NaBloPoMo – Nov 20th

Day 20: Tell us about your first friend.

My first friend. Well, I have three. I think of them fondly. Especially since we’re still best friends to this very day.

My first friends, K, R, and J.

K has been my bestie since pre-k. Funnily enough, our parents when to school together and got in trouble together so it was only natural that we did the same.

K and I on her wedding day

K and I on her wedding day

I was dreading telling K that I was pregnant because I knew my due date was 2 days before her wedding. After POAS, I did some quick math and thought to myself “oh shit…” I figured I’d come right out and tell her so she could find another bridesmaid. I sent her a text, I still remember this, telling her if she was half the aunt to my child has she was best friend to me, my child and I were the luckiest people in the world. She immediately called me and was “ARE YOU SERIOUS!” (at a very high decibel). I knew she would be ecstatic for me but the bump. I was afraid it would attract negative attention so I told her I’d bail. She almost fought me. Thank god I was pregnant LMAO She said she wouldn’t have it any other way and the only way I would be sidelined is if I was in labor. You can imagine the shock when I showed up to get my hair down, 2 days overdue, ready to rock.

I mean, seriously? How awesome is this chick to dedicate a portion of her reception to me with a dance for my birthday?! A friend would just be all “hey, happy birthday”. This chick. She went above and beyond. Best birthday party ever, K! LOL

DSC01033

K, Beanie, and I at Beanie's Baptism

K, Beanie, and I at Beanie’s Baptism

Funny story on the baptism — K showed up at the church, after driving for 40 mins, getting turned around, and having a sick boy at home. She still showed up and still made my day. Seriously, I don’t know where I would be without this girl.

R and J are sisters, our mothers worked together so we were destined to be BFF.

R, J, and I at my wedding

R, J, and I at my wedding (we totally did not plan to all wear ruffles. That’s how in sync we are ;)) 

These two are my sanity. If I’m having a bad day, need to laugh, need to tell someone about a Person of Wal-Mart I’ve just seen — these are the two I come to. It sucks because my first husband wasn’t too social and our friendship suffered. No matter what, they were always there for me, they always shows up at parties, they always sent Christmas cards. But still. During my divorce, they took me out and said “NO MORE!” and we’ve been inseparable ever since. We’ve been through break ups, New Years, Pregnancies, Babies, everything together. When R told me she was pregnant with twins, I cried. I can’t imagine a more perfect mama. When J’s heart was broken, we rallied together to find dog poo to mail to the jerk. (We didn’t. But we wanted to). These two, I just can’t say enough about them.

New Years 2011

New Years 2011

I’m the luckiest girl in the world to have friends like these three. I would do anything in the world for them and I know they would do anything in the world for me.

NaBloPoMo – Nov 11th

Day 11: If you had to be trapped inside a movie for 5 days, which movie would you pick?

My all-time favorite book was made into a movie. A book called Jewels by Danielle Steel. Before you roll your eyes, yes. It is one of her typical mushy love novels. But I feel like it most feeds my life.

The scenes start with a marriage, doomed from the start. Her dad swoops in and saves her. But here’s where it differs and here’s why I would want to be in that movie.

The main character ends up on a trans-atlantic cruise from New York to England. Once there, she meets this Duke. They fall in love and they live happily ever after, having several children and a wonderful life. However, they are not without their challenges. WW1 is looming. She has a home birth with their first child, which almost kills her. They have a second child, the child passes away. He is taken prisoner of war but finally makes it home, losing use of his legs. They go on to have 3 more children.

While the war is happening, many folks bring their jewelry to her, in exchange for money. She eventually goes into business, creating this jewelry empire.

Overall, her children and her husband are her greatest pleasure. I understand that. For me, my husband and my child are my world and I would do anything for them.

But marrying a Duke doesn’t sound too shabby either 😉

NaBloPoMo – Nov 7th

Day 7: If you had to switch your first name, what name would you choose and why?

