Thursday, December 27, 2012

Stress-mas


I’m overjoyed that Christmas is over. Not to sound all scroogy about but I might do an Irish gig in celebration of the holidays coming to an end. At first I really didn’t want to be that Debbie Downer and blog about the catastrophe that was my Christmas day but then I thought if I share my life here then that includes the good, the bad and the ugly.

I love Christmas and all it represents. I truly do. Jesus’ birthday, a time to be with friends, family, extended family, new friends and family, parties, white elephant, pictures, games, food, oh yes the food! But the older I get the more responsibility gets dumped on me and I’m left feeling like a pile of doggie doo by December 25th. My responsibility doesn’t differ from any other parent’s but maybe my attitude about it stinks more than theirs.

On Christmas Eve the kids and I went with the Boy and his son to a Christmas Eve party that lasted approximately 4 hours past my children’s bedtime. Luckily their good attitudes showed up and we had an excellent evening together. We spent the night at the Boy’s parent’s house (the kids and I slept in our own room so spare me the emails, texts and calls – MOM) and woke up early Christmas morning to exchange gifts and drink hot chocolate. It was an incredible time, minus the unprecedented rain, sleet and hail storm that hit that morning. It wasn’t until I heard the loud thunder that I remembered the kid’s car seats were still in the Boy’s truck….. We started making trips to the car to put our stuff up and got completely drenched. As I ran to the truck to get the car seats I tripped and landed knees first in a puddle. Awesome. This is the moment where my attitude began to take a steep dive into Negativeville. I get up and continue running to my car at which point I almost tripped again but this time instead of falling I catapulted a booster seat clear across the street and it too, landed in a puddle. The recovery of my bad attitude isn’t looking so good at this point.

The thing about Christmas parties, gatherings and other events is the kids never want to leave. Giving the kids a 5 minute heads up that we have to leave soon is like pushing a tantrum button. I finally get my moody, didn’t get enough sleep and woke me up to damn early children into the car to head to my brother’s house for my family’s Christmas. (Side note: all this excessive traveling on Christmas day is nothing similar to the romantic comedy of Four Christmases. It’s much more like the battle scenes from Band of Brothers)

Before we hit the highway to my brother’s house I knew I had to stop for gas first. Keep in mind the rain is pouring down like a monsoon in Florida during hurricane season. The wind is blowing in every single direction. I get out, swipe my card and then I’m instructed to see the attendant. Gah! I run inside getting further soaked and ruining any possibility of looking decent for Christmas day. At this point I was aiming at just not looking homeless. The attendant swipes my card and sends me on my way. I begin to pump my gas for about 5 seconds before it stops… I press the lever again and 7 seconds later it stops. It was one of those evil ozone friendly pumps that you have to hold at the perfect angle or else it refuses to do its job. Usually these pumps put me in some weird yoga position and the pump only works when I have my right leg lifted like a pissing dog and one hand on top of the other with one eye closed. I end up looking like a blonde ostrich balancing on one leg trying to serve coffee. Only on this beautiful Christmas day the wind was blowing about 97 miles per hour and the rain was hitting me in both directions so my hair was in my face leaving me blind to the already impossible pump and getting me even more wet.  

I finally get enough gas and we pull out onto the highway. My body is tense, my hands are at 10 and 2 and I am focused on not hydroplaning or being scooped up in a wind tunnel. Then the questions begin. Who wrote jingle bells? Why is Rudolph’s nose red? What if I got an alligator for Christmas? What if it rained Kool-aid? Mom did you hear me? So naturally I begin to lose my Schmidt.

Once we made it to my brother’s house it was fine. The kids had a wonderful time with their cousins and got a lot of amazing gifts. Even on the worst of days or holidays we always walk away truly blessed whether my attitude stinks or not.

Although, when I got home that night I had this magical plan in my head to take a hot bath, get in some warm jammies and drink some wine and watch a Christmas Story. So I get home, get my shower, get my jammies, get the wine… then realize I didn’t have my wine opener. Fail. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gun control or GOD control?


