You really have to remember to put yourself first

That title is quite the slap in the face to me.  I mean, I know how to take care of my basic ‘me’ needs like eating, sleeping, showering and going to the bathroom, but to take care of this intellectual, emotional and physical being is just so foreign sometimes.  And having Lucas didn’t make it any better.  Well, this week, that all changed.  I did something for me and it was such a DUH!

I got my top wisdom teeth pulled that had cracked/destroyed the two molars in front of them.  I have been in pain for a little over 6 years and due to horrible or no insurance, I put it off and found ways to cope.  Even dental care is a basic necessity and I couldn’t even figure that out.  But I’ve made other changes that are making me feel more secure and more like I’m my own me.  I started drinking more water rather than surviving on crutches, I started working out, I started taking pride in my appearance again, I evaluated how I was portraying and communicating with others and figured out how I could better represent me and I’ve been seeing a doctor to talk about my past, present and future.

The last change noted has been most helpful for my psyche as I needed to understand my ‘different’ points and not feel so alone.  The rest has done such a number on all the other departments as well as making sleep so much more rewarding.  I’ve also started returning to some work.  I’m in the process of joining our HOA’s Board of Directors and I’ve become quite involved with my church on different projects.  I feel like I’m contributing outside my home again and that when the time is right for me to enter the workforce again, I will be prepared for it.

As a mother, I found myself getting lost is so many other parenting styles that I forgot what I was doing as a mom.  I finally shrugged the Empire State Building sized amount of senseless information and got back to my gut instinct.  I also worked on understanding my life as a wife and what my husband needs of me.  All of these people need me to be me and that’s why we all love and need each other in the first place.  It’s again so profound that the statement ‘Getting Back to the Basics’ really means just that and can be used in all facets of life.  I encourage each and every one of you to sit down at least once a week and figure out how you can get back to what makes you the happy you.  You’ll be surprised by who all this will affect; most importantly, YOU!

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I need to invest in what I already have

It came to me today like a meteor hitting Earth (we all know it’s going to happen; we will go the way of the dinosaurs 😉 ).  After shopping a slew of people to get a grown up outing, I tend to forget I have another adult in my house.  Noah has never been one to drink at home unless we were having a get together.  Not certain why but maybe it’s for the best; Chrystal has not been too reliable in the past in the responsibility department.

As many know, Noah and I are not the picture perfect couple.  We are rolling with Henry and Alice Mitchell now but before we were definitely Sid and Nancy (this is no joke).  I think that since I got used to close to a decade of this behavior, there are still traces of it in my logic.  I used to live on everyone else’s outings besides building time with Noah.  Now that we have to be home with Lucas all the time (trust me, it’s not that bad, but a break every so often is nice), I want to build back on why we kept sticking it out with each other and eventually finding it in us to get married.  I remember telling my cousin over our Indiana Christmas trip that I don’t know how Noah and I are together as we never really had a ‘falling in love’ story, we were merely victims of circumstance.  She said something that just blew me away; ‘That’s how it is, man.  That’s how it happens’.  MIND….BLOWN!  She was right, that’s exactly how it is.  Everyone says if you let them go and they come back to you, it was meant to be.  We are proof of such a phrase.

We are slowly going down a slippery slope and I need to get us out (as since when are men the ones to initiate anything, right?!).  We are falling down the comfortable road; he has to be in his office often for work, but really he just keeps finding new computer games; I get addicted to a new show on Netflix or Antenna TV and I’m in my sweats by 6:30pm; we go to bed at 9:15, kiss each other and roll over.  You would think once the newness of parenthood dusted off, we would be ready to invest in ‘us’ time again.  WRONG!  You are just glad to get sleep and ‘you’ time away from your child who is pissed about his struggle with independence.  I’m pretty certain children is why marriage counseling was started.  You just don’t know how your marriage fits once you have a child.  This is pretty much why we are good with one; we are still semi-selfish when it comes to our marriage and to us, inserting another child is just another batch of selfishness we are not wanting to give up.  It takes certain kinds of parents to handle multiples and we are not those people.

