Thursday, February 28, 2008

Something for those relatives you love to hate

Or in my case, someone who I thought was one of my best friends....but in reality turned out to be my worst enemy. You have to check out this post if you've ever had a relative or close friend that you've wanted to tell to f#@k off but never have! Hope you have as much fun choosing which lines you would insert as I did! Thank you Ellie's Mommie for being so creative!

A Knee-jerk Reaction of Negativity

Remember how, as kids, we couldn't wait to grow up and make our own decisions? I hated being told what to do and when to do it. I loved my first few years of being an "adult". But now? Now choices, at least the major ones, can be scary. Now? Now someone tell me what to do!

As I've mentioned in a past post, my choice now is to stay in the off-shoot of education that I'm currently employed in or be daring and try something new as a means of support for the kids and myself. A lovely, insightful reader, Vanessa, left her input for me in this previous post. I found myself reacting to her suggestions with negativity. In the midst of thinking of all the reasons why those suggestions wouldn't work I mentally slapped myself. Here I was doing what those around me do when I suggest new things. That's not how I want to be and that's a big part of what I'm trying to change. It was so easy to get sucked into thinking negatively right off the bat! So thank you Vanessa, for the reminder that this year is supposed to be about change, about letting go of what others think, and about being brave! I went back and looked at her suggestions again, this time thinking "Well, yes, I could do that and yes, that would work also." If all else fails I do have a degree that I can use to fall back on if need be.

There have been at least 4 jobs listed in my current field in the area that we are moving to. It dawned on me this morning that my procrastination in applying for any and all of these positions (the closing date for all is Feb. 29th) is a sign of my lack of desire to go in that direction. It's not that I don't like teaching - I do. But what I do currently and what my degree is in is an off-shoot of education. I tought high school for a year in Oklahoma (under an emergency certification) and thoroughly enjoyed it. There is one way that I can teach high school w/o a teaching degree in the state where I currently reside...teach Family & Consumer Sciences. For some reason this state does not require you to have a degree in FACS in order to teach it at the high school level. Now that is something I could see myself getting into. (Don't laugh, those of you who know's not that I CAN'T cook, it's that I choose not to for the most part. I have the knowledge and can definitely teach it. And you know that when I do cook it's usually pretty good!)

So where am I going with all of this? I"m going somewhere new, a path not yet tread. I am not going to apply for jobs in my current field. It doesn't do me or my kids any good to have me dread going to work or come home tired, drained, and grumpy. They deserve better! I deserve better! Not to mention that it's a disservice to those you work with when you don't feel that you are putting your best foot forward.

What am I going to do? Well, if any jobs open up for a FACS teacher I'll apply for them. Otherwise I'll just keep watching job posting (in everything), and when we get closer to the end of the school year I'll start applying. Anyone know a great resume-writer? It's been over 5 years since I've had to update my resume.

For now I'll just enjoy this cup of Seattle's Best with caramel creamer and continue to think happy (like it says on the sweet little ring I bought from Thea Coughlin. LOVE her jewelry! To see her store click here.)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Some people close to my heart like to enter video competitions, usually those that give you only 48 hours to produce your video. Check out their latest competition video (and first youtube post) here. Be sure to watch for Sophie the wonder-dog! :)

Here is their summary (posted on youtube, I'm not plagiarizing you guys! See, I'm giving you writing credit! :P )

This film was an entry in the 2008 Fischgaard short film project. You have 47 hours to make a film with 3 required elements, and a randomly chosen genre. The elements were: Prop: A for sale sign, Character: Terry Shumaker an educator, and Line: "Get the cotton out of your ears" Our genre was "Tribute/fan film" After much deliberation we settled on trying to tribute March of the Penguins.

Woo hoo! You guys rock! Can't wait to see the next one!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Laugh your pants off!

Need a pick me up? If you share my sense of humor the video that is posted at the following blog will have you laughing out loud. It's been out for a little while so you may have seen it floating around on the web.

