Monday, August 12, 2013

The Elephant

There are a lot of reasons I've stopped writing on this blog. Several in fact. Some practical, some lame. But if I'm being honest with myself, the main reason is.. it's been a bummer of a year or two. There has been laughter and fun and great stories and celebrations and life has been lived, but it's also been sad. And confusing. And sometimes I feel it's fake to gloss over the big stuff. There's an elephant in the room this blog and by not addressing it, I feel like a phony. Because there is so much I want to say, but can't. I often wonder how those bloggers - the ones with millions of followers - "sell out" (to some extent), their families and/or friends. It must feel so freeing to just truly write what your heart keeps silent or the way you really see the world or what is actually going on and NOT CARE what anyone thinks. Because in all reality, many people are probably experiencing what you are going through. There are universal life experiences after all. Universal hurts and joys. And sharing your personal story and journey and having validation must feel very rewarding at times. But what about the family member who didn't want that secret told? Who never asked for their sibling or uncle or mother to be a professional blogger and who feel betrayed? What about the friend who decides to open up to you only to find it looking back at them on their laptop a month later? What about the kids in their life who will eventually grow up and someday read those words that perhaps it was not necessary they know? And yet, those blogs or articles or essays are always the best to read. We relate to them. They touch us. They are real. Not snippets of a perfect life put on display. I can't say everything I would like to say. I do care more about what those I love may feel then in being 100% open. Unfortunately that means that I tend to take several steps back. Too many. I guess you could say, I hide. And for some reason, hiding makes me tired. It's exhausting actually. Constantly worrying about how what I write may make someone feel is draining. In real life, away from the keyboard, I can talk about anything. I'm a pretty open book. Maybe that's why the disparity between the two, real life and writing about real life, feels so gaping.

So here is the compromise... It's how I feel at this moment. Tonight.
It's honest.
It's from the heart.
It's The Elephant:


There is an eternal bubbling spring of cruelty and pain and grief and heartache that exists within some. An ability to hurt everyone around them and take things like love and hope and innocence and faith and crush it all. Again and again. These people can lie to others and often themselves with an ease I will never understand. They can live in a world where selfishness and greed reign over their decisions. For every 10 decisions made, 9 will be in their best interest. And for that 1 act of seemingly unselfish generosity, it will be glorified and held over others' heads as a beacon of how good they really are. Even though they may kick you and spit on you and go for the jugular just after. Of course they won't see it that way. They will only pat themselves on the back for their kind act, all the while taking pieces of the good within others and never returning them. Never regretting their actions.

Other than the obvious serial killer or pedophile, what makes a person a monster? Extreme greed? Selfishness? Utter indifference? Extreme narcissism? We all do things that hurt others at some point... Our spouse, our parents, a friend, a family member. But don't most people own up to it? Don't most say, "I'm sorry I was a jerk. It won't happen again, because I love you and I don't want you to feel the way I purposely or inadvertently made you feel". Maybe I am naive to think MOST people are that way. There is that other type of person, however, who apologizes for nothing. Who live in their own reality, oblivious or unwilling to see the ache going on in the people around them. When someone tries to say, "hey, this hurt me", they will respond with insult and violently lash out or maybe just turn their back completely.

But, the very worst thing about these people is, we keep loving them. We make excuses for them. We sympathize with their grievances. We view them as broken and therefore incapable of not being awful. Eventually, we try and cut off the pain and put up a barrier saying, "enough is enough" and we try to keep our hearts occupied elsewhere, but then we are hit with it again... Love. Followed by pain. We try again, even as the cruelty ensues. Love for this monster who takes and abuses and never clearly sees.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Thank You. Gracias. Merci. Mahalo. Efcharisto. Grazie. Khop Khun Krab.

I was inspired by this guy... http://bottomlesslakes.blogspot.com/2013/04/long-overdue-thank-you-notes.html
to write my own Thank You post. It won't be as cool as his. His life is cooler. He has a cool wife and a cool kid and works for a cool company, lives in cool cities, etc.. He had a bum spit-yell on his face and Steve Buscemi knows his name. I can't compete with that. 
But, here are my own, less cool, Thank You Notes.

