No Clue

Well. We did it. We somehow managed to start another school year in this #ShitShow we call 2020.

I’ve been pretty quiet (for me) during this whole pandemic. Because I honestly can’t even handle my own emotional roller coaster most days… Y’all 2020 has me at a loss for words, and I am not even sure what to do about it!

Looking back at my posts this year… March 8th, the day after my birthday. I thought… “this is it! This will be a year to remember!”… and for sure it is, but not for the kick-ass reasons I had in mind. So yeah, then I posted about the historical pandemic that we are all getting the chance to take part in – but this was still early March, where it was all about scoring rolls of toilet paper, like our lives depended on it – and let’s face it, it felt unreal… Then a mom’s day post in May (where I didn’t even bring up the weirdness of 2020). A whole lot happened (and a whole lot didn’t), and I seriously CANNOT EVEN DEAL! And yet somehow, we have kept moving forward and survived.

The end of the last school year, I just kind of gave up. Didn’t make the kids stick to schedules. Didn’t make them do much of anything… I was just trying to find a new balance in my life with working from home full time and attempting to not panic and freak out at what was happening in the world. Not gonna lie, I am still a little freaked out. And there is little that resembles balance. Am I working out everyday? No. Is my laundry all cleaned and folded? No. Meals prepped and ready, to avoid going to the store everyday? Also no.

Then we just sort of rolled into summer vacation, without much excitement or things to look forward to. Baseball cancelled. No hanging out with friends at the beach. No trips to the Boardwalk or bowling. ZIP, ZERO, ZILCH, NADA. So yeah…. I pulled out M.O.T.Y. (Mom Of The Year) lifetime membership card, and let my kids do WHATEVER to not fight and not bug me. You want to stay awake until 3 am and sleep until 2pm?!? Fine, just don’t eat junk food all night (and don’t bother me while I am working). You want to play video games all day – whatevs. How many days did you wear those clothes?!? Please shower….

Dudes – I am used to every minute of every week and weekend booked with activities and sports. I am used to being on the run with these guys… and as chaotic as that seems to the outside world, I sincerely miss it. I miss all the people we normally interact with. I miss the shuffle of kids from one place to the next, with my tiny car packed to the max in gear and food and STUFF. But, part of me kind of enjoyed the slow down. Part of me liked letting the kids do whatever. I thought we would do more TOGETHER, with all this time at home, but let’s face it… I’m mom & they are teenage boys (so yeah, not happening). I am both happier than I have been in a long while, and also freaked out, because I have NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING!!! I mean, I know I need to get my life together, but I am also kind of waiting to see if the world is going to end before I put any real effort into it.

So anyhow… back to my point here. Today was the first day of 8th grade for my kiddos. Was kind of hoping that it would feel like a fresh start, a new routine, something BIG…. but it is just kind of more of the same. Well, relatively more of the same – it IS 2020, after-all! You know, when we are expected to work from home, school from home & California is in the middle of a heat wave, having rolling blackouts & burning down with wildfires from freak lightning…. But anyways, here was my simple mental checklist for getting ready for back to school:

1. Get back to a “normal” schedule. All electronics to me by 10 pm. Up at a decent time to start the day!

Meh. Most nights I cannot stay awake long enough to collect phones at 10. And, if I saw them awake when their dad dropped them off in the morning, that counts for being up, right?!? Anyways, I have a million meetings to call into, so you just do you! And just so you know, some of y’alls kids are messaging mine at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning…

2. Eat more than one healthy meal a day.

Nope. I can only account for dinner. I pick the battles I can win. You want frozen taquitos for breakfast, have them. You want leftovers from last night? Sure! Top Ramen – just clean up your mess. Do you want me to buy you something specific for breakfasts? Lunches? Nope… I GIVE UP!

3. Buy back to school stuff.

Nah. What do you need new clothes for? Chances are that you will be taking your zoom calls in your underwear. Shoes? You aren’t going anywhere kid. Do you want haircuts? Nope – one is trying to grow a mullet and the other has a love/hate relationship with his curls. Backpack? Nope. You don’t need to carry your stuff very far. But I did buy paper, pencils, pens & erasers. Oh, and I bought noise cancelling headphones, but they don’t have a microphone, so there you go. For the most part, trying to prepare for school at home has saved us money. Although, any saved money is going to suppliment our food (and adult beverage) budget.