Now watch the followup response to this video! Loved it! Totally put a smile on my face for the rest of the day. Thanks lattemommy for sharing!

Monday, February 25, 2008

What to do, what to do.....or improving the quality of life

Stepping back into day to day life is hard for me right now. I want so much to escape our current life that any break away from it makes it harder for me to get through.

We spent part of the weekend at a hotel in the city we are moving to this summer. It was Action's birthday and that is how he wanted to celebrate it. We all enjoyed the time away and the kids had a great time swimming. Granted, Anime was still feeling poorly but she did swim and enjoy herself some. I got to visit with a friend that I haven't seen since last spring and we were visited by some of the kids' cousins and a set of grandparents. Mr Irony and his daughter stopped by for a while but as both of them were feeling the effects of cold and flu season, they did not stay long either.

It was so nice to be away and feel like a "normal" person. Nice to do something that we never get to do anymore. But it was disappointing in a way also. I never got to get in and swim with the kids as we had visitors from the time we got there until around 9pm that night. By that time I was way too tired to go swim. I feel like I missed time with my kids, even though they had fun.

Yes, I am feeling down. Depressed even. Nothing some sunshine and warmth wouldn't fix though.

I visited a friend of the family who is in the hospital in the city we were visiting. His dilemma made me a bit more mindful of why I am unhappy right now. He has been told that his back is unfixable, that he will no longer be able to live alone. This will more than likely mean that they will have to sell their home and move to the city, closer to where his wife works. This means, for him, the loss of most everything that he loves to fill his time with. He is thinking about the quality of life that he will have in the future and how he feels he can't face that. It broke my heart. It also made me think about my grandmother, and how, in the last few years of her life, she really had no quality of life.

It sounds selfish, but it made me think that part of what's missing for me, right now, is quality of life. I am sucked dry by the jobs I hold, leaving very little left to give to anyone around me. This leads me back to what I'm trying to decide. Should I pursue another job in education to provide an income for the couple years that I will be going to school part-time or should I step out and try something different? And if I try something different to support us what the heck am I qualified to do? Could I find a job that pays at least $30,000 that will leave me time for quality of life with the kids? Those around me say suck it up and stay with what I know until I finish school (again), that it might be better in a different school. I've been in several schools over the course of the last ten years and I know that it doesn't matter where I'm at....I dislike what I do. But what else am I qualified to do?! Or qualified to do that pays more than $8-$10 an hour?

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated because I am just at a stand-still with this decision.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I am an eighties chick. I admit it. I love eighties movies, eighties music, eighties vocabulary (like, totally awesome!), eighties television. I even miss some of the eighties fashion (late eighties, VERY late eighties).

I've fought it. I've denied it. But I'm now admitting it. Anyone who will get up and do the Footloose dance in her living room while watching the "Will and Grace" episode with Kevin Bacon is an eighties junkie. While the fact that I was thrilled to watch "Sweet Sixteen" followed by "The Breakfast Club" on television the other night wasn't quite enough to make me admit my addiction...dancing along with Kevin Bacon opened my eyes and threw my denial out the door. It's scary to admit that many of the "must see" movies I want to share with my children are eighties movies. Hey, even Jay and Silent Bob are closet John Hughes fans. If you don't believe me, watch "Dogma" again and find out just why they were out of Jersey and happened to run into the last Zion. (and yes, Kevin Smith is like... totally awesome!)

Who can forget those eighties classics of "National Lampoon's Vacation" and their holiday sequel "Christmas Vacation"? (A must see in our house every Christmas holiday, by the way) "Pretty in Pink", "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", the ultimate valley classic "Valley Girl". I swooned over John Cusack in "Say Anything" (and still do), avidly watched (and re watched) "Gremlins", "Night of the Comet" (girls just wanna have fun you know, especially when all of earth's population has disappeared and you have all the best department stores to yourself), "The Goonies", "Adventures in Babysitting", "Back to the Future", and wanted to be Baby in "Dirty Dancing". In the eighties Tom Cruise used to be the epitome of cool in "Risky Business" and the oh so wonderful "Top Gun". There are so many more I can't even begin to list them all. Don't even get me started on eighties music!

