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I’m Stealing My Mom’s Good News

UGGGGG. This week, y’all.

First, we’ve been recovering from some shitty parenting days for about 2 weeks as I put the call out last week for some of you to email me if you’ve parented a child like Wesley. That’s going well, but it left behind just an unsettling negative undercurrent in our lives. Then, Donnie’s recurring knee injury was showing it’s face and he made the decision Tuesday to NOT run the Pinhoti 100 this weekend. A race he’s been training for, for 9 months. He’s spent money on coaching, he’s run hundreds and hundreds of miles, we put together a fine team of good people, we bought super-fancy headlamps…all of it and he can’t see it to the end now. And he’s DEVASTATED. I did quickly plan a weekend away to Chattanooga to help distract him, but still. HE IS BROKEN HEARTED, on top of the parenting funk we’ve been feeling for two weeks.

THEN! Bambi got sick fast and we had to put her to sleep yesterday. I suffered that burden alone because A) She was my cat and I felt I owed bravery that to him for 17+ years of love he gave me and B) Donnie doesn’t need any more shit, jeezus. Give him a break Universe!

THEN! Last night Nikki got tripped up on a fast rush to the ball in a game and there was a bunch of bodies and next thing she’s hitting the ground fast, butt first, then head. The story goes her head bounced, although my angle was off so it looked to me like she got kicked. Either way, she was immediately screaming and grabbing her head. And of course, because we’ve had a string of bad luck with Nikki and refs this year, the game continued while Donnie and I just watched in silence as she’s holding her head and screaming. It was the weirdest few minutes of any soccer game because we’re just watching and waiting for something to happen but the game is still going and it hits me: Parents all along the sidelines are screaming, “STOP THE GAME! There’s a hurt player!”

(Thank you, parents. I’ve trained myself to go silent when my kid gets hurt because I tend to overreact and be embarrassing.)

Eventually they stopped the game and we let the coaches to to her, she was still crying. They got her off the field and she’s STILL crying. Donnie went over and the game ended and she was STILL CRYING. And so commenced concussion watch 2016.

(Donnie made sure to talk to the ref about not stopping the game. The ref said the only stop the game if the hurt player is in danger – which I guess he didn’t think she was since the play was continuing far away. My husband pointed out that she’s 11 and this is a rec league so ANY head injury means a player is in danger.)

We eventually got her calmed down and decided she probably has a mild concussion but no need for an ER. We did follow the guideslines though and wake her up ever 2-3 hours to make sure she was responsive. I’ll have to get her to a doctor today because they won’t let her play without permission from her Pediatrician or an ER. She was hurting so bad last night (and SUPER-sensitive to light) that I doubt they’re going to clear her to play, but we’re going to take her anyway.

SO I AM TIRED A SHIT TODAY, Y’ALL.

I did wake up at 3:20am to find the Cubs won. I’m not a baseball person but my Mom always has been and has always been a Cubs fan. We took her to see the Cubs play the Braves 10+ years ago. So, I’m going to focus on that today. My Mom is going to wake up either A) EXHAUSTED because she stayed up WAY TOO LATE to watch the game or B) THRILLED to the news. So! I’m stealing her good news and claiming it as my own since we need it today! Congrats to my Mom and Cubs fans everywhere!

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Young Ladies of the SEC, Enjoy the Game!

I hate to lambast another writer online because that has been known to destroy blogs and my biggest fear is something I write on my blog to go viral and me shut the whole thing down because of the unwanted attention.

But, I feel like once you have your stuff on HuffPo you know what you’re getting into and you’re kinda fair game. And to put it bluntly, I was ENRAGED when I read “Young ladies of the SEC, cover it up!

I wished you understood that a trend can be interpreted as fun and flirty without being tasteless.

Most of all, I hoped you would soon wake up to embrace the ethos shared by higher learning institutions everywhere – class.

That lucky shaker tucked into the back of your on trend boot?

The team logo you’re sporting on your cheek?

The Greek letters sticker on your shirt declaring the sorority to which you belong and your loyalty to your team?

All rendered classless by those ill covered curves you’ve made sure are on full display.

I mean, it was MADDENING to read this on so many levels, most of them quite obvious. My blood was BOILING as I read this.

But, before I outline my rage, let me also address an opposing article making the rounds on my feed yesterday. “Mom Shares Photos To Remind Us ‘Skinny’ Doesn’t Always Mean ‘Healthy’” was being shared out and lauded because: BODY POSITIVITY! Yay her!

