Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hats All Folks

I went to a party the other night.
My friend, Sara, was hosting a ladies hat party.
Everyone was asked to bring a food item to share and wear their favorite hat or one that is special to them.

I was reluctant.

The truth is, I was pretty much stressed about the whole thing.
Unlike Sara, I am not able to share my feelings openly and with a group of ladies.
I mean I AM able to share, but it is almost always with a good dose of sarcasm and self depreciation.

So we walk into this hat party and sure enough the chairs are in a circle and the ladies are ready to talk.
It was hard for me.
Hard might be an understatement.
everybody share now

My eyes still hurt from trying to keep them from rolling.

And all of the ladies were telling sincerely touching stories about their adventures and their history.

One in particular was a gift from her mother and it is a hat that she cherishes because her mother bought it for her during a time in her life that her mother was present - and that was rare.
So the hat was a reminder of her mother being there for her.

Another was a story of a lady that travels to Africa often and how she bought the handmade hat from a starving child.

And then their was the lady who wore an Asian type hat because it reminded her of her dad fighting in Vietnam.

When it came to be my turn I gave my normal smirk and said I walked into the closet and grabbed the first one I saw.

Causes I am cool like that.
(Read: asshole)
hostess and me

Sara tried her hardest to get more out of me.  Where is it from?  What does it say?  I see Joe's BBQ is written on it.
But I wasn't gonna crack.
No way no how.

And then there was Jena, who was called upon to share her story and literally made something up on the fly.
(Read: bold faced lie).
Although it was a very entertaining story and I don't think that anyone else knew that she was pulling something from the clear blue sky.

I drove home that night and talked with Jena about the party and what the folks had shared.
And how it was a little uncomfortable.
And how it was really interesting how all of the virtual strangers could come together and speak so freely.

And now - a few days later the ladies of the hat share have been on my mind.
Their stories.
Their laughter.
Their tears.

I realized how fortunate I am to be able to experience these sorts of things.
I realize that it is just as normal for some people to share and to openly love as it is for me to clam up.

I have so much love inside of me to give.
And I know that it is okay that share it in my own time and with people that I trust.

I am thankful that Sara continues to include me.
Especially because I know that she knows that these things are not easy for me.
one gal came with hats to give away.
i really wanted this one - too bad it was too small.
 And I am also thankful that she continues to reach out and hug me even though she know that I am secretly freaking out inside.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Out of my system

Got the stomach shakes in Walmart today complete with the wandering around aimlessly.
The whole situation made me feel panicked.

It happens every year on this day.
The first day that I attempt to wrap my head around what we might get our kids for Christmas.

My plan (as always) was to put it on layaway today.
That way I will have 3 paychecks to divvy up before the get out day.

I kinda knew that today wouldn't be successful.  It never is.
So the good news is, I've gotten the initial freak out over with and the next time I can just come in with a clear head and get it done.

I love Christmas.

In other news...I pulled over in the vacant Rooms to Go parking lot.
Seems like a handful of others had the same thought of pulling over and eating or spending time on the phone.
Too bad that I keep breaking my neck to try and get a peek in the two vehicles that have more than one person in them.
It just seems shady in a Young and the Restless kinda way.

I mean, I guess Jeff and I could meet in a vacant parking lot and eat lunch in one of our cars, right?
Maybe they are keeping the spark lit.
And what is with me that I want to look over there so bad.
Shame on me.


Anyhow, back to real life now.


Last night I ran into the grocery store to get something to cook for supper.
I had $8.
The last of our money until payday.
I thought long and hard about what I could get.
I ended up with a sack of potatoes, a gallon of milk and green onions.

My total was $6.48.
Behind me there was a man and woman checking out.
I saw their groceries.
I overheard them talking about their alcohol.
And I watched the lady pay for the expensive craft beer with cash and the rest of the food with the Lone Star Card.
It made me mad.

I began stewing.
Here I am spending the last of our money on supper until payday and they are buying their fancy groceries thanks to the government and paying cash for their $9 beer.