Hmm. That’s a tough one.

Growing up, I was very tan. Like Mexican or Puerto Rican. I was brown. My tan lines were epic. Everyone thought I was Hispanic. I grew fond of the name Pillar. I’m not sure why. Probably because I heard it on an episode of Passions and it just stuck. Another was Erin. I like a good, old fashion’ed Irish name. However, I can’t use that anymore because I’m now getting a niece named Erin. It’s a good thing I like that name. This post brings me back to the angst that E and I had while trying to name Beanie. We thought of:

Avery

Sophie/Sophia

Aubree (that was veto’ed real quick because K would have ripped my heart out)

Reese

None of these seemed to fit the bill. Naming someone is hard work. I know a couple going through the naming process now and it’s a pain in the ass. You want something that can be professional, should they become a judge. I mean, really. How many judges/lawyers do you know with the name Iyzik (Issac), Ryli (Riley/Ryleigh), Mowgli (The Jungle Book) and lets not get started on the erroneous apostrophes and dashs. Like the urban legend of La-a, pronounced Ladasha.

You’ve got to be kidding me.

But in all actuality, I like my name. It’s just different enough to be a pain in the ass but normal enough that people don’t want to smack my mother. I do curse her, on the regular, for forgetting the U but I guess she wanted an Irish girl to have a Russian name.

NaBloPoMo – Nov 5th

Day 5: Tell us about your writing space. Where do you write your blog post?

This is actually my second blog and the space I’ve used to physically write in has changed over the years.

When I first started blogging, back in 2008 or 2009, I can’t remember, I started with blogspot. My friends told me I was funny and I am a magnet for ridiculous people so they said I should start a blog to recant all of my stories. Ok fine. I started with blogspot because I liked the format and it was easy. That blog evolved into something I chose to forget and, eventually, I deleted it.

I started the first blog when I was married to my ex-husband. It became a dark place of my emotions as I went through the divorce. Eventually, I was more angry with myself because it was as though I was holding on to these thoughts about the “what ifs” and I was blaming myself more and more. I found myself asking more questions about “is this the right decision” and I began to drive myself crazy. Then came the anger and the fighting between he and I. The divorce started amicable but it went downhill when he started dating someone new. I don’t hate my ex husband. I wish him nothing but the best that life has to offer. I heard he has a child now, congrats to him. The previous blog was a testament to my hatred and anger. I no longer feel those feelings anymore.

Once I met E, I knew I needed to completely cut ties to that life. When E and I moved in, I wanted a sort of journal about our new life together. I bought the domain because it was a good deal. I switched from blogspot to wordpress because the format had changed on blogspot and I wasn’t a fan. I suck at blogging, to be honest. I either get writer’s block or I start rambling. Don’t worry, I don’t fancy myself an “author” or anything like that. My grammar here is terrible, I know 😉

As far as my physical writing space, it’s in the 3rd bedroom of our house, commonly known as the “I Love Me” room. I have my Certificates from work (Shellback, Order of the Ditch, and Order of the Spanish Main), my departure plaques from the units I’ve done my time at and have moved on, and my 9/11 certificate and badge. It also has my sailboats, which my Poppy gave to me prior to moving. It’s a nice little reminder that he’s with me. Soon to be added, my Half Marathon medal, whenever I stop being lazy and bring it in here.

Some days, the posts come easy. My fingers just fly and POOF! 500 words are on the screen. Other days (weeks/months), I sit and think “who the hell would read this garbage”. But this is me. I figure, might as well put it on paper than for it to come to of my mouth and potentially get me fired 😉

NaBloPoMo – Nov 4th

Day 4: Who is your favorite character of all time?

This one is tough for me because I don’t dedicate too much time to one show/book/etc but I think I can narrow it down.

