Monday, January 30, 2012

Introductions (and Monday Mommy Moments)

I'm not sure why, since none of my children are born in the first half of the year, but I was thinking the other day about the first time I met each of my children, face to face. Each pregnancy was unique, each discovery of pregnancy different and each first official introduction was totally unlike the others.

I discovered I was pregnant with my first daughter about a month after my husband and I had gotten married. We were watching Knocked Up (how ironic, right?) and all the sudden, I started bawling my eyes out. I just couldn't stop crying and got SO emotional about the movie. Seriously, I think I cried for like 2 hours straight. I knew then that something was up. So I took a test and sure enough, I was pregnant.

I spent the pregnancy eating spaghetti for three meals a day, taking a break to eat shrimp. We moved from Charlotte to Pittsburgh and I didn't have to work so I just stayed home all day. Seriously, I couldn't tell you what I did all day other than read anything and everything about babies.

My daughter was due on June 5th, 2008. Because she was breach, I had a c-section scheduled for May 30th. On the 29th, I went to my OB check up and turns out, she'd flipped. But I was so far along concerning my dilation and what not that they expected to see me the next day anyway. It never happened. I went through the next week just waiting for her to literally fall out (yeah, I was that far along) but she never did so an induction was scheduled for June 6th.

My labor went smoothly and she was (is) beautiful. When she came out and they put her on my chest, I cried hysterical (which may be the reason why she is my crier to this day). I couldn't help it. I had so many emotions rushing at me at once (and hormone surges) that I couldn't contain my tears. It must have been a bit much because every one in the room stopped what they were doing, looked at me and then the doctor asked if I was ok. Whatever, I had my gorgeous first baby, born on my dad's birthday, and she was healthy and happy.

With my son, my superstitious husband knew we were going to have a son. When the Steelers win the superbowl, a male is born in my husband's family. This sometimes includes dogs. Like his dog Spike. Whatever. I was late and so I took a test the day before the superbowl and gave the test to my unknowing husband as a gift, saying that I was the best "football" wife. Let's just say that when the Steelers won the superbowl the next day, my hubby was extra excited.

We knew we'd need a bigger house with another kid coming so we moved. Shortly after moving, since I was able to find out the gender but my new doc wouldn't let me take the sonogram yet, I went to an ultrasound clinic and sure enough, we were pregnant with a son. I was ecstatic. I wanted so badly to give my husband a son and now I was able to.

Because I had such bad back pain towards the end of this pregnancy, I was allowed to be induced and my little man was born October 8, 2009. When they put him on my chest, I had almost a complete opposite reaction than I did with my daughter. I think my husband was a bit confused by my attitude but there was nothing negative about it. When they handed him to me, I laid there staring at him with his long dark black hair. I was so proud that I coudlnt' do much other than smile. Seriously. Pride was my strongest "emotion" right then. I enjoyed watching my husband play with his new baby son. Proud.

After my son's first birthday, I just KNEW I was pregnant with our third child. I knew almost two weeks before I was able to take a pregnancy test. Don't ask how I knew. I just knew. I must have spent $30 or more on pregnancy tests because I kept taking them so early that I was getting negatives. Finally, on what had to be my 10th try or so, I got the positive I knew would eventually show up. I'm pretty sure I walked out of the bathroom and tossed the test at my husband. It would be our third kid in less than 4 years. No biggie (hahaha, yeah right).

My third pregnancy was pretty great. I had tons of energy (thank goodness since I had to keep up with two other young children) and didn't gain even half as much weight as I had with the first two. My husband and I made a date out of going to a new ultrasound clinic to learn the gender of our new baby. I'm pretty sure we even had the name finalized by the time we were finished with lunch after the appointment.

I had chosen to get a new doctor and she didn't seem to think there was any problem having the baby come just less than two weeks early. I actually was pretty dilated and effaced very early on. By the "two weeks until" point, I was already 50% effaced and 4 centimeters dilated. I was induced but I think she'd have come soon anyway. As we were signing in, I has having pretty strong contractions. It's a good thing too...

When the doc broke my water for me, there was maconium in the water and so it was important to get the baby out. I knew that it was a big deal but not a HUGE deal but it still had me pretty freaked out. When she came out, I wasn't allowed to touch her until they cleaned her up, sucked the junk out of her throat, let her stomach settle a little and check all her vitals. I was stressed and nervous so by the time they finally handed her to me, I was just relieved. Relieved that all was good and that she was ok.

I think back to the times when I first "met" my babies. The first time seeing their faces after I spent the last nine months or so literally tied to them. It's inexplicable. And I know all the other loving mothers out there know what I'm talking about, but there's really no words. Or not enough words to describe what happens to a mom's heart and soul when she first looks upon her sweet baby's face. No matter what kind of reaction, there's more going on behind, in the mind and in the heart of the new mother.

I look at my children now, 3 1/2, 2 and 7 months and I can still see their cute little new born faces. I'm still able to recognize the bond that connected their heart to mine when we first looked at each other. I can still remember those first moments we shared, just us.

One of the best parts about being a mom is that first introduction and how it sets up a life time of love. Love at first sight. I don't know if it exists in the romantic sense but I KNOW it exists in the maternal sense. I knew I loved my babies even before they were born but I didn't know how much I'd love them until I saw their faces.

Wannabe or not, being a mom to my three amazing babies will always be the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Do We Ever Really Grow Up?

Sometimes, I get overwhelmed with just the IDEA of a task that I have to do and I'm so filled with dread that I continue to put it off until I know I can't any more. I organized the play room today. I've been putting it off since before Christmas since I knew it was a disaster, that it was FULL of toys and that it was going to take a really long time (see the bottom of this post for the before and after pictures). Since my husband was home this week, I thought I'd snag the chance to get started on it while he watched the kids. I printed out some labels and headed upstairs by myself with a cup of coffee.

I not only had to pick up all the toys, throw away broken ones and sort everything, I had to reassemble the Barbie dream house that until today I was regretting buying for my daughter. Plus, I had to reassemble all the goofy car tracks and ramps that we'd gotten for our son. Thankfully, my husband took breaks while the kids were quiet to come help me. But it was that Barbie house that changed the whole experience for me.

