My thoughts on the gay marriage “issue.”

10 Feb

I’ve seen two very incredible things on the internet lately that have me thinking a lot about this. Check out this and this.

I remember as a teenager feeling so liberated when I finally realized that I have my own experiences and those experiences shape my thoughts and feelings – that I didn’t have to blindly accept what I had been told. I was raised Catholic, in a very traditional, by-the-Bible family. While my parents weren’t outwardly critical of gay marriage, it definitely wasn’t a secret that it wasn’t something they condoned. Of course, part of my experience was being raised in a church that embraced everything the Bible says about being gay.  And it took me a long time to realize that that feeling I got when confronted with the issue – that kind of yucky feeling, if I’m being honest – was residual of all the prejudice and innuendo I picked up from other people. It wasn’t how I felt, not at all. Just because I had a knee-jerk reaction to something didn’t mean that it was actually how I felt or what I believed. I realized that I didn’t give a rat’s behind who loves who – that as long as people are good to each other and respectful and contributing members of society, then good for them. They’re ahead of a lot of people in this world.

I’ve had to go to battle for my opinion, mostly when people use Bible as a crutch for their prejudice. It infuriates me when people who claim to be “walking with Christ” or “living through him” can be so hateful to a whole sector of our community of human beings – people who are kind, and good, and hardworking and just happen to love a member of the same sex.

With that being said, I do understand it – the Bible is, after all, a holy document, one that I respect and pray about and such and I understand people’s desire to live by the Bible’s word. In most situations, it’s a great guide.  However, it is also an archaic document, passed along for thousands of years, edited by man. It has been changed, manipulated, and shortened, often to fit the needs of a king or some other leader. Not to mention all of the commands in the New Testament that, somewhere along the way, people just stopped observing. Not even your most religious person follows it to a T. So if we pick and choose other things, why are some people so hell bent on sticking it to members of the gay community with Corinthians and Leviticus as their only weapons?

I’m pretty sure God’s message was of love and understanding. That there is a whole lot more information in the Bible about love and acceptance than there is about being gay. The Bible was inspired by God and Jesus’ message, but ultimately was left in the hands of human beings – competent human beings, but human beings who are just as much susceptible to mistakes and misunderstanding as anyone else. If I had to be my life on it, I think God would want us to just love Him and each other. To accept ourselves, to make others happy, and to enjoy the many, many blessings He has given us.

Poverty is an issue. War is an issue. Crime is an issue. Gay marriage is not an issue. It is not an “issue” that we should use to elect our government officials. It is not an “issue” that should spark violence. Unless someone is harming someone else, it is not our “issue” to decide who someone can or cannot love. It is not an issue at all.

**********

Nolan has asked me a lot of hard questions – about death, about life, about the world around us. He hasn’t yet asked me what gay means. He’s certainly heard the word and we’ve watched shows that featured gay men and women, but he hasn’t asked yet. I hope he never does. I hope it is just something that he accepts as part of our world, no different than the fact that some people have two kids and some people have four. Or some of us are blonde and some of us are brunette. Nothing so out of the ordinary that he feels it merits an explanation. But if he does ask, this is how I plan to respond:

“Mommy and daddy are a boy and a girl. We met, fell in love, and decided to spend the rest of our lives together. Sometimes two boys or two girls meet, fall in love, and decide to spend the rest of their lives together.”

That’s all. Short. Simple. Because that is all it is – two people, falling in love, and deciding to spend the rest of their lives together. Period.

Quick Take

7 Feb

The past couple of weeks have been filled with The Great Unbloggable for me – not-so-great things that I’m still trying to work through and figure out. So I’ve found myself unable to say much, as I’m so focused on the other stuff. So in an effort to get me back in the game, I’m stealing this from I shamelessly stole this from K at Two Adults, One Brown Baby. Hopefully (hopefully!!) things will work themselves out soon and I’ll be back to boring you with my drivel :)
A to Z


A. Age: 29 – I am FAR from 30, in spite of what my husband says.

B. Bed size: Queen, but oh how I wish it was a King.

C. Chore that you hate: Laundry. It NEVER ENDS.

D. Dogs: I should start off my saying that I love my dog. I really do. But the smelly breath and the hair and the muddy paws, I could do without.

