Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's On

October is 13 hours away.

This makes me happy.

I love Halloween in an unnatural way.

I think it's that it's the one major holiday that we get to ourselves.  There's no emotional baggage.  No expectations of family gatherings.  No obligatory things we feel compelled to do.  Just fun, just for us.

I guess that's probably why Halloween gets bigger and bigger around here every year.  Why the planning for costumes starts happening over a year in advance.

I knew going into it this year that it was going to be entertaining.  I had no idea how much.

In a lot of ways, we copped out this year.  Bought the majority of the costumes this time around.  Still on the hunt for one piece, which is sure to be the funniest of them all.  My husband's costume may just be funnier than the Wizard of Oz year where I forced him to be a flying monkey.


Just remember in a few weeks that this one wasn't my idea.  Not at all.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Lost & Found, Maybe

Have you ever just lost yourself?

I'm not talking about losing motivation for a specific goal or task, I'm not talking about forgetting to work out or falling off the wagon of that latest diet you're on.  I'm not talking about sleeping in for a few days or wearing the fat pants for too many days in a row.

I'm talking about lost.

Completely gone.

Bye. Bye.

I'm talking about going through such a profound loss of yourself that you don't even know who you are anymore.  That you go from being a vibrant, energetic, passionate person to just not caring about any of that anymore.  That you stop even trying to find joy in what you used to.  That you barely manage to go through the motions.  That you stop even caring about putting on the show for everyone else.

I'm talking about there.

Have you been there?

I have.  I was there for a long, long time.

I'm still there, to be honest, though I'm trying to find my way back to myself.  Fortunately, I have a few friends who seem keen on kicking my ass about it.  Who refuse to just let me be complacent and unmotivated.  Who want nothing more than for me to find my passion again.

It's hard to explain to those of you who don't actually know what the last few years have been like for me.  I've been called melodramatic by those who don't know.  Every so often, I feel compelled to explain myself to one of them, to sit them down and tell them what has actually been going on, as opposed to the distractions in my life that I write about here.   I need to not feel the need to explain myself.

I know that this place I've been in is justified.  I know that I'm strong just for surviving the hell I've been through.  I know that I'm doing this all for the right reasons.  I know that it's not fair for me to expect other people to understand why I am the way I am sometimes when I refuse to tell them.

I know all of these things, objectively.  In my head, I know them.

Then someone calls me a drama queen and I want to scream at the top of my lungs that they have no idea what the hell they are talking about.  But I don't.  I stuff it deep down inside, and then I probably don't leave the house for a few days again.  I can't trust myself sometimes around other people.

That's just one of the things I lost when I lost myself.

I can't trust myself.   I thought I could.  I thought that my intuition was dead on.  I thought I could read people.  I thought that I could trust my judgement.  Now, I know that I can't.

I was telling a friend about how when my world stopped spinning last year, I was in a really good place.

Was.

I had four books in the works.  I'd just been featured on BlogHer.  I'd had several articles picked up by other places.  I was gaining fans every day.  I was planning extravagant meals and inventing recipes and taking amazing pictures and sharing them on my recipe blog.  I had launched a doula blog and was reaching a whole new audience.  I was going out with friends occasionally and loving every second of it.

I was good.  Really good.

Was.

Then my world imploded and I stopped caring about all of it.  Stopped.

I wrote, but it was different.  I was writing as a tortured soul, refusing to let anything too real out.  I didn't just stop inventing recipes and taking pictures, I stopped loving to cook.  Some days, I didn't cook at all.  Okay, most days.

My camera sat.

The books sat.  They are still sitting.

I didn't submit anything to anyone for a very long time.

I let the other blogs go.

I got up and dressed most days, I put on the happy face when I could stomach it, did what I needed to for the kids.

And that was all.

I stopped loving MY life.

I've been in some really dark places for a while now.  I'm starting to see the way out now.  I'm starting to find myself again.  Sometimes I need a kick in the ass to do it.  To remember what I love.  To remember my passion.  To remember who I am.

I spent a hour and half in the trees yesterday, walking on bridges and along rivers, watching the birds, looking for lighting and angles.  At the urging of a friend that I'm doing a guest photography post for, I was out there.

And I was happy, really happy, doing what I love for the first time in a really long time.

I think I found my passion again.


A message from Dad while I was there. 
I'm just about done with shooting for this guest post, stay tuned.  It might end up being something amazing.

Thank you all.  You truly have no idea how much you've all helped me just by being here.  xoxo

Thursday, September 27, 2012

We Must Do Better

I'm sitting here sobbing.  Again.

My heart breaking all over again as I re-read the story written a year ago.

This beautiful little girl, dancing on a stage, as the cancer rages inside her.  The story will end soon, that much I've known all along.  I've read this before, and it is no less tragic the second time.

My heart aches for her family.

Please, if you haven't already, go follow Mary Tyler Mom.  She needs our help to tell this story.  Donna's story, just like the story of every life touched by cancer, needs to be told.

As September is coming to a close, and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month about to be over and done with for another year, I feel like we're doing a great injustice to these children.  We talk and talk about awareness as though that's enough.  I dare you to find someone who doesn't know what cancer is.  Awareness isn't really necessary.

Having a real conversation about the treatment of cancer in children is necessary.  Having a real conversation about what it is like to care for a sick child is necessary.  Reading stories like Donna's is necessary.

We must do better.

The statistics are horrifying when you really look at them.

Every day, 46 kids are diagnosed.  Two classrooms full of kids.

Every day, 8 of those children will die.

Over two thirds of the children who do survive the cancer will grow up to have significant medical problems as the result of the treatments.  Chemotherapy is toxic poison and does permanent damage.

At diagnosis, about 20% of adult cancers have spread.  At diagnosis, about 80% of childhood cancers have spread.

We've made huge strides in treating breast cancer and many other adult cancers.  The FDA approves new cancer drugs all the time, but only one new cancer treatment drug has been approved for use in children in the last 30 years.

One.

Pharmaceutical companies have figured out how to create erections and lengthen eyelashes and given us countless other lifestyle medications.  The drugs that could fight childhood cancers?  Not as important.  Saving kids' lives isn't a profitable enough business, certainly not as much as the vanity of adults with money.

Speaking of lifestyle, it's implicated in the vast majority of adult cancers.  Diet, smoking, drinking, sun exposure, all contribute.  Many adult cancers are preventable.   Most childhood cancers are spontaneous, arising without the influence of lifestyle choices.  It's just the luck of the draw.

3% of the National Cancer Institute's budget goes to childhood cancers - that's every type of childhood cancer combined.  The American Cancer Society spends less than 2%.

Many people out there would rather turn a blind eye to all this.  Pretend that things like cancer don't happen to otherwise healthy children.  It's easier to go on with your normal life, certainly, if you don't think about these things.

It easier if you don't see pictures of a little girl twirling on a stage, knowing that she'd never dance again.