We bought the dream house for my daughter for Christmas in 2010. She was only 2 1/2. I really don't know what we were thinking, buying it for a little girl that young. She wasn't all that into it. But her little brother was. I know he didn't mean to break all the parts and tear it all to pieces but he got so excited about things like the lights turning on when you open the front door that he ended up ripping off the door in a burst of joy. The same with the light up hot tub, refrigerator, singing shower and the flat screen TV the rises up out of the back of the fireplace. I really wasn't looking forward to trying to put it all back together but I'm glad I did. It was actually fun. When I was little, I was into My Little Ponies and Barbies. I hated (and am still creeped out by) baby dolls. Putting the dream house back together and putting clothes back on all the of the 20 or so Barbies took me back to my childhood. It was fun to be girlly for a few minutes. I'd have had a blast with this house when I was a kid. Putting all the foods in the fridge or hanging up the dresses in the closet, setting up all of Barbie's purses and rearranging the furniture. It'd have kept me busy for HOURS! And today it did.

I had a blast straightening it up and having fun with it. It's nice to every once in a while remember what it's like to be a kid and use your imagination a little. It was also nice to be able to have a little bit of fun with something that I was trying to hide from. To find some secret joy in a task that made me cringe just to think about.

The best part was that when I was finished, my daughter sat in front of it, seeing it all put together as it was meant to be for the first time since Christmas morning over a year ago. She gasped, being the dramatic 3 1/2 year old that she is, and said, "Oh, Mommy. It's so beautiful!" It made me giggle but brought a sense of joy knowing that I was able to make her day. I'm glad now that we bought it because she's at an age where she'll be able to enjoy it and through the next few years, will enjoy it even more. It's always nice to be able to completely understand and share the happiness your child is experiencing.

It made me wonder though if we ever really grow up. I probably could have sat there today and played with the house for quite a while. It really is fun. My husband can sit for hours and set up our son's GI Joes. He LOVES to show my son all the neat details in his diecast collectors cars (nothing but a bunch of ridiculously expensive... and heavy... toy cars, hahaha). He's just as bad as I am though. We could still play with toys almost like as if we were kids only yesterday.

I think the secret to not aging is to just not age. Wisdom is one thing. Age is another.

This Wannabe Supermom is going back upstairs now to watch my daughter play with her Barbie dream house and pray that she invites me to join her.

This picture was taken about 20 minutes into the "process"

They got to it before I could snap a pictures so it's not quite as straight as it was.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

If You Got It, Flaunt It

Every once in a while, something will happen that makes me realize that I'm getting older. Like today, when I was at the grocery store. The cashiers were young men (which now that I think about it, they didn't look old enough to NOT be in high school and I'm wondering why they weren't in school...). Although very genuinely polite, I wanted to laugh at them. The one had long hair that swept across his face and he had to keep his head tilted at an angle so he could peak out between the hairs where his part was. The other had on pants tighter than mine. And trust me, I can barely fit into my own as it is. I really wanted to laugh. I know this is the style now but it made me feel older to think that they really didn't look as cool as they were hoping.

I think back on my years in middle, high school and even college, when being "trendy" was super important. I went to a private Christian school from kindergarten to 12th grade and we wore uniforms for as long as I can remember. There wasn't a whole lot of room for "self expression", which really, is the whole point of unifor
ms. I didn't associate with many kids outside of my school so I couldn't tell you how "public school kids" dressed. Then I went to college. It was a Christian college and at the time, they had a much stricter dress code than they do now. Although there was now room for a little bit of self expression, we still kinda had to follow the same guidelines as every one else. My idea of "cool" was still pretty basic. I know I thought it was coolest to be "edgier" than every one else. I wore my chucks before they got super popular again. I thought flames needed to be on almost every garment of clothing and that chains made you look hardcore. (I'm laughing while I'm writing this). I left college, went home and got a job waitressing. I think I was blown away by how different every one was. I upgraded my "edginess" by dying my hair all the time and getting tattoos. I smoked (which I never really thought was cool, it seriously helped me de-stress but still...) and continued to sport my dragon seat covers in my Toyota Tercel. I was SO cool. In all seriousness, I was the biggest geek around, having to wear huge glasses, head gear, a back brace and barely being able to walk with out tripping. I didn't realize that back then but oh well.   

I get a kick out of how I dressed. My husband told me that had I continued to dress that way, he'd have nominated me for the show "What Not To Wear". However, as I've gotten older, my tastes and my style has changed a little. It's no longer a matter of trying to be "trendy" or to express myself. It is now a matter of owning who I am and what I am. I don't feel the need to keep up with teeny bopper trends (thank goodness! they only seem to get worse as time goes on!) and feel that I am able to be myself. I'm not so worried about what others will think of how I'm dressed, I'm not as concerned with what every one else is wearing or what others are going to think of my tattoos. In fact, if they weren't so stinking expensive, I'd have a whole lot more (seriously... don't tell me they don't cost much. you get the kinda quality you pay for and I'm not spending money on a cheap tattoo). But that's the thing. I am who I am and I'm not ashamed of it.

I'm a Christian woman. And I'm not afraid to let you know. I'm a stay at home mom. I'm not ashamed of that. I had three kids back to back. Also nothing that I feel weird about no matter what "well meaning" people choose to say. I've got tattoos and if that makes me weird, then I'm stinkin weird. I kinda feel that if you've got it, flaunt it. As women, we went through tons of peer pressure when we were younger. More than we realized. At some point in time, that peer pressure needs to end. It's time to stop being afraid of every one else who, in all reality, is just as afraid of every one else as we are. Time to wear our skin, our titles, our accomplishments proudly. It's time that we start setting GOOD examples (get out of my face, Lady GaGa!) for the younger generations of women coming up behind us. It's time to start being confident with who we are. I know it's easier said than done. I still struggle sometimes with wondering, especially in church, "Will they like me? Are they going to look down on me because I'm 'tatted'?" But really. There's more to being a woman than the clothes we wear or what others think of us.

Part of growing up is knowing that "cool" is relative. That it is just a matter of opinion, tastes and preferences. In my opinion, cool is confidence in being yourself. I don't think this is projected enough to the women who are quickly stepping into our shoes. My husband once told me that the most attractive thing about a woman is her self confidence. A woman who carries herself well and was sure of who she was as a woman was more attractive in his opinion than a woman who was always doubting herself or really insecure. I honestly agree with this. And think that this is an idea that needs to be presented to my daughters. Being self confident is cool.

This Wannabe Supermom is gonna flaunt what she's got because she's not ashamed of who she is.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Embarrassing Mommy Moments

Any woman who thinks she will go through her journey as a mother with out being completely embarrassed by her children at some point in time is nuts. Kids don't mean to do it. It just happens. I can remember doing stupid things to my parents when I was a kid. One time, my mom was shopping and my little sister was sitting in the seat of the shopping cart. I some how managed to jump on the bar between the wheels on the bottom of the cart and flip the cart over... sister and all. My poor sister had a rug burn on her forehead where she slid, face first across the carpeting in the store. I don't remember that part. All I remember is being on the floor on my back, with the cart on top of me, staring into the faces of a bunch of adults that were wearing concerned looks (but not helping... go figure...). My mom had to be mortified. She still took us out to the movies though.