E. Essential start to your day: Cuddles from my babies and a kiss from my husband. And caffeine, because, duh.

F. Favorite color: Blue

G. Gold or silver: Silver

H. Height: 5’5″ ish. I think.

I. Instruments that you play: None. I have not a musical bone in my body. Unless memorizing song lyrics counts.

J. Job title: Writer/Editor, I suppose.

K. Kids: Rotten. Oh, wait, am I supposed to give their names or something?

L. Live: in the Midwest, outside of St. Louis

M. Mother’s name: Karen

N. Nicknames: The only one I’m comfortable sharing here is Stina.

O. Overnight hospital stays: Just when I had my babies. And I may be the only woman in the world to say this, but I would have stayed in the hospital for weeks with my babies (this obviously coming from someone who had two relatively uneventful pregnancies and births, so I realize I would think differently if it was a situation forced upon me). When else do you literally have nothing to do but cuddle your baby, have people bring you anything you want, and entertain visitors all day who don’t even expect you to shower? PLUS, you can send the baby to the nursery at night so you can sleep. Come to think of it, that is probably exactly rich people with “night nannnies” live. Huh. Jerks.

P. Pet peeves: Bad drivers. Incorrect use of their/there, you’re/your, and the apostrophe.

Q. Quote from a movie: I like to have contests with my husband and my brother which involve quoting Billy Madison back and forth. First one who can’t come up with another quote loses. “It’s R-O-C-K!” Your turn!

R: Right or left handed: Right

S: Siblings: Two younger brothers

T. Travel Favorite: Anywhere with a beach and an all inclusive drinks package.

U. Underwear: Not what it was 10 years ago, I’ll tell you that.

V. Vegetable(s) you hate: Hmmmm … there isn’t one that I really hate. I’m not a big fan of cauliflower and I’m pretty sure I don’t like brussel sprouts.

W. What makes you run late: My children.

X. X-rays you’ve had: My teeth and my ankle because when I was pregnant with Nolan I stepped in a hole in someone’s front yard, heard a crack, and thought for sure I broke my ankle. The very anti-climactic ending to this story is that I didn’t break my ankle. And sadly, I was only like 3 months pregnant, so I couldn’t even blame it on my weight.

Y. Yummy food that you make: Garlic cheese bread, blueberry cheesecake, lots of other very unhealthy but delicious stuff

Z. Zoo animal: Penguins. If they didn’t smell so fishy I would want one to cuddle with.

Falling Apart

27 Jan

As the late afternoon sunlight filters through the kitchen window, it accents the dust floating in the air of this neglected house. She sits at the kitchen breakfast bar with a bottle of pills and a glass of wine. She knows it’s the easy way out, the coward’s way. She will cause those she loves more pain. But she doesn’t have the strength or willpower to pick herself up anymore. She cannot repeat her morning mantra for one more day – I’ll see him again someday. He’s in a better place. Someday, it will hurt less. Everything happens for a reason.

She stares at the makeshift shrine that has sat atop the counter for six months. The stack of prayer cards from his funeral mock her, in their dusty, haphazard stack. Her fists clench as she looks at the ugly angel pictures and sappy poems instructing her not to cry anymore or telling her that her loved one is “safely home.” A small vase holds three roses from his casket bouquet. The roses are dead and crispy, blackening around the edges. There is a stack of sympathy cards smeared with every trite and useless consolation people offer up when someone dies.

She raises her arm and with a scream knocks it all off the counter. She is comforted, for a moment, by the crash and breaking glass. For a moment, she is not the only thing falling apart.

She can’t face one more day of sitting in her empty house, looking at pictures and trying to conjure physical memories of him in a vain effort to preserve them – the tightness of his little fingers gripping hers, his smooth cheeks under her lips, his giggle. But her memories continue to float just out of reach, fading and softening around the edges.

They used to fall asleep together, tucked into a corner of the couch, his weight heavy on her chest. But pain is the only thing pressing against her breastbone now and she can no longer sleep. Her arms are empty, her soul hollowed out by grief like a pumpkin scraped clean of its insides.

She clutches the pill bottle. Shakes it. It’s almost full.

