Leaving it to fate

I think one of the keys to being a parent – and maybe even a good one – is that you have to harden your heart sometimes. Your kids are going to be emotional and they have to learn lessons and you have to let them. I’m not one to fall for their over-emotional drama when it comes to small things. I do try to be an active listener if they’re really going through a tough time but if you’ve spent any time with kids, you know that they don’t hesitate to manipulate the crap out of people. It’s built into their tiny systems: the ways in which to get what they want out of others. It could be a survival mechanism, I don’t know. But let it be known that I have gotten very good at not falling prey to their whims.

That said, I actually felt very sad last night. I had a heavy heart as I realized that only one of the ten kids invited to Elliot’s belated birthday party this Saturday has RSVP’d… to say he can’t come. Then I went down that wormhole: what if no one else comes? What if they’re all planning to but not RSPVPing because why say yes if they are coming? Then I got scared that we’d be the only ones in that party room with two extra large pizzas and two pitchers of soda we don’t drink and OMG, my poor son. He wanted his party at the skating rink because he’s discovered his love of roller skating. And even though he’ll get that, I would be so so bad if no one else came. I’ve cobbled together some ideas about it. I think Lucas will be there; my boss’s grandson. We always go to his parties and I believe she told me her daughter would drop him off. Matthew should be coming; he’s one of Elliot’s best friends, we’re friends with the parents, and they live right around the corner. Then Carrie said Beau and Lanie might be able to go. They were originally but then Beau broke his arm. However, he has a hard cast and the doc gave him a green light. God, let’s hope so!

I know sometimes you have to let things go and hope for the best. Who knows? It could turn out great. I’m not one to do things last minute but in this case, I think I have to let things fall as they may and try not to stress out.

Things might just work out for the best.

Bad moods

I’m just angry and irritable this week. I can honestly say that since I have had three kids and have been super busy all the time, I have little extra time to be emotional about anything. A little sad, if you really analyze it; I don’t allow myself to stop and mope or cry or get all worked up about things – good or bad. But this week I am.

I am irritated by my class. Sometimes there are a few slackers but this time, I dislike almost all 25 of them. This is not like me; I can usually look past some stuff but these kids are the worst. They don’t read, they don’t participate in class, and they seemingly know nothing about the world. I don’t know if I’m just getting so much older or if I just got a dud group. Seriously; they didn’t know what a montage in a movie is. Hell, they couldn’t remember what movie they even watched last! I am fed up already and we’re only in week three. Sigh.

I am also annoyed by the busyness of our lives and the fact that my doctor’s office gave me the run-around about something when they usually do not. All this culminates into an endless anger that I harbor and use to propel myself through the day. I seethe and let it drive me; it’s like the feeling of being worked up is my sustenance. I know that is probably not good. It’s a behaviour I haven’t actively displayed since my early to mid twenties.

It makes me want to do rash things, hardcore things. I want to shoot guns (at a range, of course. Or, you know, air rifles at cans); I want to get tattooed. Sure, I have plans but I want to go now. I want that pain. It also makes me want to run. I have been doing 2 milers but I need to run longer, exhaust myself; give me another reason to feel some sense of accomplishment.

I’m trying to be positive. Today, in some small way, FSU is paying me back. I’m doing the Guest Coaches program over in Athletics again. I get a tour and to see a positions meeting and to watch practice. On Saturday, we get to see the recruitment video, see on-field warm-ups, then go to the game. Other perks include free meals, a parking spot close to the stadium, etc. I pretty much bend over backwards for them when it comes time to register their students so it’s nice to be rewarded in some way.

I should be happy that I am getting my work done and next week I have a brief respite from online teaching. I’m enjoying flag football. NFL starts today and we’ll have so much fun with that and all the upcoming holidays. I’m excited about Fall and Fall things. I will be ok. Things… will be ok.

Not stressed, just not motivated

I am feeling a bit out of sorts, you could say. I feel like I sit in my office just waiting to feel the desire to work. And it isn’t like I don’t have a lot to do. Because I certainly do. Papers to grade and discussions to partake in. I have to finalize my summer syllabus – classes begin Monday – and I have to make sure my weekly plans cover all the bases. I also need to get back into the mental mode of teaching. It has been a little bit since Spring ended and I was overwhelmed then. But I haven’t really felt that over-stressed feeling in a little while.