We can't stick our heads in the sand.  We mustn't.

We must do better.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Not up in here....Not up in here.

Just imagine it.

It was going to be amazing.

Wait.  Let me just take another moment.

I had wrapped up my Brownie meeting, shipped the girls off to soccer practice.  The little boy was napping on a couch at his grandparent's house, and the oldest doing exactly what he needed to be.

I pulled into the drive-through at Starbucks and ordered my unsweetened black iced tea, then imagined what life might be like for the next 47 minutes before I had anywhere else I had to be.

I quickly decided to seize the moment, congratulated myself for leaving the good camera in the car, and headed off towards the heavy afternoon sun for some much needed lens therapy.

I got halfway to my intended destination when the phone rang.

My oldest.

Panicked.

Aidan: Um.....mom....where are you?
Me: Heading to the park for a bit before I have to run carpool.  What's wrong?
Aidan:  Um...mom.....there's a mouse in the house.
Me: A what?????
Aidan:  George brought a mouse in the house.
Me: He did what???
Aidan:  Um....mom....it's still alive.  He's carrying it around.  In his mouth.
Me: Okay, don't touch it.  I'm on my way home.
Aidan: NO GEORGE!!!! NO!!!  Mom...it only has three legs.  I think the other leg is outside.
Me: DON'T TOUCH IT.  I'll be there in a minute.
Aidan: NO GEORGE.  NOOOOOOOO...

click.

I got home, opened the door and saw my son staked out on the other side of the room.  Cat pacing back and forth.  Dog freaking the fuck out.

In the middle of the floor, the mouse.  The three legged mouse, hyperventilating.  Probably dying slowly.

Then.It.Moved.

I think Aidan screamed OH MY GOD louder than I did.

Okay, I says to myself....don't lose your shit.  We can do this.  Deep breath.

I grab a cup from the kitchen.  Choosing wisely, knowing that after what I intend to do with this cup, no human will ever use it again.

Slowly creep up on the mouse, which has a few puncture wounds too that I didn't see until just now.

Quickly trap the mouse under the cup.

OH MY GOD MOM.  What do we do now??? says the boy.

Get me a few sheets of construction paper.

I slide it under the mouse, tail sticking out of the edge of the cup.  Pick it up, and carry it outside.  Tell him to open the trash can, toss the little mouse in, cup and all.  It hits the bottom and I can hear the little feet scamper.

HOLY SHIT IT'S STILL ALIVE MOM!

(and yes there's totally a free pass on cussing for situations like this one)

This is where, even though my stomach was completely turned upside down and I would have full on lost my shit if I was alone, I managed composure.

It's going to die from it's injuries anyway, I told him.  If we put it anywhere else, the cat will find it again and bring.it.back.in.the.house.

Okay, Mom.  Good call.



We came in the house, scrubbed up to our elbows, then both sat on the couch completely grossed out as the cat walked by all proud of himself.

If this is his idea of a gift, I completely do not want them.

Not up in here.  NOT up in here.


And as God is my witness, if I find the missing foot in my house, I will not even try to refrain from losing my shit.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

On being real

I woke up this morning with a heavy heart.

I knew what day it was, I'd been dreading it for a while now.  It's been a year since we lost her, and somehow that seems impossible.  There are times that so much has happened that it seems like it's been forever since I saw her last, and other times I swear that I can see her out of the corner of my eye in the places and times where she should still be. The hair, the laugh, unmistakably her.

Then I remember the wise words of a friend, spoken to me earlier this year on the first anniversary of my father's death.

You will never ever have to be here, right here, again.

Grief is a process, and though it's not in any way, shape or form a linear one, it is one that eases with time.

That friend of mine, in the same place I am today, is right.

We have to get through today, and then we never have to do it again.

My tribute to her, this afternoon.  A project I'm doing with my girl scouts.  I'm having them paint a frame, then taking a picture for them to put in there.  A memory of this time together, not unlike the one that still hangs beside my oldest daughter's bed.  I hope we make her proud.


This picture always makes me smile.  I miss her.

In that place I'm already in today, the first thing I read this morning was a post by a blogger I follow.  Strike that.  A writer I follow.  She mused about how maybe she dwells too much, how she lingers in the bad places too long.  I have been told that I do the same by those who mean well.  To her, and to myself, I say this:  so what?

I can assure you that whatever I've written here has been yet a fraction of what my heart wants to say, and that I've toned it down for the masses.  The truth is that no one really wants to know what it's like to be dragged through hell.  No one really wants to know how much loss hurts, and how grief can sneak up behind you when you least expect it and punch you in the gut.  No one really wants to know how deep betrayal can wound you, because they'd prefer to live in the fantasy world where things like that don't happen to real people.

This writer and I, we share a lot in common.  Far more than I can say with any degree of certainty given that we've never met.  I have a feeling though that she knows exactly what I mean here today.

Life isn't all about rainbows and unicorns.  Life isn't only the good.  If we write only about the positive, aren't we being a bit disingenuous?  I'd argue we are.

I write about what is real.  The good, the bad, the ugly.  Take it or leave it, this is me.

Monday, September 24, 2012

When life hands you tomatoes...

This post is probably going to be super random today, so just try and do your best to follow me.  I haven't had enough coffee yet, and my to-do is is too-damn-long.

I have a Brownie meeting tomorrow.  I should totally plan something for that.  Like, before then.  Yeah, I'll get right on that.

I am hosting a jewelry party in 11 days, and my house looks like a bomb went off in it.  Everything needs cleaned, the carpet needs shampooed, the windows are scary and we actually have cobwebs.  Of course, I could completely just work those into my Halloween decor if I can get my shit together fast enough to decorate the house too before the party.

Consequently, I did the only rational thing to remedy the situation, and started painting.  Because that's so obviously the best way to spend my time.

This is what adult onset ADHD looks like, my friends.

Oooooh, shiny.

For reals though, everything in my house needs cleaned.  All of it.  I need to get my ass in gear.  And, clearly, I need to learn the primary lesson from this whole pneumonia/asthma ass kicking session.

I cannot get sick.  Ever.

In my infinite wisdom, I also scheduled a blood drive as the same day of the jewelry party.  Which means two things.

1) I'm demanding WAY too much attention from people twice in one day.

2) They'll get drunk faster and I won't have to buy as much wine.

Maybe I did plan that right after all.  Just maybe.

Shhh, it'll be our little secret.

I also wanted to share a little piece of random awesomeness about my life. I've written about my cat before.  Well, he's not my cat.  He freaking hates me, and I'm pretty sure he's just counting days until I die.

This little cat bastard has decided that it's his life goal to drive me completely insane.  He's torn up my couches, ripped up the carpet, shredded my screens and sheds every.where.  He hides in the bathroom doorways and attacks me when I walk past.  He bites my toes at night while I sleep.

He hates me and the feeling is mutual.

