they can get out of things. It's better to just tell them what you expect them to do. Do you understand what I'm saying?"

And that was the last straw. With Owen crying louder and louder that his ear hurt, I looked straight at the guy and said. "Look, like I said, the three of us have been sick for the past week. I don't feel well and I have barely slept at all. I am very, very tired and it is very frustrating having my parenting criticized right now when I am just trying to help my kids feel better. Do you understand?" And that was the calmest, nicest thing I could come up with to say in that moment. What I really wanted to say was "Seriously? Are you kidding me?? ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME??!?! My youngest is screaming in pain and my oldest is being extremely compliant and doing exactly what I asked. How dare you lecture me when I didn't even do anything wrong and my kids are being as good as anyone could possibly expect right now!!! How the hell are you a pediatrician??" Yeah. I wish I would have said that, but I try to refrain from cursing.... especially in front of my kids.

I just don't know about some people. I can understand if we were new patients of his and he had simply asked me that I allow him to talk directly to the boys the next time so he could establish a rapport with them. I might have even tolerated the lecture had Luke actually thrown a fit or tried to prevent him from doing the exam. But he knew Dr. Wonderful was our doctor because he asked me. And Luke cooperated perfectly. I realize that I look way younger than I am, that I was probably a little disheveled, and that Owen was crying loudly from the pain, but what part of that makes it okay to lecture a tired, sick, stressed-out mom?

I know that I am overly sensitive right now from the illness and the lack of sleep, but am I being completely unreasonable here?

Friday, January 22, 2010

I'm Out

I'm out if ideas. I'm out of things to to write about or think about. This is the point in my write-every-day months that I decide I'm just crazy and a glutton for punishment and wonder what the heck I was thinking. I do like to write. I do need to write. But I also kinda need my sanity, which has completely escaped me right now.

It is Friday. I worked at home all day, as Ryan had to leave for work this afternoon and my work from home day is Friday because of his work schedule. I previously had in-home child care on Fridays in the form of my completely amazing sister, but she just had a baby and is on indefinite maternity leave. The boys were shockingly good today. Owen slept away half the afternoon and Luke was so cooperative and quiet during my conference calls. You would think this would be a good environment in which to solve problems, but I am sick and feel like I didn't get enough done today.

So... wow. What a terrible post this is turning out to be! Why?? Why do I do these months? So I can torture myself and the maybe two people who are nice enough to read my blog? What is wrong with me?

Oh right. I'm me. Sorry about that....

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Technology is Not My Friend

It's official. I am a fuddy-duddy. I hate having to get used to new technology. This week (yes, the week I am sick and have two sick kids) we got a new provider for our satellite and I got a new cell phone. But I liked the old provider and I liked my old cell phone. I liked that I knew which buttons did which things and where to find what I needed on the menus. I liked being able to use our television and my phone without really thinking about it.

Now, I get stuck in and endless cycle of menus and options just trying to change the channel. Yes, the thing came with a manual -- a manual that is the size of a college text book. I mustered my resolve and went looking in it for the info I needed to beat the system, but the book is filled with steps for the menus, connected by a menacing looking blue wavy line. I'm guessing the line was supposed to be a friendly guide from step-to-step, but to me it looks like a big, blue mouth mocking my inability to get the menus on the line show up on the screen.

My new phone, aside from being ugly and chintzy, seems to be programmed incorrectly. Some of the text options are on the wrong keys. the font on the screen looks like it's from a 1980's video game, and the keypad has what seems to be the outline of a giant lower-case 'i' in silver right in the middle. It is hideous and distracting. The phone has a million features I can never use because it is a work phone, but ATT no longer offers decent phones that just call and text.

I'm sure that once I figure out where everything is and how to make them do what I want, I will be fine with the new technology I've acquired. But for now, I am sick and sleep deprived and I just want to be able to work my TV or make a call without having to sift through a thousand page manual.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I finally got a lot of that craziness out of my head, but now I'm sick and still have two sick kids. Goodness... what a week. So for now I will post a poem I've been working on. I'm not exactly happy with it. I know it needs work, but I'm not sure what to change. I guess that makes it a good candidate for a rework post in the future?