So there it is.....I've admitted it. I'll even try to embrace it. I'm an eighties girl. And the next time an eighties movie is playing somewhere on television.....I'm so totally there! Like...totally!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Night-time worries

Silly me. I thought that colds and flu had flown from our household. We have all had our bouts of illness this winter and I innocently thought we were finished. As I said before....silly me. Actress spent yesterday lazing on the sofa with vague complaints of not feeling well. She woke me about 3 am this morning , again complaining of not feeling well, but now she had the chills and a fever. We did the medicine bit and cuddled on the sofa, waiting for the meds to kick in. Like a good mommy I went to get her a drink, when she comes rushing in to spit a mouthful of BLOOD in the sink! Yes, BLOOD! I was dumbstruck, then panicked. Why was she spitting blood? Internal bleeding? Did we need to rush to the ER? What should I do?!

Common sense quickly kicked in and I remembered her showing me a loose tooth the day before. I had her rinse her mouth then I checked. Yes, the blood was coming from around the loose tooth. Whew! I had her lie on her side and a few minutes later she handed me the now completely loose tooth. Amazingly the bleeding ended once the tooth was out. Crisis averted! Could we go back to bed now please seeing as how it's now after 4:30 am?

Not quite. I let Actress crawl in my bed and we snuggled in, hoping for sleep now that the fever symptoms were lessened from the meds and the tooth was securely tucked away for the tooth fairy (yes....she knows there's no tooth fairy but she likes the money just the same). I drifted off to sleep (after calling both work and school to inform them of our absences due to illness). But it was not to last. Actress awoke with more bleeding! This time with a nosebleed. We soon stopped that flow of blood and finally (5:15 am) drifted off to sleep.

Anime and Action awoke semi-healthy and trundled off to school leaving Actress and me to some much needed sleep. She and I have now spent the day in our pj's watching movies (Little Women! Louisa May Alcott rocks! My Actress's real name is derived from her writing) and I have canceled all piano lessons so as not to infect any other children.

I so want warmer weather so the kids can get outside and I can open windows to let in fresh air! The kids have been sick more this year than they ever have. I don't know if we're all over-stressed (most definitely) this school year and thus lowering our immunity to illness, but my sick days are in short supply now. I crave bright warm sunshine to soak in, the scent of spring and rain in the air, green on the ground and in the trees, soft warm breezes to surround us and fill the house. Oh to sit on the porch and sip my coffee in the morning sun!

Monday, February 18, 2008


So many feelings are running through me right now. I was browsing my favorite blogs and popped over to to see what was new and what was new was ME! I had offered up the suggestion a couple weeks ago to have a blog relating to blended families. During my (rare) quiet time yesterday I typed up a submission and emailed it on over to mommybloggers. I was shocked, dumbfounded, awestruck to see the words that I had written printed on a site that I love to read. The tears I shed were unexpected, the feelings covering such a wide range of emotions in such a short time frame.

I began journaling as a tween, reveling in the fact that I could find release in written words, not just those written by others for me to read; but also in those written by me for me alone. I continued journaling well into adulthood. What stopped me? A downturn in my life when I realized that what I wrote (my feelings, my perspectives, my hopes and fears and dreams) could be turned and used against me by someone I loved. So I stopped, cold turkey. End of story. Or so I thought.

I tried to start writing again 3 years ago when I lost my grandmother. I found then that I had developed a fear of journaling. A fear of writing even poems or stories. The fear that those precious words in my head would somehow be used to hurt me. Fast-forward to present day. I've now realized that my thoughts were messed up, enhanced by the depression I was dealing with. But the fear remained. I've been slowly working to get back to my beloved writing, just to enjoy the release of those words that bounce and play within my brain. Starting my blog was an incredible leap for me because others would actually be able to read what I've written, put their own perspectives and opinions on my thoughts and words. But I did it because this year I'm refusing to be held in check by my own fears and worries.