A few mornings ago, I woke up to a present.  He's an indoor cat, so his hunting opportunities are few and far between.  He'd be the cat that brings me disemboweled mice if he had the chance, I just know it.  But he can't.  So he's decided to do the next best thing.

He steals my tomatoes off the counter, carries them upstairs, then shreds the crap out of them.  Bites chunks out, peels the skin off with his claws.  Then he leaves them wherever he pleases when he's done destroying them.


Tomatoes.

WTF is wrong with this cat???

Glad he's not my animal.  He's clearly got issues.

Seriously, though, leave my damn tomatoes alone you little bastard!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A big week. BIG

You'll have to forgive me, but I'm about to get a little proud and obnoxious.

It's been a week of big things around here.

My oldest son, the middle schooler, my biggest lap-sitter, is also a joiner.  He's so excited about being in middle school and all the opportunities that are available to him.  He wants to snatch them right up and take full advantage of everything.  He brought me paperwork to sign him up for the school's basketball team this week, and plans to wrestle in a few months too.  

He is also turning out to be quite the risk taker, and I think that might make me even more proud of him.  A few days ago, he told me that he was running for Student Council.  Each homeroom has a class representative, and he wants to give it a shot.  

He's off to get a haircut and write his speech today, they are shooting the videos tomorrow.  He'll do great, I just know it. 

My oldest daughter had a pretty great day yesterday, though I wasn't there in person to see it.  I was stuck here locally coaching one soccer game and shuttling the younger daughter to another one.  I got a text from my husband just as the first game ended that she'd taken a shot on goal.  


I can't even begin to tell you all how huge this is.  She has never taken a shot on goal.  Ever.  She's played with the same girls for years and years and years.  As they've grown and developed, she's shied away.  Hung back.  Often afraid because of her injuries and asthma, she's never really pushed herself enough.  

Yesterday, she did.  She was off sides, but it didn't matter to me.  She did it.  

Since then, she's had an edge that I can't quite describe.  She spent the entire night kicking the ball around, juggling, shooting.  Maybe, just maybe, she's found her love of the game again.  

It seems fitting that this all happened yesterday in some ways.

Last night, I got an email telling me that my post about the Women's National Team and my girls had been picked up to be featured on BlogHer.  

This love of the game that I knew she always had, manifested on the same day that a story I wrote about her and her team was chosen.  

I'm pretty proud of myself today.  I'm pretty proud of us all.  

I'll be back to my self-deprecating humor soon enough, don't worry.  I'm just going to enjoy this today.

xoxo

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Sunshine Award

Sometimes when you wake up in the morning after a long and emotional night, you just need something to make you smile.

I woke up this morning, not wanting to get out of bed at all, and checked to see if I had any comments to moderate.  Such is the life of a blogger, right?

I had a few, one of them from Happy Little Feet, informing me that she'd bestowed upon me The Sunshine Award.

I needed that today, thank you.  :)


Now, for the rules.  There are always rules...

Awardees are supposed to answer the following eight questions, then nominate ten other bloggers.

1. What is your favorite Christmas/holiday movie?  It's a close tie between National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story.  I still laugh in all the right places, and they both remind me of my Dad.

2. What is your favorite flower?  For a long time, I would have said it was tulips, but my taste in a lot of things has evolved as I've gotten older.  For now, I'd have to say peonies.  We can get them in huge bunches at the farmer's market this time of year.  Love.

3. What is your favorite non-alcoholic beverage?  Coffee.  Hands down.

4.  What is your passion?  My family first, writing second.

5.  What is your favorite time of year?  Fall.  The colors, the chill in the air, the holidays without emotional baggage.  I love it all.

6.  What is your favorite time of day?  Dusk.  The few minutes right before the sun sets.

7.  What is your favorite physical activity?  Yoga.  Unfortunately, it's too expensive.  I've tried doing it at home, but it's hard to find your center and channel inner peace when the kid uses your downward dog as a choo choo tunnel.

8.  What is your favorite vacation?  A real vacation is something I haven't had in a really long time, so bear with me.  My idea of perfect is sitting on a beach somewhere, toes in the sand, listening to the waves roll in. Over sized sunglasses.  A trashy novel.  A drink with a tiny umbrella.  And not having to worry about anyone else in the entire world.  Let's go.  Who's coming with me?

Here are the bloggers I've chosen to nominate for this award!

A Lot of Layers

My Owl Barn

We Band of Mothers

The Real Housewife of Santee

Mommy and Love

Nerdy Apple Bottom

Chopper Papa

Big A Little a

Life as Leigh Sees It

Not Blessed Mama

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dream Big

The world we live in today is one unlike any other in history for little girls like mine.

When we tell them that they can fly into outer space, that they can save lives, that they can run companies, that they can someday become President, we know that we are telling them the truth

They can dream big and know that those dreams are possible. 

Generations of women before us made sure of that.  They fought for the right to vote, they fought for nondiscrimination, they fought for things like Title IX that ensure women the chance to play on the same field as men.


Last night, another kind of hero.  Another future to dream of.  Another chance for these little girls to reach for the stars.  On the field, the United States Women's National Soccer Team.  The gold medal winners.  The players we've come to know by one name.  They are strong and beautiful and successful.  Some of them have endorsement deals and contracts that match their male counterparts.  They are athletes at the highest level.  


In the stands, thousands of girls screaming for their team.

Someday, that could be me, they thought.  

Someday, I could be standing on a field with thousands of little girls screaming my name.  Someday I could represent my nation and wear a gold medal.  Someday I could make a career out of this game that I love.  

Someday.  

Dream big, girls.

Though I didn't realize it until last night, we witnessed the last game that Pia Sundhage would ever coach for the USA.  She's done what she came here to do, she's taken the game to a higher level.  Led the team to incredible success.  Changed the way we think about the sport.  And she did it all with a smile.  

Now she leaves to go home to her native land, to coach the team for Sweden.  In her last on-field interview, she was asked what she would miss the most about the team.  

Her answer?

The team.

That's when I no longer was able to contain the tears.  I glanced at my daughter, wide eyed, watching all this unfold on the field.  Her team has been together for years.  They've persevered through major injuries, through family heartache, through moving to new houses, through the loss of a mother.  

When other things in life seemed amiss sometimes, they always knew they had each other.  The team.  Even the off-season doesn't last long for them.

This team, much like the US national team did last night, is performing their swan song.  Having one last go of it.  

Next summer, many of the girls on this team will move up to the full competitive team.  Not all of them will go.  It's a subject that I've talked to many of the other parents about already.  This team, the only team they've ever known, will cease to exist as we know it today.

I have a feeling that some of the girls won't want to play without their friends on the field.  I have a feeling that some of them will drop down to rec again.  I have a feeling that some of them will go on to have amazing college careers - maybe even stand on that big field with screaming little girls someday.  

I have a feeling that some of them may never play again once the Pumas are done.

Soccer isn't just a sport.  It's a team sport.  If you're lucky, it becomes a family.