I have three children, ages 3 1/2, 2 and 7 months. I've already had my fair share of embarrassing moments but I know that there will be many more.

Two of my most memorable happened at McDonalds. My 2 year old son decided to climb to the top of the playground and sit. Squat. Not come down. However you want to put it. He stayed up there for 2 hours. I could NOT get him to come down. Because we live in a sick and scary world, I was too afraid to ask some one to watch the baby and my purse while I went up to get him. Any time I called his name, he would scream "NO" down to me. I could see him sitting at the top of the slide. At first, I thought that he was too afraid to go down. Then I realized he just thought it would be funny to make me mad. Eventually, EVERYONE, including the other children, in the play place was calling his name. I tried to get my 3 year old daughter to push him down the slide. I love the kid but she's a little clueless sometimes. If my mom had given me permission to push my sister down the slide as a kid, I'd have jumped at the chance. My daughter though, climbs to the top and says, "Mommy says it would be nice for you to come down now." Geez kid. Like he didn't know that already... I almost started crying because I just couldn't get him to budge, in spite of the other McDonalds patrons calling his name. Finally, after being completely mortified in front of strangers for hours, a little old lady came over to me and promised to sit with the baby if I wanted to run up there and get him. Let's just say that his face upon seeing his angry mom turn the corner of those stupid tube alleys was priceless. He knew he was in trouble. I don't think I've ever seen his eyes get so big.

The other time was with my daughter. They had had to accompany me to my OB appointment earlier in the day. While there, my daughter, who LOVES to talk, decided to introduce herself and her little brother to everyone we walked past. After the appointment, I took them to McDonalds, making a potty break before ordering our food. While in the stall, I was talking to my daughter about how she shouldn't talk to strangers. This is something I'd been trying to teach her for a while. I proceeded to ask her what she's supposed to say when a stranger comes up to her or tries to touch her. She then, in the bathroom of McDonalds, starts screaming, "STRANGER DANGER!!!!" over and over again. Very loudly. Have you ever stood outside a public bathroom while some one inside was yelling? It amplifies the sound. I wanted to leave right then and there but figured that alone would have seemed even more suspicious. Hopefully, we'll never have to do THAT again.

I asked some of my facebook friends to share some of their most embarrassing moments as mothers. Here are some of their responses:

"One of many embarrassing moments was when Marissa was little and I was trying to loose weight. We were at the grocery store, walking through the bakery section and Marissa ran over to the bakery case and yelled, 'Don't look, Mom. You are on a diet!'"

"When Josh was about 4 or 5, he went to stay with his uncle who taught him lots of useful information. After he came home, we were at the clinic for an appointment and the doctor said something about spinach. Josh said, "Yeah, spinach puts lead in your pencil!'"

"I was at the grocery store with my 2 youngest and while waiting at the check out, they're looking at the magazine rack. One cover had a younger Michael Jackson featured and VERY loudly, you hear, "I thought Michael Jackson was white!" At that moment, they were not my kids."

"Breastfeeding for the first time in public, at a Panera, sat by a window with my back to every one else in the restaurant. I ignorantly used a pretty silk blanket as a cover up, so when silky blanket slipped off me, no one in the restaurant saw my gigantic breast, but every one in the parking lot sure did!"

"The first time Gaige saw a black person, he was 3. It's Oregon. He asked me if he turned that color from too much chocolate milk. The guy laughed.... Gaige also told everyone in the public bathroom that I was pooping one time."

"When Nathan was three and Evan a baby, we walked from the car dealership to McDonalds for a snack as our car got an oil change. Nathan acted up and I had to take him into the bathroom for a 'reminder' on how to behave. When we got back to Nissan, a lady sees his McDonalds cup and asks, 'What did you get at McDonalds?' His response? 'I got a spanking.'"

"What's really still embarrassing to this day is the time that I took my kids, who were one and three at the time, for a walk around our neighborhood/apartment community. When it was time to head back to our apartment, my Noelle was so adamant that we were not going home that I physically could not get her and my son down the sidewalk. I tried carrying them both, I tried threats, I tried bribes... I could not get them to budge. And in fact, Noelle was beginning to try bolting in the street. I was desperate! I called my husband on the cell but he couldn't come home from work right then. So finally, a good Samaritan driving by stopped to see if I needed help. She ended up carrying one child while I carried the other. Finally, we managed to get them locked uptight with in the apartment again."

It's times like these that help us mothers grow thick skin. Times like these embarrassing mommy moments are what give us the strength to face more difficult trials or just flat out remind us that we're human. I have heard that my kids will pay me back for all the stuff that I did to my own parents when I was a kid. That honestly really terrifies me. None of my own experiences as a mother so far come anywhere close to what I put my parents through so I know that there will be many more embarrassing moments. Should be fun...

I love hearing these kinds of stories so please feel free to share your own embarrassing mommy moment. Also, if you're a fellow blogging mom, please go ahead and click on the "Mommy Moments" button and link up! Looking forward to hearing some of your own personal "mommy moments"!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Leaving a Legacy

It's kinda sad that it takes pain or tragedy to make you think about certain things sometimes but that's how it goes.

My grandmother's neighbor's daughter-in-law passed away after a battle with cancer today. She left behind her husband and 2 young children. She was in her early 30's. I don't know a single thing about her other than the man that she was married to and her in laws are really good people. That alone makes me think that she must have been something very special.

The fact that she left children behind is what made me think about what people will say when remembering  her. What will her children be told about her? Will they remember her at all? How will their lives be affected just from having known her at all?

This thinking led me to my dad's mom. I wish so badly that I could have met her. She passed away when he was 10. Life for every one in the family changed drastically. Everything from that point forward took an incredible turn. What truly makes me think that she must have been an amazing woman though is how Dad speaks about her to this day. He talks about her as if she was some kind of magical goddess of love and compassion, happiness and peace. She lived her life in such a way that whenever Dad thinks about her, he remembers good things. He remembers love and living a life free of worry and filled with family and fun.

