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Days 8 – 15

15 Mar

Day 8 – Window

This is my front porch and the huge window in our living room.

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Day 9 – Red

These are my favorite pillows. I don’t really know why I love them so much, but I do.

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Day 10 – Loud

This is my daughter, wearing nothing but boots and a diaper, wrestling with my husband and my son. It’s a zoo around here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 11 – Someone you talked to today.

My beautiful boy. Who talks. A lot.

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Day 12 – Fork

Edamame. Yum!

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Day 13 -A sign.

This may just look like a teeny ice skate to you. But to me, it’s a sign that not only does my daughter want to be exactly like my son, but that I need a second job to start saving for all the ice fees.

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Day 14 – Clouds

It had just started raining big, fat raindrops.

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Day 15 – Car

Hubs and I have started researching cars, as mine is almost 8 years old and we need more room. This is the one I want.

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Fruit

2 Mar

Day 2 – Fruit

Appropriate, since I’ve recently started focusing on losing weight.

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Four

16 Nov

When you’re pregnant, people warn you about how hard it is with a newborn – how you’ll get no sleep, be exhausted all the time, etc. Then you’re warned about when they start walking and how they’re into everything. Then people tell you to “just wait” for the terrible twos. Then some people will swear that three is much worse than two.

But to the best of my recollection, no one ever warned me about four. Four has been mostly wonderful. Nolan is a fantastic kid. He is sweet, thoughtful, smart, and inquisitive. He loves his little sister to pieces and dotes on her.  His parent-teacher conference went well – he is right on track and learning a lot. The only “negative” was that he has trouble sitting still during circle time. His teacher said she doesn’t think it’s an ADD issue or anything, he is just the kind of child who likes to move. Oh, and that he doesn’t like to pick up toys. I was less than surprised by that statement, given the state of our playroom. He excels at every sport he has tried, which in his four short years is quite a lot – hockey, soccer, t-ball, and swimming. I am so very proud of him.

But … oh, my. The last month or so has been very rough. He wants to argue about everything, even something that he already knows the answer to. He tries to bargain and talk his way out of everything, even that which he knows are steadfast, unbreakable rules in our house. I have caught him lying. He has done things that intentionally upset his sister. He whines like the biggest whine whiney McWhinerson WHO EVER EXISTED.

It has been … difficult. I feel like to get him to do anything I have to ask nicely three times and then, when I finally lose my patience, I have to yell at him. He cries, but then he does what I asked. It’s frustrating for both of us and it makes me feel like a terrible mom. I’ve tried to talk to him about this rationally – about how I understand it’s frustrating that he is always expected to do what we ask, even when he doesn’t like it. I’ve tried to tell him that I understand that not everything we ask him to do is fun, but that we ask him those things because we know what’s best for him and what will keep him safe.

The worrier and catastrophist in me is imagining that there is something wrong – that he’s upset about something, or it’s a behavioral issue that needs to be worked out. But the logic in me tells me that he’s simply pushing boundaries – he’s figured out that if he whines and carries on enough, sometimes I’m so tired that I just give in. I think he wants to find out what he can control and what he can manipulate.

But even though I understand the why, it doesn’t make it any easier. It still sucks that I’ve been dreading picking him up from school because thinking about fighting with him all evening exhausts me. I want to help him – but I mostly, selfishly, want it to stop.

Has anyone else experienced “Fierce Fours”?

Phoning it In

12 Nov

I’m not going to lie – I’m pretty proud of myself for this whole NaBloPoMO thing. I think I’ve only missed one day. So I’m going to give myself a break here and re-do a meme-thingie that I original did on January 25, 2011, that I shamelessly stole from the wonderful K at  Two Adults, One Brown Baby.

Reading: Graceling by Kristin Cashore. Just started, so I don’t really have any comments about it.

Looking forward to: Hanging out with two different friends today!

Stressing about: Money. Like always. Unnecessarily. Like always. <—– I’m not even changing my answer on this one, because it’s STILL the same.