As you can see, I am KILLING this whole parenting thing right now. 3 simple things, none of which was really achieved…. But here is the super scary thing – I am not even stressed about it any more! I have always been known as a planner – maybe even a little bit of a control freak… but now with so many bigger things to worry about – It is what it is, and 2020 is going to do whatever the fuck it wants anyways, so now is the time in life to learn to go with the flow!

So weird, right?!?

The first day of school was not without challenges…

9:15 AM – they log into first period, no real issues. Parents group on Facebook is all a flutter, looking for classroom codes for online classes.

10:00 AM – Power goes off… oops! Drop out of that class and work is paused.

10:15 PM – Power comes back on, boys log into next class, I try to figure out what the hell I was working on….

12:23 PM Power off again. Ugh.

12:30 PM Power back on, have a few minutes left in class. Seriously… what the hell am I supposed to be doing?!?

12:44 PM – Power is off again. I give up…

1:08 PM still no power, just a few minutes before the last class of the day… should we go to Grandma’s and use the WiFi? Nah, we will just email teachers about the power outage.

1:13 PM power is back on. Yes! One minute to log into the last class… I still have no idea what I am doing.

1:59 PM classes done. I piss everyone off by making them clean up their school crap from the table. We have been awake and in the same space for too long today, and it’s beginning to show…

All of this to say… it’s okay to not be okay. Did we have a great first day back?!? Nope! Were the kids happy to see their friends, only online?!? Not at all! Were my kids easy to work with & in a good mood?!! Bhahahahaha Will we try again tomorrow & hope for a better day?!? Absofreakinlutley!!! Heck… I threatened to suspend these assholes today, for talking back, throwing erasers at each other, and wrappers in the ground! And by suspend, I mean take away their free time!

Oh… and to keep my position of M.O.T.Y. going strong…. one kid has the backdrop in his Zoom focused on my (hard earned) collection of whisky bottles & the other kid was shoveling gummy bears like he hadn’t eaten in a week… so there’s that going for me….

It’s okay to not have a solid plan right now. It’s okay to just see where this path is leading. Don’t miss out on the good things because you are worried about things that you cannot possibly fix.

No one knows what they are doing this year, and anyone who pretends otherwise is shady! What I have been trying to do to survive is to enjoy the good stuff…. like Booze Baskets (if you know, then you know). Or adventures with my new guy. Or just the laughter…. oh my gosh, I have laughed more during this pandemic than I have in YEARS! Connecting with those that matter, is really all that matters… the rest is what it is.

You do you. Keep those kids on task during school hours and then WHAT THE FUCK EVER you need to do to get through. No judgment here…. we are all just living our best lives right now, given the state of the world.

#FrickAndFrack #CrazyAsAMother #RaiseThemRad #EighthGrade #DistanceLearning #BecauseTheRona

Happy Mom’s Day

It’s always such a bittersweet day for me. I love being a mom (sure, not every minute of every day is a dream – but my kids are my world).

My kiddos & I

I come from a long line of strong women. Moms who haven’t ever been perfect, but who have done the best that they could. They raised us to put our family first. They taught that food is a love language (even the meals that don’t turn out the way you plan). From these women, I learned the values that made me who I am as a mother.

I am a product of my raising, and these ladies knocked it out of the park.

Obviously a pretty old picture, but it’s a good one – Grandma Millie, Great Grandma Viola, Mom & my sis (and Trevor of course).

I miss my Grandma like crazy. And of course I miss Great Grandma – Mother’s Day 2007 was the last holiday we got with that angel. I was VERY pregnant & she knew those boys were ready for the world (way too early).

I miss the big family holidays. I miss going to Uncle Bob’s & Aunt Cheryl’s for BBQ chicken & all the fixins. I miss baseball in the hayfield. I miss the hour long goodbye process of hugs & kisses. I miss it all.

My mom is such a hard worker. She is a people pleaser (worse than me). I don’t have a ton of pictures of her, because she avoids the camera… but I love her so much. She has a heart of pure gold. She takes care of my Pops, even though he is VERY difficult to deal with – and they have been divorced FOREVER. I don’t know how she does it, because I cannot EVEN DEAL….