I wonder what my children would say if something happened to me. Would they say that I yelled a lot? Would they say that I couldn't keep up with the laundry? Would they remember the times I got frustrated and broke down in tears? Probably not. At their very young ages of 3, 2 and 7 months, they'd probably remember girl's night and going to Chic-Fil-A on Fridays or going to church. But if they were older, what would they say then? What kinds of things would they talk about with my husband? Am I leaving a good impression on their lives?

It's something to think about, as a mom, when living out each day. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the dishes and the diapers and the doctor's appointments and making sure they know how to spell their names or sing the songs properly. I think it goes along with a point I made a while ago about investing in your children. In putting in your love and time and not just the "stuff". I think it's about making sure that they know that, as my kids, that they are the most important thing I will ever "do" in my life. That they are the greatest things that have ever happened to me, stinky diapers and all.

What will my children remember about me, the Wannabe Supermom?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Counting Your Blessings

Not too long ago, my neighbor lent me a book (which I ended up winning in a giveaway, something which in and of itself proved to be a blessing) that I'd been hearing a lot about and wanted to read, "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. I fell in love with it almost immediately. Or rather, through the things it shed light on in my life, I fell back in love with God.

In this book, Ann talks about her own journey discovering the "hidden" power of giving God the credit He deserves. In using your life as a "thank you" to Him in any situation. About unclouding your heart to see the all the wonderful gifts that He's placed right in front of you that you so often and quickly take for granted. She describes her self-induced goal of writing down one thousand gifts that God has given her that she is thankful for. It is a beautifully written book and it has so severely opened my eyes and in turn, my life has taken an incredible turn.

I ended up downloading the "One Thousand Gifts" app for my iphone and let me tell you, this alone has made a huge difference. If you're like me, your phone is always near at hand. Anywhere and everywhere. This app is wonderful because not only does it have inspirational quotes from the book, a streamline from twitter so you can see all the things that other people are saying about the book and their "gifts" but you can also "track" or keep your own count of your one thousand gifts. I find myself updating it all the time. For anything and everything that comes to mind that I'm thankful for. You can even take pictures and use those as a numbered gift. It's great. I love being able to quickly type something in and have the list always at hand as a reminder to be thankful and also for what God has already done for me.

This last week has been pretty rough. With out going into any details, we've experienced some seemingly outrageous set backs. My husband and I joked yesterday that our family motto should be, "When it rains, it pours" or "Go big or go home, even with the trials and tribulations". Not really a joke but we had to find some kind of humor in our current situation. I found myself thinking about all the things that COULD have happened to make the situation worse. Which in turn made me so much more grateful to God that He saved us of the added pain. This realization led me to continue to pray and thank Him for His goodness and graciousness in our lives. It just kept coming. I seriously couldn't stop it. God's mercies just became more and more evident as I kept thanking Him. As soon as this started happening, our situation started changing. Things that we figured were going to just drag us further down all the sudden worked out better than we could have hoped for. God started blessing us more and more abundantly. He alleviated our burden and filled our hearts with hope and peace and joy. It almost literally knocked me to the floor. It was so obvious that things began to work out by His hand and He was SO merciful to us that it made me speechless. I really can not describe to you how strongly I have felt His power in my life these last few days. The power of His love.

Through this recent experience, I can not express strongly enough to you, the incredible power of acknowledging the work of God. In giving Him credit for all the wonderful things you have in your life. Even when it seems like the world is against you, finding joy and happiness in the little things like the way the sun shines through the window or your child saying their ABC's properly for the first time or the smell of freshly cleaned clothes. Anything. It will change your life. God will change your life. If you let Him.

I highly recommend to everyone here to read "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp as well as downloading the app if you can. And if you can't download it, start your own, handwritten list. Count your blessings. Acknowledge God for EVERYTHING that He has given to you because He loves you. I promise that you will see a change in your life.

Here is a link to the book on Amazon:

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mommy Moments

Every Monday, I'll be sharing "mommy moments". This could mean any number of things and each Monday could be completely different from the one before.

Today, I will be sharing a little something that has been on my heart lately. I don't know about any one else out there but I, every once in a while, have a hard time with wondering where along the journey of becoming a mom, did I loose myself. Where did I leave myself behind to become "Mommy"? It's taken me a while to come to the realization that THIS is who I am now. However, I'm still an individual. Just because I am now Mom to every one in this house doesn't mean that I have lost the woman that I was before my rugrats came along. I used to write and read and work and go out with friends. I dyed my hair every other week and wore six inch heels. I used to draw and create with my chalks and oils. Now, I fold clothes and wash dishes, kiss boo boos and clean up poop of all kinds.

Not too long ago, I thought I was going to have a total meltdown right in the middle of putting groceries away. I had food in the car that needed to come in. I had dogs that needed to be let out. I had kids who needed to be changed and were fighting with each other and crying and throwing things. I wanted to run and hide. Had I not had groceries that were threatening to go bad if I didn't put them away quickly, I probably would have locked myself in the bathroom and cried. It was hard for me to not be totally overwhelmed with the feeling of being needed by every one all the time and never having time to even think about my own dreams and goals. I was going crazy. Don't get me wrong. I adore my family. I wouldn't trade any of the tough moments for anything else in the whole universe. I am thankful that I get to be home all day every day with my children. Really. I recognize this as an incredible blessing. However, I am a person too. I have things that I still want to do with my life, in addition to raising my children and growing old and happier with my husband.

I thought I'd ask other moms, friends and family, what they do as mothers to help hold on to their sense of "self". To maintain an individuality as women. To relax or enjoy something outside of the realm of "mommy hood". I got some really interesting answers. Some similar, some very unique. Here is a list of some of their answers:

-bubble baths
-going back to school to earn a degree (and a paycheck)
-joining a gym or a work out class
-starting their own business
-redecorating the house semi regularly
-arts and crafts
-writing children's stories
-wood working
-riding motorcycles
-regular "girls' nights" with a group of friends
-music lessons
-trips to the salon

I was impressed with the stories that some of the women shared. Impressed and not so alone. Some of the women that answered very obviously understood what I was going through and it made me feel good to know that I wasn't the only woman who dealt with feeling "lost" in her role of Mom. I think that every woman needs something that can restore her sanity, help her feel like she's more than just a robot or the house maid. I think that when a woman is allowed to be a woman, and not just MOMMY!!!, she is more confident, happier and healthier, all helping her to be an even better mother.

I would love to hear what you do to hold onto who you are as an individual while doing the most important thing you'll ever do with your life, being a mom.