But. I will admit that some days, I feel like I want to do something bad and rebellious. Nothing awful. Just something that feels like I’m bucking tradition or doing something that veers slightly from my moral compass. Maybe I’m being vague. Maybe what I mean is that I wish I still partook in a bloghop where we had to confess stuff. Because it might go something like this:

I confess… I’m going next week to see Magic Mike XXL with some friends. One of my friends I vowed never to see movies with again because she’s a talker. Actually, she’s a screamer. But I figure for this movie I can let it slide. The first movie was SO bad, dialogue wise. But oh, the pretty men. I could watch it on mute and be totally satisfied.

I confess... I’m not, nor have I ever really been, a smoker. But sometimes I think it would be fun to buy one of those flavored cigarillo things and just indulge. They’re probably gross. I’d probably feel bad. But sometimes, why not? Maybe we don’t allow ourselves that enough: why not?

I confess… One of my main goals for the past six weeks had been to read. But did I? Not really. I’ve been finishing a Lauren Dane novel while on the elliptical so I feel like maybe I am ready to jump back into it. But for some reason, I have just been out of the reading loop. But it makes me realize how I don’t take advantage of all the hours in my day. I don’t want to make excuses; I certainly could find a couple hours to read. But I don’t.

I confess… I could have read Wednesday night but I watched the first episode of the new season of Inkmaster. It’s trash tv but I love it. I like competition shows and tattoos. Why not?


Today is better. I wrote that out yesterday when my eyes were blurry at the end of the day and I didn’t have it in me AT ALL to do work. Today I am furiously grading and getting stuff done because I have to go sit on a faculty panel for incoming athletes later. It was a last minute thing that my friend in Athletics asked me to do. I’m slightly nervous but I know I have the knowledge and confidence to do right by those students. I’m a little honored, actually, to have been asked.  But now I have to perform. This was just the motivation I needed though. Thank God for small miracles, right??

Human Again

This just might be the first day this week that I actually work all day. Here’s a recap of our week so far.

  • I got “the call” from daycare Monday and Isaac had a 101 fever. I took him home and he immediately fell asleep. But he woke an hour later just screaming in pain. His right side hurt and he flipped when I touched it. Now, Isaac is my tough kid. He’s the one who gets relatively injured outside and keeps moving on. So when he walked to the bathroom and literally fell over from pain in his arms and legs, I made a decision. Ok, well, Ash made it. I was hesitating to take him to the doc but if it had been his appendix (right side pain!) they would have sent me to the ER anyway. So away we went, to the less crowded ER. After we got all checked in, he already seemed better. I had never seen him so sick or in so much pain. BUT, it’s just a virus. The doc said all his symptoms hit at once and that’s why it seemed so severe. It was crazy, people.
  • It’s a good thing I didn’t go to the main hospital because one of the people who dealt with at the other told me that there had been a gun shot victim brought in and the entire ER was on lockdown. I’m assuming because the shooter wasn’t finished with that guy yet so there was still a threat.
  • I tell ya; I am ready for the universe to give us a break. It’s been one thing after another for the past few weeks. It is becoming quite tiresome!
  • On Tuesday, I split with Ash so I went to work, taught my class, met with students, then went home. Isaac and I ran errands and did yard work together, which was great but also, very bad for my allergies.
  • On Wednesday, I came into work but my allergies were so bad, I couldn’t focus. Hell, I could barely see. I went out on my lunch break to get meds but I didn’t take them right away. By 2 pm, I was DONE. I ended up going home, taking meds, and getting into bed. The night before, Elliot kept waking up and consequently, I got awful sleep. I really needed that nap. When I woke up, I felt like me again. Things started to look up.
  • On another happy note: I got the annual invite for the beach. Five families that I know all get together at St. George. I am really looking forward to getting away from it all. I just hope by then, our lives have evened out just a wee bit!
  • Caught up for the most part; I teach this morning and then have a bunch to do. A friend of ours is in town so we’ll see him tonight. Then my brother-in-law gets in tomorrow and will be here through the weekend. We have baseball and Monster Jam and running and well, it’s gonna be busy!