Craving: More freelance work.

Wanting: A vacation. <—– Again, not changing my answer here.

Proud of myself for: Getting this freelance thing going, as slow as it may be going.

Wearing: A fabulous pair of yoga pants I got at Kohl’s, which I’m too lazy to link to, but trust me, they’re awesome.

Avoiding: Some people on Facebook. For my own mental well-being.

Sick of: Lots of things, nothing that I can really say here, but I’ll just leave it at this – some people never change.

Learning: That I do have the strength to take a risk and I might even make it work.

Suffering from: My own tendency to question myself and not give myself credit where it’s due.

Struggling with: See above.

Overcoming: Again, see above. Lord, these are the words meme answers ever.

Hoping to: Quit my part-time job by the end of this year.

Excited for: Things finally getting underway at the duplex.

Relieved by: The fact that I’m getting some mental things under control. I’m back on my regimen of therapy and meds and I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that it’s just something I need to do right now – hopefully it’s not forever, but for now I need to do it.

Splurging on: Nothing! We’re trying to save money, but I suppose Christmas is going to be a bit of a splurge.

Do you want to join a writing group?

2 Sep
Last year, Mrs. D  over at Life of a Doctor’s Wife and I were a part of Mighty Maggie’s incredibly awesome writing group. We both loved it and I, for one, definitely benefited from getting feedback from other writers. We all had aspirations of writing something bigger, of improving on something we were already working on, or just writing for the fun of it.
The group kind of tapered off, as our lives got busy with work and husbands and kids, and it eventually came to an end. A couple weeks ago Mrs. D and I were talking and agreed that we really missed it. It was so nice to get suggestions and encouragement from intelligent and insightful writers. I don’t think there is anything more rewarding as a writer than having someone (especially someone like Mrs. D, who, as you all know, is an incredibly talented writer) tell you that they like your writing.
So! Mrs. D and I are asking our readers if anyone would be interested in being involved in an online writing group? We would use some kind of yet-to-be-determined online file-sharing system with which we could read and edit each other’s work. It could be anything – a novel, a memoir, whatever you’re working on.
If you’re interested, let me know in the comments and we’ll send out an email in a few days. And if anyone has any suggestions for an online file-sharing system, that would be great!

I really don’t know why this has me so riled up…

7 Jul

*I am not an expert on this case, nor am I a lawyer. Feel free to correct me on anything I have wrong*

On Tuesday the jury in the Casey Anthony trial came back with a not guilty verdict. Twitter and Facebook EXPLODED with people who were outraged and crying and pissed off and calling the jurors stupid. My Facebook feed was filled with gems such as a Dexter poster basically saying he was going to kill Casey Anthony (isn’t his character some kind of vigilante serial killer or something??), those stupid posts comprised totally of characters that formed hearts and banners saying “Justice for Caylee”, photo-shopped pictures of Casey Anthony and OJ Simpson with their arms around each other and (this one really pissed me off) a paragraph-long diatribe about the horribly violent way that sweet little girl died that culminated with this- “Symbolically, the American flag has been stomped upon and the Constitution burned.”

I’m sorry – WHA WHAAAAAAT??

Before I really get into this, let me start by saying obviously, the most important thing here is that a darling, innocent girl died a horrible, horrible death. It makes me sad to my bones. No one deserves to die like that, especially not a child. It makes me sick and furious.

Let me also say that yes, Casey Anthony appears VERY guilty. And no doubt did she act, at the very least, oddly, in the weeks her daughter was missing. I think her parents also aren’t being completely truthful and probably know more about what happened than what they’ve offered to the investigation. People will wonder why anyone should give a flip about what happens to someone who is so “obviously” guilty. There are those that will argue that the murdered didn’t care about sweet Caylee’s life when they took it, why should we care about Casey Anthony’s. And I get that. I do.