A Few People I have never properly Thanked:

Dear 9th Grade Cheerleading Coach,
Cheerleading was my life. (YES, I KNOW HOW THAT SOUNDS! AND I'M SORRY. Okay?) It was kind of a big deal in my life. Because I was on this amazing, trophy winning, nationally competing kind of team and I REALLy wanted to continue to cheer 
- but this time - 
in... 
HIGH SCHOOL. 
(yes, yes.. i hear how this sounds... and I hate myself for it). 
But I didn't make it. Close, but not quite. Thank you for pulling me out of class to inform me I was next on the list and SO close. Thank you for asking me to manage the gymnastics team.. because 4 years later I would LETTER in that. 
HOLLAAA! SHS Letter Jackets last forever... in my parents' attic. 
But the real reason I thank you is because NOT making it was the best thing that could have happened to me. I did other awesome things like Student Council and Principal's Advisory Board... and Drama Club and Choir and Improv and making my way into musicals and plays that was it's own accomplishment as a Freshman. 
(I have derailed - sorry to Andrew, who I know is mortified at the nerdery I am confessing to). 
Anyway, my point is... Door Closed, Window Opened... yadda yadda. Next year I made the team. It wasn't all that great or fun or life changing. Which is why I didn't try out my Junior and Senior year. I made some great friends through High School and a few life longers because I wasn't confined to one activity. So thanks for leaving my name off that list hanging on the High School door. Painful as it was to see. Toooooootally over it...

Dear Annie H-M,
I have never thanked you for introducing me to Vogue. I was moderately shocked and appalled by some of the ads at the age of 14, but I was in awe of your ability and DESIRE to read it cover to cover when I just wanted to look at the pretty and sometimes not-so-pretty pictures and when I would have rather been looking thru "17 Magazine". (I was not as mature a 14 year old as you, what can I say?..) Thanks for teaching me how to both spell and pronounce several famous designers. That is a skill that has come in handy over the years. 
I don't wear Gucci, Versace, Louboutin, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana or Lacroix, 
but I can pronounce the crap out of them. 
And in that vein, THANK You for yelling at me after I said for the thousandth time, "Meeean Either!" and correcting me that it is in fact, "Me Neither". I could still be saying that incorrectly today.. 
And that makes me shudder.

Dear D-Bag who informed me that the sweet and innocent kiss we shared that one time led to great shame and sorrow and friend-intervention and confession because I was... Mormon! Your friends (some of whom I wrongfully assumed were my own. Silly Girl...) told your Pastor. You almost weren't going to go on your Summer Youth Trip! Because Summer Youth Trips are for those who do not kiss a girl going to Hell. Even though it was one week prior, it made the decision to call off going to Senior Prom with you pretty easy when you sat in front of me crying and wracked with pain of kissing the evil that was/is? Me. 
(The non-drinking Christian Girl who had a midnight curfew). OH THE HUMANITYYY! 
I can not imagine the guilt and devastation that would have ensued had you... *gulp.. held my hand as we walked across the dance floor). I am glad I didn't find out your true feelings or exactly what it meant to be "Southern Baptist Conservative" in North Carolina in 1999 AFTER Prom. 
That would have really marred the memory. 
And THANK YOU, Kerr Ramsey for being a good friend and going to Prom with me last minute. You were fun and kind and it was a good night. In a strange but cool twist, Kerr ended up dancing the last two songs with his ex-girlfriend who was there that night with the guy who would someday become my husband and the father of my boys and coincidentally, the guy I danced the last two songs with. I'm pretty pleased with how things turned out~ 
Thanks, D-Bag. I'm glad I didn't share this little Rite of Passage with You.

Dear Boy in 9th Grade Who Informed Me My Arms Were Way Too Hairy,
Thank You. You were right. They have now been black-hair-free since 1996. Sometimes a girl with Greek roots needs others to guide her in her body hair decisions. Even if it hurts. Thick, Greekish, Well Shaped Eye-Brows? Good. Thick, Greekish, Sasquatch Arm Hair? Not Good.

Dear Middle School Gym Teacher,
Thank You for yelling in front of the entire class,"Miss Hardison, Miss Krallis, this is NOT a Chorus Line!"  I am pretty sure we have you to thank for solidifying our best-friendship. 
You fueled our Jazz-Hand-Fire. And for that, I THaaaank Yoooooooouuuu! 
(Just sang that for you, Coach Morgan).

