Easter’s on: I did it my way

My sweet friend SuSu did not care for the Easter Bunny. I think this picture captures the spirit of parenting perfectly, though. All dressed up with potential for perfection of perfect disaster. And we wouldn't have it any other way.

LOOK at this face! My sweet friend SuSu did not care for the Easter Bunny. I think this picture captures the spirit of parenting perfectly, though. All dressed up with potential for perfection or perfect disaster. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

I am a shopper of least resistance. I will not clip coupons and go from store to store looking for good deals on meat and toilet paper. I need to get in and get out, and my child-free shopping time is way more valuable than the $2 I might have saved on paper towels and frozen peas. If they don’t carry it at Target, Walgreens, or Albertsons, I don’t need it. I would rather take a beating than go to Wal-Mart or HEB. Those places are just too busy for me. Amazon Prime – Godsend.

I thought I was doing pretty well getting ready for Easter festivities this week. Bodacious and Little Son had two egg hunts and parties to prepare for, and I had two baskets to decorate. I was two days ahead of schedule and thought I could pick everything up on the weekly grocery run. Though as I stood staring forlornly at what was left of the goodies at Albertsons, I knew I was actually a little on the late side. I had somehow managed to forget that 20,000 more people have moved here.

Hoppin’ Down the Bunny Trail

For three years I hunted down tattoos and stickers and pretzel bags and fruit snacks. I searched for the perfect colors of crinkly paper shred and plastic eggs of various shapes, themes and sizes. I would spend an evening cracking said eggs and stuffing them with treats and snacks I felt slightly more ok with. Then I discovered the pre-stuffed eggs a Walgreens last year. Holy moly! Why have I ever bothered? Continue reading

Recommitting to my commitments

Editor’s note: This is part of our Pulling the Plug series.

A babe worth running for!

A babe worth running for!

It would be a lie to say that this article has been hard to write. I’ve written it three times. Four, when I’ve finished this draft. Each time the words came freely. And each time, after a five minute reflection, I’ve dismissed the attempt as wasteful, useless or a flat out affront to the honest, introspective truth.

You see, this month I am tasked with talking about sacrifice. What we give up for the season of Lent or what we put aside for our children’s sake. Those things we quit so that we can be better, live longer and make everyone jealous of how awesome we are.

So after three failed attempts, I am left staring into an ugly truth in the mirror. The fact is: I am sick and tired of sacrifice.

Now, let’s be clear, I have gotten GOOD at sacrifice.

I was a smoker. And not a causal, occasional, maybe-just-one-with-this-beer smoker. Marlboro used to send me a Christmas card thanking me for my loyal support. If I could have smoked in the shower, I would have. If I became a regular customer, convenience stores could stop selling gasoline and just focus on me for their profit goals.

But one day, after years of failed, half-hearted attempts to quit, I got my mind right, put Continue reading

Wearing our hearts on our sleeves

braceletMy mom gave me this bracelet with this sweet and needed reminder. Perhaps you don’t have a mom or someone to remind you of this..or perhaps you do and still struggle silently anyhow. Regardless, if you’re doing the best you can in the moment, you’re doing a good job. Even if it’s not perfect.

Signed,
The mom that had to apologize to one of her kids for being snappy this morning

*Cuff bracelet by Lenny and Eva

#LennyandEva

Shock the monkey, I can’t change what’s coming

monkey-barsEditor’s note: This post is part of our Pulling the Plug series!

My focus this Lenten season has been to let go of my worries. Yep, I’m giving up the anxiety, saying adios to the plaguing doubt. And it is actually going pretty well. But the cold, hard truth of the matter is that sometimes, it is just really difficult to accept that you cannot change what is coming.

When Little Son was about a year old, I started to notice that he was freakishly strong. Getting him into a car seat became a power play. If I hesitated for one instant, he would spring up and onto the door frame. He would hang there against the glass, smiling and so pleased with himself.

By the time he was 3, I decided to put those muscles to work for me. He started carrying the groceries inside, easily managing a gallon of milk with one arm. And boy, was I grateful! It was so hot that summer, and I had to carry She-Who-Refused-to-Walk everywhere. I was pooped.

That was also the year he discovered the monkey bars on the school playground. He could get on and hold himself up but hadn’t yet mastered swinging his body. So for three years, I have held his legs, supporting his body as he works his arms, moving him back and forth, back and forth across the bars.

Continue reading

Setting screen limits – for myself!

I totally stole this photo from an awesome tumblr site, Parents on Phones. Funny! Check it out here!

I totally stole this photo from an awesome tumblr site, Parents on Phones. Funny! Check it out here!

Editor’s note: This post is part of our Pulling the Plug series!

We monitor our son’s screen time carefully because my husband and I are big believers that too much time in front of a TV, or on the laptop or tablet, is like fast food for the brain. It dulls creativity. It promotes zombie-like inactivity.

For him, at least.

Me?  Ummmm.

While I try to tune out on the weekends if work isn’t demanding my attention, I am consistently attached at the hip to technology from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day during the week. Mostly, it comes from being an overachieving control freak about my job. And about my need to interact in real time with my blog readers and followers on social media. (I’m a fiction writer in my spare time, and if a reader takes the time out of her busy schedule to connect with me, I feel obligated to respond quickly.)

But I’m embarrassed to admit that sometimes my attachment to my iPhone and my laptop Continue reading

Cuz breaking up is hard to do … .

Editor’s note: This post is part of our Pulling the Plug series!

I do not “like” water. It’s not very fun. But Diet Coke – yum!  Diet Dr. Pepper – come to mama!  I even like Diet Mountain Dew, which now that I look back on it, is pretty foul.  But I used to happily Do the Dew!  I drank diet soda like it was water.  And sometimes it was all I drank. For the whole day.  Terribly healthy, I know. Somehow I used to justify it by the fact that I don’t drink coffee so soda was my sole source of caffeine. Whatever it takes to get you through the day, right?

dietcokeI don’t want to go so far as to say I have an addictive personality but I am sort of an “all or nothing” kind of girl.  I don’t want one Oreo, I want 10.  One margarita?  No thanks, how about three?  That’s how I was with my diet soda – and man oh man, was I all in!!!  When we drove by a McDonald’s, my oldest asked, “Mommy, are you going to get a Diet Coke?”  I knew this was a fairly large problem. Continue reading