Book:

Stone Barrington. I adore Stuart Woods and his fashion of writing. To date, he has put out 27 books in the Stone Barrington Series and I’ve read every one of them. THe situations that Stone gets himself into is amazing. At times, they are far-fetched but they’re gripping. I think I’ve managed to read through his books in a day and a half. I get to the point where I have to see what’s going to happen.

Reality TV:

Caroline Manzo. Go ahead. Roll your eyes. But, for me, she is the type of mother I want to turn out to be. She will tell her kids if they have a stupid idea but she is also their biggest fans. That’s what a mother is supposed to be like. There are some kids out there who need more parents to tell them “maybe that’s not a great idea” (ahem. I’m looking at your American Idol tryouts…) I’m all for supporting Beanie. Hell, that’s obviously clear judging by the way she dresses herself. I’m all for self-expression. But if the child ends up sounding like a bag of cats being smashed against the side of a barn, I’m going to crush her dreams of being on American Idol. I can’t let her do that to herself. Or the rest of us.

Prime Time TV (tie):

Leroy Jethro Gibbs and Chris O’Donnell. I LOVE me some Gibbs and Callen. The NCIS boys — well, enough said 😉

NaBloPoMo – Nov 3

There are things in this world that will wind me up and get me going. Fewer things that really tick me off but one thing that really grinds my gears, burns my biscuits, and chaps my ass: someone telling someone else how to parent their child.

Ultimately, the #1 reason that I will ever go to jail for assaulting someone will, in fact, be because someone told me how to parent Beanie. I’ll be the first to admit, I question my own parenting sometimes. There are times where I sit back and look at her and think “how in the holy hell have I kept this small human alive for TWO years?” Seriously. She’s already two years off and she’s thriving. We’ve had our ups and downs and times where we tried to unfriend each other in real life but we’ve managed. At the end of every night, she looks at me, gives me night time hugs, and blows kisses. She doesn’t care that I think I’m f**king it up. She doesn’t care that I’m worried about my weight or that I struggle with how to explain life to her or that I worry, constantly, what will happen when she’s older. She just knows I’m the person who gives her hugs and milk and yells occasionally. But only when she’s being an asshole, I promise.

So with that in mind, imagine my rage when I saw this article going around the inter webs.

Happy Halloween and Happy Holidays Neighbor!

You are probably wondering why your child has this note; have you ever heard the saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’? I am disappointed in ‘the village’ of Fargo Moorhead, West Fargo.

You [sic] child is, in my opinion, moderately obese and should not be consuming sugar and treats to the extent of some children this Halloween season.

My hope is that you will step up and parent and ration candy this Halloween and not allow your child to continue these unhealthy eating habits.

Thank You

Was this bitch for real? I mean, let’s overlook the fact that girls, these days, already have it rough enough. Between social media and the real world, I cry for what’s to come for my daughter. Now I have to worry about how I’m going to explain the asshole woman who is handing out notes because she thinks it’s her right to tell a child that she deems them overweight? And that she’s singling them out, as only a true asshole would do, and not give them candy because SHE thinks they don’t need it?

Mama Bear will come the f**k out and roar.

The Mom Wars are ugly and this makes it even uglier.

*The Breast Feeding vs Formula Feeding Battle.

*The Front Facing vs Extended Rear Facing Battle.

*The Breast Feeding in Public vs in Private Battle.

*Cry-It-Out vs Cuddle until Asleep Battle.

These are just a few of the battles that people engage in. WOMEN engage in. Against other women. It’s disgusting. As if battling one another wasn’t terrible enough, we have a new opponent.

I rarely comment on people’s parenting out loud. I mean, I’ve said my piece to the ghetto bitch who was dragging her child through the store by his arm. Or to the mother who slapped her child so hard, I heard it from a different aisle in the grocery store. But for the most part, I keep my comments contains in my head (or to E, if he’s with me). I have never, in my life, thought to ever walk up to a woman and tell her “you’re doing it wrong”. For serious. Why do people feel that this is acceptable behavior? Why do people feel it’s completely ok to just strike up a conversation with a stranger and manage to find a way to work it that you feel, as someone who knows everything about them in the 5 mins you’ve known them, it’s ok to tell them how to “correct” their parenting. It’s not anyone’s job to “educate” anyone else. Now, if someone asks for your opinion, rant on, my friend. Rant the hell on.