So I think now, since I can’t get people to invest in me as their friend, I’ll just start shopping babysitters.  They tend to be more giving with their time since you pay them.  Babysitters are cheaper than marriage counselors, right?  This awkward friend concept also had me talking with Noah over the weekend about a move out of the PNW.  Noah and I just never found our niche with people here and I know a great many reasons why.  We discussed how his job could work it out, when that could happen and when would be best for our family as a whole.  We will not be returning to Indiana, but we will be closer to there.  I breathed a great sigh of relief to know that I won’t be doing the ‘dating scene for friends’ thing forever.  My doc told me that finding friends is just like dating, it takes forever to find people worth investing time in.

Until that time, I’ll just make ‘friends’ out of babysitters and invest in being a grown up woman again with my husband.

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Home Improvement Project #2: Window Screens

There have been lots of ‘fun’ things we have found throughout our home that we weren’t expecting to NOT have.  Window screens was definitely one of those ‘fun’ things.  Since we had 12 windows that needed that item, we recruited a company to come out and do this.  We were VERY pleased with this decision.

We opted to go with Screenman Mobile Screening Service.  They bring a box truck and do the consultation as well as installation in one visit.  The gentleman that came was extremely friendly and we had a wonderful experience with him and the product.  He did inform us of some disappointing tricks of the builder trade: windows typically come with the screens and builders remove the screens and opt to charge the home owner an additional fee to get the screens.  Bummer, right?!  I was wondering why every place I called for screen quotes kept asking me if I was looking for a new window.  No, folks, I have the windows in my house, I need screens so I can let us all breathe during warmer months!

If you need new screens or a repair and you don’t feel comfortable getting the kits and supplies at a local home improvement/hardware store, I really recommend this company.

Next month’s project (June) is going to be changing the cabinets in our kitchen from the maple stain to white.  We will be trying out the Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations.  I’ve done research over the last couple of weeks through blogs and website reviews and know some tips, but overall, consumers are quite happy with the product and price.  Once we take on that project, it will give us a better time and cost projection for altering the trim around the house along with cabinets in bathrooms.  If you have any tips on this particular product, I would love to hear them!

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What other parenting style could there be?-Momodcasts

I apologize in advance for my tirade as it’s all getting a bit old. iTunes user or non-iTunes user

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His Eyes Would Sparkle And Shine

***GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS OF A CAR ACCIDENT AND VICTIMS.  PLEASE DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE SENSITIVE TO SUCH MATERIAL***

It was 16 years ago and it was a beautiful Friday afternoon.  I was in 6th grade and had just completed my first week back to school after being at home for a bit with the chicken pox.  Getting those at 12 was just brutal.  I will never forget how relieved I was to come home that afternoon, but that relief was short lived when I saw my mother come home from work.  She had clearly been crying for quite some time and the gentleman she was with at the time had to help her walk into our house.  That afternoon my father had made a choice that would affect all of us for the rest of our lives….

My father had met at a local watering hole with his best buddy.  Who knows what they were actually there for; alcoholics don’t need reasons to be at these places, they are always there.  They, too, decided to make the best of the weather and go cruising down a back road.  Both had been drinking but only one had a license.  My dad had just been released from jail a few months earlier due to the ‘3 strikes and you’re out’ rule for drunk drivers.  He spent a couple months in jail and the only thing it changed was kept him from driving; he lost his license for a LONG time.  I guess we all felt relieved that he couldn’t drive anymore.

As they drove along this winding road, they attempted to maintain a high rate of speed through an upcoming s-curve.  They made it through the first half of the curve, but the second part, they were not so lucky.  The car they were riding in went hurling off the road before flipping several times and ejecting my father from the car.  The driver was trapped in the car with only a bruise on his neck from the seat belt.  My father went flying 30 feet from the car and was killed during the ejection as his head went through the portion of the car where the door closes with the car.  As the once white car comes to a rest in a crumpled metal ball, my father, too, was laying in the field in a crumpled pile.

My mother, after taking a while to compose herself, came from her bedroom and sat my sister and I down to talk with us.  She had informed us that our father was in another accident.  My parents had been divorced for a bit when this all happened and his accidents were a partial factor in that life changing decision.  I asked if we could go see him, assuming he was in a hospital or crashed out on someone’s couch again.  My mother shook her head and began to cry again.  She said he didn’t make it this time.  I was frozen, shocked still in my own skin.  How does a 12 year old and a 7 year old understand the death of a parent?  How do these children understand death at all?  I began to cry as I saw everyone around me crying.  I didn’t know what else to do.

