Happy Earth Day!

It’s Earth Day! A day to celebrate this beautiful planet we live in, and make an effort to keep it that way….

Now, not everyone can (or will) go out and do an organized clean-up – I get that. I’m not asking you to get out and hug a tree, install solar on your home, get a hybrid car, or to start a petition to your government to make changes for the better (it doesn’t have to be done today, you can do those things any day & you might like hugging trees)…. what would be great, and make the best impact is to take the time to learn something new.

Figure out what you can change in your day to day life, that will make a long term impact!

I’m not a full blown conservationist…. I do what I can, and teach my kids what I know. I try to buy from socially responsible companies. I love my oils for everything. I recycle (and bitch to my family when they forget). My new favorite shoes are made from recycled water bottles (Rothy’s). I can always do more, you can too!

So celebrate Earth Day by learning what you can do EVERYDAY!

Here are some pics from our Beach Clean Up yesterday. It was a very clean beach to start, but Kev & I found 46 pieces of litter & got to play in the sand and waves!

#HappyEarthDay #ReduceReuseRecycle #RaiseThemRad #CrazyAsAMother

Dear MomWhoLostHerShit

This is an open letter to the mom who lost her shit at our kids school yesterday.

This is NOT the first time, and I am sure it won’t be the last.  I don’t need to give your name, or feel the need to public shame you – to give you more fuel for your raging fires of hatred….  You know who you are (and well, so does ALL the parents in the pick up line who watched it go down, and the amazing staff who helped diffuse the situation, and well – it is a small town, so…)

In case you didn’t know- your kid is THAT kid at our school.  The one who no one has to say their name, and everyone knows who you are referring to.  They are the one that the teachers and staff tiptoe around, because every time your kid gets in trouble for his actions, they know that you will be in the office freaking out. No one wants to deal with him (you), because nothing good ever comes of it.  And that makes me angry.  It makes me sad for him.  It makes me resent you.

Maybe you don’t realize the lasting damage that is taking place.  Your kid is smart.  And when he wants to be, he is polite and very nice.  He has the capacity to be anything he wants to be.  But, he needs to learn to respect people.  All people.  Other kids and certainly adults.  Respect for ANYONE is clearly lacking, and you continue to make him out to be a VICTIM – when I have seen first hand that the staff at the school is trying to keep him on task and moving forward.  YOU ARE FAILING HIM AS A PARENT.

You are not teaching him that there are consequences for his actions.  You have put it in his head that when an adult corrects his behavior, they are harassing him.  He thinks that the yard supervisors and teachers pick on him.  I have been in the classrooms helping out, I have been on field trips with your child.  I have seen him on the playground, and I have heard from my own children what they deal with (or avoid) every day that they are in school with him.  Your child has yelled in my face before as I was volunteering at the school, and I was just trying to offer a suggestion to solve what he perceived as a life-and-death emergency…. Funny thing, he was trying to avoid making you mad, mom….

It is no mystery why your child shows no respect or self control.  He learns it from you.

Yesterday your child was reprimanded for physical violence against another child.  The yard supervisor (my sister) stepped in, because HER JOB is to keep all the kids safe.  Then he used his cell phone, that he wasn’t supposed to have out on the playground, and called YOU.

Your son was in my sisters face, yelling at her when she stopped his violent behavior, and he calls you?!?  Did you ask him what he did?  Did you come to office and calmly ask to speak like an adult to the adult that was doing her job?  Of course not!!!

You showed up at the school, and tried to physically assault my sister while verbally berating her – in front of the entire after school pick up line of parents.  There were students and parents RIGHT there!  YOUR CHILD watched this happen – in fact he is the one to call me the authorities! Because somehow he has been raised to think that someone stopping him from being violent towards another student is a violation of his rights.

What makes me sad/angry/anxious about the whole situation is that you will face consequences for your actions – but it will just feed your narcissistic victim mentality.  Somehow the actions of your son that put that days events in motion, and your own choices thereafter – are not your fault….  Somehow, in your mind, it is the system and the staff failing the two of you.

It is time to wake up.  If I wasn’t so angry about the whole situation, I would feel sorry for you.  Like it, or not – we are part of the same community.  As a parent, you need to set an example for your child about respecting other people.  You need to teach him that there are consequences for his actions.   If you don’t do it NOW, the ramifications are going to be HUGE.  He feels like he is untouchable – and that scares the crap out of me.