On and on it goes

Man, what a morning. It was the kind of morning where you’re already late and you can’t find stuff and when you get in the car with all the kids, you find that you left the radio on XM’s Lithium – which is uncensored – and Nine Inch Nails blares on with “I want to f*** you like an animal”. And as you quickly change it, your seven year old has a melt-down reminiscent of when fights used to start in school. One kid lays an insult and kids are all going “Oooooh!” He reacted just like that when he heard it. I had to nip that one right in the bud and then try to move on with my day. I took them all to their various places, then got Ash from way past my work to take him to his work (his car is being worked on) and then I myself went to get my car worked on.

I shouldn’t complain; it’s going to cost me a whole lot less than Honda. But still. Ugh. I got back to work and realized that – again – my key card for the parking lot was gone. I swear my children must be throwing them away when I tell them I’ll pay them a dollar to clean out my car. Well, as an experiment, I used a Starbucks gift card and – lo and behold – any old card will open the gate. Mwuhahaha. I literally laughed hysterically as I realized this and drove around for a spot. Had anyone been walking, they’d have heard me and thought me mad.

So here I am, buried under work I have no interest in doing, and trying to feel normal. You know those days? If your routine is broken up, everything just feels weird.

BUT, we had a pretty good weekend. We finally got a new washing machine, though it’s not going to be delivered until Friday. We didn’t do anything else special ON my birthday. In fact, I made different food for each person in my house because I’m a good mom. And I ate oatmeal for dinner!

Saturday morning started early, with Ash dropping Ell and I off near the race start line around 7:30. It was a great morning for a run: 43 and sunny. Elliot did very well but I jacked up my knee on an uphill and it was a tough run back down said hill. But when it was over, I felt pretty good in general. In fact, I worked my ass off all weekend: we mowed and weeded and cleaned. It was nice.

That night, we met six of our friends at hurricane for my birthday and had a great time! Sabrina had to leave early but Greg came back and the rest of us closed that place down. Though I had intended to go to the new “barcade” in midtown, we had fun at the restaurant anyway.

So today, I am worried about money and the summer but this always seems to work out, even when it’s at the seemingly worst of times. I am hoping to just be ok, as always. I don’t know. Sometimes life is just such a crazy up and down roller coaster. I wouldn’t change anything about it, but sometimes I’d like it to stop spinning so much.

Run and hide

Uh oh; I’m starting to get that “I need to run away and hide” feeling. I’m overwhelmed and worried about money and now, my car is having issues. And they aren’t cheap to fix. Why is it that this always happens when you can least afford it – both in time and money? Le sigh. It’s always right around this time of the year that I begin to stress about all this…stuff.  And I can’t be the only mom who feels this way. Or maybe everyone else has some kind of secret to suppressing their angst about, well, everything.

I know there are things I cannot remember; I’m going to drop the ball and be left muttering “Oh shit…” when I realize it’s something I can’t fix. No matter how hard I try to get organized this week, my brain is just not with it. And I am struggling.

I take solace in coffee in the morning and beer in the evening. I’m exercising and sleeping better due to eating better but still – sometimes you cannot help but get the feels about issues in your life. It might be time to make two lists: one for the things I have to get done and another of the things that will bring me joy and that I am thankful for.

I should be thankful that we can take a trip later this year; that we can afford to fix my car; to eat, to eat out; that our children are healthy; that I have car issues and not body issues. That I have a job and nice things and a roof over my head. We should all take a moment to just be present and thankful.8dcbd0a02c3de6fdb66d7ff6a47598ec


I am restless and irritated and I need to go register Elliot for camp and it’s raining and I didn’t take a lunch break so I just want out of here.

And tomorrow is my birthday so… yeah. Bring it on.