This post was inspired by a prompt from Write on Edge:

This week we challenged you to try a piece using one of the writing tools you’d like to polish a bit. Some examples we talked about in our twitter chat were writing from a different point of view, engaging our characters in conflict, or improving descriptive writing.

There were no subject restrictions, but a photo was provided in case you needed a little push.

This is the first piece I wrote about Grace and I’ve been trying to polish it ever since. Today I tried to work on not using so much “telling” and a little more showing. I owe a big thank you to Angela who reviewed this piece for Write on Edge a few weeks ago.

A Picture Speaks

24 Jan

I was taken with a Nikon camera, at sunrise, against the backdrop of one of nature’s greatest miracles. I was snapped by a young man who had no idea that in six short days, the picture he was taking would be a beacon of hope to a whole family.

I was presented to them in a manila envelope on the worst day of their lives. They have copied me into 8x10s, into 5×7, into wallet-sized pictures to carry around with them all the time. I’ve been given as gifts, ensconsed in frames and hung on walls. I sit over fireplace mantles and in the center of living rooms.

He is their son, their brother, their father, their friend. He is standing in the far left of the frame, with his back to the camera. His figure is all blackness and shadow, so dark that you can’t see the color of his shirt or his hat. But the outline of his ears, the tilt of his head, and the breadth of his shoulders leave no doubt this is Nathan. His silhouette is outlined against the expanse of the Grand Canyon. It lies before him, with all its depth and peaks and valleys highlighted by the rising sun. The sun blazes, a white-hot ball radiating orange and yellow across the sky.

They picture him on that blinding ridge, a place where he can look out over everything and everyone he ever cared for, laying comforting hands on their souls when they need it most. I provide them with a visual, and they can imagine that he looked down from that place and saw that the love and peace and fun that surrounded him in life comforted all of them, even in his death.

They look at me to remind themselves that if such a thing as heaven exists, it looks like that. And he is there.

This post was inspired by a prompt from Write on Edge:

Do objects have a memory? Does a rocking chair hold the essence of the snuggles it has witnessed? Does a pottery mug remember the comforting warmth it offered a struggling soul?

The dictionary defines personification as “the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something nonhuman, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form.”

This week, tell a piece of your story from the point of view of an object who bore witness.

400 words or less.

Tears

20 Jan

“So you’ve noticed some similarities between this pregnancy and your pregnancy with Liam?” Dr. Moore steepled his fingers and looked at Grace.

“No, I haven’t noticed some similarities,” she spat, mentally placing finger quotes around her words. “It’s exactly the same.”

“Grace.” Dr. Moore leaned forward in his seat. “You’ve experienced a terrible loss. You’re likely feeling like this pregnancy is a sort of redemption – a second chance, so to speak – to do it all over again. You’ve been thinking so much about Liam that it’s only natural you’re noticing some similarities between this pregnancy and Liam’s.”

“Dammnit! This isn’t something happening in my mind! I found out I was pregnant on April 20. The first time I heard his heartrate it was 163. The second time, 172. At the next appointment, it will be 170. At his first ultrasound, he was measuring 3 months, 6 days, which was three days ahead of where he should have been measuring, so they pushed my due date up from December 26 to December 23, but he is going to be born on Christmas Eve at 10:48 pm and I know this because it’s EXACTLY HOW IT HAPPENED WITH LIAM!”

Grace was shouting and she didn’t care.  She’d said the words out loud, said more than she ever had, even more than she’d admitted to Rob, who had only laughed off all of these “weird coincidences.”

Now they would probably lock her away. The tears came then, streaming down her face as she stood up. But rather than desperation, she felt – for the first time since she saw those two pink lines – strong. Laying it all out for the doctor had solidified the fact that she couldn’t possibly be fabricating all of this. She let the tears fall, knowing that they were tears of relief – relief that she could trust herself again.

“I am not crazy, Dr. Moore,” she said as she opened the office door and turned to leave. “I don’t know what any of this means, but I am not crazy.”

This post is inspired by a prompt from Write on Edge:

“The cure for anything is salt water….sweat, tears or the sea.”
~ Isak Dinesen, pseudonym of Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke

For your Creative Non-Fiction tell us about the last time that one of these three things “cured” you. If you are going with Fiction, have your character resolve a problem using one of the three (or all three!!!). There are so many ways you can use this prompt so be creative with it, don’t take us where we think you’ll go.