How dare them!

After I checked out, I turned around to glance at the couple one more time before leaving the store.
At that moment, I felt ashamed.

Who am I to judge those folks?
Why is what they are doing wrong and upsetting to me?

Maybe that six pack of craft beer was a treat for them.
Maybe they genuinely have a rough time and need the government help.

I am no different than that couple.
I spend money on things I shouldn't and probably have family members and friends shaking their heads at our choices.
We made a choice to take our family camping this weekend.
Knowing it would leave us short on cash for the week.
It was our choice.

Why would I spend my energy being upset with someone I don't even know over circumstances that I have no idea about?
These people deserve love and compassion too.
I am no better than them.

I came home with my $6.48 worth of groceries and made a fantastic pot of potato soup.
In our warm home.
With our TV on.
Surrounded by people that I love.
What a lucky person I am.

I pray everyday that I will see the love in the world.
That I can find the good.

And I know that having hateful feelings towards people that I don't know is not going to to allow me to have a clear path to giving love and kindness.

I am not perfect.
But I want people to love me, flaws and all.
And I am trying to learn to do the same.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Back in the saddle

This past spring, Wyatt was riding his bicycle every single day after school and had mostly mastered riding with no training wheels.

And then came that dreadful Sunday that he was walking his bike down the driveway and fell and the handlebar went into his face causing a trip to the hospital and 7 stitches on his baby smooth cheek.

Since that day, he hasn't been back on his bike.

Fast forward to this weekend, we went camping at Garner State Park and took all of the bikes.

Wyatt showed a lot of courage and hopped back on his bike with more determination and confidence than most people ever have and he rode down the street.

Just like that.
He was riding.
And wasn't afraid anymore.

And the kids were all so proud of him.
And he was proud that he got to ride the campsite loop with this brothers and sisters like a big boy.

And this mom was filled with awe.
And a ton of pride.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Sam turned 17 yesterday.
I cried most of the day.

I am sad that the time went by so fast.
I am sad cause I am not sure he know the depth of my love.
I am sad because he doesn't speak and seems bothered by me most all of the time these days.

Last night he spoke at our elementary school regarding one of the school programs and the impact of his 6th grade teacher.
I had to turn my head because the tears were flowing.

What a kind, thoughtful kid.
I love him so so much and I can't wait until the day comes that we can be friends.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

43 and me

I turned 43 yesterday.
It feels the same as 42.

Although it does seem that I have been in a state of deep thought these days.
I have really been evaluating myself and my actions.

I have been thinking long and hard and trying to figure out who I am.
Which is weird, because I don't usually think long and hard about anything.

The truth is, for as long as I can remember, I have hated my birthday.
Not because I don't love birthdays.

Really just because the day I was born was the first day of my life of not being wanted.
I have to wonder if all kids that are put up for adoption feel the same way.

I wonder how long it takes each of them to get past it?

It is hard to look at people when they say 'happy birthday'.
It is especially hard to not cry when two older folks that you admire, respect and even love sing a genuine, heartfelt happy birthday to you in a hall filled with adults and children.  And they actually mean every word.

I can't remember many times in my life that I have ever had a grown man sing happy birthday to me and mean it.  Although, now that I write that - I can remember Jeff's dad singing to me and my grandpoppy too.

And then there was the class of kindergartners that sang "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MRS. CARRRRRRR" - if that doesn't make your knees shake, I don't know what will.

I think this is the first year that I can own my birthday.
Maybe I have come to peace with being born.

I know that my birth-mother wanted me.
I know that she has thought of me everyday since I left her.

I know that my momma desperately wanted and loved me.
I know that the home I was given was exactly where I was suppose to be.

I know that if I didn't have the childhood and parents that I had, I wouldn't be the person I am now.

So how do I be the best person I can be?
How do I payback for the gifts that I have and live a life worthy of 43 years of gratitude?

I don't know, but I am starting with love.
If there is a day that goes by that I have not loved - than it is a day that has been wasted.