All good things must come to an end.  Coaches move on.  Kids grow up.  Skill levels diverge.  Teams can't stay together forever.  

They can do amazing things while they are together, though, as evidenced by what we saw last night.  


As Pia took her last lap around the stadium last night, the crowd cheered her all the way.  For her leadership, for her years of service, for her love of the game.  Gratitude.

If our team can walk off the field at the end of this year united, proud of all that they have accomplished, grateful for this time together, we have won.  We have all won.


What will I miss the most next year?

The team....

the team.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

This Gift

I've been told by several people in my life that I feel too much.  That I worry too much about things I can't control, that I'm emotionally invested in things I shouldn't be, that I need to stop being this way.

I can't.

I won't, is more like it.

Anyone could easily make the argument that humans are inherently selfish.  To be concerned about others before yourself, not as natural.  I tend not to agree that this idea applies to everyone.  I tend to think that women in particular change fundamentally (or should) in this way when they become mothers.  Certainly not everyone does, but I think most do.

I woke up this morning intending to go to the mountains and take some pictures with my boy.  I wanted to run away from all the worries I have down here and spend some quality time behind my camera.  Go to my happy place, so to say.

I did just that, though something else was weighing heavily on my mind the entire time.

Gratitude.

There isn't enough of it in the world.  There should be more.  We should all be more cognizant of it, we should feel it genuinely, we should express it.

I should.

This life is a gift.  Every single day is something we should be grateful for.

It's easy to be flippant about things like this, muse about how cliche these sayings are, laugh off the huge mind blowing significance of just being grateful.  It's easy to get caught up in the failures and disappointments, to whine about things when they don't go just right.  It's far easier to see what we want than what we have sometimes.

If we took a step back, we'd see just how lucky we are.

Somewhere out there in the world, right this very second, someone is learning that they have cancer or that the cancer they were so sure they'd beaten was back.  Someone is getting a phone call that will change their life forever.  Someone is losing a job. Someone is losing a baby. Someone is being lied to by the very person they place all their trust in.  Someone is being taken for granted.  Someone is kissing their father goodbye as he closes his eyes for the last time.  Someone is scared.  Someone is waiting for the news they know is inevitable.  Someone is being beaten.  Someone is being used.  Someone is dying long before they are ready.  Someone has arms aching from the void left when their child was taken from them.

I have been many of those people.  Too many, I think sometimes.  Life isn't fair, this much is true.  Terrible things happen every day to people who did nothing to deserve them.

Even so, each day is a gift.

We can go through this life as victims of our tragedies, or we can emerge from the rubble stronger.  We have choices, and every day is a chance to choose hope.

Today, I choose hope.

Though the life that has unfolded for me hasn't been anywhere near what I'd envisioned, it led me to where I am today.  Where I am right now.

Teaching him to skip stones in the river.
Today, I spent the morning in the mountains with my boy and my camera.

And it was just about perfect.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Things That Piss Me Off Tuesday - alert the media

Holy crap you guys...I'm actually writing this on the day I am supposed to this week.

The way things have been going lately, that might never happen again.  Enjoy it while it lasts.

Little Birdies
I've had such an up and down week that my head is spinning.  Literally, spinning.  I'm dizzy.  I need to cut my blood pressure medication dose in half because I'm practically passing out every time I stand up.  You know how in cartoons, those little birdies show up and fly around someone's head?  Yeah, that's me right now.

Getting Old
I painted yesterday, for about six hours.  I went to my happy place.  Anyone who knows me well, knows that painting walls is like therapy to me.  I lurve it.  What I don't love, apparently, is the going up and down the ladder for six hours.  My knee in particular is not loving that.  So much for ambition. Ambition is the tool of the young.  Now, I'm like eh....that wall doesn't need to be finished today, does it?

I need to dye my hair.  Badly.  It seems like every time I dye it anymore, it lasts for a shorter and shorter length of time.  The mousy brown hair with silver streaks pokes out almost immediately, telling the world that I'm not really the ravishing auburn locked Irish lass that I pretend to be.  That I want to be.  That the box says I can be.

When you get old, other shit starts happening.  Literally from one day to the next, I realized that I needed to start moisturizing my neck.  WTF?  I put lotion on my legs and arms for most of my life, sure.  Splurged for the good face moisturizer for about a decade now.  But my neck?  That's just the thing that connects my head to my body.  I never paid much attention to it until last week when it started to look like a damn turkey wattle.


Gobble, gobble, father time.  Gobble, gobble.

Don't be checking out my wattle.

Facebook Page Bullshit
So, I don't claim to be some internet guru or anything, but I've been around long enough to know how ads work online.  The companies pay YOU for running their ads on your page, because your visitors drive exposure for whatever crap they are peddling.

Except for Facebook.  In their infinite wisdom, the powers that be at Facebook have decided to stop placing posts from fan pages in the newsfeeds of their fans.  I'm lucky if a third of my fans see whatever I post.  For a price, they'll send it to everyone WHO ALREADY FOLLOWS ME.   Like small fan pages for bloggers and home based business have advertising budgets.  Like Facebook isn't running ads that they already profit from on my page as it is.

If you are a fan of mine on Facebook (and you really should be), please, please, please go to my page and click the drop down menu on the cover page and select "show in newsfeed".  

I love you guys, but I can't pay for ads.

Those people
You know them.  The people who never have time to actually help with anything, but sure find the time to bitch about it.  Those people.  The ones that exist just to be a pain in the ass.

If you don't like how something is done, do it yourself.

Or STFU.

Drama Queens
They are the ones that post vague things on Facebook that cause people who know them to worry.  But never give you more information.  Or, when they do, 35 comments later, turns out that whatever they were freaking out about was not a big deal.

My personal favorite are the ones who declare that they are too busy for Facebook, and that they are going to cancel their accounts....except they are always on Facebook and never cancel their accounts.

Stay or go.  No one freaking cares, in case you didn't notice the lack of response you got last time you threatened to leave.


Honest.

Just shut up about it already or I'll defriend you.  Better yet, I'll throw you on my acquaintance list so you don't drive me insane anymore.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Liebster Award

It's award season, y'all, and I'm not worthy.

Just a few days after getting the Versatile Blogger Award, I got another one....the Liebster Award.  This one was bestowed upon me by the amazing Molly Field of Grass Oil.

Is it just me, or does anyone else always think of the unsinkable Molly Brown when they meet someone named Molly? With her, though, it totally makes sense.  This Molly is just as unsinkable, which is a good thing considering how much time she spends on the water.

If you aren't following her yet, you should be.  Mostly because she is fantastic.  She is such a prolific writer that I just marvel at her posts sometimes.  You should also follow her because she's asked me to do a guest post.  I'm taking my camera out today, right after I finish this up, to start on that project for her.  And I'm so damn excited about it I could pee my pants.  For reals.