Word Limit is 300.

You can find the rest of Grace’s story here.

Flavor

13 Jan

“You aren’t going to believe that I made this. Seriously. I’ve outdone myself.”

“Oh really?” said Rob, setting down his phone on the counter. “You mean this is better than the burnt mac ‘n cheese and the flat-as-a-pancake chocolate chip cookies?”

“Shush. I know I’m not always a great cook, but sometimes I get it right. Taste this.”

Grace scooped up some sauce from the pot, cupped her hand under the spoon, and lifted it up to Rob’s mouth.

“Careful,” she said, as he took a bite, “it’s hot.”

“Mmmm … Wow. You were right. I’m impressed.”

“Ha! Told you! Chicken enchilada pasta! And wait until you taste the garlic cheese bread that’s in the oven. That is going to knock your socks off.”

“So what’s the special occasion?” Rob asked.

“Can’t I just make a delicious dinner for my husband?” Grace looked over her shoulder and flashed him a smile.

“What’s going on?” Rob asked suspiciously.

“Well. You haven’t even asked me about my ultrasound yet.”

“Oh, I totally forgot! It was just a regular check-up though, right? No big news expected today?”

“Well, it wasn’t expected. I’m a couple of weeks short of when you’re supposed to be able to find out the gender of the baby, but Dr. Martin saw it. I asked her to write it down and put it in an envelope so we could open it together.” Grace held up a plain white envelope with “Baby Dennison” written on the outside.

“You mean we get to find out today what flavor baby we’re getting?”

Grace laughed and kissed him on the cheek. “Our baby isn’t a flavor of ice cream, you know? When do you want to open it?”

Rob wrapped his arm around her waist and said “Let’s open it now!”

Grace took a deep breath and slid her finger under the sealed flap of the envelope. Inside was a folded ultrasound picture. As she unfolded it, Grace was amazed anew that something that just looked like a gray blob could be so beautiful.

She saw the outline of her baby’s feet and the rounded bump of its bottom. And there, above an arrow pointing downward, were the words “It’s a boy!”

Tears sprang to her eyes as she looked up at Rob who kissed her on the nose.

“Hi, Liam.” Grace whispered. “We love you already.”

You can read the rest of Grace’s story, in no particular order, here.

This post was inspired by a prompt from Write on Edge:

Four hundred words or less, fiction or creative non-fiction, linked up on Friday morning’s post, based on one of the following definitions:

flavor |ˈflāvər| ( Brit. flavour)
noun
1 the distinctive quality of a particular food or drink as perceived by the taste buds and the sense of smell : the chips come in pizza and barbecue flavors.
• the general quality of taste in a food : no other cracker adds so much flavor to cheese or peanut butter.
• a substance used to alter or enhance the taste of food or drink; a flavoring : we use vanilla and almond flavors.
• [in sing.] figurative an indefinable distinctive quality of something : this year’s seminars have a European flavor.
• [in sing.] figurative an indication of the essential character of something : the extracts give a flavor of the content and tone of the conversation.

Best Books of 2011

12 Jan

I was lucky enough to read a lot this year. Not only did I read a lot, but I read a lot of really great books. Thank God for Goodreads, or else I would have never remembered all of these. Goodreads is probably my favorite social media tool, mostly because I’m a book dork, but also because I used to walk around with these incredibly long lists of books I wanted to read shoved in my purse and I would lose them and heaven only knows how many great books have been recommended to me that I just forgot to read.

2011 was also, apparently, my year of reading young adult fiction. I never thought I would like YA as much as I do – but I suppose there is a part of me that still thinks I’m 17 so I suppose I identify with those characters. Also, it seems like there is a lot of really good YA out there right now, and I was worried because a lot of it seems to be piggybacking on The Hunger Games, and I thought nothing could come close to THG, but I was totally wrong.

I failed miserably at picking just 10 so it’s a top 15. AND I cheated and sometimes counted multiple books as one.

So here’s a list of the best books I read this year, in no particular order.

11/22/63 by Stephen King: I’m a King fan anyway, but this was him at his best – great characters, a little bit of magic and craziness, time travel, and an incredibly strong storyline. Also typical of King, it’s incredibly long, but totally worth it.