 Monday Mommy Moments Blog Hop with Voice Boks

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Funny Parenting Quotes

So I'm really tired, again. It seems like lately, I just get worn out quicker and quicker. It may have something to do with the fact that my children are getting bigger and bigger and therefore so are their messes. And its getting harder for me to keep up with them while I chase them around the house to flip out on them for those large messes they make. Just kidding. Well, not really but we'll pretend I didn't just admit that I literally have to chase my kids sometimes.... Anyway... Being burnt out (I know you know how I feel), I decided to find some funny parenting quotes and share them with you. A laugh is always appreciated.

Before I got married, I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children and no theories.
-John Wilmot

The quickest way for a parent to get a child's attention is to sit down and look comfortable.
-Lane Olinghouse

If nature had arranged that husbands and wives should have children alternatively, there would never be more than three in a family.
-Lawrence Housman

When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they're finished, I climb out.
-Emma Bombeck

You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.
-Franklin Jones

Children are natural mimics who act like their parents despite every effort  to teach them good manners.

People who say they sleep like a baby don't have one.
-Leo Burke

Insanity is hereditary. You get it from your kids.
-Sam Levenson

If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?
-Milton Berle

Being a mother isn't simply a matter of having children. To think that is as absurd as believing that having a piano makes you a musician.
-Sydney Harris

You know your children are growing up when they stop asking you where they came from and refuse to tell you where they're going.
Even very young children need to be informed about dying. Explain the concept of death very carefully to your child. This will make threatening him with it much more effective.
-PJ O'Rourke

Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap on a rope.
-Bill Cosby

Few things are more satisfying than seeing your own children have teenagers of their own.
-Doug Larson

It is amazing how quickly the kids learn to drive a car, yet are unable to understand the lawnmower, snowblower or vacuum cleaner.
-Ben Bergor

The reason grandchildren and grandparents get along so well is because they have a common enemy.

Mothers are slightly insane.
-JD Salinger

The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.
-Calvin Trillin

Think of stretch marks as pregnancy service stripes.
-Joyce Armor

Human beings are the only creatures on earth that allow their children to come back home.
-Bill Cosby

Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth.
In general, my children refuse to eat anything that hasn't danced on television.
-Emma Bombeck

Be nice to your children for they will choose your rest home.
Most children threaten at times to run away from home. This is the only thing that keeps some parents going.
We spend the first twelve months of our children's lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve years telling them to sit down and shut up.
-Phyllis Diller

Children aren't happy without something to ignore, and that's what parents were created for.
-Ogden Nash

A two year old is kind of like having a blender, but you don't have a top for it.
Jerry Seinfeld

( I got these quotes from and )

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Gym: An Hour a Day Gift From My Hubby

So I've been pretty worn out lately. I chalk it up to the fact that I recently started going back to the gym. While it gives me amazing amounts of energy through out the day, as soon as I put the kids to bed and the house is quiet, I feel how incredibly tired I am. I'd consider going to bed but at this point, it's only 7 pm and if I went to bed this early, I'd be up at 3 in the morning. No bueno.

Tonight, since I was so tired but felt the need to post something, I was going to post all these great, funny parenting quotes I found online. This is how tired I am. I tried to post this roughly 12 times before I realized it wasn't letting me because I'd copy and pasted the whole thing. It's like walking into a glass door over and over before you realize what you're doing. Duh!

I took it as a sign that I wasn't meant to post that but that I should post something else. Since I don't really know what to write about (that good ol' writer's block I mentioned before...) I'll just tell you about my new gym.

I got up earlier than I would have liked to get the kids up and fed and dressed. After a process that takes us about 2 hours (look... I'm not good with schedules or routines... so sue me), we headed to the gym. I've really enjoyed going back to the gym. My membership was a Christmas present from my husband. Here's an example of how far we've come in our relationship. 2 years ago, he got me all kinds of work out gear for Christmas. I was so angry at what I felt he was implying. I wanted to pinch him. Really hard. Over and over. But this year, him giving me the membership was like him giving me an hour a day that I could have all to myself to do something healthy. Really, that's what it is. A little slice of heaven. I get to spend an hour sweating out tons of stress (and calories and all kinds of nasty funk) with my head phones on drowning out all the background noise. Listening to whatever music I want to listen to. The gym has a great little play room and the girls in there are great with the kids.

I used to go to LA Fitness. I like my new gym better. It's small (I don't think it even has showers) and the fellow patrons are normal people. LA Fitness was like going to a movie set. All these huge, perfect muscles on the men and women. The men even seemed to shine in a way that suggested that they'd lathered on baby oil before they came out to the floor. I never saw a single one of them working out though. They'd pretend to lift weights but then you'd see them pacing the floor talking on their blue tooth or chatting to each other or hitting on the very well endowed smoothie girl. The women were just as bad. I saw less clothing on women working out there than I would at the beach on a hot summer day. I felt so out of place.

This new gym is wonderful though. No one is trying to sell me anything when I walk through the door. There aren't 20 kids to one adult in the play room. There's not a ton of muscle head men walking around in spandex looking like their neck muscles are about to swallow their head. The women are normal "yes, we have weight 'issues' too!" women. I don't feel the need to spray paint my body to pretend I'm wearing clothes. And when I stunk really bad while working out the other day (have I ever mentioned that I often forget to put deodorant on in the mornings?), I wasn't looking around to see if any one else noticed. The old lady next to me on the Elliptical has her music on so loud that I can hear it perfectly, even with her headphones plugged into her own ears. The old men smile at me and hold the door for me and my three children. The nice young man (hahaha, yeah, I'm only 26 and I'm saying "young man") that helped me enroll didn't try to sell me water bottles or key chains or a stinking workout towel. No one bothers me. No one comes and gets me every time my kids cry. No one stands there behind me waiting for me to get done on the bike because it's "their" bike. I feel normal amidst all the other humans. Also, when the young man informed me that a personal trainer was available if I wanted and that if I wanted to contact HER, to grab one of her cards at the front, I almost fell over. At LA Fitness, I was offered a complimentary session with a personal trainer of the club's choice. I got some new kid that had to have been at least 6 years younger than me and kept calling me "hunny" and "sweetie" and "babe". On top of that, he didn't have the LAST idea how a woman's body works. NO BUENO!!! To have the option of having a female personal trainer, at an incredibly affordable price, who is also a registered nurse was like the cherry on top of the cake. I don't think I'll use her any times soon but having the option is great.

I've gone 3 out of 4 days this week and I plan to go tomorrow and Saturday as well. I have to say that this gym membership is with out a doubt, the best gift my husband has given me (and he has given me some REALLY awesome gifts before). I don't think he realized how much I needed it. I get one hour all to myself. One hour a day with out the kids pulling on me or pooping on me or screaming at me. One hour to be left alone. On top of that, the physical benefits have affected my mentality. Working out has given me much more energy through out the day. I don't feel sluggish lately and being able to stay focused when dealing with all three kids 24/7 has helped tremendously. I feel better all over and it's great.