And I look forward to 364 days from now.
Because I will be able to blow out the candles with pride knowing that I have done what I needed to do to make the world a better place.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Brother feet

These two love wearing matching socks everyday.
I love that it is their little secret.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday, September 9, 2013

what the dark brings

I have been thinking a lot about relationships lately.

In my head in the middle of the night, it all makes so much sense.

You can like someone and not love them.
You can love someone and not like them.

You can really know someone and love them and yet - not want to be around them.
You can not know someone at all and want to spend all of your time with them.

In my world, friendships ebb and flow.
I am blessed to have remained friends with people from all aspects of my life.
I love human relationships.
I love making new friends.
I love spending time with old friends.

And yet, sometimes the ones I love the most - I really don't want to be with.  (Ouch)

I went there.

I treasure the people in my life far too much to allow my current selfish thoughts to hurt years of priceless friendship.

But I wonder about these relationships.
Can my friends see that I am changing and growing?
I am not the same person.
Everyday I am different.

I feel like everyday I am growing and learning and branching out a little more.  My wings are just starting to spread.

I feel like some of my friends are done with growing and new experiences and doing something just because and will be genuinely happy if they never fly again.

That makes me sad.

There have been many occasions in the past year that have caused me to stop and evaluate friendships.

I have stood up for somethings that the old me would have normally kept quiet about.
Not all of my friends liked it.
And that didn't feel good.

I have made some changes in the way I want to live my daily life.
Not all of my friends like it.
Sometimes it is just easier to bitch and moan all of the time.

I have learned that sometimes it is okay to let some 'friends' go.
And that is tough.
Because I was brought up knowing that we do not throw people away.

And maybe letting a few go doesn't mean I am throwing them away - maybe it means that I am just taking a break.

I want to have my heart and mind open.
I want to surround myself with people that make me better.

I want to share myself with people that love me even when they don't agree with me.

I am thankful for the ones in my life that are willing to take adventures with me and allow me to grow.
I want to be in preschool with the world as my sensory tub.
I want to talk and learn and explore.
I want to laugh.
I want to dance.
I want to love.
I want to be better.
I want to give more than I get and show compassion to all people.

Today, at 42 years old - I think I just might be learning something about who I really am.

And that is some scary shit.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

It Tickles

There is nothing better than the laugh of a child.
There is nothing more calming than the natural, joyful laugh of my child.

Especially when my head is full of grown-up stuff.
Especially when I am tired.

Especially when it is cause rolly polly legs tickle.

I actually think the person upstairs might have planned that - when alla that creating was happening.
So props to the creator.
Cause I needed that.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Someday we will look back at this and laugh, right? PLEASE SAY WE WILL LAUGH!!!!

go 'C' team go!
I am frustrated.
I am mad.
I am sad.

This blog post serves two purposes:  1. venting and 2. historical documentation so we can look back and laugh about the fact that we all got so dang upset about STOOPID 8th grade volleyball.

Jena tried out for her middle school 8th grade vball team.
There were 72 girls trying out and only 18 total spots for the 'A' and 'B' teams.
She didn't make the 'A' or the 'B' team.
Instead, her and 54 of her closest (not) friends have been sent to the hell known as the 'C' team.

Now let me clarify - I am not being one of  THOSE moms.
I do not think our kids are perfect.
As a matter fact, I have been told I am sometimes too hard on them.

And for further clarification, this ain't our first C team rodeo - more like our 4th or 5th.

What is frustrating is that we have killed ourselves to live in this area and now our kids are being screwed because of it.

When our kids leave our cute sweet little elementary, they get thrown into the masses at the big middle school.
Part of the masses include some of Austin's most fortunate students.

Sadly, being mixed in with the kids that have been afforded every opportunity that money can buy makes it very difficult for the normal kids to catch a break.

And as much as it should make the wounds heal faster - hearing that 'if you went to a different school, you'd prolly make the team' doesn't make it feel better.  Actually, in some ways it makes it hurt a little bit more.