I'm here
picking at tangled knots.
My thoughts are a mess
of threads.
The parts I've unraveled
are coiled neatly
on the floor.
What remains
tangles faster
than I can untie.
It seems hopeless.
Maybe I'm better off
just going to sleep.

Bottle It Up

I don’t claim to know much
except soon as you start
to make room
for the parts
That aren’t you
it gets harder to bloom
in a garden of love love love love
Love Love love love

- Sara Bareilles from the song 'Bottle It Up'

This is a post I've been putting off writing. I really don't want to write it, but I think not writing it is keeping me from writing about other things. Actually, it's not really that I don't want to write it, it's just that I'm not confident that the words I write will come across the way I mean them. I guess that is always part of the issue with words, though. They have a base meaning, but so much goes into how they are understood and interpreted by the people reading or hearing them. I shouldn't let that keep me from writing my words though. Here goes.

Sometimes it is time to go home. Sometimes it is good to have time to recoup and have family around. When I left home for college, coming back home for holidays or summer break was so strange. It was nice to be there with my family and to not have to buy all my own food and to be where people knew me. Only, they didn't completely know me. Independence changes a person. While I was at school, I was completely responsible for myself. I decided when to come and go, when to go to class and or skip, how many jobs to have and what to do with any money left over from buying books and food. When I was at home my parents always wanted to know where I was, who I was with and what I was doing all the time. To them, I was still their little girl. To me, I was grown up. Home was so wonderful and yet, so frustrating.

As strongly as I felt I needed to go back to my home church, I've come to realize recently that the season for being there is over. It is a great church with some really great people there, but as much as it has changed, a lot hasn't. The things that remain the same are not necessarily bad, just things that have shown me it's time to go. I'm not leaving with any ill feelings toward anyone. But just as I knew I couldn't stay at home long-term after college because of how I had changed, I know it is time now for me to move on from my parents' church.

This is mostly why I have been thinking so much about seasons lately. For some reason this topic makes this Sara Bareilles song keep playing in my head. Especially the line "as soon as you start to make room for the parts that aren't you it gets harder to bloom in a garden of love." I know this means romantic love and relationships, but I think that it applies in a way to many relationships, even with organizations. In order to really grow, I need to be somewhere that challenges me. I need to be somewhere that encourages me to think about things in ways I haven't before and embrace the parts of myself that have questions and are different from the way I was raised. I need to be someplace other than home.

In all this I also have to consider the boys. I know how I was raised and some of the issues I've had to work through as a result of that. I was taught "You should know what you believe and this is what you should believe." What I want for my boys is to be in a place where they are encouraged to determine what they believe and why. I don't want them to study the Bible just so they will know what church people are supposed to know. I want them to study the Bible so they will know what they believe and where those beliefs are founded and to have the freedom to question what they are taught without being considered troublemakers. I'm not saying the things I want for them can't happen staying where we are, but I just feel that there is a better fit for us out there.

This post is getting quite long and I'm not sure I'm even making sense. I'm not sure this is even what I mean, but I really needed to take a stab at getting the thoughts out there. I've started some good friendships at the 'old' church and I certainly plan to continue those. I just pray that wherever we eventually end up, it's a good fit and a place where we can grow.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Just Rework

Another long, long day holding a sick kid. So, I guess I will post some rework so I don't miss a day.

Truth can be obvious,
yet difficult to hear
and impossible to speak.
If only we could each choose
how free we want to be.
But other people choose
the freedom
they speak to us.

Well.... is it rework if it is still a partial poem even after I work on it more? This is really frustrating, but really all I can think about is sleep.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I Have All the Fun

Ugh. Now I have a sick kid. I am tired. So, so tired. I am holding a sick kid and typing with one hand. I have no motivation and nothing to write about. Well, I have things I could write about, like how I've discovered that my youngest kid can cough until he gags and vomits or that his not-sick brother gets sick at the sight of him throwing up, but I'd rather not.

I have so many things to do and so many people to reply to in email or on Facebook. I just feel like I don't have the time nor the energy to do any of it. Maybe another day I will have time. Or motivation. Or won't be holding a sick kid. Time will tell, I guess. We'll see.