Here are the rules for this latest award I've added to my collection:

1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the 11 questions that the person who gave you the award asked.
3. Create 11 questions for the people you are giving the award to.
4. Choose 11 people to send the award to.  Link and notify them.
5. No tag backs.

11 Things About Me

1. I can juggle.  Total bad ass juggling too.  You should see it.  It's amazing.  It's also good to know that I can always fall back on that circus career.

2. I once raced a cop in my Dad's Thunderbird.

3.  I hosted birthday parties when I worked at McDonald's in high school.

4.  I worked in a science museum in 9th grade.  I've always been a huge nerd.

5.  As a result of #4, snakes, spiders and scorpions don't freak me out at all.

6.  Eels do.  Scariest animals on the planet.

7.  I love to cook, but I hate cleaning the kitchen.

8. I beat the devil in the original Guitar Hero game, but cannot play a real guitar.

9.  I really wanted to be a marine biologist.

10. I hate Caillou.  Whiny little turd of a child.

11. I just bought a gallon of paint.  This makes me really freaking happy.

11 answers to the questions I was asked

1. Are you a dog, cat or bird person? Why?  Oh, easy.  Dog person.  Mostly because right now I want to send my cat to the moon.  I can tolerate jerk-off cat behavior from a nice animal, but I'm pretty sure this one wants to destroy me.

2.  Favorite ice cream presentation - hard packed or soft serve? Cake cone or sugar cone?  I'm a purist, and I love a good hard packed ice cream.  I tend not to be a cone person at all though, and get it in a cup.

3. Favorite time of day - dawn or eventide?  Easy.  I love, love, love the magic hour when the sun hangs low on the horizon at the end of the day.  Everything takes on a warmth and glow that is almost surreal.  And sunsets?  Don't get me started.  Sorry, my photographer is showing.

Just last night.
4. What do you like most in others?  Authenticity.  Good, bad or indifferent, I love people who are honest with themselves and others about who they are.  Fed up with the liars and the fakers of the world.  Show me who you really are.

5. What is the most frustrating part of your craft?  I'm going to answer this one twice.  My craft that most people see is writing, and by far the most frustrating thing is that I refuse to let myself write about the things I really want to most of the time.  Lots of self-censoring going on.    My other real passion is photography, and I don't have nearly enough time for it.

6. What do you do for exercise?  I chase a 4 year old.  A lot.  I coach a soccer team.  Of three and four year olds.  So there is that.  On the occasions I make it to the gym, I'm holed up in the corner on the rowing machine.

7. What is your favorite personal quality in yourself?  I have to give the same answer as #4.  I'm authentic.  I don't pretend to be someone that I'm not.  Never have, never will.  Take it or leave it, this is who I am.  I've always been pretty comfortable in my own skin, and I think that's pretty special.

8. Is where you are right now in your life where you expected to be?  Not in a million years.  I was supposed to have a fabulous job in a bioethics think tank in D.C.  I was supposed to maybe have two kids by now, and I was supposed to be perfect at balancing everything.  Cancer showed up, kids came early, that career got derailed, and I don't live anywhere near D.C.

9. What would you change, if you could, per your answer above?  This one is easy.  If I would have had any idea how things would play out, I would have dropped out of law school when my husband was diagnosed with cancer.

10. What is the greatest sorrow you have ever experienced?  This is one of those things I am going to self-censor.  A close second in my life was losing my father to cancer.  Watching him weaken and deteriorate but fight like hell.  He softened, he loved more, he wanted so badly to beat it.  I am grateful for the time I spent with him, and I miss him every day.

11. What is your greatest joy?  My babies.  They are funny and smart and talented and goofy and the center of my universe.  I adore them.

11 Questions for Future Liebsters

1. Why did you begin blogging?
2. Did you always love to write?
3. What is something you are very talented at, but people might be surprised about?
4. What is your favorite season and why?
5. Do you play sports?  Which ones?
6. What is your favorite meal to eat?
7. If you could spend an entire day with anyone, who would it be?
8. If your house was on fire, and you had time to grab one thing, what would you take?
9. What was your first car?
10. What is the last book you read?
11. Where is your dream vacation?

11 People I'm Awarding
1. The Black Tiara
2. Abandoning Pretense
3. Spicey Mom
4. Diapers...or Wine?
5. You Know It Happens At Your House Too
6. Unikorna
7. Suburbia Interrupted
8. Life on Peanut Layne
9. Unconventional Wisdom
10. A W.R.I.T.E.R.M.O.M.
11. Martha Stewart Doesn't Live Here

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Slide tackles, yellers and bitchers - things I hate about soccer

I love sports, don't get me wrong.  I look forward with great anticipation to the beginning of many different seasons, not just for weather reasons, but for the ones that involve teams and uniforms and freshly cut grass.

And then the season starts and I remind myself again all the things that piss me off.  

Like parents.  On sidelines.  Yelling.  Bitching.  

I had to stop my husband and a dad from the opposite team from getting into it yesterday.  The dad, the father of one of the overly aggressive players on the other team, standing at the corner of the field.  Yelling at the 13 year old referee to make calls against our team for the same crap his kid had been doing all game.  

My husband told him to keep his mouth shut and stop yelling at the ref.  

And so it began.

I had to also remind him that fighting is bad, and that in his current one-legged state, it wouldn't end well.

Then the lady beside me piped up, informing us that we had no right to speak since we were sitting on the wrong side of the field.  She, also the mother of a player from the other team, was sitting alone.  Her entire team of parents on the other half of the sideline.  Yeah, good luck with that.  I think you're in the wrong place, so go sit with your team and STFU.  


Girls soccer is rougher than boys.  They play dirtier and get away with a lot more than the boys do.  I'm talking full fouls, straight arming the opponents, tripping and slide tackles.  It's dirty.  For whatever reason, the fouls are almost never called when girls are on the field.  And when you have asshole parents berating the teenage ref from the sidelines, unfair calls get made. 

Or they don't get made at all.  Like I tried to explain to my husband yesterday, it's not worth getting upset over it.  Honestly.  The only fouls that matter are the ones that get called.  If they don't get called, they didn't exist.  We try to hold our heads a little higher since we know we play clean, but the games only get harder and harder when the opponents always seem to play like that.  

Our team hasn't been taught to play that way, but it seems like every team we play these days has been.  The coaches and the parents encourage it.  It's not about who has better passing and ball handling, it's about who throws their weight around better.  

Incidentally, the yeller and the bitcher both shut up once we scored a few more times.   

We won, and our team did it without cheating.

These kind of victories are a little bit sweeter.  

Go Pumas.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Things That Piss Me Off Tuesday - the who am I kidding edition

It appears that I just need to change the name of this series.

I don't even know when I actually wrote it on a Tuesday last time, but it's been a while.

I'm actually trying to channel positivity and all that kind of nonsense, so I'm not sure I'll be as snarky as you all are expecting.

Unless it's not working, that positivity nonsense.  Then this will still be really freaking funny.