I have been okay the last 3 years that our girls experienced this ridiculous middle school rejection - but this year I did not handle myself so well.
I became THAT mom.
Like any klassy mom would do, I called the coach before my kid had even gotten off the school bus.

The conversation didn't go well.  Who am I kidding - i guess I knew it wouldn't.
But WTF?  Really?  Rejection again!?!?!
Just give a girl a break.

When I was in junior high, it was a time to try all things - and everyone was encouraged to go out for as many things possible.
Even the most untalented students could find a place on the court, field or pool.  I am proof.

So when my kid that has worked so hard is rejected, it makes me angry.
When my kid that is someplace between average and skilled is turned away because she is on the bubble, I am angry.

Does she have a bad attitude?
Did she not work with the teammates?
Was she unprepared or tardy for tryouts?

Maybe you could have said yes to one of those questions so i could have less of a reason to be angry.

Do you know what the 54 person 'C' team gets????
A couple of games that their parents get to drive them to - no bus - and that the kids may or may not actually get court time.
One practice day a week.
Sorry ladies - I know you are in athletics 4 days a week for volleyball, but the girls that made the team need the court - so you can go run the track.  In 106 degree heat. For the whole athletic period, because that doesn't feel like a slap in the face, right?

Day 3 of my girl coming home crying and I am pissed.
I want to let her quit.
Fuck 8th grade athletics.
But the voice of reason that has been on my shoulder and in my ear for the past 25 years keeps reminding me that we have to stay the course.
Parenting is hard.
We can't let her give up.
That would be allowing the system to win.

But she is MY baby and I want to fight.

For the record - I actually do like the coaches.
They are just doing their job.
And quite frankly, I would rather eat pig vomit than do that job.
Junior high kids + upset rich parents might cause me to do illegal things.
I suppose they might have laughed after they hung up from my call the other day.
Cause really, what am I gonna do?
Make some angry cookies?
Or worse yet - write an angry blog post?!?!?!

Each of those coaches are saints and I trust that they know that my beef isn't with them - but with the system.
And with the fact that I get to clean up the mess.

And maybe we will sell one of our other kids so that Jena can get some club vball experience and make the team in high school.
And when she does, I am gonna give her permission to wear her middle school tshirt with a giant middle finger salute.
For me and for all of the other regular girls that have shed tears over this stoopid team.

You might be wondering how I really feel.

P.S.  Did I mention that she went to vball camp the week before tryouts?  And she had to pay for part with her own money.  Ouch.  The life lessons just keep on coming, huh?

Oh and I can't forget the part about me encouraging her and telling her to never give up and to stay positive.  Hard work pays off.  Keep practicing, maybe you will get to move up.  Lie to kid much?
Mother of the year right here.

And no, we didn't encourage her to be team manager.
We told her it could be her choice.
She has had enough salt in the wound for one kid.
You might remember this.

Monday, September 2, 2013

11, 10, 8, 5, K


Thankful that they are all still willing to get up early to take this yearly picture
The first day of school came and went and somehow we have ended up on week two and I still haven't posted the yearly blog back to school post.

standing tall
As expected, I cried.  A LOT.
The kids were excited.

They were all looking forward to seeing their friends.
I think they were even excited to get back to a routine.

my heart.
I can't believe that Sam is going into 11th grade.  I am so proud of the young man that he is turning into.  It is just a shame that he might not know it.  Sam is a hard worker, great listener, happy introvert and always there when we need him.   It is true - everything you hear about teenage boys.  I hope that it is also true that he will come back to us someday soon.  I miss the sound of his voice.  I am fascinated to hear what his thoughts are on the world we live in.  I like the kid and I am looking forward to the day that we will speak again.

Giving money and power to the government is like
giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
PJ O'Rourke

My Ella Bella is in 10th grade this year.  She is smart, sweet, athletic, flexible and a great friend.  I am increasingly aware of the ways that we are so much alike - although it would be torture for her to hear those words uttered from my mouth.  I cant imagine what being a teenage girl in this day and age must be like.  Sometimes I am overwhelmed with sadness that I cannot be her friend right now.  As much as I want to, I have got to stay the course on this parenting thing.  There have been struggles - so so many struggles.  I hope she hears me when I say that I LOVE HER and this too shall pass.  She is going to make it through these years.  I know it in my heart.  I want her to come out on the other side as strong and confident as I know she is.  How do we get there?  I just don't know.