Is January Over Yet?

Surprisingly, tonight I am not wishing January away due to the weather. Tonight I am wishing it away because I'm not sure I'm going to make it all the way to the end of the month with a post for every day. I am really running out of ideas here. At the very least, I've hit a mid-month dry spell. So I am totally going to cheat and just post something about my kids. Here is a picture of one of the things I love about my boys. They are so creative in finding ways to entertain themselves. I really don't even know why we bother to buy them toys.

One very boring day, they were playing store with a few cans from our pantry. We often get comments on our pantry being well-stocked, but we don't live 2 seconds from a supermarket and I shop sales. If some canned good we use frequently is on sale, I stock-the-heck up. It won't go to waste and saves money. Why else would you even have a pantry if you didn't want a place to store food?

Anyway, one of the boys started lining up a few cans on the counter so I could 'buy' them and suddenly that turned into trying to line the entire island with cans. They did this entirely by themselves. Oh, to be so easily entertained and then so proud of yourself for accomplishing.... nothing!

So that is my cheat for the week. I will try to be back tomorrow with something that resembles an actual post.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Another Favorite Things Friday

I've been complaining A LOT. Especially about that season which shall remain nameless. I think it is time to talk about some things I like, especially today when I am out of inspiration for a 'real' post. Here are some more of my favorite things, in no particular order:

Sabra Supremely Spicy Hummus - Oh my goodness. If you always buy hummus from the store instead of making it at home, but have never had Sabra, maybe you shouldn't try it. It is that good. You will be ruined and unable to buy any other brand after you try Sabra. I love it with chips or pita or carrots. Yum.

The Food Network - I think I might be developing an unhealthy relationship with Food Network Nighttime. Ryan works Friday-Sunday nights, so I have sole control of the remote those nights. If I'm not watching something I DVR'd during the week, then I'm watching Food Network. And probably eating, since watching non-stop food shows makes me hungry. I might need therapy for this.

Highlander Grogg Coffee - Monday through Thursday, we drink regular coffee, because we set the coffee maker at night and share the brew and Ryan hates flavored coffee. On the weekend, I have the coffee maker all to myself so I make Highlander Grogg if I have it. The very subtle caramel and nut flavor is perfect for my half-and-half only, no sugar/sweetener way I take my coffee. It's great and I love it. I buy mine at Grinder's in Maineville.

My iPod Touch - Before Christmas, I had been hinting around to Ryan that I would like to have an MP3 player where I could store my music. I had done some research and settled on something in the $50 range. When I opened the iTouch 0n Christmas morning I just blurted out, "Babe, are you serious?? Oh my gosh!" Even then I was thinking it was excessive and I wouldn't possibly need something that did all that stuff. Let me tell you, now that I have it, I do need it. So cool! I can check my email and update my Facebook status without turning on the computer. Love.

American Eagle Jeans - It only took me 31 years, but I finally found jeans that are affordable, comfortable, and fit like a glove. When Ryan and I were in Vegas I had purchased a pair of 7 jeans, which were both comfortable and fit like a glove, but I can't justify spending that much on multiple jeans and kinda need more than one pair. American Eagle is one of those places where I typically avoided shopping because I don't like walking around with a giant brand on every inch of my clothing and that was my impression of AE. Who knew they would have such fabulous jeans?

When the boys are good at the store - Because weeknights are our family nights, we try not to plan anything those nights or have to spend them running around. This leaves me to do the grocery shopping alone with the boys on the weekend. My chosen time for this is Friday night, since I work all day anyway and want to get it out of the way and leave Saturday and Sunday open for whatever might come up. When we go to the store, I have three rules that the boys know and can recite from memory:
1. Stay close to Mommy.
2. Listen to Mommy and do what she says.
3. Watch for other people.
If they "forget" or disregard the rules, they have to sit in the cart, which they hate. If they have to get in the cart, there is much crying and yelling involved so I always hope it doesn't come to that. I love, love, love the nights when they are both so good at remembering the rules that I don't even have to remind them, let alone threaten them with sitting in the cart. (And yes, I realize that by writing that I have doomed myself to a horrendous next Friday at the grocery, but they were SO GOOD tonight and it was wonderful.)