So thank you, THANK YOU,! Thank you for the boost of confidence you've given me! Thank you to those of you few faithful who continue to read my humble offerings of my latte life! I'm currently enjoying this small victory with a caramel steamer. Why don't ya'll indulge in one also, on me.

Sister of the heart

I'm an only child so it's not too surprising to me that the man I married the first time around came from a large family with several sisters between the divorces and remarriages of his parents. One of those sisters was roughly eleven when I joined her family. Through divorce I am no longer technically part of her family but I claim her (and her family and her parents) for my own. Her babies are my niece and nephew. Her husband is my brother-in-law. She is my sister, not of blood, but of the heart.

I watched this little girl grow up from a shy, quiet tween to a beautiful, serene, loving woman. That little girl is now a mother to two of her own. I have shared my heart with her over the years, hoping to help her avoid pain and mistakes by sharing my own with her. I'm sure I have hurt her over the years, as sisters are wont to do and for which I am truly sorry. I have missed birthdays and gotten so involved in my own life that there are many times I've missed what's been happening in hers. But through it all she remains the sister of my heart.

The funny thing? I've had comments over the years that we look like sisters. (I personally think it's the blonde hair, she's much prettier than I am). I like to think that our relationship has grown over the years and moved from brother's girlfriend to big/little sister to friends/sisters. She has listened to me rant and rave, cry, and counseled me through the split with her brother. We've laughed together, shopped together, been lazy at the lake together, shared secrets, and mothered together. She has been there for me when I have needed her. She has grown into a wonderful woman.

I periodically review her website and was struck this morning, yet again, by what a talented woman she is. Her photography blows me away. Her eye for capturing those intimate, fun, and unexpected wedding moments is moving. Her designs for the wedding albums are so creative and inspiring it makes me want to do better with my own silly snapshots that I take. If I were ever brave enough to take the plunge into marriage again I would want her to capture it with her camera for posterity.

There are people in our lives that we don't stop to appreciate what they have given us. It struck me this morning how proud I am of her, how much I love her, and how truly grateful I am to be able to call her sister. Here's to you Tracy, my little sister of my heart! I can't wait to see what the future brings for you and yours, and to share it with you.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Can I accept me and let go?

Life has been so crazy busy lately that I have gone days without even turning on the computer. Right now (unbelievably to me) I have quiet time. The kids are staying with grandparents and won't be home until later this afternoon, and since my Sunday School students were ALL absent today, I am home early with time to catch up on my blog reading. I haven been feeling particularly uninspired this month. I think a lot of that has to do with the speed at which the hamster-wheel of my life has been running. With basketball, cheerleading, wrestling, EMT class, work, and piano there has been barely a moment to be still. I am wiped out, dried up, running on empty.

I am realizing that there is a mountain-range sized difference between letting go and avoidance/lack of action. I believed that I've fooled myself into letting go of several issues/feelings/wants, but what I've done instead is just pushed them all down, repressing things or avoiding life. Life is scary, especially when you've lived so long having given over control of life to those around you. I read a post this morning that pushed me to really examine what's been going on in me....or rather what I've been avoiding about me. Schmoopy's blog on letting go just resonated with me this morning. I hope it can do the same for you, if that's what you need right now.

I know how it is that I want to live my life and raise my children. What I need is the impetus to make those lifestyle changes and do so. I want to raise ecologically and socially conscious children who are not afraid to be different from the norm. Trying to live a so-called "normal" life really sucks when you are not "normal". I need to embrace my differences, not try to sublimate them to "fit in". I differ from most everyone I currently know in that I don't think change is a nasty word. Sure it can be hard but how else do we grow and learn? I see nothing wrong in moving my family to a new city, one much larger than they ever remember living in, but much smaller than my favorite cities that I have lived in (Tulsa, Honolulu). I want the city experience for my children. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with growing up in a small town, it is not what I want my children to live for their entire childhood. I want them to know people whose beliefs and backgrounds are different from theirs. I want them to grow up with open minds, willing to embrace new experiences, not be afraid of them.