My Tendency to Flail
So, earlier this week, I decided to be a girl.  I wore a cute skirt and a white shirt.  It was quite nice, and completely outside of my comfort zone.  I try, really try, to stick to my uniform of black shirts and denim.

I took the kids to school and dropped them off, all glamorous and shit.  Then spilled coffee all over myself.

I am pretty sure I'm allergic to white shirts.

And I do all my own stunts.

Teenagers
This is the part of parenting I'm not looking forward to.  Although, I'll ensure that my kids are never rotten little shitheads. I spent a hour at a neighborhood park this week, and resisted an almost constant urge to go yell at someone else's children.

If you're in high school and still hang out on top of the play structure at the park, you need to grow the fuck up.  You also need to figure out how to speak without using that word, just in case you ever want to get a job.  Or a girlfriend.

It always drives me insane when kids that are way too big decide to wrestle or play tag while there are tiny little kids who should be able to play without getting trampled around.  When they run around dropping f-bombs and calling each other assholes and dickheads constantly, I want to tackle them myself, duct tape their filthy mouths shut and drag their pathetic wanna be asses to their mamas.

F-bombs are supposed to be dropped only by the actual adults who know how to work with that word like the linguistic art form it is.  Duh.

The ungodly smell in my car right now
I drive a trash heap on wheels.  Truly.  It doesn't look so bad from the outside, that minivan of mine, but the inside???  Wow.

I've really wanted to get it detailed for a while now, but then I reason that it's not worth the money.  It would be back to it's trashed status within hours.  There was not one, but three tootsie rolls firmly adhered to the carpet last time I cleaned it out.  And someone opened the tube of sunscreen, then shoved it back in the seat pocket without the top on.  Yeah. Stick your hand in that.

I can tolerate it most of the time...but the last week or so is too much.  I don't even know where the smell is coming from.  I can't see or find anything causing it.  Good lord.

I'm a little concerned because I have a friend who went through this, only to have them find a dead mouse in the air filter.  The mouse that had squirrelled away almost half a bag of skittles in.the.air.filter before he met his unfortunate end.

I really don't want a decomposing skittle loving mouse in my car.  Is that asking too much???

Maybe it is.

I should probably set the bar a little lower.

Slow Ass Trains
This one is going to make so much sense to anyone who lives here.

There is just an unspoken truth in this town.  If you need to get anywhere in a hurry, are running a little late, or someone in your car needs to pee right now, you're going to get stuck by a train.

I've been stuck by the same train three different times at three different intersections before.

Trains here don't just go forward slowly, they back up.  Then pull forward.  Then back up.  Then pull forward.  Then stop.  Sometimes for a few seconds, but never when there is somewhere you need to be.

Hopefully wherever you need to go is somewhere in town, because you know that you can call them and let them know that you're stopped by the train and they will understand.  Anywhere else, forget it.

Choo choo.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award

I won!  I won!  I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has made this award possible.

First and foremost, I'd like to thank the wonderful and lovely Lillian at It's A Dome Life for presenting it to me.  She's awesome and talented and an amazing artist.  Go check her out.  You won't be disappointed.  

Promise.  

Next, I'd like to thank everyone who hasn't given me an award yet.  

Hurry up, already.

I'd be remiss if I neglected to thank all the people out there who drive me crazy or entertain me and force me to write about them.

And you all, my readers.  You're only like the best fans in the whole wide world.



Here are the rules:


  • If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and include a link to their site.
  • Copy and paste the award to your blog.
  • Share 7 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly and include a link to their site.
  • Let the other Bloggers know that you have nominated them.
Here are my 7 random facts.  I have to tell you, this is the kind of stuff that keeps a girl up at night.  I've just got so much weirdness that  I couldn't decide which 7 won the narrowing contest.

1) I'm extremely afraid of food poisoning.  I will throw out anything that smells remotely bad.

2) My sense of smell is almost entirely shot, thanks to allergies.  This complicates #1 up there.

3) I loathe wearing shoes.  Even in the winter, I lean towards mules and boots.  I love me some heels, but a regular plain old shoe?  No thanks.

4) I just bought a pair of shoes today.  Jury is still out.

5) I'm like half a point away from being declared legally blind without correction.

6) I withdrew from calculus in college.  Because I was failing.  

7) I am a huge dork.  I stopped trying to fight the dorkiness a few years ago.  Embraced the dork side.  You don't know the power of the dork side.  See what I did just there, with that Star Wars reference???  Told ya.

I could literally go on for days, listing my quirks.  There are that many of them.  

Instead, I'd rather share some of the best bloggers out there I know and love.   And yeah, there are more than 15.  I don't follow rules well.   

In no particular order....drumroll please...

They are ALL awesome.  Go show them some love!

1) Happy Little Feet - real and funny, and she makes crafts...so she's my hero.

2) Oh, Boys - gorgeous and probably my long lost relative.  we have to be related.

3) Brady Bunch on Crack - amazing.  that is all.

4) Cerebral Milkshake - some of the funniest stuff online.

5) Mom Running on Empty - inspirational to those of us who want to run, but don't.

6) The MFP - she is the princess.  enough said.

7) Wyatt Zoo - total supermom and a fabulous photographer.

8) I Want a Dumpster Baby - i could write novels about the things i love about her.  just go.

9) If Only She Had Applied Herself - one of my first internet blogging buddies, funny as hell.

10) World's Worst Moms - my kindred spirit.

11) The Misadventures of a Bi-Polar Girl - brave and powerful, she is amazing.

12) Coldblooded - tells it like it is, and doesn't hold back.

13) How I Learned to Wear a Dress - my favorite feminist.

14) A Tea Tray in the Sky - one of the best writers out there.  raw, real.

15) Carpool Goddess - making motherhood laughable and livable.

16) Homespooled- talented at everything and she shares her gifts with the world.

17) The Madness of Mommyhood - sarcastic and funny, touching and deep, just love.

18) Austin Blood - the man of the hour, and he's worth it.

19) All That Jazzy - quite possibly the cutest baby on the internet.  and ron jeremy.

20) Dedicated 2 Life - an inspiration to so many.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

That morning

That morning was just about perfect.

It was the kind of morning that I'd spent years wishing for, at times never knowing whether it would come to fruition or not.

I'd gone through the only routine that mattered anymore.  Sometime around 2a.m., the baby awoke.  He was retrieved by my husband and brought to bed with us.  He nursed and fell back to sleep peacefully after laying on my chest for a bit.

If there's a better feeling in the world than having a newborn lay their head on your chest, I've not yet experienced it.  It is, simply put, intoxicating.  The softness of their skin, the downy hair, the smell.  Oh, the smell.

I could write books just about that.

A few hours later, as the morning sunlight peeked over the hills, my husband quietly got up and got ready for work.  He arranged the pillows around the baby in the nest-like fashion he'd become so accustomed.  Closed the bathroom door silently so as to not wake the baby or me.