Let me also (also) say that I am typically a very naive person and a person who is easily convinced. I will think I know where I stand on an issue and one good argument to the contrary later and I’m singing  a different tune. I’ve been known to have knee-jerk reactions to things, especially emotional things. I understand that when things like the Casey Anthony trial take such an unexpected turn, people are going to have an immediate, emotional response. I get that. I do.

BUT. For the love of all things holy people, please stop making such blanket, uneducated and visceral comments about SOMEONE’S LIFE. Yes, justice needs to be done. Someone needs to pay for what happened to Caylee. But here’s the thing- like it or not – justice was done. Maybe not justice in the vigilante or emotional sense of the word, but according to the laws of this nation, justice was done. The State of Florida felt like they found Caylee’s murderer. They completed their investigation, drug it through court, put it on trial and they lost. The burden of proof is on the state. Any not guilty verdict is the State’s failure (not to say the state didn’t try or really FAILED, just that it wasn’t quite enough for whatever reason), not the jury’s. It is, for better or worse, how things work in our country. 

Is it really this simple? Of course not. Police investigators and prosecutors can never be 100% sure they’ve found the right person and juries are (obviously) composed of human beings who are sometimes irrational and emotional. But, in my opinion, there is no system more just than being tried by a jury of your peers. Casey Anthony is, in spite of what’s been said about her, a human being, living in America, entitled to the same rights as the rest of us. She, and the state of Florida, were given their time in court. Casey Anthony won ( I don’t like that word. No one has “won”.)

None of us were there. Maybe we watched on TV, but we weren’t there. We didn’t see the evidence up close. We didn’t hear the jury instructions. We didn’t sit through every single second of that trial, especially that which wasn’t televised. We were not there. And, I think most importantly, the average American person does not truly understand reasonable doubt.

Reasonable doubt, while not technically defined by the law (which is frustrating and stupid) plays a MAJOR role in most criminal defense cases in our country. Reasonable doubt (and I’m no lawyer here, so don’t quote me, but I did work in the legal field for over four years, so I know a little bit) is the doubt cast upon a person’s guilt that a reasonable person would have after being presented with the facts of the case (that is the most awkward sentence in the world but I’m too lazy to change it). It does not mean that the defense has to prove that the defendant unequivocally didn’t do it, or that someone else did. The defense has to cast a doubt on the defendant’s guilt. A reasonable doubt. And juries are instructed that if they have a reasonable doubt, they cannot convict the defendant. In this case, the defense did their job. Whether you think it’s fair or not, or shady, or deceitful, or whatever, in America everyone is entitled to a defense. Casey Anthony had a successful one.

Now, a reasonable person could assume, based on what we’ve heard, that Casey Anthony is guilty. I did. I do. But let’s consider the source. Yes, the trial was televised and there’s been press conferences from the police throughout the course of their investigation, but most of the information we get comes from the media. Has our nation reached such a state that we all assume we’re experts on something because we’ve seen it on TV?? I love Deadliest Catch but you’re not going to find my ass on a boat in the middle of the Bering Sea trying to catch king crab.

We don’t know what happened in that jury deliberation room. But doesn’t it stand to reason, given the fact that 99% of America felt that Casey Anthony was guilty, that those jurors walked into that courtroom assuming her guilt? So it only makes sense that there must have been some compelling evidence on the part of the defense, or a lack thereof from the State, to get a not guilty verdict. SOMETHING changed those jurors’ minds.

I served on a jury in federal court for two weeks in 2009. It was horrible. It was interesting, but horrible. The defendant in the case was obviously guilty and the defense was unable to cast a doubt on the government’s case. The defendant was facing life in prison. We convicted him. On all counts but one. And guess what? He was guilty of the count we didn’t convict him on. But we couldn’t convict because the wording of the charge was not what they proved in court. Sorry if this is confusing, but I’m trying to avoid having to explain the whole thing. Suffice it to say- he was guilty of it. And didn’t get convicted. Now, he is still going to spend the majority of his life in prison based on the other charges. But my point is this- sometimes it all comes down to a technicality. A facet of the law that forces a juries’ hand. Like reasonable doubt.