And the contrast of the two articles hit me strongly.

And here’s the thing…the less obvious point of contention with the HuffPo article. Body positivity is not just for the flabby. It’s for the fit, too. And the young. I saw a viral photo once of a woman with a flabby body in a bikini and everyone was very proud of her, as was I. We gather together and we raise up a woman who DARES to show her less-than-perfect body that the media hide from covers and advertisements. I’m certain the women who agree with the SEC Lady Shamer would RISE UP to defend a flabby friend’s right to wear a bikini to the pool.

But women wearing skimpy clothes at a college football game? Let’s shame them and call them classless.

We all have opinions on what looks good on people and what doesn’t. I saw a woman wearing high wasted jeans the other day and thought, I’m not sure those flatter her body type. It was just instinctive, part of me just noticed. I kinda hated myself because maybe she felt like she looked GREAT and I should keep my mind from being an asshole. But we all do it, we all have rolled our eyes at the girls over-dressed or under-dressed. We may not be proud of it, but we’ve done it.

But let’s withhold taking those thoughts and allowing them to spread, shall we? Let’s not gossip with our friends about the girl who shows too much cleavage at the PTA meetings, let’s not laugh with our sisters about the cousin who’s still wearing last decades fashions, let’s not post pictures on Facebook of people we call “rednecks” at Wal-Mart.

And most importantly? Let’s not write self-righteous articles on Huffington Post shaming young women at their most vulnerable points in life.


Dear Young Ladies of the SEC,

Enjoy the game!

Mind your safety if you’re enjoying alcohol, keep an eye on your drink and have a sober friend!

Call me if you need a ride!

And are you seriously wearing stilettos to a football game? On all of those stairs? TEACH ME YOUR SECRETS.

I’m just kidding. I hate crowds and don’t like shoes with any heal. Your secrets would be wasted on me.

Love yourself and love your tribe of women.

WDE! GBO! RTR!

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UPDATE

UGG. I forgot about one other line that bugged me:

Families attend these games. Little eyes are watching you.

UGG. IT’S TERRIBLE. The implication that our children need not see those skimpy outfits? UGGG. UGGGGGGGG.

My brain just exploded. I lost the ability to speak.

OH! OH! And the ending!

Don your most debonair collegiate colors ensemble. Heck, try to sneak in a flask or two (this is college, after all).

WHAT IN THE ACTUAL…FRICK? Okay. You almost made me curse. I’ve got to quit adding stuff to this entry.

(Maybe.)

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VACATION! (Ugg.)

There is no greater surprise in the world than the realization in adulthood that vacations are SUPER STRESSFUL. At least when you have a family. I’ve taken a few short vacations on my own and THEY ARE PERFECTLY LOVELY. They are the picture-book image of what vacations should be: Equal parts fun and relaxing.

FAMILY VACATIONS ARE NOT QUITE LIKE THAT.

Now. It’s still worth it, obviously. I love a good vacation. Harry Potter World was amazing last year and I still sometimes sink into a tiny depression over missing it. This year? Denver and Breckenridge to visit my brother and his family. And I am SOOOOO looking forward to it. BUT OH MY GOD, SO MANY THINGS TO STRESS OUT ABOUT.

First? The weather.

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Let me just say that when I wake up here in Alabama? We are already at the “HIGH” for the day. So there are no winter clothes anywhere within reach in our house. But those lows in the 40s mean we need to be packed for “chilly” and “warm”. And I say “we” because I’ll back for the two little kids. Then there’s the activities we’ll be taking part of outside – so we’ll need to be prepared for all of the above. AND THIS STRESSES ME OUT.

Then there’s the prep for leaving the house. I don’t want to leave anything behind to be wasted because WE DO NOT WASTE FOOD IN THIS HOUSE. So I have to plan meals accordingly. Oh – look – we have a bunch of mushrooms leftover from stir-fry night. GOING IN THE LUNCH BOXES! Hmmm…not going to finish the juice…WHO NEEDS CREAMER FOR COFFEE WHEN WE HAVE JUICE!

And the house MUST be mostly clean. For two reasons. 1) Because I don’t want to come home to a mess to clean up. and 2) Because I don’t want the people who are helping with our house and pets to think we’re more disgusting than I admit we are. I never profess to keep an immaculate house, so it’s not at that level, but the beds are made and the counters are clean.