And finally,
Thank You Professor Bidwell, 
 for making me the Romantic Lead that one time. After High School, and even with a tiny theater scholarship to BYU-Hawaii, I was consistently cast as... The Mother. 
I didn't love it. 
But I get it. 
Generally, large boned girls do not a stage Ingenue make. And so, to finally be the lead in a cute, funny little show, was pretty awesome. Even if one of the lines was something like, 
"Well, you're not... that bad".
I don't care.. Fine, I was not a beautiful ingenue! But that one time, I was in fact The love interest. Thanks Bidwell. You made a dream come true.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Refined Ladies


 Sometimes, not often, but every once in a while.. you order a Dr. Pepper and it is EXACTLY as good as you hope it will be.
As you need it to be. 
The right amount of sweet. Not too syrupy. Not too bitter.
And then,
as your taste buds sigh "ahhhhhhhhh...." in unified bliss,
"Runaway Train" comes on the radio.
And even though it has been a long, wasted and depressing weekend,
and even though it's Monday and your kid is home from school sitting in the backseat with a mean case of Pinkeye,
and even though it's cold and wet outside and you are driving in the rain, on the highway headed to buy an arsenal of all things antibacterial to cleanse your home once and for all of Pinkeye, Cold and Cough germs,
for a few minutes, with the music blaring
and a Dr. Pepper in your cup-holder,
everything is right
and perfect
and hopeful.
I would like to add that Refined Ladies still get disgusting and debilitating cases of Pinkeye from time to time as well...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Starting Small

I have goal. A blogging goal. I am going to write something,
anything,
every 3 days. Wait i take it back! Once a week. Okay fine.. 
Twice a month. 
Since the thought of writing without some kind of outline or direction or anecdote seems overwhelming at the moment, instead I am going to do some copy/pasting action. So, in the spirit of starting small, here is a text I sent ACS this week. 

Feb. 19, 2013 12:58pm
Annie was lying on the couch in the computer room and there was a spider crawling RIGHT BY HER HEAD!! But we caught it in tupperware. Tried to feed it a dead fly I found a few days ago on the windowsill... then some tomato. He got depressed very quickly. Then we looked up NC spiders and identified it as a Cellar Spider (daddy long legs type of spider) and patted ourselves on the back for doing Science. Then Annie let it go. 
Tuesday. Nailed it.

To which ACS responded,

Can't wait for Wednesday.

 There it is, a small step back into the world of blogging.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

3 THINGS


1. zac posen annoys me. i have a "fashion" board on pinterest and i am finding that lately when i need to unwind and destress, staring at haute couture and deciding what i find acceptable to make the cut is a pretty relaxing feeling. and even though most fashion designers seem to be condescending, out of touch, overly-serious, pretentious narcissists, some annoy me more than others.
case in point: zac posen.
even though there are a few things i like. really like. i can't bring myself to "pin" him on my "board". and even though he probably won't admit it... i think it bothers him.  

it's up to you to change my mind, z-man.

2. the other day i read about this sock-bun thing. supposedly it is perfect for the busy mom who doesn't have the time (or desire) to do her hair every day. it sounds like something that has probably been around a long, long...time (although so far no one else i've talked to has heard of it). this is the video i watched. i'm sure there are shorter demos out there, but this is just the one i happened to see.
you basically make a donut out of an old sock, put your messy hair in a high pony tail, and wrap it around the sock - which stays in place all night without anything to hold it in place. (that sort of wow'd me i admit).

so i gave it a try.

this is how my hair looked immediately after taking it down the next morning.
now, just a tiny sidenote...a few hours later i went to the doctor to find out i had the triple play (ie. ear infections, sinus infection and bronchitis) and i never planned on putting these pics on my blog.
so just skim thru them and move on.
move on, i said!
andrew said it looked like a lion's mane.
i am 85% sure he didn't mean that as a compliment.

this is what it looked like after i ran my fingers through it for 30 seconds.
-i also threw on some makeup...despite the pasty appearance-

and there you have it! a lesson in hair by... me?
who saw that coming??
ps. this has been known to be the case in the morning...
the sock-bun may have
changed my life.

3. ian has gotten a perfect behavioral grade in school every day for a month! as a reward, he and the other kids who did the same get to eat lunch in the classroom with their teacher tomorrow. 
not to brag..... but, it's kind of a big deal.
it became a bigger deal when ian informed us he was the ONLY boy in the class to make the cut. LoL. i don't know if that is 100% factual, but i figure he can't be too off about that info. i will find out tomorrow when i visit his class as the "mystery reader".
after doing some thinking about being the only boy to receive this honor, ian informed us he should probably "only hang out with the girls from now on".
(yes, that is a giant eye-roll followed by a sigh).
it would be one thing if he were simply connecting the dots and making a smart observation...
it takes on a different meaning when ian's first day back to school after track out, (before we were even out of the parking lot), he told me the girl he THOUGHT had a crush on him all year did in fact have a crush on him. something we have already established SEVERAL times before. and just for some background, when ian came home a few weeks ago with his class valentines, he showed me a valentine with an arrow thru a heart and let me know that he did indeed know that feeling.
i wanted to yell,
"you should NOT be thinking about girls or talking about girls! focus on school!!!! on academia, you 1st grader, you!!"
but parenting 101: do not act shocked and appalled when your kids confide in you.