Babe, if you're reading this, thank you from the bottom of my heart for the gift of one hour a day all to myself. It has helped me more than I can ever express. You're the best! I love you!

Monday, January 9, 2012

You Know You're a Parent When...

There have been many times when my husband and I are dealing with the kids and something happens that makes us go, "Yup. We're parents." Some of those moments have been tough ones and some have been really funny ones.

I thought it would be fun to ask some of my friends and family to finish the sentence, "You know you're a parent when..." and see what they came up with.

Here are some of their responses and a few of my own:

You Know You're A Parent When:

-your child has a massive diaper blowout in their high chair during dinner and you clean it up, wash your hands and continue eating like you didn't just clean up some of the nastiest poop ever.

-you hear a kid scream that some one puked on the indoor playground at the mall and you quickly grab your child and high tail it out of there because you know it was yours.

-you change the things you used to think were ok into things that should be forbidden.

-you answer every request with "who, what, when and where?"

-you're in a public place in a tropical island with your hubby about a 10 hour plane ride away from your children who are with your parents and every time you hear a baby cry, you freak out looking to see where you kid is.

-you can't sleep unless there's a baby monitor on in your room.

-you haven't showered for 5 days.

-you used to have hair.

-there are only two of your favorite cookies left in the box and you give them to your children instead of eating them yourself.

-you can clean up vomit and not want to vomit yourself.

-your home has been transformed into a toy factory.

-you can name all the characters in all the shows on Nickelodeon and actually like a few of the shows.

-the twenty in your wallet is gone and you can't find your car keys.

-you touch poop with your bare hands and it's not THAT terrible.

-you find a bulb syringe and a spatula mixed in with the shoes in your closet.

-you go shopping and you find yourself buying toys even when you can't really afford them.

-your idea of shopping changes from buying the hottest new pair of stilettos to buying the coolest

-your "purse" is now a diaper bag.

-there are toys in every cabinet in the kitchen, every desk drawer in the office and in every shower in the house.

-the only kind of cart you can use at the grocery store has a car attached to it.

-you have more Disney movies than grown up movies on the shelf.

-your idea of partying all night consists of 2 redbox movies and a bag of redvines.

-you have to budget "babysitter money" when planning a date with your spouse.

-your idea of success is completing dinner with out most of it ending up on the floor.

-you find yourself humming "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" in the shower.

-you cry when your baby is sick.

-you go out on a date with your spouse and all you can talk about is the kids.

-your idea of great artwork is hanging on your refrigerator being held up by an alphabet magnet.

-you go out to the movies with your spouse and find that the movies stinks and you wish you were at home watching cartoons with your kids instead.

-you find tiny socks in your gym bag, your lunch box, and in your pant leg... while you're wearing them.

-you know that for the rest of your life, you will always be happiest when your children are at home enjoying each other's company, no matter how old they are or you are.

I know that there are a lot more of these moments out there. Feel free to finish the sentence yourself and post it in the comment box.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Duped By The Vacuum Salesman

Today showed me that I am NOT as bright as I sometimes think. I was duped by the vacuum salesman.

Today started out pretty normal. The kids and I were early, we took forever getting ready and then as part of our Friday=Funday routine, we went out to lunch (which thankfully went with out any mishaps) and then grocery shopping. We ran some other errands and came home. Everything was going really well.

I had dinner in the oven and was running around trying to pick up the whirlwind of a mess that my house had become when there was a knock at the door. Because I have two boxers and a bulldog that thinks it's a boxer, I had to step outside instead of just opening the door to the woman. Upon shaking her hand, she asks if I'm the lady of the home and when I answer positively, she hands me a jug of Snuggie fabric softener. My "red flags" should have raised at this point. But they didn't. She then proceeds to ask me if I'd be willing to have a free carpet cleaning as part of an advertisement for a new company in the area. They wanted to also advertise by word of mouth. So, upon making sure that it was free, I let them in. Stupid me still hadn't caught on at this point.

The very nice gentleman who would be doing the cleaning began to unpack BOXES of vacuum equipment, explaining the whole time what each part was and asking all kinds of questions. He even had me get my own vacuum and use it on my carpet before he used his. He then explains that his is a Kirby. The name Kirby sounded familiar to me but it didn't occur to me until hours later that Dog the Bounty Hunter used to sell them back in his "pre-bounty" days.

 It still didn't dawn on me that he was trying to sell me the stupid thing. It wasn't until I asked him how much the cleaning services cost did he tell me that it wasn't a service he was selling but the vacuum itself. I'm not gonna lie, this thing was pretty amazing. All the parts were dishwasher safe. It vacuumed out a TON of dirt that my own vacuum didn't. Seriously. I feel wrong using my own vacuum now, knowing that it's not really getting out all the nastiness that's just chilling in my carpet. It also has an attachment to inflate and deflate what ever (when he told me that I could use it to blow up balloons, I thought he was joking). It has duster attachments for curtains, the TV and my ceiling fan. THEN he asked for a pillow from my bed. Actually, he asked if he could use it on my mattress but for some reason, I just felt that was a little weird. So, using some black filters, he vacuumed my pillow and showed me the grossest thing I've ever seen. The amount of dirt that is just chilling in my pillows (and therefor how much is in my mattress) is disgusting. I'm not even going to describe it. Makes me feel funny sleeping in my own bed tonight. However, this is not the end. He then begins to shampoo my carpet (entertaining my children with the bubbles the whole time).

While the suds are settling, he asks me if I'd like to see the price. He explains that financing is available and they're usually very flexible to help work around what the individual can pay. Here we go. I'm sold and I want one. Then he shows me the paper work. $2492. WHAT?!?!?!?! ? You want me to pay WHAT for a vacuum? I thought he was joking. I seriously did. That's outrageous to me. Do I LOOK like I can afford a multi thousand dollar vacuum? I mean, my house and cars are nice and all but give me a break. Then he asks me all kinds of questions like how much would I be willing to put down and what kind of monthly payment am I comfortable with. Then, awkwardness beyond awkwardness, he calls his boss. Right there in front of me. I almost smacked him, as nice as he was. He proceeds to get a run down from his boss, answering in only yes and no. Then he hangs up. He gives me a $1000 dollar discount. I almost laughed again. I got a $492 discount JUST FOR TURNING IN MY OLD VACUUM. And another $500 because I was a stay at home mom. I'm still laughing a little. The silliest things I've ever heard. I said I wouldn't make a large purchase like that without consulting my husband who was still at work. Ugh. Some how, my husband called right then. Cover blown. Thankfully, my husband, although I ranted and raved, is the voice of reason. He didn't even blink an eye. I'm pretty sure he didn't even respond past, "Oh, that's pretty cool."