I just spotted some ducks practicing their teenage girl faces.
Author Unknown

Our Jena Bean is starting her last year of junior high - 8th grade and we say THANK YOU JESUS!!!  Jena is our PB&J everyday kid.  She likes things to stay the same.  Sadly for her - in 8th grade everything is wonky.  Jena is a loyal friend, a list maker/task master and extremely devoted to her family.  She is at a crossroads right now of not knowing what she wants to do and we aren't helping matters by making her stick with the things she has already started.  (even when we know those things suck)   I think Jena has somehow managed to inherit every single one of my sarcasm genes and at her young age - she is already a graduate of Smart Assimus University.  Thankfully for me, the sharp tongue knows its place and she still freely gives hugs and is ready to talk and share at all times.  I hope her willingness to talk about her feelings, fun and friends with me never ever goes away.

I think it is safe to say that the average teenage girl feels about 50 different emotions in one second.
Author Unknown

Our Miles is in 5th grade now.  I think this could truly be the last year that he can be called a little boy.  Miles is sensitive, curious, genuine and loyal.  We often have to fight him to take a bath, he would be thrilled if he never had to clean his room and if allowed, he might wear the same underwear and socks for a full month and never ever cut his fingernails and toenails again.  That's my boy!  He has recently become obsessed with all things MineCraft and it brings me great joy to watch him and his dad play together. 

Inside every hardened criminal beats the heart of a ten-year-old boy.
Bart Simpson
Wyatt started kindergarten this year.  The day he has been waiting for his entire life has finally arrived.  Wyatt is a cuddle bug, worships his big brothers and sisters and is dying to always impress anyone that is around!  He spends most of his time trying to keep up with the older kids and their friends.  We have had a particularly hard time this year trying to help him understand that sometimes the older kids get to be with their friends without you hanging around.  We are working hard on ABCs and 123s.  And hope that he never has any reason to know that he is the youngest in the class.  And I am trying hard for him not to see how sad I am every day when he leaves.

Boys are God's way of telling you that your house is too neat.
Author Unknown
Wanna take a trip down memory lane and see with your own eyes how these kids have changed?  It is seriously a trip.
Don't know what happened to 2011 (guess I slept through it) and sad that we didn't have a digital camera before 2007.  :(

Monday, August 26, 2013

the ache

A lot has happened in the last 7 days.
Most of which I chose not to share.

The house is quiet now while I do laundry and sob.
I think about the people whose bodies fill these clothes.

My love for them is unwavering.
And yet sometimes it hurts so much that I don't know if I can possibly love any more.

And then the ache inside my heart is forgotten because of a laugh, a smile or the simple question 'will you wipe my bottom.'

These kids.
My heart.

And the icing on the cake of the terrible terrible week - tomorrow school starts.
Someone save me.

How do I keep them here with me forever.
And ever.

Will they ever fully understand how desperately I wanted each of them?
Can they ever know how I have cried for them?

If I have it my way, it will stay deep down inside of me until my end.
So their days can be carefree.

There are so so many ways that I mess up.
I hope I don't look back and realize that I messed up on the love.

I truly believe that no one can ever fully understand the love of a mother.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Line Thoughts

I stopped at 7-11 and let Jena pick out a movie tonite.
We got a text with a free movie promotion, so I figured I should use it.

I had to laugh because about half way through the movie pickin out, there were two people waiting behind her.

I started thinking about my friend in real life and how she might be cussing us if she were standing behind Jena in that line.  Not cause she is a bad person but because she is an organized person.

I have to laugh about things like this.
And appreciate the differences of people.

For me, redbox is on the fly.
I didn't even know you could do it online before you went to the kiosk.
Why would I know that?