Okay. I'll stop now. See? I can go a day without posting a hate post on my blog!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I Rest My Case

I know I have been a little harsh on Winter this month. I mean, he totally deserves it, but I thought maybe I should give some sort of explanation for my hatred. I've sorted through my long list of reasons, and decided the best explanation is that Winter combines two of my deepest hates into a terrible 5-6 month ordeal: being cold and dress pants. I know I addressed my hate for dress pants in this previous post and several of my other old posts address how much I hate being cold. I've also said how much I love summer and dresses way back here.

I work in an office where the attire is 'business casual.' I know there seems to be a lot of variation among what people consider business casual, but I take that to mean I should dress up more than my weekend attire of comfy jeans and a hoodie. For a non-fashionista such as myself, dresses are perfect for business casual. Dresses allow me to look put-together without any of the laboring over what shirt is the right color, cut, and style to go with what pants. Well, in winter, it is really too cold to wear dresses most of the time. Sometimes you get lucky with a not-too-frigid day and can wear a dress or skirt with tights and tall boots, but for the most part no. For the most part, a girl in a business casual workplace in the Midwest must wear the dreaded dress pants.

Dress pants are so terrible. Inexpensive ones pill up and stretch out to the point that you look like you're wearing knobby jockey pants, bagging all around your butt and hips. Nice ones are very expensive, but they stretch out a little too (not as much, but still!). I try to buy my dress pants on clearance at nicer stores, but they still set me back at least $35. That is a lot of money for an article of clothing I don't even like!

Then there is the problem of what size to purchase. I'm 5'3". That makes me too tall for petite sizes unless I am going to wear ballet flats. Did I mention I'm 5'3"? I don't own any ballet flats. But regular sizes are made for women who are at least 5'8". They are usually too long for me, even wearing my tallest heels. That means I either have to pay to have them altered (making them cost more money) or I have to try to hem them myself (which I have tried with varying degrees of success). Ugh.

So, I'm kinda screwed on the length. There's nothing I can really do about that. Size is something else. I put on the size that fits at the store and it looks okay. But I know that if I buy that size, by the third time I wear the pants, they will be trying to fall off my hips. However, if I buy the next-size-down, they are pretty tight. Tight enough that the first few times I wear them, I will be self-conscious about just how tight they are. Yet, I'm always concerned that I will buy the tighter pair and they won't stretch and I'll be stuck with tight pants that I feel weird wearing in public. See why I hate dress pants?

I think I've covered the being cold thing pretty well in my most recent winter posts. I do think it is physically painful to be cold and I hate it. And I have to wear dress pants to work in the winter to try to prevent myself from being that cold and feeling that pain. And the cycle continues. As I said before, there are a lot of other reasons why I hate winter, but dress pants and being cold were the two that won out for writing's sake. I will try not to complain any more about winter on my blog (this month). I think I've provided a good argument and offered some insight into my insanity. I rest my case.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

So Over You

Okay, Winter. I am over you. I've never really liked you to begin with, but you with your January and your frigid temperatures, well, it's just too much for me. And knowing that after January you probably have another three miserable months up your sleeve.... I just can't take it. This thing we have going on now is slowly killing my soul. I hate your bitter cold and your dreariness and how you always ruin my plans with your bad weather.

I'm done. I'm over you. I can't tolerate the feeling I get just thinking about you. I know you have a few warm-ish, sunny days planned to try to placate me, but it won't work. I just know that some other season can make me so much happier than you can. I refuse to have anything else to do with you. I am so over you. Please just go away and let me be happy.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Yes, Another Tattoo Post

I can't believe I never even posted an update on what I did for my last tattoo, and here I am obsessing about wanting another one. This is the update to what I had before. I love, love, love it.

I love it so much, in fact, that I really am very seriously considering the tattoo on my arm thing. I have something for Ryan and the boys and something for my mom, but I don't have anything for my dad. There is a cuckoo clock my dad's parents always had on their wall and I am thinking that would look great on my upper arm with some ivy around it. The time would be 11:27 for his birthday.