even if you are.

seriously though, we are in trouble.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

a lesson in practicality

all but one pair of these were purchased today...
(full disclosure: ian has on a new pair of basketball shoes not in the picture).
and YES, they already have other shoes including church shoes, get muddy shoes, soft slippery toddler shoes, corduroy shoes, etc...
and YES, they possibly have 5 sets of shoes that match each other.
and NO, i do not find that cheesy.
and YES, there were many, MANY other shoes that i desperately wanted, but walked away from.
and YES, i was so strong to do that!! *thank you~
and YES, we are all grateful to have
2 boys instead of 2 girls because
can 
you 
even 
imagine?!
i am just preparing them for every conceivable outfit. and isn't it good to
always be prepared?!
be prepared - just like the boy scouts.

Monday, February 27, 2012

nap threat

last night we stayed out late. the boys didn't get to bed until after 10pm (and these are kids that are in bed and asleep almost every night between 7-8pm). today, i am paying for it. owen has cried 3 times already and it's only 10am. ian had the sassy attitude of a 15 year old on accutane. and so i threatened... the nap. actually, i stated "NAP".
"nap is soooohohoooo happening today for BOTH of you! it is in your future so i don't want to hear any complaining later when the time comes. understood?" i said to ian and owen.
 to which ian replied, "PLEEEEEASE MOM - NOOO! PLEASE just give me ONE more chance to change my attitude! please?!!!" and so i agreed.
ONE. MORE. CHANCE.
since he has been incapable of getting along with owen this morning, i knew a nap would be in his future regardless. i left the room and heard ian begin project angel-face by asking owen if he wanted him to put on "du-du-du-dora".
"hmm...nice start", i thought.
since then, (and without me asking for any of these things), the following have ensued:
- all kitchen counters sprayed and wiped down
- floors swept (as well as a 7 year old boy can sweep anyway)
- dishes put away
- kitchen trash taken out of trashcan and put in outdoor can
- trash bag REPLACED in kitchen trash.... what?!!
- dirty clothes and toys picked up off the boys' bedroom floor
- beds made
- extreme patience and love beamed all over his cranky 3 year old bro.

and project angel-face continues even as i type.

which leads me to this question: how is it POSSIBLE that a human can HATE taking a little nap THIS MUCH?!!!

and this realization: i have underestimated the power of the NAP-THREAT for far too many years.
 never. again.

(photo of the guys taken the other day with ian's leappad)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

a sunkissed moon

immediately after dinner tonight owen decided to spit out a sip of water so as to get his legs and feet wet so he could say "i need a bath!" (perfectly logical if you're 3). he quickly stripped and ran past ian when ian said,

"OWEN! you STILL have sunshine coming out of your bum?!"

"IAN! " i sort of gasped, fumbling over my words 
about to say 
"where did you even hear that expression?"
but before i could...

a streaker ran past and i saw owen's tiny bum.

complete with the fading lower back tat that daddy thought was hilarious to draw on the other day while owen was wearing his pull-ups.

literally: sunshine coming out of his bum.


 that's how awesome my kids are. sunshine shines from their bums.
literally.

can you say the same?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

hero's work

Dear Memere & Papa,
Thank you SO MUCH for giving the boys stickers at Christmas!
They enjoyed them for an hour or so... until I took them away.
Forever.
Dear Random Stranger From the Internet Whom I Found After Typing In; 
"how to remove stickers from the kitchen floor",
 Thank you for the weird and gross advice.
Sure enough, after about 2 minutes slathered in mayo -
the stickers came right off with a paper towel and minimal fingernail work.
This? This I call, Hero's Work!
(mostly because i do realize if this is really the highlight of my day, I have fallen a long, loooooong way...)