My dear organized friend has a plan.
And she figures stuff out in advance.
And she knows what road she is taking to get to that red box.

I don't normally know I am getting a movie until I drive past the machine.
And i usually have to do a uturn to get there.

Neither of us is wrong for how we handle the movie picking.
And we are still best friends even though we approach almost every single situation from a difference direction.

And that is what I love about life.
And friendship.

Why would I want to be friends with someone just like me?
And why wouldn't I give respect to someone that didn't agree with me on any topic - including difference in movie rental.

I am so thankful that we appreciate the differences of life.
And I am thankful to learn new things from my friends on a daily basis.

Even if I don't pre-order my redbox movies.

Line Thoughts

I stopped at 7-11 and let Jena pick out a movie tonite.
We got a text with a free movie promotion, so I figured I should use it.

I had to laugh because about half way through the movie pickin out, there were two people waiting behind her.

I started thinking about my friend in real life and how she might be cussing us if she were standing behind Jena in that line.  Not cause she is a bad person but because she is an organized person.

I have to laugh about things like this.
And appreciate the differences of people.

For me, redbox is on the fly.
I didn't even know you could do it online before you went to the kiosk.
Why would I know that?

My dear organized friend has a plan.
And she figures stuff out in advance.
And she knows what road she is taking to get to that red box.

I don't normally know I am getting a movie until I drive past the machine.
And i usually have to do a uturn to get there.

Neither of us is wrong for how we handle the movie picking.
And we are still best friends even though we approach almost every single situation from a difference direction.

And that is what I love about life.
And friendship.

Why would I want to be friends with someone just like me?
And why wouldn't I give respect to someone that didn't agree with me on any topic - including difference in movie rental.

I am so thankful that we appreciate the differences of life.
And I am thankful to learn new things from my friends on a daily basis.

Even if I don't pre-order my redbox movies.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

An Open Letter To Denise

Dear Denise,
I can't believe it has almost been two months since we last saw you!  So much has happened since then.  We've splashed and worked and slept and then we drove and drove and drove.
You crossed our minds as we traveled I35 (the road that just keeps giving) to and through your home state.
But enough of that mumbo jumbo.
I wanted to share with you my thrill of the day.
You see, I listened to you when we last barged through your door.
Not only did I walk away full of love for you and over a decade of friendship - I was also moved by your Mexican glassware collection.
When you opened your cabinet to show me the many sizes, shapes and colors there on the shelf, I was overcome by the realization that I too can have a little piece of glassware heaven!
I listened.
And I learned.
From the MASTER.
So for the last 2 mos, I have been into most every thrift store on the south side of this town, looking for the coveted piece of glass.
On the hunt for the vessel of my dreams.
And today was the day!
I still can't believe it.
So while I do not have enough to serve my family ice cold lemonade while lounging poolside on this hot Texas day, I do have one.
One piece of Mexican glassware.
That brings me joy.
And hope.
And excitement for the future of my Mexican glassware collection.
And all because I listened to the master.
We hope to see you and your beloved soon.
And we love you.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The walls

born in 1784
imagine what life was for Thomas and Mary

It is 1am.
I can't go to sleep.
The house is extremely quiet except for the faint snoring and the sound of fans.

There are 15 people sleeping in this house.
Between the four walls.
One mother with her husband, her 3 boys, the wives and the grandkids.
In the town she considers her hometown and where she has most of her childhood memories.

I didn't recognize until this moment of still and quiet how significant this trip is.
One mom's entire family is together.
Her children are now adults.

It is weird to think that 25 years from now I might be longing to do this same thing with my kids.
Except it might be in Manvel.
With trips to the Confederate cemetery and the Oak Park cemetery.
And maybe a tortilla burger.
And of course some Joe's.

I am actually feeling emotional just thinking of it.

I feel like I am takin it for granted that all of the people that I gave birth to live with me now.

In the big picture, it is such a short amount of time that we will be living together as a family.
These children that I have waited for and wanted my whole life will soon be gone.

I have got to savor every minute.