I am still a little nervous about getting something in a way more obvious and less-easily-concealed place. Yet, when I think about my other tattoos, I think of how much a part of me they are now and how it seems that they really were always supposed to be there. For instance, when I look at my wedding photos and see myself there in my strapless wedding dress, it seems like something is missing. Oh, it is. My flowers and ivy.

So, even though there is that tiny part of me that wonders if when I'm 75 if I will regret having an almost half-sleeve, I'm pretty sure that after a while it will seem like it like I was always supposed to have it.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Spring, summer, and fall fill us with hope; winter alone reminds us of the human condition.
-Mignon McLaughlin

I've been thinking a lot about seasons. Partly because we are in the miserable midst of my least favorite season, but also because of how much things always change. I don't think I'm ready to fully explore this topic in my blog, but it is something that has been on my mind a lot the last few weeks. There are some things that are so important to do or experience for a while, but then you realize you are overstaying your welcome and it is time to move on. Sometimes the moving on is easier than at other times, but trying to stay in a season when it is over can cause you more heartache than it's worth.

I think that even in the things that are consistent in our lives, we experience seasons. In a new relationship or new friendship, you want to spend a lot of time talking and getting to know that person. You want to know all about them -- how they approach life, their memories, their quirks, their strengths, and their weaknesses. But as the relationship matures, you move past that foundational season. If it is a lasting relationship, you've already spent the time energy to create the basis from which future interactions will grow.

In a way this is comforting, but it can also be disconcerting until you learn to trust that the foundation you've established will be able to withstand the move to a new season. Sometimes it can't, and you have to come to terms with the fact that your relationship was only for a season. But when your relationship proves that it can withstand a transition, you can begin to add new dimensions to it that will only enrich it over time.

I do have more on this, but I'm still working it out for my self. When I'm ready, I'll post more, but this is what I have for now.

Girl, Put Your Records On

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favourite song,
You go ahead, let your hair down.
- Corrine Bailey Rae

"Put Your Records On" is one of those songs that just makes you happy to listen to it. Even if it's not really your kind of music. (In my opinion, of course.) If you've never heard it, well, the lyrics really aren't all that great just by themselves. They really need the music with them. It's kind of weird that I am even beginning this post with a song excerpt from a song that isn't one of my favorites, but it's not as though I never warn people that I'm crazy. Crazy people do things that don't really make any sense.

I was on my way to work the other day, when I realized that I don't really know if I like a CD until I listen to it in the car. I just have so little time to really sit and listen to music without distraction, that my 45 minute round-trip commute has become my music booth time. When I get new music, I do try to listen to it at home, but it just seems like I can never focus on it. I may notice that I really like some of the music, but until I can listen to all the lyrics too, I don't know if I actually like a song. I have to like both the lyrics and the music with them or I can't officially like it.

So, for fun, I thought I would post some of the lyrics to some of my favorite songs. Some of these are songs I used to skip over on a CD, but then I listened to them in the car and found a song I couldn't live without. Sorry if this is boring to anyone reading it, but it's fun for me and since this is my blog....

A Fine Frenzy - From the song 'New Heights'
"From your lips, a precipice. I hang on every word"
Great imagery yet so simple. I love it.

Sara Bareilles - From the song 'One Sweet Love'
"The earth that is the space between, I'd banish it from under get to you... Your unexpected love provides my solitary's Suicide...oh I wish I knew"
The lyrics remind me so much of an Emily Dickinson poem.

Jennifer Knapp - From the song 'A Little More'
"With all this motivation I still find a hesitation.... Deep in my soul.... Despite all my demanding I still find You understanding..." To me this speaks to so many things in my relationship with God. That struggle with my shortcomings and His grace. What a great song.

Jack Johnson - From 'If I Had Eyes'
I love the whole chorus so I'm just going to post it all.
"Sometimes time doesn't heal, no not at all. Just stands still, while we fall -- In or out of love, again I doubt I'm gonna win you back when you've got eyes like that that won't let me in. Always looking out."