Every time I open up a Word document to try and write something my fingers are frozen as if completely stuck in concrete. I know what my heart and mind are communicating to one another but getting it out on my screen has been a struggle for me. No words I put here will adequately describe the brokenness that our nation is experiencing right now. I almost feel like writing about the shootings and murders at Sandy Hook Elementary is insulting to those directly affected by it. Because truth is, there are no words even the best of writers could write to make the pain less, to make it okay or make it go away. In 10 years we will all still remember what we were doing on Friday, December 14, 2012.

Our nation, our entire world is so broken, twisted and backwards. We’ve excused God from the table like an annoying child. We’ve declared that His name isn’t needed in the pledge, our currency, our schools, our homes and most importantly our hearts. And when tragedy strikes our human side rears it’s ugly head and begins assigning blame to the crime.

This post isn’t about my personal opinion on gun control. It’s about my opinion on God Control. There is evil living in the hearts of our neighbors. Like cancer, it’s tearing away the walls of our hearts and destroying the spirit that God has placed within us. The happiness and joy God desires for us is the host and evil is the parasite that feeds on it daily. The more we deny our need for God the stronger Satan becomes at his mission to steal, kill and destroy us. Removing guns and ammunition from the shelves won’t remove the hatred and evil dwelling inside the hearts of man. We have to unite together and humble ourselves before the Lord. We have to confess our need for the One and only Savior to come down and rescue us from ourselves. We have to turn away from our pride and egos, deny our desires to be right or win an argument and fall to our knees.

The reason for the slaying in Connecticut can’t be found in Adam Lanza’s computer, or in the answers of his friends and relatives. It can only be found in his heart. His broken heart is what killed those babies and teachers, not the guns registered to his mother. When there is a will, there’s a way. If killing was his mission and placed there by the great deceiver than killings would be carried out one way or another.

Our world and nation is battling forces much stronger than political agendas. I believe that by denying God like we have as a nation we have opened so many doors and gateways for Satan to move in and fill a void with his first love, HATE. Hate comes in many shapes and forms. It is carried out with violence, broken homes, suicides, prejudice and racism and so much more. And until we arm ourselves with the word of God and His presence we are powerless to stop it and the vicious cycle of killing sprees will only continue. The innocent blood shed is saturating our world and we are sinking. Only God can save us and He will when He is invited. We must choose Him. He won’t force us into submission.

This was written by Darrell Scott, the father of a victim of the Columbine shootings.

Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
Your words are empty air.
You've stripped away our heritage,
You've outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question "Why?"
You regulate restrictive laws,
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand,
That God is what we need!

"You change a country not merely by bolstering its laws but by transforming the hearts of its people."

My prayer is that God will calm the curiosity that dwells inside of us. Replace that desire to know WHY with the desire to know HIM. I pray His presence be Omni present to all of us and especially to the families who have to continue life without their children. I pray that Satan be rebuked in the name of Jesus and that our nation can come together in agreement that God is the only One who can save us. I pray the blood of Jesus over our country. I ask forgiveness on behalf of our nation for denying Him and His rightful place in our lives. I pray that the faces of the  lives that were taken be a constant reminder of our desperate need for You God. Lord be with us now. In Jesus name, Amen.


And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 
Ephesians 3:17-19



Monday, December 10, 2012

Meeting the Family


This past weekend the boy and I ventured to East Texas for his mom’s family Christmas. I met uncles, aunts, cousins, second cousins, and babies of cousins and a miniature long haired dachshund that I absolutely fell in love with. It would be funnier for my blog’s sake if his family had some quirky hang-ups or an uncle who farted too much but my goodness they were one hound dog and rocking chair short of being a Norman Rockwell Painting. They were inviting, loving, embracing and hilariously entertaining.  I felt loved as soon as I walked in. Everyone welcomed me with a hug, well except uncle Pat who claims he isn’t a hugger but I think next year I’m gonna go for it.