YOU don’t know what’s best for MY child so please, for your safety and my freedom, please refrain from speaking your piece on my parenting. The happy, little 2 yr old with the blond curls and the polite manners says, to me, that something is obviously being done correctly and that I don’t need you to step in and tell me your opinions.

*Note: to add to this: if you don’t have kids, have never birthed a child, adopted a child, had custody of a child, please, for the love of all that is Holy, do not think it’s a-ok to state an opinion about child-rearing or childbirth. Trust me. I used to know everything about children until I had one.

I mean, I'm raising a Mini Ravens Fan. Obviously I'm doing it right

I mean, I’m raising a Mini Ravens Fan. Obviously I’m doing it right

Girls Rule

For all you people who think boys are the ultimate prize in the baby race, you’ve never gotten to have this kind of fun:

Tutu

That’s right. Girls are awesome and this little lady is the awesomest of them all ♥ As you can tell, Beanie has started flexing her independence and wanting to dress herself, which is fine except people are beginning to wonder if Ace Ventura is her father. Hey, I couldn’t care less if this is how she wants to run around, as long as she eats her veggies and still gives us hugs before she goes to bed every night ☺

Happy Friday, y’all!

25 Rules for Mothers of Daughters

When I was that blog post about social media and the impact it has on today’s youth, I got to thinking about values and morals that I hope Beanie can learn from me. And then I found this list. It’s been passed around for a little while but I’m just now seeing it. To whoever wrote it : You nailed it!

1. Paint her nails. Then let her scratch it off and dirty them up. Teach her to care about her appearance, and then quickly remind her that living and having fun is most important.

2. Let her put on your makeup, even if it means bright-red-smudged lips and streaked-blue eyes. Let her experiment in her attempts to be like you… then let her be herself.

3. Let her be wild. She may want to stay home and read books on the couch, or she may want to hop on the back of a motorcycle *GASP*. She might be a homebody or a traveler. She may fall in love with the wrong boy, or meet Mr. Right at age 5. Try to remember that you were her age once. Everyone makes mistakes, let her make her own.

4. Be present. Be there for her at her kindergarten performances, her dance recitals, her soccer games… her everyday-little-moments. When she looks through the crowds of people, she will be looking for your smile and pride. Show it to her as often as possible.

5. Encourage her to try on your shoes and play dress-up. If she would rather wear her brother’s superman cape with high heels, allow it. If she wants to wear a tutu or dinosaur to the grocery store, why stop her? She needs to decide who she is and be confident in her decision.

6. Teach her to be independent. Show her by example that women can be strong. Find and follow your own passions. Search for outlets of expression and enjoyment for yourself – not just your husband or children. Define yourself by your own attributes, not by what others expect you to be. Know who you are as a person, and help your daughter find out who she is.

7. Pick flowers with her. Put them in her hair. There is nothing more beautiful than a girl and a flower.

8. Let her get messy. Get messy with her, no matter how much it makes you cringe inside. Splash in the puddles, throw snowballs, make mud pies, finger paint the walls: just let it happen. The most wonderful of memories are often the messy ones.

9. Give her good role models – you being one of them. Introduce her to successful women – friends, co-workers, doctors, astronauts, or authors. Read to her about influential women – Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Marie Curie. Read her the words of inspirational women – Jane Austen, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson. She should know that anything is possible.

10. Show her affection. Daughters will mimic the compassion of their mother. “I love yous” and Eskimo kisses go a long way.

11. Hold her hand. Whether she is 3 years old in the parking lot or 16 yrs old in the mall, hold onto her always – this will teach her to be confident in herself and proud of her family.