Woke me to kiss me goodbye, told me to go back to sleep.  He'll be awake soon, as he motioned at his snoring son asleep beside me with his eyes.

I love you.

I knew that he was right, the baby would be up soon, and so back to sleep I went.

A while later, I opened my eyes, surprised that the baby was still in dreamland.  By then, the sun had made it's way over and around the hills and it streamed in through our drapes.

We had pale green striped sheer drapes back then, and the morning sunlight with a hint of a breeze made the most beautiful shadows dance across the ceiling.  The world outside was still and quiet.

The cats curled up at my feet, they knew to wait until I was ready to get up.  They were content to lay there with me for as long as it took.

I glanced over at my magnificent boy.  This miracle of ours.  It was a long, hard road, but he was here and he was perfect and delicious.  I knew the moment that he arrived in this world that for the rest of my life, I would forever be a mother before I was anything else again.  He did that, this tiny little boy.

I laid there beside him and watched him sleep, the soft humming of his breaths, the gentle up and down of his chest.

The phone rang.  Startled out of my suspended reality, I tried to reach over him without waking him.  He stirred as I grabbed the phone and muted my voice to whisper hello.

It was Tom.

All he said was that I needed to turn on he TV.  Right now.

I fumbled for the remote, asked him what was going on.

The screen came to life just as the second tower fell.

There were no words for a while.

Then panic began to set in.  He worked in the tallest building in the approach to the airport runways.  Where was he?  When would he be home?  Was he safe?  Had he heard from anyone?  Were we safe here?  Were the planes grounded yet?

He had no answers.  The cell phone lines were jammed.  No one knew anything, really, at that point.

I sat up, with my head in my hands and cried.  That innocent little boy next to me, the one now glancing up at me with his bright blue eyes, smiled.  Giggled.

I was terrified.  Of everything, and all at once.  What was happening?  What kind of world did I just bring a child into?  How many were killed?  How many more attacks were planned?  How did this happen?

Those answers would come for the most part, though some would take days, some would take years.

And we were all forever changed.

I've shared this picture of my son that I took that morning before.


I'm not sure what motivated me to take it, in all honesty, but I'm glad I did.  It helps me to remember that not all that came from that day was tragic.  I will always have the memory of that morning burned into my mind.  Without the other events of that day, I'm sure my memory of that morning would have been more vague, less detailed, more fuzzy.  More like every other morning in the life of a mother.

That day was different.

In discussing this subject with another writer friend a while back, we both decided that our stories, our individual stories of where we were and what we remember are worth telling.

This day that we remember today will be one of the most defining of our generation.  It's our Kennedy assassination.  Everyone will forever remember where they were when they heard.

Where were you?  Your story is worth telling too.

Never forget.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Now, that's hilarious

Here are the rules for today's post:

1) You're not laughing at me, you're laughing with me.  Right?  Right????

2) When people ask me how I stay sane, things like this help.

3) I try really hard to be a good, nice person....honest.  Sometimes I just suck at it.

Okay, now that we have all those formalities straightened out, let's move forward.

Purposeful suckage
My oldest daughter sucks at helping with the laundry.  She knows, it is okay.  I'm pretty sure that she's sucking on purpose so that I'll eventually give up asking for help.  The kid might be a genius.  

What is happening, aside from the chronically restarted dryer and resulting wrinkled clothes is that she keeps putting the detergent bottle on top of the washer, and she keeps leaving the top off of it.

Washers have spin cycles.  Washers dance and shimmy and shake.  Sometimes they even walk across the room.  Machines that take on a life of their own shouldn't have open giant bottles of detergent on top of them.  

In the last two weeks, said open bottle has flown off the top of the washer.  Not once, not twice.  Thrice.  Yes, thrice.

Twice it landed upside down on top of a basket of CLEAN clothes.  The third time, the floor.  Which now has this fabulous slimy sheen to it.  Needless to say, we're back to the uber concentrated formula in a pump bottle (even if it costs more) and Ashley isn't helping.  Sigh.  It was worth a shot, right?

I attract royalty
In the last few weeks, I've gained, then blocked and deleted some interesting fans.  Who knew that the kings and princes of small nations in Africa wanted to read my blog???

For those of you who think I'm actually talking about readers/fans, let me clarify.  They are really scammers and spammers, and I just have no patience for Nigerian princes.

Triple Dog Dare, a challenge I can't refuse
I posted a status on my Facebook page about this Saturday, then promptly took it down...only after I realized that it probably needed some explanation, and that it was funny enough to include in a post.  So here.

We ran out of beer Friday.  This is a tragedy, and it needed to be remedied.

I've chronicled my various medical issues which currently have rendered by birth control pills less than the 99% effective they claim to be.  Having already given birth to one child conceived while on antibiotics, I'm not taking that risk again.  Consequently, there were condoms on my shopping list.  

If you're following me here, that means I needed to buy beer and condoms.  Because I'm not really a 35 year old married mom of 4.  I'm really an 18 year old frat boy.  

The husband and I had a date night Saturday and decided to stop at the store for those items.  Except here in the lovely state of Colorado, there aren't many places to purchase condoms and beer at the same time.  Which is fun.  

We hit the drive through liquor store (Incidentally, I love the convenience, but WTF?!?!  Drive through liquor stores???)  

Then we had to stop at Walgreens.  Thinking aloud, I said that we were out of paper towels and I should check to see if they had the cream recommended for Ally's eczema there.  He started laughing almost immediately, the crippled husband in the passenger seat.  Knowing I'd be the one going in the store, he immediately dared me to buy paper towels, skin cream and condoms.  And keep a straight face.

You know I walked up to the checkout with my items proudly, and totally made small talk with the teenage boy behind the register.  

Like a boss.

Ugly babies
This is bad.  Really bad.  Like so bad that this is the kind of thing I'm going to be sent to hell for.  But as much as I love a cute and adorable baby, I love me some ugly babies.  You know the ones, they are all over Facebook.  Aww, look at my beautiful little one!  Aren't they precious?!?!  Then other people comment about how cute they are, and you're like, dude....do you have beer goggles on??  That's one uuuuugly baby.

Ugly babies make me smile.  

I'm a terrible person. 

Gnomes behaving badly
My oldest son is officially an obnoxious teenager with an inappropriate sense of humor.  I have no idea where he gets it from.  

He and his partner in crime, the kid across the street, staged this for me to find.  


There are so many things wrong with this picture. (and no, I'm not referring to the fact that I clearly need to buy more mulch, so ignore that for now)

The gnome on the left is obviously the lightweight of the group, and he's already passed out.  Then you've got the dirty old man gnome pinning down that poor angel and doing bad things to her.  I have to say though, she doesn't seem to be putting up a defense at all.  

Don't even get me started on those owls. 

Perverts.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

...and then the world would be better

When we were on the way home from the last soccer game of the day yesterday, my husband was playing on my phone in the passenger seat.  He figured out how to live stream football games to my phone, and since I am the one with the unlimited data plan, he has to use my phone.  Right?