If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman: These books get strong reviews, but I had a particularly strong reaction to them. I think it’s because they center around family, a fatal car accident, and the age-old question of life after death – subjects that hit incredibly close to home for me. I am totally and completely in love with these characters and I will likely re-read these books many times.

Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan: Yes. Just, yes. This book was funny and tender and touching and just all around wonderful. I love these characters, too and still think about them. That sounds weird, right?

The Magicians by Lev Grossman: This was like Harry Potter, but Harry Potter if Harry had got caught up with the wrong crowd and started smoking crack. Edgier than HP, but just as gripping and fantastical. Love.

Graceling and Fire by Kristen Cashore: These were just strong, page-turning stories with compelling characters. The world Cashore has built is fascinating and I devoured these books.

Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (and the rest of the Chaos Walking series, which I read this year too): The concept of this book (a world where there are no women and all the men can hear each others’ thoughts) fascinated me. Can you imagine living in a world where everyone can hear your every thought? The last book in the series was alien-heavy, which I don’t usually like, but it was a gradual build up in the first two books, so it worked in the end. Another page-turner.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand: There aren’t words to describe how absolutely enraptured I was by this book. If I had to pick the best of this year, this would probably be it. This is a story of a POW’s survival in WWII and the fact that this man defied death so many times in the name of serving our country brought me to tears many times as I read. Plus, the writing is fantastic and it’s the kind of book where you learn a whole lot, but don’t realize you’re learning it. Highly, highly recommend.

On Writing by Stephen King: For a wannabe writer like me, this book was compelling, encouraging, fascinating, and life-altering (in a very non-dramatic way). If you like to write, or even if you just like King, it’s a great read.

Bossypants by Tina Fey: I don’t read hardly any celebrity memoirs, because I’m always afraid they will be annoying. This was not at all. There was the perfect amount of name-dropping, insight to the celebrity world, and hilarity. Great read.

Divergent by Veronica Roth: Perfect YA. Characters I fell in love with, a fascinating storyline, dystopian world. Love it.

The Passage by Justin Cronin: So long, and a little boring in the middle, but SO good. Vampire story, but the opposite of Twilight vampires. Can’t wait for the sequel.

The Book Thief byMarkus Zusak: It took me a long time to get into this one, but once I did it was so worth it.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness: Twilight, but for adults. Witches, other supernatural beings, a great love story, it’s got everything. Another sequel I’m anxiously awaiting.

Bag of Bones by Stephen King: Another example of King at his very best. It still has an element of the supernatural, as all King does, but it’s not over the top. Just very creepy, but almost believable. Really loveable characters and a story that will stay with you for a long time after you’re done.

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley: Probably not the best writing, but a totally gripping story. And historical fiction, which is my fav.

Honorable Mentions (I told you I read a lot of good books this year!)

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Duma Key by Stephen King (this was almost on the list)

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff

The Stand by Stephen King (this was also, apparently the year of Stephen King)

I could go on, but I’ll stop now! What were the best books you read? Are you on Goodreads?? If so, let me know!

Easy Side Dishes

11 Jan

Since I’ve been working part-time and working from home, I’ve had more time to cook and it’s been great. I never realized how stressful it had become for me working full-time and trying to get a decent dinner on the table before 7 pm. It often resulted in not only a lot of eating out, but also many out-of-the-box and make-it-as-quick-as-I-can dinners. I became the queen of quick side dishes. Now that I have more time, I’ve experimented with other side dishes, but always find myself coming back to the easy ones. Following are some of my favorite and easy side dishes. Not all of them are super healthy, and aren’t all quick, but they’re all delish!

Easy Green Beans

 

One can green beans
One beef buillion cube

Place the buillion cube in a sauce pan and put water in pan until the cube is covered. Dump in green beans. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes.

I’m not sure what it is about this – it just adds a little something extra to the flavor of the beans without using creamed soup or butter.

 

The Best Garlic Cheese Bread Ever

One loaf of french baquette
Garlic butter spread (I buy the kind made by the grocery store’s deli)
Provel cheese

Cut the loaf of bread length-wise and place it on a cookie sheet. Spread garlic butter on each side of bread and top with provel cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until cheese is slightly browned.