My plea is this- don’t assume you know. Don’t call the jurors names. Having someone else’s life in your hands (quite literally in a capital murder case) sucks. I know– I still think about that man I sent to jail for the rest of his life. And feel guilty. Even though he was guilty. I find it impossible to believe that those jurors took their duty lightly. They did the best they could with the facts that were presented to them. So I wish people would have some respect for those jurors and what they had to face. I’m sure they will explain themselves. We may or may not agree with their reasons. But there’s no need for the vitriol.

This is America. We are innocent until proven guilty. Casey Anthony was “proven” guilty a long time ago. It’s not fair to the State of Florida, or to her, that there was not a single unbiased person on that jury.  If I was forced to guess, I would say she’s guilty. And if so, it’s horrific that she will walk free. It makes me sick. But, I think we can all assume she will never have a normal life. The verdict did not necessarily convince anyone of her innocence. She is going to have a hard road. So take a stand if you must- refuse to buy her book when it inevitably comes out. Don’t watch her reality show. But I find it abhorrent that people seem to be forgetting about a little girl’s death and creating silly pictures and saying horrific, hateful things about ANY of it. It’s not ours to judge. It was the judicial system’s job to do that, and it’s been done. And eventually it will be God’s turn.

And what if she’s innocent?

That time I was in a sorority, Part 2

26 Apr

You can read Part 1 of this story here. Also, I’ve decided I’m not going to name the sorority I joined. I would like to, but I’m not going to. One chapter of a sorority isn’t indicative of the whole organization and it wouldn’t be fair. Also also, the more I remember and reflect on this story, I’m thinking it might be a 4-part deal. There’s a lot more to say about this than I realized when I first started writing it down.

 So there I was, miserable, lonely and homesick, wanting nothing more than to go home. Instead, I found myself spending hours trying to decide what to wear, dressing up in I don’t even remember what, and heading off to the student center for the first night of rush. I realized then that putting myself in a situation in which I had to make small talk with a ton of bubbly and talkative girls for four nights might be torturous for me. I’m not so good at small talk and I’m especially not good at small talk with strangers. My roommate, who by nature is a very likeable, bubbly, and talkative person, was much more well-equipped for this sort of thing. I might be likeable (which is debatable), but not so much bubbly and talkative.

 That should have been my first clue that I was probably getting ready to do something that just wasn’t for me.

 Rush was four nights (I think. To be honest, not a lot of my memories of rush are clear, so I’ll do my best to get it right. H, feel free to correct me!). Each sorority was housed in a different room, decorated with their various Greek letters, banners, T-shirts and teeming with lots and lots of girls. As you walked into a room they often stood in a kind of NFL cheerleader, two-sided receiving line, clapping and singing songs as you walked through the door. It was a little…overwhelming to say the least. Weird, if I’m being honest.

 You spent a certain amount of time in each room, talking with a couple of different girls.  They told you about the sorority’s activities, the intramurals, the opportunities to serve in various positions within the chapter and in the university’s Greek council, and basically how wonderful Greek life was.

 It was, sadly, super easy to label each of the sororities. It was like high school on steroids. There was the pretty/snobby girl sorority. The smart girl sorority. The smart and pretty and overall nice girl sorority. There was the sporty, down to earth sorority. There was the (I can’t think of a way to say this nicely, so I’m not going to label the last one. They were a very nice group of girls) sorority. (Extra points to you, H, if you can figure out which ones I’m talking about J )

 For someone like me, who didn’t play sports, or cheer, or belong to band or choir or chess club in high school, who didn’t easily fall into or identify with one of those stereotypical roles, it was hard to figure out where I fit in. I didn’t walk into one of those rooms and immediately think, Ok, this is where I belong. It’s also hard to get an accurate picture of a group as a whole when you’re only talking to two or three representatives of that group, who are, essentially, selling themselves to you.