Although I felt so awful that I had to tell this poor guy (I was his very first attempt on his own), I was kinda glad the whole ordeal was over. With the ability to go in and say my husband wasn't feeling it at the moment, I was able to get the sneaky, albeit kind (and patient with my nosy children), vacuum salesman out of my house. He did a fantastic job cleaning my carpet and he put up with my kids who kept taking his stuff apart (pretty sure my daughter used one of the vacuum heads that had bristles on it to brush her hair) but I am SO bad at telling people no and I get REALLY uncomfortable when a sales pitch just goes on and on. It got awkward while he was packing up and his boss showed up to help him out (and continue the sales pitch) but in the end, I got a free carpet cleaning and shampoo as well as a free jug of fabric softener. I can't complain about that. My kids were entertained for hours while I cleaned up my kitchen and watched the guy clean my carpet. Can't complain about that either. All in all, as weird as it got, being duped by the vacuum salesman wasn't a totally terrible thing.

I'm still amazed at myself though for how badly I fell for the whole scheme. Now I'm a little wiser and know that the next time some one shows up at my door with a jug of fabric softener, to let them know I'm not buying what they're selling but they're more than welcome to clean my carpet if they want.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I Wish Some One Had Told Me...

Is this for real?


   when I was pregnant with my first child, people gave me all kinds of well meaning advice. I got tips on what diapers were best, what formulas not to touch, why breast feeding will keep your kids from being obese (which, I laugh at a little because I didn't successfully breastfeed any of my kids... seriously, I had problems... and none of them are fat). I was given parenting suggestions and to this day, any time I mention something about my kids to some one, I will get some kind of, "Oh, try this."

I was told not to let my kids near the toilet as they got older, to keep them away from dog food as crawling babies (which, that one proved true), not to let them touch sharp objects or give into their whims on what foods they will want to eat. I was warned that they will want to watch their favorite movie over and over (also true) and that they will eat their boogers.

Here are a few things no one prepared me for that happen on a regular basis... Things that perhaps I should have known but wasn't aware would be an issue until they happened:

They will put anything, including baby bottles into the sub woofers if you don't pay attention. Said baby bottle WILL rot if you're unaware of it.

One child may be terrified of the new baby. To the point that he screams if the baby crawls near him or he throws up if, heaven forbid, the baby drools on him.

All children will at sometime pull on the dog's tail. Not such a big deal unless your dog's tail is clipped and then your kid's hands are all up in the dog's business.

Kid's may even eat the dog poop they see in the yard when they are very young, not knowing the difference. Chances are they will spit it out once it's in their mouth but if not, it may be wise to call a poison control center and/or take them to the doctor.

If one of your children is ever so ill that they land a long term stay in the ICU, you WILL freak out any time that child or any of the rest of your children gets a fever.

Jumping on the couch will forever be a favorite childhood pastime. No matter how much they get in trouble for it.

Picky eater is an understatement. You child may LOVE hot dogs and nothing else for a month. So you stock up and have a plethora in the freezer when they decide suddenly that sushi is the only thing they like now.

Kids may end up picking their noses SO MUCH that they bleed.

You child may have a taste for toothpaste. Still not over this one yet.

Children have an uncanny sense of awareness. Many people like to pretend that their children are clueless and naive about their surroundings but they aren't. Most know very well when a parent is upset or when a situation is urgent. Most can tell when a parent is so overwhelmed with love for the child that they're on the verge of tears. They can tell when parents are depressed or frazzled. It is difficult to hide your emotions from your children.

When they can start talking, they will be brutally honest with you. To the point that they tell you that you need to exercise because you're getting fat. Or that your driving isn't as fast, and therefor not as fun, as daddy's is. That your cooking is gross or that your breath stinks. They may even go as far as to tell you that your shoes should NOT be worn with that shirt.

They will throw fits about the strangest things such as having to wear pants and not a pretty dress. Or having water in their cup instead of lemonade. Or not getting as many carrots on their plate as their sibling even though they weren't planning on eating any of them in the first place.

I'm sure that every parent has their stories of things that they weren't prepared for. These were just a very small few of mine. Each day holds something in store for me that I was not prepared for in the least bit. All the well meaning advice and passed on wisdom isn't always enough.

This is why I have a "three piece suit and a master plan" (a line from a song titled Superman).

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Let Them Eat Toothpaste!

My kids, like many children, do some pretty strange things. Just a few days ago, I found my 2 year old son sitting in the corner sucking on his bottle of Spiderman toothpaste. I mentioned this on my facebook wall and some one responded that I shouldn't let him eat toothpaste. This kinda ruffled my feathers a little bit. I may not always think things through or certain things just don't occur to me until AFTER they happen (like my kid drinking from his toothpaste bottle) so for some one to tell me that I shouldn't "let" him do something made me a little defensive.

I didn't LET my child eat toothpaste. As soon as I found him sitting there (laughing a little on the inside because it was such a funny sight), I took it away from him and put it out of his reach. This isn't the first weird thing that one of my kids has done that I "let" them do.

My daughter is a budding artist. I can tell you this because I spent HOURS scrubbing crayon off the walls upstairs. I scrubbed so hard that I scrubbed the paint right off my walls. I will NEVER buy non washable crayons again. I was told that I shouldn't "let" her have crayons upstairs. I have never allowed her to take crayons upstairs. However, kids are pretty stinking sneaky. I used to bring my uneaten sandwiches home from school and I would hide them in a desk drawer in my bedroom. I didn't feel like getting yelled at for it. Stupid me. I REALLY got yelled at for it when my parents eventually found them... MONTHS later. Some could say to my parents, "You shouldn't have let her take her lunch box into her bedroom." Um, I'm pretty sure my parents didn't know. It wasn't something that they'd thought was an issue.

My son is going through what I'm praying is a phase where he tells me "NO" and "DON'T" on a regular basis. Some have told me that I shouldn't "let" him do that. I've gotta tell you. I can't express how much this bugs me. I don't let him say it to me. He just says it. And he gets punished. I've tried different punishment tactics. But I don't "LET" him. Some parents do. They completely allow the disrespect. I don't.