As we drove further away from Denver, back towards the sticks, the coverage went from 4G to 3G pretty abruptly, which resulted in his videos getting messed up.  Lots of buffering.  Lots of whining by the man in the passenger seat with the first world problems.

He jokingly said that if the entire world had 4G, it would be a better place.

Which might be true and all, but I guess that wouldn't be the first thing I'd go to as a way to improve the overall status of the world.

I'd be more likely to request world peace or the end of hunger or the availability of basic medical care or the end of oppression or a cure for cancer.  

But that's just me.

That last one, it's hitting home today.

Cancer is an asshole.

Like, all the way through to it's core. It's just evil.

There are far too many people in this life that have been touched by it.  I learned of another yesterday.  In the past few months, too many people I love have lost someone to it.  There's a little boy, sick and beaten down by it this week, refusing to let it define who he is.  Who wants nothing more in the whole wide world than to just be a preschooler right now.

It's been a very emotional week for me in terms of all this.  Writing the post about Lance brought back all kinds of memories of the hell we went through, and even after all these years it is hard to revisit.  That's the thing about cancer that those who've never been touched by it can't understand.  Once it's been in your house, in your life, in your family, it never ever leaves.  It's always there, lingering in the background.

You've lost that sense of invincibility.  You've been forced to let go of the idea that you will wake up tomorrow and everything will be okay.  It might not be.  And there is almost nothing that you can do about it.

I dreamt about my dad last night, surely because of what I went to bed thinking about. These days, that's when he seems the most real to me still.  When I can hear his voice and see his smile.  I miss him more when I wake up, but it's worth it.


If you aren't following her already, I urge you all to find Mary Tyler Mom on Facebook and share her journey.  Her little girl, Donna, left this world too soon.  In celebration of her life, and in an attempt to let people know what it's really like to have a sick child, she has documented their experiences.  Their pain.  Their victories.  Their struggles.  Their agonizing choices.

Sheila is amazing.  Her strength and resolve to fight this fight with her little girl is breathtaking.  That she now continues to tell Donna's story and ensure that her life and death will not be in vain is an inspiration.  The Huffington Post is featuring her stories, one each day this month, and with each day my heart breaks a little more.

It's because I know how her story ends, and I know that each day's post is one day nearer.

I've never met Sheila, and I never had the chance to meet her beautiful little girl.  Still, she has touched my life, and she should touch yours too.

I urge you to find her and follow her and fall in love with her.

I also ask you to consider donating to those organizations who actually fund cancer research.  We gave to Stand Up To Cancer this weekend.

I stand up for my Dad and for Trey and for Donna.  For those who are gone, for those just diagnosed this week, for those fighting for their lives.

Who do you stand up for?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Things That Piss Me Off Tuesday - the "I'm really getting bad at this" edition

I suck.  Obviously.

A couple weeks in a row now that I've neglected my weekly rant.  I'm three days late this time, which makes sense if you know what kind of week I've had.

Which brings me to the first thing that pissed me off.

This Week
Yep, you read that right.  This whole week has just gotten under my skin and irritated the hell out of me.  I kid you not, I have been to at least one doctor's appointment for at least one person every day this week.  One involved an xray, one a biopsy, one an emergency referral to another doctor, one a blood test.  Then there was the holy shit you need to go to the emergency room right now crap that transpired yesterday.

Good times, y'all.  Good times.

I got to have a ton of blood work and an EKG and a CT scan.  When they think you have a blood clot in your lung, doctors start to kind of freak out a little.  I'm fine.  Mostly.  A little traumatized by the whole experience, but mostly just pissed off at why this happened.  I probably have a blood clotting disorder, thanks to the wonders of genetics.  And I'm old.  Which means I am certain to get yanked off my birth control pills today once the OBGYN catches wind of what is going on.

Which is just freaking fantastic.  I really wanted to evaluate birth control options.  Again.  It's my favorite.

That, and I also need to send a shout out to the makers of Augmentin.  Thanks for saving my life and all, getting rid of the pneumonia that was kicking my ass.  For reals, that's good.  Woot woot.

Neigh.
However, I'm really not a fan of all the hell my body is going through as a result of these nasty ass horse pills.  I'm sure that's how the medications work.  It's like a giant roto rooter for your digestive system, purging everything bad from your body, leaving you helpless and miserable, scanning every single building you're ever in for the nearest bathroom.  I have exorcised the demons.  Repeatedly.  (and yes, you have to say that in your Robin Williams voice)  Still, glad to be alive.  Whatevs.

After I got home from the hospital last night, my husband thanked me for not dying.

Turning Left
No, I'm not Derek Zoolander.  I can turn left.  It just takes forever sometimes.  You see, I came from SoCal, the land of the traffic signal.  There are lights at every intersection.  Like, even out in the middle of BFE, California, there are still traffic signals.  Here, in the wonderful land of Colorado, there aren't.

It's my fault.  We bought a house in this tiny subdivision on the edge of town.  We aren't far from one of the major highways that form a boundary for the city.  It's a two lane, undivided highway with a posted speed limit of 60mph.  Our access point, as you've probably guessed by now, has no signal.  Normally, it's not a big deal.

Except at 7:45am during the peak of rush hour when I have to turn left there to get my son and his friend to school.  Then it can take forever just to get out of the neighborhood.

It's good they have each other to stay occupied, those boys.  Them and their awkward middle school senses of humor.  Their bizarre inside jokes that are funny only to them.  Their goofiness.

Hey, I have a question for you!!!

What's the only thing worse than one boy playing his trumpet in an enclosed vehicle????

Yep, you guessed it.

Two boys playing trumpets in an enclosed vehicle. 

If you see me and wonder what the hell happened to me before 8am that could possibly wear me out that much???  Now you know.

Now you know.

Assholes
Okay, so this is a broad sweeping statement and could encompass so many things.  Mostly though, I am thinking about my asshole neighbor.  The HOA prez.  The one I torture for fun.  The one who doesn't have kids.  Or a soul.

That asshole.

I have been spending time in another neighborhood lately, since my soccer practices are held there.  This neighborhood is nicer than mine.  Bigger houses, more expensive.  Everyone has a gardener and I'm pretty sure that no one who owns those houses cleans their own toilet.  This is how the other half lives, people.

In front of many houses in this nicer neighborhood???  Basketball hoops.

Where actual children are allowed to play in their own front yards.  Where physical activity is encouraged.  Where parents may actually play in pick up games with the neighbors and interact with one another.  And no one bitches about their property values dropping because there might be, gasp, evidence of small people nearby.

Neighbors of mine with kids got a hoop.  And a letter from the HOA.  Screw you, dickwad.

I'd convince more of my neighbors to go to the HOA meetings and vote to change the bylaws about this, but if there is one thing I am more resistant to attending in this entire world than a PTA meeting, it's an HOA meeting.

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