Back from the dead

There’s a card in this online game I play called Antique Healbot (Elliot pronounces it AN-ti-cue) and when it comes into play, it says, “Back from the junk heap!” And that is what my brain said as I typed that title. I literally am back from the shit; we were all down and out from Sunday on. I went home after class Tuesday and the younger ones were done throwing up and felt fine but Ash and I both had extreme stomach pain. I felt like a million tiny swords were trying to burst forth from my gut. The downside of how I got this illness is that, unlike the kids, my stomach didn’t expel all its contents and start to recover. No, I just felt like absolute crap for  a solid twenty four hours. I woke Wednesday morning feeling… ok. Stomach was slightly better but I had the headache of the century. Elliot had his biography parade (everyone got to show off their projects) at nine so I ended up just taking him to school close to when it starts and staying for that. Then I dropped off a package at FedEx, ran to the doc to get them to correct the date on Dakota’s shot records (they effed this up last week and without the right date, she was not allowed to be at daycare!), then I picked up some chicken, kale, sweet potato soup from Fresh Market and some crusty bread and headed home.download

It was exactly what I needed: I sat in bed and did work, then I napped, then ate, then napped, then graded and cleaned. By the time everyone was home, I felt pretty much back to normal; 93% at least. Ash had to work late to make up for time he took off earlier so we had breakfast dinner, which is one of the coziest, most warming things to have on a cold rainy day. When he got home, we basically just camped on the couch. Clearly, everyone needed a time out. I see a connection between that and the above card’s ability: I definitely needed to restore eight health to myself.

I feel a renewed interest in work today. I was feeling buried under all the projects I can never seem to complete but I am slowly crawling my way out. I am messing with the Summer and Fall schedules, I am grading my FSU papers (this is one I was REALLY behind on), and I feel like I CAN do this.

I want to get back to blogging more consistently and also, doing my creative journal. Once I do, I think I will have things a lot more under control in my life. Heck, just getting this posted has made me feel a lot better. Anyway, I hope you are all well. I must move on to the next stage of today: teaching.


Difficult things to process

Last night, someone walked into the main library on campus and opened fire. At the time, they reported about 400 people in that library. It didn’t use to be so packed; when I was going to school, people utilized the library as inoften as they could – just when they needed to get a book and it was widely known that only the most hardcore students studied there. Over the past decade, the school has spent millions renovating and making it the central hub of student activity. There are more, faster computers, study areas, private rooms for group work, and a Starbucks. It’s open 24 hours many days, too.

You hear about these things happening on campuses across America but it hasn’t hit this close to home. As far as I know, the last time something truly scary happened on FSU’s campus was when Ted Bundy killed two sorority girls at Chi Omega. We were obviously dealing with a serial killer then. These school shooters seem to be of a different breed, usually driven to madness by school-related pressure. We don’t know yet who the shooter was but something is bothering me, and I find it actually interesting that I feel this way.

If the gunman was a student, then I am not entirely sure how I feel about the police killing him. From the news reports, they asked him to drop his weapon after he had opened fire on the library and when he turned his weapons on them and began firing, they shot and killed him. If he was a student and I were, say, his mother, I might immediately think that the police should have aimed for the knees or legs and taken him down. But I do not think he should have been killed on site. This then seeps into the argument of what role police play. Are they peace-keepers or low-level military?  What is protocol in this situation? It seems from recent events, they don’t have any sort of tactical plan; they shoot to kill the second they feel the least bit threatened. This calls into question when this shift occurred.  I want to believe that it used to be that they would do what they had to do to bring the offender to justice, not simply end the life and wipe their hands of it.

Today, the entire campus is sort of sad and distraught about this and I myself am torn. I am so bad about determining how big of a deal something is. On the one hand, it is awful that someone thinks that killing innocents is the answer. In the grand scheme of things, no one was killed aside from the shooter and the fact that staff members (myself) have to still report to work indicates that it’s not life-shattering. What level of “bad” is this? How do we feel about it? Everyone keeps posting hashtags #WeAreAllFSU everywhere and though I agree with the solidarity, it sometimes feels forced. Again, I don’t KNOW how to feel about any of this. But typing it out helps.

Campus is quiet. I had to park in a different lot because my usual place was reserved for people for the afternoon press conference. Imagine being school officials at this time. What to say about this? Parents will claim there’s not enough security, but there is. And would we send our children to a school who regularly posted cops at the entrance to the library? No. It’s a scene that denotes am inherently dangerous space, which 99% of the time, it is not. It’s a difficult now to think about this and what it ultimately means. I certainly don’t really know but it has brought about many questions. I am conflicted. And for today, I will push through and keep thinking about the bigger ideas at hand.

