Sunday, November 24, 2013

How We Spend A Sunday Afternoon

We take some twins. (Our favorite pair).

And we let them reign free.

You can't buy this kind of awesomeness.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Truth Found On The Interstate

Isn't this the most beautiful graffiti you've ever seen? I'm a huge fan.

As you near downtown, this bridge just stumbles into view. It's unassuming and very worn by time. But I love it. Through all the mundane and drab that surrounds these 2 words, the message jumps out with bold clarity.

And if you think about it, someone had to hang over the top ledge to paint it. Upside down. On the train tracks. And they even took the time to outline each letter. Just to make sure we drivers got the message loud and clear.

I do. Do you?

If so, here's my question: What kind of a Someone are you?
That's a lot to consider. All from a graffiti message.

To be honest, I think I spend most of my time being a lot of different Someones. Someone's driver, Someone's mom, Someone's cook, Someone's maid, Someone's I-forgot-a-poster-for-school-and-I-need-it-in-the-next-30 seconds-errand runner.
That's a lot of Someones.

But underneath it all, the hats we wear, the jobs we do, the demands made by others of our time, what is your real Someone? In the deepest part of you, what do you want to Be?

If we can figure that out, our truest self, our truest Someone, it just might make all the other stuff a little easier to bear. It just might make all the work of Being a little lighter to live. Not always, but most of the time.

Let's do it together.
Find our true Someone.

And then....

Let's Be.

Even when it's hard, even when doubt creeps in.

Don't lose sight of the bridge.

Be Someone.

The one that you were made to Be.

Monday, November 18, 2013

My #3

If you have ever been in one of my organizing classes, you've heard me explain that I'm only good at 4 things. Truly. Only 4. Here they are:

1. Decorating and Organizing.
2. Making Desserts.
3. Being a freakin' awesome Aunt.
4. Having stunning eyelashes.

So, here's the drill when either of the twins are at my house.....they get whatever they want. End of story. No arguing. Whatever. They. Want.

While at my house the other day, Keagan ate chips, gum, popsicles, granola bars, various items of candy. Did I make her eat anything healthy? No. I'm the Awesome Aunt (AA for short), remember?

She also dragged out crayons, paper, stickers, scissors and some pens. Oh, and she pulled all the games out of the game cabinet too. I could have cared less. I'm the AA. When you're only good at 4 things in life, you gotta live large. Go big or go home.

Does any of this awesomeness roll over into my parenting? Uh, that would be an obvious no. Being a good parent isn't on my list. I used to try really hard to make that #5, but it's never worked out. I cut my losses early with that one.

It's all about being an aunt.
With fantastic eyelashes.

I hope it's enough to get me into heaven.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hang Your Blessings

Normally, I'm not a "Count Your Blessings" kind of girl. I'm more of a "Let's Discuss All The Stuff That Is Irritating Me To No End" kind of person. But every now and then (or really, never) I gather up enough energy to be positive. It usually only lasts for 38 minutes. That's about all I can handle.

We are not even going to talk about how bad the lighting is in this picture. 
We're just going to call it "antiqued". 

So, here's how you can be positive too. Just like me. For your own 38 minutes.

Visit this amazing blog and download any version of the "Thankful For" cards.

Gather your family together with love....Or, you can be like me and yell at your family to turn off the TV and force them to all sit down at the table....then fill in your cards. Again, you can copy cat my family and all your kids will just stare at you with big eyes because they can't think of one solitary thing they're grateful for. (Just a tip: This may require more 'mother yelling' to actually get your teenagers to participate. M'kay?)

String up your blessings on the window above the sink. Just so everyone has to look at them every time they wash their hands. It's a slightly beautiful visual, right?

The Husband is grateful for potato chips.

I'm thankful for sugar and my Kindle (no shocker there).

Teenager #1 loves her bed and 'You People'. (Apparently that's code speak for Family. Who knew?)

Teenager #2 is thankful for herself. That's it. She couldn't think of another single darn thing to be grateful for. Insert some mother yelling...She also has gratitude for her phone. Sheesh.

Child #3, a.k.a The Favorite is super-dee-duper thankful for her mom and dad and the earth. Note to Children #1 and #2: She is getting way more Christmas presents than you. Amen.

Count your blessings this week.
And hang them up for all the world (or just your family) to see.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Day Of All Days

Let's start with some basic facts:

I don't drink.
I don't smoke.
I don't do drugs.

Are we clear?

Because there is a day.
Once a year.
Where I wish, truly wish, I didn't live by all those rules.

Family Picture Day.

That's the day I want to:

And smoke.
And do drugs.

All at the same time.

For reals.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Why We Do What We Do

After you've been parenting for a while, let's say, like, 4 hours or so, you realize you're exhausted. And then 4 hours after that you start to wonder when you'll ever be un-exhausted again. 4 days after that, you come to the conclusion that you need to settle down deep into the tiredness and just try to hold on for the long haul.

And maybe, 10 or 14 or 17 years later, it's late at night and you sit with a child who is struggling in school, who can't find missing homework and another child has strep throat and wont. stop. talking. All while the final child is baking her 2nd cake from scratch because the 1st one fell apart and she has to leave in 90 minutes for a friends party.

It's at that moment, at 7:42 pm, that the exhaustion will just never end. And you can't decide which part is harder...the mental or the physical. Or maybe they're both equal means to the end. Do you hear what I'm saying? Yes. Yes, I know you do.

And so, I'm reminded of something I read recently:

We are the trainers. The ones to guide them to sharp eyes. To teach them to stand and stand tall. To overcome and face all that exists outside these walls. And in all the ways that matter, we are their defenders. Their cheerleaders. Their protectors. Every day. In every way. Through the laughter and even through the exhaustion. We continue.

Not because we have to.

Because this kind of love is fierce. Solid and bone deep.
And it gives us the will to parent on. Through every exhausted 7:42 pm.

May we be reminded of why we do what we do.
And the futures that we hold.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

FMS (For My Sister)- Take 3

This is the method to my madness: I have to take it all down before I build it all back up.

And I mean ALL of it. It's like my brain needs everything gathered into one place before it can decide the next step. I need a clean slate. Everywhere. All the shelves, all the bookcases and the mantel.

It all comes down.
I wipe it clean.
And build a new version from scratch.

And then my writer's brain kicks in and realizes that decorating and life are a whole lot similar.

Sometimes we need to dismantle it all.
To get back to the basics.
To clear the clutter so we can See. Really See.
And we let our soul still, and wipe our soul clean.
Then we begin again. 
Building with the same ingredients.
To create a better version of our truth.

Maybe this week is the perfect, ordinary moment to find that better version. And decorate a mantel or two along the way.