Ingrid Michaelson - From 'Maybe'
"I don't wanna be the first to let it go,
But I know, I know, I know.
If you have the last hands that I want to hold,
Then I know I've got to let them go"
This was really true of my relationship with my husband, although I won't pretend I was that wise when I broke up with him in college on my 20th birthday weekend. I will say that us taking time to figure out who we were and what we really wanted was the best thing for us. Oh, and he has the last hands that I want to hold. Ingrid Michaelson is a lyrical genius.

Okay. That's enough for now. No, there was no point to this post, other than sharing some of the music I'm listening to or have often listened to. I also have a lot of Lisa Loeb lyrics I love, but WAY back I did a whole Lisa Loeb post, which can be found here.

Um.... The End.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Winter, How I Hate You

I have a very busy day today. And I have to go out in the cold. Again.

So, another poem for now. The music post will have to wait.

I will not mask
my bitter disdain.
Your chill engulfs
my every pore
and makes my
skin writhe in pain.
Each abbreviated day
hastens me to madness
and I despise your
endless nights.
How wretched you are,
earth's white sanctuary.

Kill the Lights

I am working on a more fun post, but it's not finished. And it is late. And I am tired. This is what I have for now.

Kill the lights
and stand motionless
in the dark room.
Blink until silhouettes
start to reveal
the landscape.
Eeny-Miny a path
and start taking steps.
Any way will do
when you can't see
where you're going.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Live Creatively, Friends

Live creatively, friends... Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. - From Galatians 6 in The Message

I love, love, love this passage. I really think that so much of my own discontent is rooted in my comparing myself to others. I'm not as liberal as her. I'm not as conservative as him. I'm not as professional as him. I'm not as free-spirited as her. I'm not as quiet, loud, fun, serious, reserved, confident, caring, calloused, fashionable, or care-free. I'm not, I'm not, I'm not. I'm pretty sure that type of thinking is misguided, at best.

So what if I can't do a lot of things. So what if I'm different from a lot of people. If I was just like other people, what would be the point of my life? I just find this thought so freeing -- Sink myself into my own work and do the creative best I can with the life I have. I don't have to wish I was different. I don't have to try to be like other people. I just have to figure out what I should be doing and focus on that. I just have to be me.

Easier said than done, but saying it is a start.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

More Craziness. Why Not?

I'm not sure if it is okay for me to have a very favorite blog post of all my blog posts, but if it is, this one right here is it. I don't know why, since it is basically just putting a tiny sliver of my insanity out there for everyone to see. I guess it's that I actually sat down and wrote it all out like that so that I could clearly see why it takes me so long to get ready for anything.

This craziness is not limited to going out, however. Even something as simple as getting and drinking a cup of coffee on a weekend morning is usually a huge production. I will pour the coffee and heat it up in the microwave so it will still be hot even after I add half-and-half. Since it is out of sight for 30 seconds, I start to do something else. The something else is often checking my email and then one of the boys sees that my attention is not on them so he will ask for something. I will get that and then the other boy will want it too so I have to fill that request. I'll notice the fire needs stoked so I'll add some wood to it. Then I'll see that our the stack of wood in our wood alcove is getting low, so, not wanting to have to be bringing wood in after dark, I'll put on my coat and gloves and carry in several loads of wood.

What was I doing? Oh... coffee... right. I will have to heat it back up for a few seconds, but this time I will stay by the microwave and get it out as soon as it is hot. I'll add half-and-half and start sipping (no, I didn't forget the sugar, I only drink my coffee with cream). I'll think about what I need to do next. Then I'll have to help the boys with something else. Then I'll remember I need to wash Ryan's CT scrubs so I'll go to the laundry room with my coffee and set it down on the counter in there. I'll switch over the wet laundry to the dryer and start the load of scrubs (hopefully remembering I'm not supposed to use fabric softener). The boys will start fighting over something since I'm out of sight, so I will intervene.