The stress of packing doesn’t have only to do with clothing, but also other things we might need. Chargers, technology, screens, books, art, things to do on the plane, things to do in the car, snacks, and cosmetics. Now, we will grocery shop so we can get a lot of stuff there, but we need to prep for the drive to Nashville, the flight to Denver, and the drive to Breckenridge all before we do a grocery stop.

And then I’m super-worried about my kid’s behavior. We’re visiting family we only see ever 2’ish years. WE MUST MAKE A GOOD IMPRESSION. And oh my GOD, that’s a hard thing when you’re living with someone for a whole week. Wesley is certain to tell me he hates me at some point in time and THAT STRESSES ME OUT. Of course my family is realistic and know we’re not perfect, and they love us either way, BUT STILL. Please tell me I’m not the only person who completely stressed out about my kid’s behavior when visiting family. I think it’s because I still have memories of family discussing the ill-behaved kids at family gatherings and I don’t want that to be my kid!

(Also – I feel like going back in time and defending the parents of those ill-behaved kids. I’d get in a time machine and say, “GIVE THEM A BREAK. THEY ARE DOING THEIR BEST.”)

So, all of this has me not sleeping. And that’s okay because I know once we get there? It will be heavenly. Because even though I’ll be stressed about whether we packed the right things, and if my kids are behaving, I’ll still be on vacation and I can’t stress about the million of things at home that I stress about every day. Nope. Those things won’t be there. So, no matter what, I’m going to feel rejuvenated in the mountains of Colorado.

Bring it on!

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Just Call Me Insaneabella McCrankyPants

Donnie has been working late every night for like…DECADES it feels. It’s me, on my own, every night and I am grumpy about it. It’s not the solo parenting thing – I do most of the evening tasks even if he is here – it’s just being LONELY. I just like having another grown-up to talk to at night. Besides myself. Which I’m doing plenty of because I AM LONELY. But when I’m talking to myself I’m mean to myself because I’m also GRUMPY. I’m a lonely grumpy lady who is just spewing negativity to everyone in her family because THERE ARE NO DONUTS IN THIS HOUSE. I NEED DONUTS.

Also – we saw the sun for the first time yesterday in at least 100 years. Gray days make me grumpy.

I also have all these things I want to be doing: Finishing my book, working on a new website, taking some photos, finishing up a birthday present for a family member whose birthday is WAY TOO SOON and I’m never going to get it finished. Also? Contractor coming on Friday to give us estimates on big projects for the house before we try to sell again. I know – many say don’t spend too much if you’re just trying to sell – but the thing is, if it takes awhile we want to be less crazy than we were last time and these projects will help so! Two birds! One grumpy stone.

I’ve been sooooo stressed which makes me sooooo grumpy even if my husband came home for things other than just to sleep. I get really grumpy when I don’t feel like there’s enough time to do everything I need to do. I get in like: FULL ANXIETY MODE which means my smile disappears permanently and a scowl takes over along with no patience the proliferation of snarky guilt trips on everyone around me. I’m eating terrible even without the donuts in the house and that makes me MORE grumpy because my mood and my food choices go hand-in-hand. Eat terrible food? In terrible mood. So I’m doubling up on the cranky factor by stuffing my face with horrible food choices.

I AM A JOY.

But there’s going to be SUN today and I need a reset. I’m going to try to do that thing where I force myself to smile more because the GRUMPY FACE IS GOING TO GET STUCK IF YOU DON’T, YOUNG LADY.

I don’t even know what’s happening here anymore. What was the point of this post? I don’t even remember.

OH YEA. I’VE BEEN GRUMPY.

This is riveting material.

Also – I woke up late this morning. I woke up at 2:55am and THAT IS LATE. AND I SOMETIMES HATE MY LIFE.

Not really. I’m a morning person. This is my morning. I don’t hate it. But on paper? It looks terrible.

So – I’m already late so my efforts to wane the Grumpiness might be off to a bad start.

Let me get my coffee. It’s done brewing.

Y’all. I tried to take a picture of my coffee to use in this already RIVETING entry and I spent 15 minutes just trying to take it and then get it to my computer and THIS IS JUST MAKING ME MORE LATE.

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But you have to admit. This insane stream of consciousness entry is much better with photo evidence, right?

I’m almost 100% certain this is the quality of entry the inventors of National Blog Posting Month were hoping to see when they challenged bloggers to write every day. IT DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS, PEOPLE.

So. Where were we? I’ve been grumpy because my husband has been working too much and there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything I want or even NEED to do. But today? Today I’m going to try to be LESS grumpy. And smile more. So my face doesn’t get stuck in this frown.

The End.