Lady – my kids are NOT perfect.  And I sure as hell am not a perfect parent…. but, my kids are held accountable for their actions.  I have first hand experience with our school staff  reaching out to me about a behavior “concern”, and working as a team to correct it.  My kids are not victims of society – I will not allow it.  I usually ask my kids to be inclusive of all other kids – no matter what… but sadly I ask them to just stay away from yours – and that breaks my heart.

I wish that you would let people help you.  I wish that you would listen and learn and work with our community to help get your kid on a good path.  It is heartbreaking to watch adults give up on your son’s potential, because all the work they put in is undermined by you.

We aren’t raising kids in some inner city, where they are just a number in a system.  We have amazing resources, parents, teachers, staff in our small town school.  All of whom what to see every child succeed.  I wish that you understood what a gift we have in being part of this community, and that you would use the help that is offered to you.  I hope that someday, someone is able to reach your child on a level that connects with him – and that he is able to break this cycle….

You have attacked a member of my family.  You have gone onto a campus, that I regard as a safe place, and attacked a staff member – making it feel less safe.  My venting here is not going to change you.  You don’t want any help, because I guess you think people would see you are weak, or you would have to admit you might be wrong.  I am so angry, and only YOU can change the path you and your son are on. I wish you luck with that…

Holy Hormones, Batman!

You guys.  I don’t know how parents survive this.  I really don’t know how teachers and school administrations deal with it en mass….  The tween mood swings may just be the end of me (or the start of a long relationship with my wine glass).

img_1530These two.  My almost 11 year old twins.  This weird tween-ish age where they both are and are not little kids.  They want to be older.  They want to say and do things that their older cousin does (uh…. no).  But there are glimpses of my littles still there, wanting and needing my help – but they are becoming few and far between.

It is such a weird time.  They are grumpy, they are goofy.  They are angry one minute, and completely chill the next.  They can’t stand each other.  They are worried about each other.  They sleep more, they stink more, they eat more, they worry more. They are pushing their boundaries and pushing my buttons.  The eye-rolls and frustrated sighs…. They are at an age where I don’t really want to know why showers take longer, or what they are doing in their rooms (this is where the men need to step in).

When I have a conversation about “why” they are doing whatever has been called to my attention – I get tears of anguish… cries of “I don’t know” and “I can’t control my emotions”.  I am left feeling helpless, because I cannot fix things for them, I can only give them a little guidance and support, and hope they make the right choices (or are ready to deal with consequences).

Basically I am in a house full of males – and I am terrified they will all end up on the same hormonal cycle of IMS: Irritable Male Syndrome.

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No matter how much these changes stress me out, I try to be the calming voice of reason (it is not pretty when momma loses her shit).  I read something a while back, and it stuck with me and helps how I approach the wild beasts….. Here are 9 SUPER IMPORTANT THINGS that every Tween (and every child) needs to hear:

  1. I love you.
  2. You matter.
  3. I’m proud of you.
  4. I’m sorry.
  5. I’m listening.
  6. I forgive you.
  7. This is your responsibility.
  8. You are capable.
  9. I am so glad you are mine.

Seems so simple right.  But think about the last time you made a point to say any or all of these things.  Even if you think they know….. they need to hear the words. 

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I miss when they were small enough to carry them both around… it would be interesting to try and recreate this picture now – I would drown!

Seriously though.  I feel like my hands are full with 2 boys.  Imagine being a teacher with 30 or so hormone twitchy tweens…. the mood-swings must be full blown carnival rides.  I am thankful for the teachers we have.  I am glad that they are open and communicate with me when something is “off” with my monsters.  It gives me an opportunity to have a discussion and try and sort it out – I’m not always successful, but I am glad for the chance to try.  I feel like I need to buy them all drinks, or chocolate, or both…. along with a medal of honor and bravery for dealing with so much more than I could handle. Thank you for being amazing.

I am fiercely proud of the people my kids are becoming.  I know that at the end of this phase, we will be stronger and ready to face what the world throws us next.  As always, thank you for my village for helping keep us sane – I hope the odds are ever in our favor to survive the raging changes.

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#CrazyAsAMother #TwinTweenTerror #FrickAndFrack #BringMeAllTheWine #TeachersAreSuperHeroes

Aged to Imperfection

Today is the big day!!! Happy new year to me!

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The BIG freakin four-oh! At least I always thought of it as some HUGE milestone.  An inevitable sign that I am old.  **sigh** I thought I might be a little sad.  Maybe even a little disappointed that I haven’t achieved all that I used to think I should have done by now.  But, you know what….  I honestly feel like the best in life is yet to come!