 The first night of rush you met with each sorority for a short time. After the first night, all of the rushes filled out a piece of paper, ranking each sorority. Then, each sorority would rank the rushes.  Those rankings would determine who you would get to talk to the next night. On night two you would talk to four sororities instead of all five (or something like that). Simply put, if you both liked each other, you would meet again.

 On the second night the sororities really upped their game. There were songs! And skits! Skits replete with costumes and choreographed dance routines!

 And no, I’m not kidding.

 By this point, I had met some nice girls and was getting a feeling about which sororities I might like to join, so even though part of me was saying WTF are these girls doing dancing around to a modified version of Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean, this is silly! I had made a decision to see this through and I wanted to give it a shot. Plus, I thought, I can always just back out if I really decide it’s not for me, or not worth the time and money.

 Ha. Ha. Foreshadowing, ahoy!

 So after skit and dance night, we again narrowed our choices. We met with three sororities on night three. To be honest, I don’t remember what happened on night three. I think that we probably talked about the activities and philanthropy specific to that sorority. Maybe night three was song and dance night. Who knows?

 By that point, I had decided that I was most comfortable with the sporty, down to earth sorority, although my roommate and friends from my floor were leaning towards the smart and pretty and overall nice girl sorority. I think, looking back now, that if I had stuck with them I would have been much, MUCH happier and things wouldn’t have ended so poorly.

 Oh hindsight, you are always too late.

 Night four was formal night. Again, my memories are shaky here, but we all dressed up and spent a significant amount of time with two sororities. Night four was a much more intimate and ceremonial. There were candles and lots of very heart-felt, tear-filled speeches about why we should pick their sorority and how amazing the experience would be. Greek life had changed the lives of all these girls and they couldn’t wait to welcome us into their sorority as “sisters”.

 After night four was over, we ranked each other again and waited for bid day.

 I was nervous, but still knew in the back of my mind that it wasn’t that big of a deal to me if I didn’t get a bid to the sorority I wanted. I would be okay. I wouldn’t be accepting a bid to a different sorority. I would move on, find other activities. There was still enough of my mind saying WTF are you doing? This is not for you, that I would not be heartbroken if it didn’t work out.

 Bid day came and they herded all the rushes into an auditorium where we were called down to the front of the room and handed an envelope. We then returned to our seat, where we were to wait until everyone had received their envelope and we would all open them at the same time.

 When it was time to rip into the envelopes, there was squealing and yelling and crying (most happy, some heartbroken) and all around giddiness. I had matched with my chosen sorority, the sporty, down to earth sorority.

 I was relieved and … something else. If I’m being totally honest, I was a little disappointed. I was still subconsciously hoping that I wouldn’t match to my choice and that I would have an easy way out.

 I’m sure a lot of you are thinking well why the hell didn’t you just walk away? If you had so many doubts and your heart wasn’t really in it, why did you accept the bid?

 Here’s the honest answer:

 At this point I had been away from home for about a week. I knew my roommate, obviously, and had met some other girls from my floor I liked, but they were also going through rush. Never one to branch out on my own willingly, I felt like I had to stick it out or else everyone I had formed these new, tentative friendships with would be off doing sorority things and I would be alone. I honestly felt that if that happened, I would be packing up my stuff and heading home in no time. I felt like I owed it to myself to at least try and make the best of it. I was out of my comfort zone and felt as though it was important for me to push myself for once and try something new. After all, I thought, what if all these girls are right and this experience is going to change my life?

 So I found myself running (yes, running, like the freaking Running of the Bulls inPamplona) to the sorority house to meet my new “sisters”. There, I was met with more squealing, a T-shirt, and lots of picture-taking with three huge Greek letters. I felt dazed, out of place, shy and overwhelmed. There wasn’t much about this whole experience that didn’t make me feel….not me.*

 But alas, there I was. I was Greek. I was a pledge. 

*I think it’s important to note here, that I don’t mean any of this to be a criticism of Greek life, or anyone’s choice to join a sorority or a fraternity. I’m just not the kind of person that does well in these situations and it was awkward for me. And I really, really wanted this to work out for me. I wanted to make friendships that would last forever. I wanted to find my place, to hold an office in my chapter, to take part in all the activities. I believed in it. For a while.