12. Believe in her. It is the moments that she does not believe in herself that she will need you to believe enough for both of you. Whether it is a spelling test in the first grade, a big game or recital, a first date, or the first date of college… remind her of the independent and capable woman you have taught her to be.

13. Tell her how beautiful she is. Whether it is her first day of kindergarten, immediately after a soccer game where she is grass-strained and sweaty, or her wedding day. She needs your reminders. She needs your pride. She needs your reassurance. She is only human.

14. Love her father. Teach her to love a good man, like him. One who lets her be herself… she is, after all, wonderful.

15. Makes forts with boxes and blankets. Help her to find magic in the ordinary, to imagine, to create and to believe in fairy tales. Someday she will make her 5 by 5 dorm room her home with magic touches and inspiration. And she will fall in love with a boy and believe him to be Prince Charming.

16. Read to her. Read her Dr. Seuss, and Eric Carle. But also remember the power of Sylvia Plath and Robert Frost. Show her the beauty of words on a page and let her see you enjoy them. Words can be simply written and simply spoken, yet can harvest so much meaning. Help her to find their meaning.

17. Teach her how to love – with passion and kisses. Love her passionately. Love her father passionately and her siblings passionately. Express your love. She her how to love with no restraint. Let her get her heart broken and try again. Let her cry, and gush, giggle and scream. She will love like you love or hate like you hate. So, choose love for both you and her.

18. Encourage her to dance and sing. Dance and sing with her – even if it sounds or looks horrible. Let her wiggle to nursery rhymes. Let her dance on her daddy’s feet and spin in your arms. Then later, let her blast noise and head bang in her bedroom with her door shut if she wants. Or karaoke to Tom Petty in the living room if she would rather. Introduce her to the classics – like The Beatles – and listen to her latest favorites – like Taylor Swift. Share the magic of music together, it will bring you closer together – or at least create a soundtrack of your life together.

19. Share secrets together. Communicate. Talk. Talk about anything. Let her tell you about boys, friends, school. Listen. Ask questions. Share dreams, hopes, concerns. She is not only your daughter, you are not only her mother. Be her friend too.

20. Teach her manners. Because sometimes you have to be her mother, not just her friend. The world is a happier place when made up of polite words and smiles.

21. Teach her when to stand up and when to walk away. Whether she has classmates who tease her because of her glasses, or a boyfriend who tells her she is too fat – let her know she doesn’t have to listen. Make sure she knows how to demand respect – she is worthy of it. It does not mean she has to fight back with fists or words, because sometimes you say more with silence. Also make sure she knows which battles are worth fighting. Remind her that some people can be mean and nasty because of jealousy, or other personal reasons. Help her to understand when to shut her mouth and walk away. Teach her to be the better person.

22. Let her choose who she loves. Even when you see through the charming boy she thinks he is, let her love him without your disapproving words; she will anyway. When he breaks her heart, be there for her with words of support rather than “I Told You So”. Let her mess up again and again until she finds the one. And when she finds the one, tell her.

23. Mother her. Being a mother – to her – is undoubtedly one of your greatest accomplishments. Share with her the joys of motherhood, so one day she will want to be a mother too. Remind her over and over again with words and kisses that no one will ever love her like you love her. No one can replace or replicate a mother’s love for their children.

24. Comfort her. Because sometimes you just need your mama. When she is sick, rub her back, make her soup, and cover her in blankets – no matter how old she is. Someday, if she is giving birth to her own child, push her hair out of her face, encourage her, and tell her how beautiful she is. These are the moments she will remember you for. And someday when her husband rubs her back in attempt to comfort her, she may just whisper “I need my mama”

25. Be home. When she is sick with a cold or broken heart, she will come to you; welcome her. When she is engaged or pregnant, she will run to you to share her news; embrace her. When she is lost or confused, she will search for you; find her. When she needs advice on boys, schools, friends, or an outfit; tell her. She is your daughter and will always need a safe harbor – where she can turn a key and see comforting eyes and a familiar smile; be home.