Once they are playing nice again, I'll start straightening up and then maybe try again to check my email. Then I'll remember the dishwasher needs to be unloaded and start working on that. Around this time I'll start to wonder why I'm getting a headache. Oh. It's because I haven't had more than a couple sips of coffee. Hmmm.... if I could only find my coffee mug.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Blue Ink

I always write in black ink. There is something about writing in any other color that seems to make it look less sincere to me. Occasionally I will have to write something down and can only find a blue pen, but I will often go back and re-write it later in black ink if it is something I need to keep or look at with much frequency.

I've been writing in my sketchbook a lot. I keep it on the stand next to my bed and write poems or craziness in it when I can't sleep. All this rambling is just leading up to a poem I wrote a few weeks ago. The pen I usually use had vanished and I grabbed another one. I jotted a few words and realized that it was blue ink, but it kinda worked so I went with it. This poem is the only thing written in my sketchbook that is not in black ink.

Bare windows let
Daybreak's light seep in
to illuminate dull objects.
The side table items were
all witness to midnight promises and pleas
for sleep to come.
But now I'm writing in blue ink
and the light is melting any recall
of how I should
be new today.
I sense recurrence
when the sun
next disappears.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Crash and Burn

So.... here I am. Day 4. I've already realized that I am failing at my attempt. I just don't seem to have "it" any more. Not that I previously had these amazing things to write about every time I blogged, but I didn't usually obsess over how terrible I thought my work was for hours after I'd posted. I feel like I come up with an idea for a post and mull it over in my head, but when I go to write it, the whole theme just falls apart. Then I end up posting some jumbled nonsense that barely resembles the idea I had previously formed in my mind.

What to do, what to do? I don't want to throw in the towel already, but I also don't know what I'll do if I reach the end of the month and feel like I wasn't able to come up with at least a few decent posts. Grrrr..... stupid writer's block or writer's cramp or whatever this is called.

My friend Irena and I were talking about how much easier it was to write in college because, even if you weren't writing about a subject that interested you, you at least had lots of varying mental stimulation from all the different subjects you're studying at once. There is something about the daily routine of a job and a life where you do basically the same thing day after day that just crushes part of your creativity. And it's not like I do data entry for a living (no offense to any data entry people). I have a pretty interesting job where I get to work with people in all aspects of our company and delve into issues to determine what happened with things that I previously knew nothing about. It's not a mindless job, yet it's still like I can feel it sucking the creativity right out of me.

I guess I'll keep at it for now. Maybe I can find some things to read for inspiration. Maybe I can find a way to write in complete thoughts that go together and make sense. Maybe.

Stay or Go Away

To know when to go away and when to come closer is the key to any lasting relationship. ~Doménico Cieri Estrada

Since I started this blog, I've written a few posts about my boys. Not many, mind you, as this is a place for me to write my thoughts and practice my writing and is not a mommy blog. I have not written any posts about my husband. Other than maybe a few passing comments, I've barely mentioned him. However, when I read this quote, I immediately realized not only how true it is, but how much it applies to our relationship. Maybe this is odd, considering that I might seem like the kind of person who has to be close to the people I love all the time, but it is true. I thought that today, on the thirteenth anniversary of my very first date with my husband, I should at least say something about "us."

My husband does not need me and I do not need him. This is not to say that we don't love each other and don't want to be together. It's different. Ryan is the first guy I ever dated who did not make me feel smothered. Other guys called too much or were too needy. Other guys made me feel like I was going to go crazy trying to avoid them because they always had to be around or be talking to me. Ryan, not so much. Ryan did his own thing. Ryan made me feel wanted, but not needed. Sometimes it is nice being wanted, but not needed.

I'm not suggesting that I have relationships all figured out or that my relationship is perfect. Every person has their flaws, and therefore, it is impossible for any relationship to not have flaws. All I'm saying is that having our own time and our own things seems to contribute to the healthfulness of our relationship. And the conscious decision to want to be together, yet not need each other, is one of my favorite things about the man I love and me.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

More People to Love

I know I mentioned briefly in my very terrible first post of the new year about living more and the article I read that inspired the sentiment. This is something I have thought about off-and-on as different conversations or situations have made me more aware of it, but something about reading those stories all in the same article grabbed my attention. The older you get and the more people you meet or the more people who are added to your family (yay for new nephews!), the more people matter to your own life and happiness. The more people you love, the more people have a piece of you.