I am….

25 Jan

Shamelessly stolen from Two Adults, One Brown Baby.

Reading: Half-Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls. LOVE.

Looking forward to: The day that this vicious cold FINALLY exits our house. I am done with snot.

Stressing about: Money. Like always. Unnecessarily. Like always.

Craving: Blueberry cheesecake, even though I just ate like half of a pan of it. (If you’re interested in the recipe, let me know, it’s SUPER easy and tastes like it was sent straight from the heavens.)

Wanting: A vacation.

Proud of myself for: Finally starting to seriously look for a new job. Wish me luck.

Wearing: My fat clothes. I’ve put a couple pounds back on and I’m not happy about it!

Avoiding: Soda. It’s not going so well.

Sick of: Snot. See above.

Learning: How to balance home and work and not feeling guilty about being a working mom.

Suffering from: Snot. I’m not kidding guys, it’s everywhere.

Struggling with: My son’s attitude that seems to be out of control these days.

Overcoming: The desire to lose my temper with Nolan. He never had terrible twos or terrifying threes, so I guess this is our payback.

Hoping to: Succeed at P90X. Hubs and I are starting in a few days. I’m terrified and excited. Hold me.

Excited for: My baby’s fourth birthday today. I cannot believe he is four. I mean seriously, FOUR.  

Relieved by: The fact that Hubs and I are in a really good place. We are an awesome team and we’re both working really hard to make this marriage the best it can be.

Splurging on: P90X. $120.00 is hopefully enough motivation for me to see it through!

2010

1 Jan

I have so terribly neglected this blog, but it was Christmas and I was busy and yada yada yada. I had such good intentions when I started this space and of course, kids and work and my house and everything else keeps me from devoting as much time to it as I would like to. But there are things going on my life and in my head that I want to document and remember and I want to do that here.

Also, I need to hold myself accountable for some things that I want to change. I talk a lot about the things in my life that are less than ideal, but I rarely take any significant steps to change those things. I don’t know why- fear or laziness or whatever it is, I just seem to always be waiting for something to come my way, something to happen to me.  I’ve never been good at making changes and sticking to them. But I admire those qualities in other people- I really respect people that have willpower of steel and can make a decision to change something and then stick to it. It’s important to me that I teach my kids how to be strong and live out their dreams. So if I want to set a good example for my kids, I have to get some willpower and make my life what I want it to be. I want to teach my children what it means to persevere and be the best person you can be. I can’t do that if I never stick to anything, if I never work hard at making positive changes in my life.

SO even though I have NEVER made New Year’s resolution’s before, this year I’m going to do it. I’ve been inspired by Jennie’s list and I think that if I hold myself accountable here, it may help me stick to my new plan. I want to make some big changes and it’s going to take a lot of work.  But I think I can do it. I’ve done a lot of hard work in 201o. I’ve stuck with therapy, I made the decision to get medical help for my depression, and I think I’m much, much better for it. So now that I’m feeling so much better emotionally and I’ve been able to get some of my focus back, I think it’s time to take care of myself and some things I’ve neglected the past few years.

I’m going to make 2011 my bitch. Here’s my list. I’m going to put it up in a separate page and keep track of how I’m doing. I’m going to be accountable! So don’t laugh and link up your New Year’s resolutions!

1) Get a new job. By far the most important thing for me to accomplish this year. I need a job that fulfills me and makes me happy. Spending 45 hours a week doing something that I don’t love and that puts me under so much pressure isn’t working for me or my family anymore.

2) Get down to my goal weight–125. ACK! I was on such a good roll before the holidays and had lost like 15 pounds. I’ve gained about 3 back, which I guess isn’t too bad for making it through the holidays, but I have a long, long way to go. 

3) Work out for at least 30 minutes at least 3 days a week.