(Please don’t leave forever. I promise I’ll write something better tomorrow.)

(No, I don’t. I make no promises of the quality of entries you’ll see during NaBloPoMo. But please come back anyway.)

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The One Where I Team Up With My Christian Friends.

I wrote a wordy post on Facebook yesterday about how I feel about this whole Ashl3y M@dison client/customer leak. (I’m not using the exact name because GOD FORBID I end up on a google search page for the list.) And the more I think about it, the more I feel I didn’t use all the words I wanted to use and this…my friends…is why I have a blog.

I know there are people out there who – for entertainment value – just sat scrolling through lists (especially when they started getting posted for individual states) to see if they knew anyone on them. Or specifically searching for people they knew. And as a very light-hearted, not-well-thought-out task, I guess part of me can see how you mind end up doing it. It’s a wreck-on-the-highway response. If you stopped and thought “Do I really want to see a dead body?” you probably wouldn’t look, but your instinct is to look before you think it through.

But I’ve seen all sides of infidelity intimately and it is an ugly, ugly thing that has many facets and complications and causes pain in wide ripples from the centerpoint. There is no part of me that wants to know if my neighbor or my doctor or my mayor was on that list. And even if that person was on that list, does that mean they cheated? And if they did does that mean I’m better than them somehow because I’ve been faithful to my husband?

No. No. and HELL FREAKIN’ NO.

It’s funny, this frenzy of search and commenting has been bugging me since the list was leaked and I started hearing whispers of people finding names they didn’t expect on it. OR WORSE: I heard comments like, “Well, I knew I’d find THAT person on it.” And to me? That comment? Is one that really bothers me. Because that means this person’s marriage has been discussed before in your world. And you have no problem being publicly candid about your opinions about that marriage. We all know marriages in jeopardy, but to reference that in a public manner just seems to be dumping unnecessary negative energy into the universe.

This has been eating at my brain for days and then – funnily – several of my Christian friends posted on Facebook about how they’re unhappy seeing delight or judgement in people reading these lists. Lots of reminders of people not to cast stones if they’re not without sin and I stood up and screamed a loud, “AMEN!”

I was liking posts about judgement and forgiveness from my Christian friends all over Facebook yesterday. YES. Let’s not judge! YES. Let’s not forget about the power of forgiveness and YES. Let’s MIND OUR OWN DAMN BUSINESS.

Okay, maybe none of them said exactly that, but there were mentions of things being worthy of God’s attention, but not ours. So why don’t we make sure our own hands are clean before we talk about how dirty someone’s else’s are.

AMEN.

I just don’t see the fascination. Maybe it’s because I have seen the pain infidelity cause up close. (In a past life, many moons ago.) Maybe it’s because I can’t find anything about that funny or entertaining. Maybe because I don’t want to know if my neighbor signed up for that website because I like having relationships with people and not aware of their dirty laundry. Maybe because I’m hiding a whole crap load of dirty laundry and I don’t want people thinking about that every time they talk to me.

I have given up on all expectation of privacy in today’s age. Not that I don’t think I deserve it, I do, but I’ve given up on thinking it can be a reality. I just don’t anymore. The most I can do is to give other people their privacy but not scrolling through lists of hacked data. I’m hearing a lot of “well, they shouldn’t have signed up if they didn’t want people to know,” and that’s unfair. Have you ever bought p0rn? (Another google term I don’t want linked to my blog. It’s already blocked by some military contractors, I’d rather it not be blocked in general.) Maybe sex t0ys? Do you need a prescription for an STD? Not that any of these things should cause you shame, but they are private things you might not want the whole world to know. Somewhere, someone has information stored on you in digital form on you and your habits and it’s not necessarily anything bad, but it’s stuff you’d like to remain PRIVATE. What if that list got hacked? Would you then regret scrolling through the hacked Ashl3y M@dison list?

I don’t worry about humanity after terrorist attacks because there are a LOT of humans on this planet who would never do anything that terrible. I do, however, worry about humanity when I see so many average people jokingly searching through lists for people they know, and then casting judgements on the masses of people on that list. I’m hoping they didn’t think about how terrible it would be to actually SEE a dead body when they’re rubbernecking on the highway. What if you find your Dad on that list? Or your boss? Or your preacher? Then will you find it funny? Once you see a dead body, you can’t unsee it. So why don’t we all just keep our eyes on the road and send positive energy in the form of thoughts and prayers out into the universe and hope that the family and friends of the people involved in that wreck, find the peace they need.