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I am my best self, right now.  I know exactly who I am.  I know who I want to be.  I am genuinely happy.  I still have goals, and dreams and plans – but I am at a point in my life that I know that it is super important enjoy the journey too.  I’m not saying I am perfect – I am very far from it & my life isn’t all sunshine & rainbows…. but I do feel that am getting better with age.


Here are ten things that I have read or learned in my “old age”, that help remind me to live the life I love – and hopefully they can help you too:

  1. You are responsible for your own happiness.
  2. Make your reasons better than your excuses! You can’t have both.
  3. You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward.
  4. Don’t get worked up over things and people you cannot change.  It isn’t worth it.
  5. You owe yourself the love that you so freely give to other people.
  6. Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.
  7. Life becomes more meaningful when you realize the simple fact that you will never get the same moment twice.
  8. Love out loud & have fun!
  9. Breathe.
  10. Never underestimate the healing powers of uncontrollable laughter, music, the ocean & letting go.

Growing older is awesome….  You reach a point in your life, where you truly have zero fucks given for people who are judgy, rude,  or small minded –  and it is like a breath of fresh air.  A giant middle finger to all of those who tell you you aren’t good enough.  It feels AMAZING to just be myself, full of flaws and mistakes – to just be me. I surround myself with people who amplify my strengths and carry me through my weaknesses.  I wish someone would have told me all of this 20 years ago – but maybe at that age we aren’t ready to listen.

Now – my mom didn’t do any cute milestone birthday photos when I was a baby – because there was no social media peer pressure – and, well I am the middle kid – so we are lucky there are ANY pictures of me as a baby.  I am the mom of boys, so how often do I get to put on frilly, sparkly crap and be the center of attention? (for those of you who don’t know… the answer is NEVER)  So why the hell not plan something fun for myself for this milestone age?!?

To help celebrate my birthday, I went to visit my friend (and amazing photographer) Patty, for a fun little photo shoot.  We laughed a lot, I drank most of the bottle, & I ate a ton of frosting….  it was a BLAST!!!

So cheers to the next 40 years and all that life has to offer!  My new year starts now, and my resolutions are going to lead to fulfilling my heart and enjoying every moment.

Here is my parting thoughts for you today:  So what if your life so far hasn’t been “fair”…. don’t be a victim of your excuses.  You can’t change the past, but can change your mindset and make the most of the days you have left.  As the song says – I hope you have the time of your life….

I can’t leave without mentioning: If you are in the Fresno or Monterey areas of California, and you need an AMAZING photographer, please check out Patty Schmidt Photography   She is the only person who can get all the dudes in my house to cooperate & we always have a ton of fun (as evidenced in the photos above)!

#CrazyAsAMother #FortyAF #ChooseHappy #SayWhatYouMeanAndMeanWhatYouSay #CakeSmash #IEarnedAllThoseWrinkles #TheBestIsYetToCome

Ahhh…. love

I’m not one for hoping for big romantic gestures on Valentine’s Day (or ever really).  I am more of a love with all you have every day type of girl.

Seriously – I get anxious if someone spends three times as much to buy flowers or go to dinner – just because of the holiday!  I would rather stay at home, and get flowers another time.

Now don’t get me wrong…. I love when thought and effort goes into making any day a little brighter.  It can be something really small.  It can be a huge, grand shenanigan…. as long as I know it comes from your heart, it is my favorite.

As a hot-mess mom, I (of course) spent the last few nights staying up later than I should to create the Valentine’s for my boy’s classes…. This is likely the last year I will have such a task to undertake – next year we will be in middle school, and I am sure we will be much too cool to do something like it.

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Nate’s Valentine for his class. I never buy these for him – though he would eat this crap every day…. He actually helped put them together last night! #MomWin I am sure this year’s teacher will be happy it’s not whoopie cushions again (sorry about that Mrs. Corea!)
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Kevin’s choice of class Valentines…. Swedish Fish!  And of course we had to make a dozen extra, so he can pass out to favorite teachers, staff and friends not in class!

We try to not make a big deal about this holiday (because I would be disappointed by the lack of enthusiasm in my house… because #boys) – but I know that all my guys know that I love them… I only say it a million times every day.  I love all my people!