I need to instill self-confidence in me. I need to learn that while I can respect other's opinions I don't have to judge myself by them. I need to let go of my need to be accepted by everyone and just accept myself for who I am. I need to let go of the feeling that I always need to be doing more and accept that it's okay to just be still at times. I need to focus on those things that interest me and fulfill me.

Right now I am struggling with an employment decision. Should I apply for educational positions in our soon to be new city or take a route less traveled? The educational job will provide the same salary I make now, insurance (for me at least), and daytime working hours while I go through the curriculum of nursing school. However, I find this type of employment to be soul-sucking, draining, and I know that it is something I don't have a heart for anymore. Or should I take a far less traveled route and take a job as a nursing assistant, an EMT-B (if I could find one), or even as a Starbuck's employee? The school position has it benefits, I just find it hard to do when I know it's not where I want or even should be.

I need to sit down and write my list of what I want to manifest in my life. I challenge you to do the same. When mine is written I will post it to keep me accountable for the direction I want my life to take. Until my next quiet time to write.....Ciao amici!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Weekly Recap

Major. Computer. Withdrawal.

For the past week we have been without a working computer. Actually the computer worked just fine, it was the mouse that was broken. Seeing as how we live in an area where NO ONE sells computer mouses (mice?) without an hour's drive round-trip, and our insane schedules do not allow for the drive time, we have gone without. The first night I was simply pissed because Anime is grounded from the computer and she had broken the mouse in an attempt to reconnect all of the wires that I had previously disconnected. In her feeble attempt to defy her mother she broke those tiny little prongs that make the mouse talk to the computer. The second night held a feeling of "Wow, I can get some things accomplished around the house" (Yeah, right, I went to bed instead as an extra hour of sleep is so much more important that an un-cluttered house, right?) By the third night I was jonesing pretty badly for my computer fix. I missed my news, my email, my blogs! I was missing reading what all of my twenty-something bookmarked bloggers were up to this week! (Okay it's probably closer to forty bookmarked blogs now. It's an addiction, I know, but if you fellow bloggers would just quit linking to such enjoyable blogs I wouldn't have to follow those links and find another must-read blog!) Yesterday we finally were able to get to a town large enough to have a Hell-mart, ahem, excuse me....Wal-Mart, whereupon Anime had to purchase a new mouse for the computer. And today? Well, let's just say that so far today many hours have slipped by while I've caught up on the antics and wise words of my (many) favorite bloggers.

We are back to normal level of loud here now. Actress has her voice back and is not shy about making sure we can all hear her. Action has been busy smiling at everyone to ensure that we all notice that he had THREE ,not just one tooth, but three teeth pulled by the dentist last week. He had them pulled as the permanent were coming up behind the baby teeth and the baby teeth were not even loose! These permanent teeth weren't just peeking through the gums, they were over half-way through. Action was extremely excited for his first visit from the tooth fairy. She didn't disappoint as she left a $10 bill for those 3 teeth. (It was all she had in her tooth fairy wallet.) The highlight of the week was the grounding of all 3 from the computer, the PS2, and the Wii. They were less than thrilled but so was I when I came home from class and walked into the mess they had created. I will overlook (for a while) when they have messy rooms, but when they extend that mess to my living room, dining room, and kitchen....well that's when momma gets mad! So they are now paying the price of their laziness with the threat of losing their TV privileges if it happens again. (what a way to strike terror in the hearts of cartoon addicted children)

I am off now to once again climb that mountain of laundry and prepare for work at the restaurant. (Oh the horror of working Super Bowl Sunday, as the majority of the crowd comes to only drink and watch football on any one of the eight, yes count them eight!, TV's hung throughout the restaurant. Or shall I say "Bye-bye any hope of decent tips?")