When it came time to see my father one last time, I still felt frozen.  I was physically alive, but in all other senses, I was dead.  I truly don’t think I’ve ever recovered, but I’ve learned to accept those dead parts of me.  I walked up to his casket, not really sure of what I would see.  I wanted to see my dad the way I always had, the pale factory worker with dirty hands, scrubby hair and always a 5 o’clock shadow.  There was only one thing that was him, his attire.  They put him in his Harley-Davidson t-shirt and jeans with the worn out Converse athletic high tops he had had for almost 10 years.  But he had so much make up on his face to cover up all the swelling and bruising that he didn’t look like my dad.  They had an open casket, but he was faced so you couldn’t see one side of his face as his jaw was busted out and they put a turtle neck over his twisted neck.  The funeral home played a lot of my father’s favorite songs in the background as our family is not really into that organ music.  But it was when they decided to have him carried out to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Free Bird’ that all of a sudden all that was left of me was sucked out and I cried like I had never cried before.  Watching my family around me cry as they watched me cry just was too much.

The next year I would see society, the justice system and my family at their worst.  Court, money and moral battles took over our lives as everyone fought about everything.  My sister and I had to sit back and watch our lives continue to unravel all because my father decided to take a drunk joy ride one beautiful Friday afternoon.  Please, think about this story the next time you are about to get behind the wheel of a car.  Do you want to put a family through this?  Do you want to put yourself through the legal troubles that will follow?  If you or someone you know battles with this sort of problem, please share this story and let them know they can get help.  Friends and family don’t let the ones they love drive drunk.  Don’t change someone’s life this way.  Don’t let someone else have this kind of story to relive every day for the rest of their lives.

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Before you start hatin’, know your foe

In the wake of President Obama stating his Christian beliefs (and his daughters) helped him decide to support gay marriage, I’ve read quite a few sites that have stated they don’t understand how that’s possible.  I’m also well aware of the Biblical verses that are quoted as stating gay marriage is a sin.  I think  some folks need some educational material regarding how a good portion of us Christians support gay marriage.  (The following statements are my own through study and discussion with other Christians; I have attended mostly Methodists churches and had a short time spent with a Non-Denominational church.  My opinions reflect my study with these backgrounds.)

First off, we understand that God is love.  God wants his children happy and to respect, appreciate and love one another.  In case everyone forgot, marriage started off as a business arrangement.  It was meant to merge powerful families.  While it does still exist, a good portion of the human race believes marriage is about love.  So if we revert to my earlier statement that God is love and wants his children to be happy, why should we involve our political beliefs to stop it?

Now, the verses that state gay union is a sin is misread.  Most of the verses which state being against any sort of gay union were throughout the Old Testament.  In the New Testament, Jesus did not speak of gay union.  When Jesus came and worked throughout the people, He helped EVERYONE.  He never turned someone away because of their beliefs or whatever condition they may be in.  It is also understood that Jesus came and died for us to be cleaned and cleared of all of our sin, thus making The Old Testament laws obsolete.  Yes, The Bible is open to interpretation and everyone reads it and understands it differently (just as I read and understand it this way), it’s also being researched to check if all the original Hebrew words were translated correctly.

Lastly, a good portion of society likes to make their idea of Christians based on congregations with radical motives.  These beliefs do not reflect the entire Christian faith.  Just as one group of Atheists, Buddhists, Catholics, Lutherans, Jewish, Hindus and many other religious groups may have radical groups that does not mean the entire faith feels that way.  I choose not to generalize society as a whole, but the opinions I receive on a regular basis from friends seem to believe we, Christians, are all bad apples setting judgement on all.  It’s not our place to pass judgement and no one should feel that way.  True Christians show love to all and embrace each other.

I will send you off on the Statement of Inclusion from the church I’m attending (Fairwood Community UMC) and I feel it is fantastic representation of the path all Christians should be walking towards: “We believe in the ever present love of God as witnessed through Jesus Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit. We believe that each person is loved by God and is of sacred worth.

Therefore, by God’s grace:

We welcome all persons to our Church without regard to race, ethnic or cultural background, social status, gender, sexual orientation, age, theological perspective, political affiliation, or other means people use to categorize and discriminate against others. We express God’s hospitality by creating a safe, healing and transforming place for all to enter. We celebrate the gifts of all who come seeking God, Christian community and justice in our world, and we welcome all into the life and ministry of our Church. We recognize the inter-relatedness of all creation and we declare that we grow in grace and in the knowledge of God when we embrace diversity. We uphold the motto of our denomination – Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors.”