I did get a new to us treadmill for the garage this week as an early gift (thanks love!)…. now I just need to get my ass up in the morning and use it!  I bought some yummy sugar cookies for the guys (sorry didn’t bake myself, but I kinda suck). Exchanged some bitmoji messages and GIFs with my boys, to show my unwavering love. Oh, and one of our dogs left a surprise in the hallway this morning, so there is that.   If I am lucky, the other little dog will probably eat another one of my shoes today too…. It will be a no-cook, leftovers and wine kind of night – and that is perfect!

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I hope that your Valentine’s Day is whatever you want it to be!  Whether you go big or keep it quiet – I hope that you know you are loved EVERY SINGLE DAY!

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My love for these three is fierce…..  

#CrazyAsAMother #HappyValentinesDay #LoveEveryday #FrickAndFrack #BoyMom #LastMinuteCraftsAreMyJam #YouDoYou

 

Holy Crap… I Missed It!

I swear, I blinked and the first month of the year was gone…. *poof* GONE! 

There were so many good intentions I had geared up to kick of 2018, and well folks – we are running a little behind schedule! It is what it is.

It was a busy month, but I didn’t really get started on all the STUFF that I had planned.

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I turn 40 very (very) soon.  I told myself I was going to get back into a gym routine – haven’t stepped foot in there yet! I wanted to do 40 Random Acts of Kindness before my birthday – but I should have started a week ago!  I have every intention of sharing more of the Young Living Oils and maybe grow that side gig a bit… Nope, haven’t done it.  Write here more often… *crickets*

What I did do – a quick work trip to the freezing parts of the country, a week sick at home (with a sick kiddo too), volunteered at little league try outs, ER visit with my love (for when he tried to cut his finger off with a knife while working in the garage), moved a bunch of crap out of the garage and into the house to organize/put away (it is still sitting in a pile)….  a whole lot of busy, with no traction on my goals.

I am a planner. I like to have a plan, even if it goes to crap.  The plan is still a guiding light in all the chaos.  I am a go-with-the-flow kind of person, but I get a little anxious if I don’t have a vague outline of what is next.  Okay, maybe more than a little anxious…  It freaks me out to not have a plan.

So…. It is a new month.  I still have 11 months to make 2018 kick ass.  I am not at all stressed that I haven’t gotten things started yet.  I still have a plan.  It will still happen.  If I start going to the gym now, all those New Years resolution people should have flaked out by now, and it will be less crowded.  I can still do 40 Random Acts of Kindness in honor of my birthday – but I may not get it all done before – oh well… it is more important to plan them to have meaning and impact than to fit a schedule.  And, I will work on that side gig – because everyone I love needs some oils in their life (I promise)!

It isn’t going to be easy, but I know I can crush my goals this year.  And I will plan for new goals along the way.  Getting old isn’t easy, and the number of tomorrows gets shorter and shorter….

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You have a choice.  You can spend your days wishing you had done things, or you can spend your days remembering all that you have done while planning for what the next day brings.

A challenge for each of you…. Get out of your own way.  Live each day with potential.  Tell people you love them.  Show people your true colors.  Don’t waste your life putting on a show, when you have so many better things to do.  Here is the bottom line….  If you choose to be happy and be yourself, NO ONE CAN TAKE THAT FROM YOU!  NO ONE!  If people say you can’t do something, you should take complete pleasure in proving them wrong. You can do anything you set your mind to, and you don’t have to do it alone – just ask!

Happy February my friends…. go out and do something good!

#CrazyAsAMother #DoGoodThings #KindnessCounts #MyHairNowGrowsGlitterySilverStrands #ChooseHappy #FierceFebruary

Keep On, Keepin On

2017 wasn’t a great year.  It wasn’t perfect.  It wasn’t a total disaster.  It was definitely full of challenges, growth, learning – but I really cannot complain (and if I did, who would want to listen to me anyways)….

In 2017 – I lost my job.  I spent 6 months, looking for the right opportunity.  I stressed  – about money, about being out of work too long, about not having my degree…  I was depressed because I could not provide for my family in the manner that I was accustomed to.  I had to ask for help, and that is hard.  I had to depend on someone else, that was very hard.

But…. I got to spend 6 months, enjoying time with my kids.  I got to spend a summer vacation at home with them!  Granted, we didn’t have money to do a whole heck of a lot, and sports schedules kept us from doing anything longer than a day anyways – but I was able to spend quality time with my tween-agers… who won’t appreciate that as much in the years to come.  AND – I ended up with a kick ass job that I love (after some long interview processes and a lot of waiting) – but in the end, that challenge of losing my job turned out to be a multitude of blessings.