We took Isaac, Kurt’s son with us too. It was great to get this time with him. He’s shy and introverted naturally so it’s been a slow process building that bond with him. Not to mention I only see him every 14 days.  I knew in time it would come, and it has.  He got to shoot his first gun and his dad and I were there to see it. Kurt misses out on so many firsts with Isaac, so it was really special for him to be there for this one. I think Isaac and I both felt a tad overwhelmed by all the family we were about to encounter so our nerves brought us closer.  We laughed together when I was afraid to shoot the bigger gun, he begged me to tickle him which I happen to be really good at. There were times he sat on my lap or rested his head on my shoulder.  And my heart filled up like a wet sham wow.

I heard stories about Kurt as a boy, and saw the way his face focused on his Nanny when she spoke about their past. Every family member expressed their gratitude for making Kurt so happy and all the while I’m thinking to myself that his happiness can’t hold a candle to the joy he has brought to my life. But to be recognized as the one who has made his life so much better reconfirmed his role in my life as well. It was a good weekend for sure.

And what road trip with a 6 year would be complete without 101 million questions? I’m certain Microsoft Word has a word limit so here is a condensed version of the questions we were asked during our trip:

1.       Can you live to be 1000 years old and still do Karate. (note “still” implies that one could possibly live to 1000)
2.       Daddy, can you beat up the hulk? No. WHY not?! Okay, yes…. Then how?
3.       What is Captain America’s favorite thing to do?
4.       I have a wedgie. (I know this isn’t a question but he said it at the best times! It happened often)
5.       Are we almost there?
6.       What if we were almost there? (these questions always confuse me because the answers kinda don’t exist.)
7.       Are Chinese people in our state?
8.       China is weird cause sometimes you have to eat sushi and they don’t give you forks, they give you chop sticks! (Again, I know this isn’t a question but his statements were epic)
9.       Daddy can you blow up that bridge?
10.   Would you blow it up after we got over it though? (I thought his concern about the hypothetical explosion of the bridge was funny)
11.   Amanda, do you like cookies because they’re good? (I was perplexed on what other possible answer there was to this question so I went with YES, can I have another.)
This weekend was nothing short of perfect, amazing, incredible, fun and special. 



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

10 Things I wish My Kids Knew.......


Sunday afternoon I found myself sitting on the couch smothered between two dirty kids who have no clue what personal space is. By 2pm my energy had hit an all time low and any vision of give a crap had vanished hours ago. I had no will left in me to fold clothes, unload dishes, or anything productive or anything in the vicinity of productive. I spoke to my sister and good friend who is battling the antics of what appears to be a demon child who is only happy when making her mommy miserable. Both were having a similar crappy day in the land of motherhood. Those two conversations probably saved my life and the lives of my children. The saying that misery loves company is completely true, especially when referring to this mothering gig. If it weren’t for days like that, I probably wouldn’t have blogs like this though. Snaps for counting my blessings yall!

So I have compiled a list of things I wish my kids knew. I’m certain if kids knew these things about their parents we could all co-exist peacefully with minimal ace whoopins, tear fests and empty wine bottles boxes.