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This mama gives some meal planning tips-Momodcasts

In this edition, we discuss tips I’ve learned over the year regarding meal planning non-iTunes user or iTunes user

Here is the link to the Google Document which outlines some of my main points.

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I dream of…

In my younger days, I remember roaming the neighborhood with fellow neighbor kids coming up with all sorts of scenarios that we thought would be our future.  One of the very first scenarios I will never forget is this one kid wanting to be Batman and I was Vicki Vale; typical damsel in distress bologna.  Then there was one time when my cousin stayed over for a night and wanted to prowl upon all of us as Freddy Krueger.  But really, that was all typical make believe.

But when I seriously wanted to live my future, I played a storm chaser.  I found a section of an encyclopedia that described all the different types of clouds in the sky and I would run through the neighborhood proclaiming what each cloud meant and what it was capable of!  I had a map of the US and had it taped up in either my bedroom or the garage and I would take a stick to point out weather conditions in different parts of the country.  I watched Twister like it was an instructional video and my mom blessed me with a home footage collection she probably got from Time Life that showed tornadoes in action and how storm chasers researched them (I still have them and occasionally whip out the vcr so I can watch them).  I was going to live in the heart of tornado alley and chase down these windy, destructive monsters to learn how they tick for NOAA.

What didn’t make sense about any of this was I was deathly afraid of thunderstorms.  WHAT?!  Every time I heard thunder in the distance, I would cower and hide inside any building that was close by.  When we had the outbreak of tornadoes in ’92, as soon as the first siren went off, I had half of our coat closet (it was the most center point of our one story, no basement, ranch style home) cleaned out so my family could get in.  I always felt like the storm or tornadoes were chasing me.  Bizarre, I know, but kids come up with all sorts of fun beliefs.  I’ll never forget the gross, olive colored sky that outbreak shed over us.  The black clouds were guardians of this horrific wall.  That storm always seems to be a defining moment in my life; when I truly came to understand fear.

So where am I now?  I married a Noah and I don’t live far from a NOAA research center, but I stay at home with a destructive monster in Seattle.  Eh, I didn’t do too bad.  But one day, I hope, for a vacation, I can talk Noah into going on one of those tornado spotting tours.  Just so I can watch (from a safe distance) a power I dreamed of harnessing.  It’s funny how dreams of your future profession growing up fall to the wayside when you figure out what’s going to pay for the lifestyle and the real hopes inside you.  But, I’ll keep my vcr handy and remember how The Weather Channel used to be my holy tv channel…

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Just remember: it’s not personal

The more and more I spend time in ‘isolation’, the more I understand how alienated I have become.  But, I can see a lot more things and people more clearly and I’m really glad to have this time.  One of the things I’ve noticed is how ‘personal’ Facebook has become.  I’ll be the first to admit I’m on it frequently and use it frequently.  I didn’t realize that people were limited on their usage of such a tool.  I enjoy it as a free tool to show my family across the states what we are up to and to remain friends with folks who used to be apart of my days.

Now this may be an extreme, but some people are using Facebook as motive for killings and other drastic measures.  UM WHAT?!  Come on, folks, it’s just Facebook.  I’ve overheard people say they are afraid to ‘friend’ or ‘not friend’ or ‘de-friend’ someone as they don’t want to hurt their feelings.  REALLY?!  It’s a website and it doesn’t need to be that personal.  Just because you do or do not want someone seeing what you are up to doesn’t mean feelings should be hurt.  I thought we lived in such a jaded, desensitized world that it wouldn’t be this big of a deal.

But I will note, I have had my feeling hurt or put down by not things said on Facebook, but things people say in relation to Facebook.  Apparently, people have become so desensitized, they forgot how to give someone a phone call or drop by with a coffee; they just say ‘Oh, I’ve been following you on Facebook, so I know what’s going on’.  So now Facebook feeds erase the need for person to person conversation? That is most disappointing to hear.  I guess now that we have computers to talk for us, the human race is invalid?  I hope someone will inform me otherwise.

So I just keep telling myself, it’s not personal.  And apparently, everyone else who has something to say regarding the interpersonal relationships developed on these social media sites, guess what?  It’s not personal.

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