My mother in law used to make this all the time when Hubs was growing up. But she used regular french bread. The first time I tried to make this for Hubs, I accidentally bought the baquette. Hubs claims it’s better that way, so this is how I make it all the time.

 

Broccoli That Even My Kids Eat

Two heads fresh broccoli
1/4 cp. Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper
Parmesan cheese

Break apart broccoli into florets. Toss broccoli with oil, salt, and pepper. Place broccoli on foil-lined pan and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 425 until slightly crispy (usual about 12 minutes in my oven). Then be amazed that your kids chow them down!

 

Onion Potatoes

5-6 potatoes, sliced
1/4 cp olive oil
One package dry onion soup mix

Mix olive oil and soup mix. Toss potatoes with soup and oil mixture. Spray a pan with cooking spray and place potatoes in a single layer. Bake at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes. Flip potatoes and bake for another 15 minutes or until crispy.

 

Yummy Squash and Zucchini

Two small yellow squash
One zucchini
Balsalmic vinaigrette dressing

Slice squash and zucchini into strips (or cubes, but I like strips) and put in ziploc bag with dressing. Allow to marinate overnight. I put this in one of those pans that are made to go on the grill. Place the pan on the grill and cook until soft. But if you’re not grilling, you can simply dump the veggies in a frying pan on the stove and cook until soft. The grill is better, but the other way is still yummy.

 

Who I Want to Be

9 Jan

My parents are very easy-going people. They are content with what they have in life and they count their blessings. These are great traits to have. But on the flip side, this contentedness, I think, sometimes bred a little apathy. While my brothers and I were always encouraged to try new things and they supported us (and still do) in all our endeavors, we were never encouraged to take risks or push the envelope. If we tried our best, gave it our all, and still didn’t like it or didn’t succeed, well, it was okay to just give it up.

So what my parents  inadvertently taught me, by simply being the people they are, is that things will happen as they will – you can’t do much about it, so just appreciate what you have been given. And that is true for many things in my life.

I’m not trying to say that is a bad thing – I don’t think it is. Many people are simply happy with their life – and that is great for them. They are thankful when good things happen unexpectedly, but they are simply content overall.  But what my risk-taking, always-striving husband has taught me is that sometimes, if you’re not happy, you have to just do something.

I’ve written about this before – and some of you are likely thinking I’ve written about this ad naseum,  but for me it is an ongoing lesson.

I found out last week that a friend of ours, who is a year younger than I am with two kids who are the same age as mine, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. The prognosis is good, but my God. She isn’t even thirty. Life is so short. And so fragile.

There are things I want for my life that aren’t simply going to happen by wishing or waiting. I want more. Not in a selfish or greedy way, but when I heard about my friend, it was possibly the biggest wake up call I’ve ever had, at least in terms of appreciating that we are given one life here on Earth. And regardless of what awaits us after death – whether that is something better or nothing at all – we only get this one chance.

I want to be the person I want to be – the person I imagine but always think You’re not that person and you’re not even close. I don’t want to look back on my life in forty years and think I wish I had …

It’s time for me to get real with myself. No one is going to do it for me. I have to do it. And when I do it, and I can look back with pride at the changes I’ve made, it will be worth the journey.

*****

I want to make decent money. Since I’ve been out of college, I’ve never made good money and at almost eight years out of school, I’m not okay with that. I’m educated and experienced and I want to feel worthwhile. I want to do this through writing and editing and I want to do it in a way that allows me flexibility for my family.

But no one is going to market me. No one is going to hire me just because I’m nice. I have to market myself and convince them they need me.

I want to be the type of mom who doesn’t lose her cool. The mom who plays with her kids and doesn’t look longingly at her bed, or her book, or back at the days when she wasn’t so weighted with all this responsibility.

But no one is going to make me do this. I have to get down on the floor and play dirtbikes and castle and picnic. I have to remind myself that these days when  my babies are little are fleeting and when I do have time to do what I want, when I want to do it, I will wish to travel back in time. To right now.

I want to be the kind of wife who really talks to her husband – who doesn’t let the stress of everyday life get in the way of really seeing him, or sharing with him, or just loving him. I want to be the wife who doesn’t let us get lost.