4) Stop eating like crap and stop drinking soda. That is all I’m going to say about that because the thought of giving up my caffeine and carbonated yumminess makes me want to cry.

5) Sit down and actually play with my kids more without being distracted by dishes or laundry or the internet.

6) Go on six dates with my husband. (It seems sad that in a whole 365 days I think I can only carve out six for a date with my husband. Oh well. Hopefully we’ll do better than six!)

7) Finish the kids’ baby books.

8 ) Read at least 2 books a month.

9) Write here at least once a week.

10) Eat out only twice a week (one lunch, one dinner with Hubs and the kids). And yes, I know that’s sad that I have to make that a goal, but I eat on the run A LOT.

11) Go out with friends at least once a month. I don’t get out by myself enough and I really don’t see my friends enough. This one is important to me.

12) Go on a vacation.

13) Continue with my treatment of therapy and meds. It’s working. I’m not going to fix it if it’s not broke.

14) Make a new friend.

15) Make two new recipes a month.

16) Get a second tattoo.

17) Buy someone’s stuff who is behind me in line/drive-thru.

18) Adopt a soldier.

19) Do better on blog commenting.

20) Buy new art for my living room.

21) Repaint my kitchen.

22) Buy my husband a really great just-because-I-love-you gift.

23) Buy an external hard drive and back up everything on my computer. (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. MUST DO THIS ASAP)

24) Buy a plant for the inside of my house and keep it alive for longer than a month.

25) Stop stressing about money. HA. HA. HA.

26) Pay off our credit card.

27) Get Tessa to sleep through the night. Consistently. Please OMG please let this happen.

28) Find a way to volunteer with Nolan.

29) Keep going to the new church we’ve found and become members. Also- get Tessa baptized.

30) Read more about current affairs/politics.

2010 was a good year. It was the best year I’ve had since my brother died. But it was still hard. So I’m really hoping that 2011 is hard in a good way–hard because I’ve worked hard at making myself better and making life better for my family.

I hope you had a d happy New Year’s Eve and that your 2011 is fabulous!

Giving Thanks

25 Nov

Today, I am thankful, grateful, appreciative, blessed beyond my wildest imagination.

My children have taught me the meaning of all-consuming, unconditional, overpowering love. They give me a reason to live, and a reason to be a better person. They are funny and kind and make me laugh. One kiss and hug from them shores up my soul and heals every wound. They are amazing little people and I don’t know what lucky karmic twist of fate allowed me to be their mom, but I am so thankful that they are mine.

My husband is my rock, my sounding board, my best friend. He stayed when it would have been easier to leave and has brought me back from my darkest depths. He is an incredible father. He makes me laugh, even when I don’t want to. I will never be able to make him see how much his love means to me and how without his support, I don’t know where I would be today.

My parents have shown me true love and compassion, and unswerving support. I draw strength from their strength. They are always there to listen and I know that they would do anything for me.

My brother is smart, strong, and probably the funniest person I know. He has always marched to his own beat and has taught me the importance of not giving a shit what anyone else thinks. My kids are crazy about him and even though he says he will never have kids of his own, he will make an amazing father someday. He shares the memories of my life, and he shares my biggest pain. He is irreplaceable.

My friends (many of which I am also lucky enough to call my family), while things are most decidedly different since we all got married and started having kids, are always there in my mind and heart, and will be there for me whenever I need them. They share some of my greatest memories and I am so lucky to have them in my life.

My country and those that serve it will allow my children to grow up free and to be whatever they want to be. There is no way to repay the men and women and their families who make the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe and free. Thank you is not enough.

My brother Nathan. While he is not here with me and I miss him more than I could ever adequately describe, he is in my soul. His smile and his laughter and his love of life is something I carry with me every day. Nater, I miss you, I love you, I wish you were here. But I am so thankful that I got to be your sister for 20 years. Thank you for all you’ve taught me in life and death. I love you.

I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving. Now I’m off to dig up some old maternity pants so that I have adequate room for stuffing my face! Happy Thanksgiving!!