I didn't LET the baby eat a cookie yesterday. One of the older children took it into the living room (something else I don't LET them do) and left it on the floor. The baby, who is full force crawling now, got to the cookie before I realized what happened and lets just say that I was cleaning up soggy cookie off the floor and out of her mouth.

I don't LET my daughter jump on our couches. In fact, she gets in trouble EVERY time she does but for some reason, it doesn't stop her from doing it over and over. I don't let my son throw die cast cars off the balcony, or let me kids eat food off the floor or lay in the dirty dog beds or pick their noses till they bleed. They just do it. And when they do, I respond in a manner that I see fit for the situation. But I'm not LETTING them do these things.

I LET my kids sit at the table and color all day long if they want. I let them mix the different play dough colors together because its nearly impossible for them to keep it all separate and it's fairly cheap to replace. I let my kids eat popcorn in the living room only when its a movie night. I let the baby crawl all over the place to her heart's delight unless she heads near the dog beds. I let my dogs eat table scraps... in their bowl during their specific feeding times. I let my husband paint a room of our house in the Georgia Bulldogs colors. I let my kids have candy when they're really good.

There's a ton of things that I let my kids do and just as many things that I don't let them do. Each person parents differently. But I do not LET my kids eat toothpaste.

There's a lot of things that I am and a lot of things that I'm not. I'm A Wannabe Supermom. I'm not there yet and it'll be a long time until I'm not a wannabe any more. However, I'm not a bad mother. I'm simply a mom. Kids do crazy things when we turn our backs for a moment to respond to one of life's many demands. Perhaps I'm being a little huffy by getting slightly defensive in response to some one telling me not to "let" my kid do something that's potentially harmful to him but any mother (or father) will tell you that kids will sometimes do things whether it's something we've "let" them do or not. This Wannabe Supermom will continue taking each day one at a time along with all the random craziness my children will throw at me.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

No Resolutions. Only Life Changes.

I've never made new year's resolutions. I just never felt like it. When I was younger, it wasn't even something I thought about. Now that I'm older, the only reason why it comes to mind is thanks to all the "weight loss resolution" commercials. Tempting.... I just think they're kinda silly. People saying, while in a semi coma from all the food and candy and drinks they've been consuming during the holidays, that they will promise themselves and others to stick with something through out the year and beyond. I don't think I've ever met some one who's kept their resolutions. If they have, then they never shared it with me.

This year, I decided that I would continue my "tradition" of making no resolutions. However, I feel the need to make some life changes. When I say life, I mean changes that I would like to last until the day I die. I'm even nervous about sharing them on here because I feel as though if I don't follow through then you all (or the people who know me) will know whether or not I've stuck with it. Perhaps its best this way though. A means of holding myself accountable.

For starters, I want to be healthier from here on out. I don't just mean physically but mentally and spiritually as well. As a means to start though, I will begin by resuming my workouts at the gym. I have already joined a new one and am really looking forward to starting bright and early in the morning. Thank God for gyms with day cares! I know that working out and exercising will not only help me loose the weight that I need to loose in order to maintain physical health but it will help me not be so sluggish. I have such a hard time concentrating lately and I feel like I can't think straight to save my life. This has effected pretty much every area of my life. I have three children that I have to parent day in and day out. It takes a lot of effort. It really does. And not being able to think clearly and be organized affects them negatively. I'm over it. I'm over the frustration and fatigue. Having worked out before, I know what a HUGE difference this makes. I will also be eating differently. This is all in the works still. I don't have it all figured out but it's a goal.

I would also like to strengthen my relationship with God from here on out. I'm tired of talking the talk but not walking the walk. For me to do this is huge. I have to step out of my shell and embrace what He has planned for my life as a wife, a mother, a friend, as an individual. I've become a timid, anxious, slightly nervous person. Completely different from the more confident, easy going person I was 6 years ago or so. I know that I have to let Him change me again in order for me to grow in my walk with Him. This is going to be a long work in progress but starting is the whole point. I can't grow until I make the decision to change though. And I have. This is probably the most important change to me. I know that nothing else in my life will matter unless I am walking closer to God and allowing His will to work in my life. It doesn't matter how hardcore I can work out or how healthy I can eat, how organized or perfect my children are if I am not living my life in a way that is pleasing and honoring to God.

I also plan on going back to school and getting a degree. I never finished college. I don't often look back on my life and regret my past. There's handfuls of things that I look back on and say, "Why did you do that, stupid?" but I don't necessarily regret it. However, I DO regret not finishing my degree. I wish I'd finished though because I could be a better helpmate to my husband. If I had a degree for us to fall back on when things got tough this year, he probably wouldn't be working far from home in order to provide for us. He would be sitting in bed next to me, right where he belongs. All of this incredible pressure wouldn't rest on his shoulders alone. I could be helping him with our family, the way it should be. I couldn't have predicted this when I was younger. I had no idea that this would happen years after I wigged out and dropped out. But because I know what I know now, I will not allow things to continue in this fashion. I will finish my schooling and get a job to help benefit our family better. So that we can all BE a family TOGETHER. No more separation.

I've got a whole bunch of random "bucket list" type things I want to do as well. I'd like to read at least 20 new books a year. This may seem like a daunting task to some and to others it seems measly. 20 NEW books is a big deal to me because I have books that I LOVE that I reread over and over again every year. I'm off to a good start though because, thanks to my dad, I have a bag of like 10 or more books to read that he already read and handed down to me. As weird as it sounds, having hand-me-down books from my dad is one of the coolest things he could give me. I've always felt that my sense of imagination and appreciation for the written word is something that I share with my dad. It means more to me than he knows that he hands books down to me. When I was a teen and felt misunderstood and distant from my dad, I knew that no matter what was going on between us, I could always curl up next to him with a book while he read his own and it was like everything in life was perfect. Anyway... 20 new books a year.

I want to do something different and exciting with my husband every year for our anniversary. I want to be able to experience brand new things with him (not counting having kids etc) and I figured that planning something for our anniversary gives us a whole year to decided and plan it. That way we can make it something really memorable. I don't want our marriage to be boring and mundane. I want it to be exciting, with fun things to look forward to. I want to LIVE with him. Not just live with him.

There's more but for some reason, this post has taken me roughly an hour to write (have I mentioned that I get distracted easily). Keep me accountable! I don't want resolutions, I want life changes. I want these changes to KEEP changing me my ENTIRE life. Stagnant is not an option. I want to live my life. Not spend it laughing at the new years resolutions I made but never kept.

Here's to life and living it to the fullest!

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