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.