I spent a lot of my “time-off” at the hospital with my Pops.  As you know, 2017 kicked his ass repeatedly.  Any problem I thought I had last year, paled in comparison to what my dad was going through. It’s always great to have perspective.  We almost lost him.  He struggled for a long time to “recover”.  He is still in need of medical assistance, but MOST days he accepts that and is making the best of it.  His communication is clear.  Most days his mind is clear…. he is really coming back strong!  We took the grandsons over to see him this weekend, and he was happy – he is itching to see them all playing sports again soon!  Almost losing him sucked.  It scared me, more than I can ever put into words.  His recovery frustrated the hell out of me – there are still more questions than there are answers… but, he is here.  He is healthy enough to put up a good argument with us kids.  And for now, things are looking pretty good for the old man.

There were a million other little challenges, and two million other little good things (I got to help start a non-profit, which I LOVE; it is my last year volunteering at our elementary school, which is bittersweet).  Without touching anything political, I have to say that 2017 was a pretty okay year.  If nothing else, the opportunities that came from my challenges in the past year, have set me up for a pretty kick ass 2018.  I am looking forward to a really great year!

I did not set any bull-shit resolutions for this year – my only real goal: to be the best ME that I can be.  To take everything good in my life to the next level, and let go of any of the crap.

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I really do love my job.  I love the challenges it presents, and the opportunity to grow and learn.  I really feel like I found my place and my people!  I have professional goals that include certifications, and possibly working towards that degree (finally)! When you like what you do, it is a lot easier to show up and do your best….

My kids are awesome.  Sure, they are occasionally a pain in the ass – as many 10 year olds can be…. but they are really growing into pretty cool people.  I like that we have open communication and can be straight forward with them as much as possible.  They are hitting their strive as independent thinkers – and while that can be challenging, it is rewarding as hell!  I love hearing from their teachers and coaches that they are doing well.  They are funny, smart, competitive, artistic, lazy, sarcastic, challenging little (or not so little) dudes & they make my life AMAZING.

Jerritt and I are doing great.  Sometimes, we are not on the same page, or even in the same book – but we are pretty darn good at figuring it out.  We have a whole bucket list of adventures on the horizon this year, and I am looking forward to whatever and wherever with him….. More on these planned shenanigans soon.

I turn 40 this year. While part of me feels like I am turning the corner to being OLD, part of me feels like my life is just getting started!  It is weird, not going to lie. Inspired by a friend, I will be doing 40 random acts of kindness, leading up to my big day.  Because why the hell not?!?  I am super excited to get this underway and have a draft of ideas already in the works!  And, to celebrate the big day, we may or may not be planning a good old fashioned “kegger” party….  just like the old days (you know, the 90’s).

Here are my ideas to help me with my resolution of kicking ass this year:

  • I plan to grow my Essential Oils business. Seriously, it’s not about making money (but of course that is always nice), but people need to know about this stuff. Life changing!
  • I plan to actually freaking exercise (I know that sounds cliche, but seriously – I lost 100 pounds, and need to start kicking butt on the last 40 that needs to go!)…. and let’s face it, I feel better when I work out.
  • I plan to visit with more friends and family – like actual travel to your house or meet you somewhere and spend some in person time together!  I only want to see phones to take pictures to carry us through to the next visit.  Even friends I see often, I plan to do more with….  Know who your tribe is, and make sure they know you are there for them no matter what!
  • I plan to write here more often… because y’all love me, right? Seriously though, I love sharing, and having this to look back on.

Now, don’t get me wrong… I don’t plan on 2018 being all sunshine, rainbows and a bottomless wine glass!  I just plan to make the most of every single day (even if the MOST I want to make of a day is lay in bed and watch movies).  I CHOOSE to be happy.  I CHOOSE to not let others pull me down. You can either join me or get the hell out of my way – you cannot hold me back or be surprised when I cut you out for trying.  When there are shit-storms in life, you can either stand on the sidelines and complain about your situation, or you can get in there and muck your way out – and why not help others along the way?!?

So, go ahead and set your goals for 2018.  Make your resolutions…. but most of all, make yourself a priority.  Make your happiness the ultimate goal.  

Happy New Year!

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#CrazyAsAMother #DontBeAVictim #ChooseYourHappy #LifeGoalsNotResolutions #Freakin40 #BeTheCorn