Monday, October 17, 2011

ALL's FAIR...

corn dogs
fries
roasted corn on the cob
 philly cheese steak
candied apples
fried milky way candy bar
cherry snow cones
fresh chips
funnel cakes
***
2011 NC State Fair = CONQUERED
***

Friday, October 7, 2011

art purge

a while ago i started a new blog. a secret blog. a blog (there is just no way to make the word "blog" sound respectable or grownup btw) where i could say things.
deep, thought-provoking, fancy things.

 alright, that's a lie. but someday i will post something thoughtful on it and not my usual gripes and trivial concerns and ramblings. i don't know why i have this need to EXPRESS. to use various art forms to purge my emotions or to help explain what doesn't feel explainable by conversation.
i just do.

i'm not very creative in my pattern of self expression though.

if i'm drawing, andrew knows to tread lightly. i'm in the bad place and needing to numb out.

if i'm playing the piano, i want to be left alone. it generally brings out the quiet,
sometimes somber side of me.

singing = the happy place.

however, singing WHILE playing the piano??... probably feeling reflective and possible a bit blue.
please don't interrupt.
feel free to take a seat and enjoy the show though.

obsessively editing photos? getting stuff DONE.
stay out of my way.

writing often means venting. although sometimes it's from the fun place. you know, a fun-vent.

dance.. yes, i dance! *insert jazz hands. i still do a mean shuffle-kick from ballet class, age 6 thankyouverymuch. and i didn't take "street jazz" for one whole year during puberty just for the heck of it. you can't unlearn sweet moves like those from street jazz.
they just become a part of you.

where was i? oh yes, dance.

dance = some kind of frantic HIGH. and almost always involves ian and owen accompanying me.

theater geeking = i'm in the mood to TALK.  and you will be expected to listen. and learn. and then appreciate all things theater and performance related.

hmm.. not really sure how this all came about or how to end it.

i think i will go do an angry flight of the conchords dance to resolve this random post.

artpurge, done.

and to prove the apple doesn't fall far from the weird, artsy tree; a photo of my youngest - whose older brother had his own purge of artistic self-expression yesterday.

all over his younger brother's face.

Monday, September 26, 2011

"..gone to carolina.."

i knew i missed the east/south - but how MUCH i missed it wasn't clear until we arrived. i love the sound of cicadas at night. i still vividly remember the first time i realized how silent idaho can be at night. i went on a date once to the sand dunes (no napoleon dynamite jokes please...) and we made a fire. something was "off" that made me uncomfortable and i couldn't put my finger on it. finally i realized it was the complete and utter SILENCE.
no bugs.
no critters.
no leaves in the wind.
no traffic.
nothing but the coyotes occasionally yelping in the distance.
(which incidentally abruptly ended the date and sent me speed walking for the car..)
i never got used to that silence. but oh the cicadas! i love their sound. ian was terrified the first time he heard them once we moved back. he's adjusted though.
driving around my home town, i felt like a weight had been lifted. not that i hated the places we lived. in fact there are things i miss from every state we've been in, but it just felt good to explore MY city again.
an AMAZING house fell into our laps here, which put ian in an amazing school~ we have a creek in the back yard and unlike the one in cascade, i don't have to worry about the rushing water carrying the boys away or bears possibly drinking from it. we do have copperheads though...ugh. we live in a cul-de-sac. and not a dirt one either. to the best of my knowledge, we have never had a mountain lion in the yard. or fawn carcass in a tree. or a bear cub by the garage. no large bears have punctured our trashcan. (although flies have invaded it.) i can't say the view is as beautiful here. there are no snow capped mountains surrounding us as we swim in the lake. the lake water isn't clear either. it's tinged with a combination of pollution and red clay. it's hard to find a place where a house isn't blocking your view. but the beach isn't too far. the mountains are within driving distance. there are lush, green trees everywhere. and the state fair is coming soon! fall is my favorite time of year - probably because i grew up here. the leaves are already starting to change.

okay, these are the opposite of the kinds of blogs i like to write. but consider yourself updated.
we are home, baby!

a few random pics

We're Baa-aaaack

BOAT TIMES
Mommy & Ian - the whole Fam - Mommy & Owen

Owen with his cousin Sofie & with his Aunty Donna

FAMILY TIME
Aunt Bebe & Caden - Uncle Andrew & 'Fia
Sofia, Papa, Caden and Memere

Tia Maria with Sofia and Owen - Ian saying "goodbye" to his sweet cuz -
Baby 'Fia in LOVE with her big cousin

This one did NOT end well...

Sick boy wanting to be no other place than his Memere's arms~

the Crazies

SCHOOL DAYS
Ian's first day of 1st Grade - Owen kissing Ms. Jan on his first day of Preschool

NC Thunder Storm
Daddy's Secret Fishing Spot - Shrek in the Mud

 

Owen's 3rd Birthday


"Pony" rides in the back yard

     
Memere's Birthday!


Trying to be like Daddy...


Boys exploring the back yard - My little Poser


Randomness complete.

Another FAV!!

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