And I need to take a moment to appreciate the beauty and joy that this trip brings my mother in law.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

How Graceland Changed Me

We are on our way to Indiana.
7 Carrs jn the car.
This is an important trip for Jeff's mom.  She has been planning this trip in her mind for years.  She sent us a message a few weeks ago saying that this trip was her lifelong dream.
(First thought - shit, that's some pressure - hope I don't screw this up.)

As it turns out, both of Jeff's grandparents died in the last 18 mos, so this will also be a time to remember and celebrate their lives and spread their ashes.  Big family moments for sure.

Driving to Indiana takes about 20 hours.
We have done if once before when we only had 3 kids.  It is funny to me now that it never crossed my mind to worry about putting 2 toddlers and a baby in the car for a cross the country trip.  I am guessing in about 10 more years I will marvel at the memory of putting 5 kids in the car for 14 days.

So as we drive down the road today my mind is on Graceland.
We stopped for the night in Memphis.  For months I have looked forward to our Memphis day.

I worked up plan after plan trying to come up with my perfect Graceland scenario.  I called the box office multiple times to make sure I had the prices right. And somehow, I never bit the bullet and bought the tickets.

Jeff and I have been to Graceland before.  We have done the whole Memphis thing, but I wanted to do it again with the kids.

So we get to Memphis last night and everyone was tired and wanted to check into the hotel.
And then we go to eat supper and everyone is still tired so we go back to the hotel to hit the hay.
And now, at 7:28am it hits me.  We are out of Memphis.  Driving down I40 on our way to Indiana and I am not going to Graceland.
I know, wah.
I put on my sunglasses to try to hide the stoopid tears.  The kids and Jeff are making fun of me.  They think it is funny and maybe even a little cute.
I am not trying to be cute.
My life will go on even though I didn't get to go to Graceland.
I know that.
I am trying to figure out why it makes me sad.
I got nothing.
I think I am just bummed because I don't know when we will ever be back.
I wanted to have a picture in front of the gate with my kids.

I don't want to live my life in such a hurry to get somewhere that I miss the ride.
Why wouldn't we go back 20 minutes this morning to look at a closed gate that I wanted to see?
Seriously, we are going to drive 11 hours today.  What is an additional 40 minutes?
I guess I don't know what Graceland is teaching me right now.
Maybe it is reminding me to stand up for myself and tell people what I want.  Maybe it is that glaring reminder to not have regret and to live every moment.
Maybe the lesson is to not sweat the small stuff.
I guess what I know for sure is that time in the car is not more important to me than the 5 minutes it would have taken to have a picture of me and my kids standing in front of that gate.

I don't know.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Whoa. Back off, dude.

It is an interesting thing to watch a toddler turn into a kid and see how their personality evolves.

Wyatt is the youngest with 4 very protective older siblings.

He is fast, smart, kind and fearless.
He is a normal, rambunctious kid that can be a freak just like the next guy.
But he doesn't like to be around other kids that are loud, overbearing, or bossy.

We had two meeting at preschool last year because he would hide when 2 of the more 'confident' kids came around.

I am sitting in the chick-fil-a watching him and Miles in the playscape.

They are both doing everything in their power to stay away from the loud screamer kids.

I feel like so many kids don't have personal space boundaries these days.
I would scold our kids if they walked up to a stranger kid and tried to pick them up or hug them.

Somehow the 'confident' kids always seem to make their way to where ours are.

I do not consider myself an introvert and I don't actually know what the typical characteristics are.

But I do know that I don't like to be around people that are making a scene.

I'd say that Jeff is probably an introvert.
And Sam.
And Miles.
And now that I think about it, I guess our girls have a lite touch of it too.

We have some friends that wish there would be kid free plane rides, restaurants and grocery stores.

Maybe my next focus will be to have times set aside for introvert shopping and eating out.

That'll be my platform when I run for Mrs. America.