Let me off this ride!

I don’t even think I realized just how go go go we’d been until, well, this morning. I told you how I’d gotten very good at using my phone’s calendar feature. That really helped me to keep my head above water but then today, as I was coming into work, I was more aware than usual so I started making a to-do list. Holy crap, folks. This thing ended up being about ten items deep and some of them are sort of involved. I crossed one off: registering the boys for soccer. I was reluctant to go from flag to soccer with only about, oh, 3 weeks in between but they had asked and Isaac actually showed much more interest in that sport over others. So that is marked off; yay.

I still have to place an ad in the paper and on Craigslist for our upcoming yard sale. I am actually REALLY looking forward to doing that. We will get rid of this disassembled TV stand and the five entire boxes of kids’ toys and clothing. I also plan to go through the kitchen. It’s amazing how much stuff I accumulated in that room alone that I don’t really ever use. Anything left is being donated. We are also trying to sell our bed frame on a local site where we’d probably get more money than the garage sale. It’s a good bed: a solid walnut frame and it’s a big canopy style thing. We just want a king size and not such a huge hunk of wood in the middle of our bedroom. I’m actually more of a minimalist when it comes to furniture. When we get rid of the frame and the old mattress, we will also probably get new carpet. Our bedroom is the last to get new carpet; each of the other three were replaced each time we had a baby. It makes a huge difference! I cannot wait until our bedroom is clean and nice and new again.

The other thing that’s been dragging me through the mud is Todd. He was going every couple of weeks to see the dog eye doc but then his eye started to look worse so we went after one week and we’re slated to go back in another week. The problem is that he got a slight cut on the bad eye and it turned into an ulcer. Now the thing is growing bacteria and if it gets really bad, the retina could become perforated. I am hoping this new regimen of drugs will help but to be honest, if it doesn’t and they need to take the eye out, that would certainly be a relief. Dogs can do just fine on one eye; it’s their third most important sense anyway. I’d just like to put this all behind me.

Let me tell you what else snuck up on me this week: Teacher Appreciation at the daycare. Unfortunately, we got an email about it Monday… for Friday. That is not enough time! Especially seeing as how my week was broken up into Before Family Came Home and After. Wednesday was like Monday to me because they were back and it felt normal again. So now it is Thursday and as it is, I have to run to the grocery store on my lunch break and I have zero idea what I will do for those teachers. I used to get little baskets and put color themed items in there based on the suggestions the director gave us about what they like. Well, probably not this year. I am thinking a heart-felt card and a ten dollar Target gift card is all they’re getting. With three kids, an ailing dog, and an overwhelming amount of work, I just cannot hold myself to the old standard.

I may just be going with little mason jars of candy and whatnot along with a colored ribbon and card.

So, now that I have spoken with an editing client and crossed a few other minor things off the list, I have to run to the store on my lunch break then go home and tend to the old dog. It’s always something and if I didn’t know any better, I’d tell you that secretly, I love how busy we are.

“A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.”

So, nine years ago this happened:431872364_931eac81e7_o


For a long time in my twenties I didn’t think I would ever get married, that anyone would want to marry me. I wasn’t emotionally stable and I had no clear idea of what I brought to the table. Through dating Ash and then marrying him, I discovered all my strong suits. I also figured out where I was weak and where he stepped in. This manifested itself more and more as this happened:1287904184_52754e6168_z

And that baby was a game changer for us. But it also made us stronger. So we decided to make another one:4528779707_fe486b3df8_z

I got really used to our family of four. It was perfect. And as the boys grew, things got so much easier. 





We grew as a family and learned how to coexist in (mostly) peace. But then, my wonderful, loving husband convinced me that we needed just one more. Just ONE more…9650026136_8a46a8e50b_z


So here we are, nine years later. We have done so much in this period of time, it would take days, maybe weeks for me to recount it all. But it’s been magical and I can’t wait to see what keeps coming. Next year, at 10, we’re going back to Hawaii and it is going to be amazing!431876630_7bde303926_z