I know there are a lot of very responsible people and for most of my life I considered myself one of them. Over the past few years, I've become much more a live-in-the-moment kind of person. There are too many stories of people who have had their futures taken away or derailed by some unforeseen event or circumstance for me to worry so much about planning for the future. I am not advocating being completely irresponsible, but I am saying there are some moments you can't get back. I will never be in my twenties again. I am so glad I got married, had my kids, built a house, and got a tattoo when I was in my twenties. What would have been the benefit of putting off those things?

I know I am rambling here, but I just keep thinking, "Who is guaranteed tomorrow?" Really. There are things that you can't go back and do. And I don't want to be one of those people who puts off everything until I can afford it, but by then I am unable physically or emotionally to do the things I want to do. I want to enjoy the people who are important to me. I want to be a person people want to be around (despite that I love having my own time and space). I want the people I love to know I love them and to know they are more important to me than any job or retirement plan or "someday" dream. I want to know that no matter what happens in my life, the people I love know I love them and know that I enjoyed my time with them. And know that I don't regret any of my live-in-the-moment times, regardless of how crazy or silly they may have seemed at the time.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Today was completely insane. I had a ton of errands to run, I drove all the way to Cuba and back, and I had a fun bash at my house tonight. I am way too tired to finish the post I had started for today, so this is a placeholder until I can finish it tomorrow and post it here. Yes, I do think it is okay for me to make up the rules as I go.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Hopes and Dreams 2010 Style

"I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me." -Anaïs Nin

What an insane end to 2009! I spent most of Christmas day in the hospital waiting for my sister to give birth to my highly anticipated new nephew. He was born at 10:28 PM on Christmas day. I know I have another nephew and five nieces, but there was something special about this one. This nephew lives close enough for us to see him a lot and is the son of one of my very best friends and her wonderful husband. It was odd spending most of the day away from my boys and my husband, but I am so glad I was able to be there. Micah Ian is a beautiful baby and I might be just a little bit proud of him and my amazing sister. Can ya tell?

In other news, I did not make a official resolution for this year. The closest thing to a resolution is my commitment to write-every-day-in-January. I've tried other write-every-day months and managed to do pretty well, missing only two or three days. We will see how I do with this month, although it would be great if I actually had a post for every day come January 31. Other than that, I just have some things I hope I am able to do or accomplish in the coming year. And..... ta-da! Here they are, in no particular order:

Pay down some debt - I have a lot of debt. College is not free and we built a house before we paid off our student loans. Some may say that is foolhardy, but I would remind those people that we are not guaranteed tomorrow. I would rather enjoy the house I love with the people I love now, than save my entire life and end up dying before I live in a place I like. Priorities people. I have good life insurance.

Live more - I was reading an article in Reader's Digest about people who have become caregivers to their family or friends. I realized that at any time I could need the care of my loved ones or have a loved one become dependent on me for care. I realized that I should enjoy all my free time to the fullest, as I never know when it will end. 2010 is my year for living and enjoying the time I have.

Stop worrying about work - Work has really been stressing me out a lot. Office politics totally suck, my boss is super-stressed from all the pressure he is getting, and my job alternates between insanely busy or insanely boring. But, at least I have a job and there is absolutely nothing I can do about the people higher up. I need to just focus on doing a good job and not worry about the rest.

Read More - Oh my goodness... this is a huge one. I have a stack of books next to my bed just glaring at me for never reading them. I have to read all of them this year.

Ignore the "experts" - I know it's stupid. but I often read my Parents magazine or articles online and stress about all the ways I'm failing my kids. Well... all these people giving advice either have robots for kids or have never actually met a child. I need to stop stressing about what other people say and just parent my boys in the way that works and makes the most sense to me.

Lower my expectations - I know that sounds terrible, but I think part of why I am so stressed or frustrated with other people or annoyed with myself is because I have stupidly unrealistic expectations. People screw up and don't do what you wish they would. That is just part of living in this world and caring about people. Just love them and accept myself and stop worrying about expectations that go unmet.

I think that's a good start. Here goes nothin'.....