But no one is going to make me put down my phone or my book or turn off the TV to just talk to him. No one is going to convince me I’m not too tired or too sick of people touching me all the time. I have to appreciate, every second of every day that a marriage is work and it is one job that I cannot slack off on. He is my future and my partner and we deserve to be as happy as we can be.

I want to lose twenty-five pounds this year. I want to feel comfortable and sexy and healthy. I want to know that I’m taking care of this one body I have.

But no one is going to exercise for me or yank the chips out of my hand. No one is going to cook me healthy food or push me down to the basement to exercise. I’m not going to wake up one day and look the way I want.

I can be judgmental of others and a little harsh. I hate that about myself. Other people’s choices are none of my business.

But no one is going to stop me from gossiping or thinking unkind thoughts. No one is going to make me choose to think something positive rather than something negative. I have to make a conscious effort, every second of the day, to change my thinking.

I want to have a better relationship with God. It’s pretty nonexistent right now and that is all my fault.I know that I need God in my life, but since my brother died, it’s been difficult for me to take that leap of faith.

But no one is going to pray for me or make me go to church. This is the most important one of all and one that I can’t wait any longer on.

I am an incredibly blessed person. There is so much in my life to be thankful for. But I’m not particularly proud of myself.  So it’s not easy to think about, let alone write about, all of this – these are big changes. Way beyond what I said my “goals” were in my last post. I have no fantasies of accomplishing all this in the next year.  I just want to know, in the end, whenever that may be, that I’ve done everything I can to be the person I wish I was right now. And I don’t have forever – I need to get to work. It’s all up to me.

2012

5 Jan

Man, I was so proud of myself for seeing NaBloPoMo through. My stats were up! People were commenting! I was loving it! And then … BAM. I started working from home and oddly, spend less time blogging, annoying my dear Internet friends, and losing hours of my life to Twitter and Pinterest. And then the holidays came. Also my kids are home with me from 11:00 on and they are heathens. Heathens, I tell you.

Anyway! I started to do the obligatory year-end post but found that all of my answers started with “I quit my job!” or “I’m working from home!” or “I’m constantly worried about finding work (of which I’ve found NONE – YAY!) and money!” so I didn’t think that would be all that interesting to read. In fact, I know it wouldn’t be all that interesting to read, so I’ve spared you a lot of pain and heartache, Internet.

I’m trying to not make any solid resolutions this year, as I pretty much suck at follow-through. But my main goal in 2011 was to start working at home for myself, and I met that goal. So maybe I can follow-through with one thing for 2012. I suppose I’ll just call them goals and hope that I can pull one of them off.

1) Lose 25 pounds.

2) Build my clientele so I don’t have to constantly worry about money or feel guilty that I’m not working enough.

3) Read 50 books.

4) Write here. Get published somewhere for something.

And that’s it. Sounds manageable. I hope.

Anyway, I’ve found myself fervently hoping that the beginning of a year is not an indication of how the rest of the year is going to go.

Because sometimes your husband will get sick the day before Christmas Eve and will spend the rest of December and first week of January fighting it off.

Because sometimes your son will start puking the night before New Year’s Eve, when you’re supposed to get a massage with your husband and have a night out with friends.

Because sometimes your daughter will start puking two days later and there is just no easy way to handle a puking one year old who cannot yet aim for the bucket.

Because sometimes you your dog escapes when it’s 20 degrees outside and you spend an hour and a half driving around and then have to go to sleep because it’s midnight and you can’t find him. Then you have to wake up at 6:00 the next (after not sleeping much, anyway) to look again and call animal control and still not find him.

But your husband pulls it together enough so that we can pull this off and give our kids an amazing Christmas:

(And this doesn’t include the two bikes that were hiding on the back porch!)

And your awesome parents still agree to watch the kids in spite of the puking so that you can get your massage and go out with your friends and eat way too much sushi and drink way too much wine.

And your daughter, who is sick and miserable, looks up at you and says “I o-tay Mama,” and gives you a hug.

And as you’re driving through your neighborhood for the bazillionth time, looking for the dog, and you’re simulatneously on the phone with animal control, you see a cute little boy in his front yard with your dog on a leash and because they are kind, good people, your dog has been in their house all night, not freezing to death outside.

So I guess it wouldn’t be the worst thing if the rest of 2012 shaped up like this first week.

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