1.       My car is a transportation device to get you to and from appointments, school, birthday parties, practice, games, and etc, NOT your personal trash receptacle!  For the love of all things sacred if it enters the car with you it should leave the car with you. This includes your silly art projects that consist of glitter and glue. 90% glitter and 10% glue. It also includes your socks, half eaten bag of ANYTHING, your juice boxes, your backpack with homework in it, your doodles, your pens, your crayons, the wrappers from your crayons that you peeled off because you were bored at the red light and anything from that dag-gum happy meal you just HAD to have. I swear I could feed a small village with all the French fries I find between the back seats! My SUV is one Go-gurt container away from being considered hazardous. For real.
2.       NO means NO. It doesn’t mean try again but whiner and more annoying. It means NO. If we say it again it means HELL HECK NO. Believe it or not parents have reasons for their actions. Sure, sometimes it’s because we need a hot bath, wine and the season finale of The Walking Dead is coming on. But most of the time it’s because we love you and NO will keep you safe, healthy or we have greater things planned for you and a YES could detour us from those activities. I assure you it has nothing to do with our longing desire to ruin your life by denying you that bag of skittles. Promise.
3.       As good as I know I am at multi-tasking, I physically cannot be in two places at once nor can I listen to two people at once. Not my fault. Blame Einstein, I think. But seriously, what on this planet makes you think I’m capable of making you a bowl of cereal when I’m taking a shower? If your sibling is speaking to me, please don’t interrupt them and then get all Marsha Marsha Marsha on me when I make you wait your turn. It feels like I’m being injected with anger when I hear MOOOOOOOOOM from the other side of the house or “You aren’t listening to me.” The only time yelling for me is acceptable is if your legs are broken or someone has you hog tied to the couch. Otherwise, get your lazy rear end off the couch, pause Austin and Ally, walk to me and make your request and add a please to the end of your order! Repeating MOOOOOOM will only send me down a funnel of fury and I will take you with me. And for Pete’s sake mind your manners and don’t interrupt!
4.       I don’t like sharing. I really don’t. 95% of everything in our household is already yours. And if it used to be mine it is probably yours now too. So excuse me if I don’t wanna share my ipod, ipad, phone or anything else with you. (side note: I don’t even have an Ipad but if I did I wouldn’t want to share it) I also don’t like sharing my bed. My bed is big enough to share but something strange happens to your equilibrium the second you enter my bed and you lay horizontal, diagonal, sideways and any other way that is not vertical. Your bodies expand like a starfish and I end up fighting for a small portion of the edge of the bed.  It’s a lava lamp of limbs and I wake up feeling like I slept in a tuna can. Sleep in your own bed!
5.       My name is MOM, not OZ. I do not know the answer to every question. There is a limit to my knowledge believe it or not. I don’t know the color of wind, I don’t know WHY, I don’t know how tall clouds are, I don’t know, I don’t know I.DO.NOT.KNOW!!!!! 9 times out of 10 my answer is going to be Because I said so anyway! Go play!
6.       Birthday parties and Christmas don’t plan themselves. There is a lot happening behind the scenes to give you these Hallmark moments.  A lot of planning, organizing, shopping and prepping is involved. It kinda makes me wanna blow a fog horn in your face when you look up at me with those disappointed eyes because the cake topper is wrong. A thank you would be marvelous but I’d settle for a friggin smile.
7.       Money. I wish you understood what it is and how it’s earned. I wish you knew that your needs will always trump your wants. It isn’t that I don’t want to give you stuff. But considering where most of your stuff ends up (under your bed or in a pile in the closet) I’m not too enthusiastic on forgoing your groceries for the week so that you can have a new toy that will probably end up lost or broken or both. On the same topic, it would be equally nice if you understood that every trip to the grocery store does not mean you automatically get candy.
8.       I wish they understood that there is only 1 of me and two of them. I don’t have a favorite all the time. I have to be MOM to both of them all the time and that doesn’t mean I love one more than the other so stop asking me who my favorite is!
9.       I wish they knew how fun I can be when I’m not exhausted. When I don’t have to exert most of my energy to refereeing their squabbles and justifying my choices to them then I can be pretty darn awesome. Allowing me to rest 5 minutes when we walk in the door instead of demanding snacks and juice might energize me enough to beat them in a tickle fight later instead of just beating them.
10.    Lastly and most importantly, I wish they knew how much I love them. I wish they could comprehend a small fraction of my love, admiration and devotion to them.  I wish they could understand that I am always on their side and fighting to provide a happy, safe and fulfilling life for them. And I’m not their opponent or enemy to challenge. That disciplining them hurts me more than them. If only they knew their happiness is a badge of honor on my mother vest and my love for them is never ending.

I’m certain if these things could be taught and understood by our children then there would be a lot less Mommy Blogs out there to read. So until then, I'll get my blog on here!