And since I am perfect, I am sure I will win.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I am all about love

There are times that I just want to punch someone in the throat.
Like hard.
Just turn around and sock 'em good.

wyatt made his own lunch

My kids are nice kids.
Not perfect.
But nice.
Somehow they have managed to attract a few friends that aren't so nice.
Not bad kids, but kids that are not sincere or thoughtful or kind.
I have tolerated these kids.
I have welcomed them into our home.
And there are so many times that I just wanna punch them in their perfectly smug little faces.

it is a breadhouse

I know it is terrible to want to hurt a kid.
Technically, I don't want to hurt anyone.
I just wanna give them enough of my fist to shock them.

And then maybe I will call them a few names and tell them what assholes they are and how they will likely live a sad and lonely superficial life with friends that that have bought.

he ate the whole thing

I have always said that we don't throw away our friends.

A few years ago, someone that claimed to be a friend said something really hurtful to me.
And I was done.
I see this person and I am pleasant, but oh so done.

I have a friend that I lost due to a dramatic breakup and I still think about her and miss being her friend.

I don't want to live my life with regrets and that includes the regret of having people around that are hurtful.

I have to set the example and makes some changes.

And then maybe my girls will be strong enough to do the same.

And then I won't have to go to jail for punching a bitchy asshole kid in the throat.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

You don't know me...

I have 5 kids.
I have been pregnant 8 times.
At 42 1/2, I would give my left arm (well, maybe pinky) to have another baby. (Or 5)

A large family is all I ever wanted in this life.

When you read the above statement, you could assume something about me and Jeff - like say that we are Catholic...and pro-life.

I do not post political opinions on social media.

I do not comment when you make political statements on social media - whether I agree, disagree or flat out think you are an idiot.

I took my daughter to the state Capitol tonite and we stood strong with Wendy Davis.

When you read the above statement, you could assume something about me and Jeff - like say that we are Democrats - and maybe pro-choice.

If you chose to make assumptions about me or my family based on my fb posts regarding the SB5 debate tonite in the Texas Capitol, then I say shame on you.

I watch the two main sides attack each other regarding basically every single issue.
I watch my friends attack each other, make insensitive remarks, and bully others on social media because they have different political stand-point and can't possibly believe there could be more than one right answer.
I want no part of the hatefulness.
Don't criticize me or make assumptions about me, my family or my friends.

Instead, treat me with the respect I deserve.
I am the same person I was yesterday - only better.

I am not judging you.
And you should be ashamed of yourself for judging me.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

There is HOPE

Today was day 2 of Carr camp.
YAYE!  Woohoo!!!  YAHOO!!!!
campy campers

It has been fun so far.
I am exhausted by the end of the day.
It is hard work worrying about the safety of other people's children.

friends as long as I can remember

Today we went to one of my favorite places.
HOPE Outdoor Gallery is a fantastic venue where street artist and muralist (and many other artists) can do their thing.

he spent loads of time studying many of the pieces

The kids hiked about in the 1 million degree heat and then I let them bust out the spray paint.


he liked the guy with the fangs

I am not sure it is okay to spray paint there without permission.
I did send an email to ask - and didn't receive a response.

her fave - and the detail on this eyeball was amazing

So before we left the house today, we sat around the table and talked about what symbol best represents you or something you enjoy?

he LOVED these bears

We drew each of their ideas out on a piece of paper and gathered up all of the old cans of spray paint in our garage.

We found a spot that had no art and I let the kids do their thing.
I am really proud because all of the kids had vision and they helped each other.

I love that as we were driving away from HOPE today, the kids were in the back of the car having a discussion about how hard spray paint art actually is.
I am thrilled because none of the kids had ever done anything like that before.

 I feel like they all walked away very pleased with what they created.

And I think we had another successful day of learning from and loving our community.

And ya just can't be that!

Jackson (age 11)
Red, White and Blue Peace Sign
Wyatt (age 4)
Eyeball with legs and arms
Liam (age 8)
Minecraft face
Jena (age 13)
Music in her heart
Ella (age 15)
Will (age 9)
Skylanders Magic Star
Susi (age 14)
Hello, my name is...