Instagram

In the social media world that we live in, it’s ever evolving. First there was MySpace. Then there was FaceBook for students only. FB eventually opened up to become the world’s largest social network. Now there are offshoots. Twitter, Tumblr, Tout, and now Instagram.

I’m on Instagram. I enjoy it. I find it to be more private than FB so I can share pics of Beanie without the worry of who is seeing them. It’s also a way to document my WLJ and other random pics.

When I take pics of my runs and HRM, I sometimes tag them with odd tags. Friday’s photo looked like this:

(names and comments have been deleted to protect the screen names of others)

(names and comments have been deleted to protect the screen names of others)

And just for shits and giggles, I tapped on the #wanttobeskinny tag and lo and behold, there were several pics of extremely skinny girls. And one, in particular, broke my heart. Her tags were #bulimic, #anorexic, #nomorefood, etc. I can’t wrap my mind around this but this find came on the heels of reading a pretty interesting article.

This blog post has been floated around FB for the past couple of days and it really struck me. Actually, it scared the shit out of me. This is what I’m going to have to potentially deal with, having a daughter of my own. It seems like kids these days (Man I feel old saying that) base their self worth on what happens on social media. How many friends can they have on FB, how many followers they can get on Instagram, what people read their Tumblr pages, etc. This makes it nearly impossible for parents to instill values into their children, and to almost convince them that they are worth so much more than what these media outlets are telling them.

After reading this, I thought “How the hell can I possibly raise this little girl to be an independent, self-made woman who knows what she’s worth and because of that, demand the respect she is entitled to?

Beanie already marches to the beat of her own drum. She likes to do her own thing and while some people judge for that (obviously she’s so independent because she wasn’t breast fed or coddled as an infant BAER), she seems happy.

You wanna wear work boots? You rock them harder than work boots have ever been rocked.

You wanna wear work boots? You rock them harder than work boots have ever been rocked.

You want to pair a leopard print tutu with cupcake pajamas? Do it up, sister!

You want to pair a leopard print tutu with cupcake pajamas? Do it up, sister!

and above all, if you want to sit back and watch the world and observe

do it in a fabulous pair of sunglasses that you chose because you love them

do it in a fabulous pair of sunglasses that you chose because you love them

 

 

Crafty Snow Weekend

Oh look! {More} SNOW!

Oh look! {More} SNOW!

Yep. More snow. Again. For the third weekend in a row.

Yes I’m tired of snow. I’m tired of not being able to take Beanie outside (she loathes the snow). I’m tired of looking at this! Although it is a tad pretty. Kinda.

Beanie's wishing for Spring

Beanie’s wishing for Spring

I decided to finally get around to making the wreath that was supposed to be my mama’s christmas gift but I didn’t have the time to finish it. So I got crafty on this snowy weekend.

What you’ll need:

6 different color fabric squares (Jo-Ann’s sells fabric squares in separate, handy squares and sometimes they’ll have the packs of complimentary colors)

pinking shears

foam circle

hot glue and matching gun

knitting needle or crochet hook (I use a crochet hook)

Ravens colors, of course

Ravens colors, of course

Cut the fabric into 2X2 squares. You can rough estimate it, I do.

Craft 2

Put the rough side of the fabric over the end of the crochet hook and put a drop of hot glue on the end of the fabric

Craft 3Shove it into the foam ring. Only puncture the ring enough to set the fabric into it, do not just glue the fabric to the ring! Place each fabric square close to one another

Enjoy a nice cup of tea while you work ☺

Enjoy a nice cup of tea while you work ☺

You want to make sure the fabric is on the inside, as well, but you don’t have to go nuts with the inner portion. There is no rhyme or reason to the pattern, just pick and choose as you go.

The Finished Product

The Finished Product

It’s simple, it’s nice, and you can make them for every season.

rachelkern152

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