Yep, Kev finally passed her up!

I also have friends who are incredible mothers. We face a lot of the same challenges, but we don’t always parent the same. But the beauty of a mom tribe – is the chance to share, help, lift each other up – and not judge. Mother’s Day is so hard though…. it’s a day of unrealized expectations of celebration & lavish gifts… there are some that have great days, some that have crap days.

Photo bomber Grandma…

Mother’s Day can be hard for those that lost their moms, never had a mom close to their heart, or those who want to be a mom, but haven’t been able to…. the loss of a child, or the inability to get pregnant is a heartbreak that cannot be described.

Hopefully y’all had a good Mother’s Day, in whatever form. Quarantine definitely changed things… so 2020 was a bust no matter what. I happened to have a great day. Lunch with amazing friends & dinner with the family. No big plans, no need for gifts or cards… but I did break the rules a little and spent time with those I love to spend time with!

Happy Mother’s Day y’all!!!

#CrazyAsAMother #Quarantine2020 #MothersDay

Peachy Freakin Keen

Y’all…. what the hell is going on?!? No seriously. What is wrong with people? There are two major things going on right now, and yes – I have been sharing some of the memes that make me laugh, and I make light of some of the issues – but I am legit scared, worried for those who don’t have a tribe, and perplexed at what is going through people’s minds and hearts right now.

So yeah. There is a nasty, fast spreading virus (Corona-19). It is carried from person to person, can be prevented through good hygiene, minimizing contact/large gatherings, and is of course a bigger risk for those who are immunocompromised. It’s a big deal.

I feel like it is important to document this craziness, because if you are near my age – we have lived through a lot of scary outbreaks. Every couple of years, there is some nasty virus that always puts folks on edge – but I have NEVER EVER seen this sort of panic.

First of all…. why do y’all need to be told to wash your hands? And how to wash your hands? If that was an issue for you – you need to take this life lesson and keep up the practice. Please. And ew.

Schools are closed (all over). Sports are suspended or maybe cancelled. Businesses are being asked to shut down. Restaurants asked to cap capacity and encourage “take out” options. Folks of a certain age have been asked to self quarantine. My office has encouraged us to work remote (and I am so freaking thankful to work for a place that not only allows that, but cares for the well being of each of us and our families). I get it. I appreciate it. Flatten the curve, slow the transmission. The term “social distancing” is thrown around. All of it done with the intention of really allowing our infrastructure to treat and get us out of this pandemic. While I make light of needing the bars open, since my kids aren’t in school (and I am only sort of kidding about that) – I do understand that this illness is a reason to be concerned and careful with the health and wellness of those around us.

Here is where y’all have lost me (aside from the fact that hand-washing is new)…..WHY ARE YOU GUYS HOARDING EVERYTHING FROM THE STORE?!?!?!?

First of all – toilet paper? Why? It isn’t a stomach virus. Why??? Seriously, I am dying for someone to explain it to me. I have been to every store in Hollister, multiple times, and I cannot buy a pack of toilet paper ANYWHERE. Can’t even order it from Amazon. What in the HELL is going on?

And then the water. And then the Lysol. And then the bleach. And now – pretty much everything. It’s fucking ridiculous and very, very scary. We literally got up and went to the stores at 6am this morning and not only was there a line, but there was slim pickings on the shelf. Y’all, I wasn’t looking to stockpile for the world end – I am trying to feed my family for the week (and HELLO – I now have tweens at home ALL flipping day).

I was talking to my kids about what is going on, feeling them out to see if they had any questions or concerns (you know that thing that parents do, where we pretend like we know what we are talking about)… well, actually… my conversation started with this:

Exhibit A

For some reason (maybe before all the wide-spread panic) set in… one of my lovely children threw this roll of toilet paper away. Are you kidding me? Anyways, I guess the back story there was that Kev threw the roll at Nate in the shower one day… and well, I wish I wasn’t scared to run out of the stuff, because that is the kind of shenanigans that should be taking place with toilet paper. Its funny, until it’s not.

Anyhow… they aren’t super concerned. Nate is bummed about baseball. We are concerned with Cooperstown in August. Kev is worried that the teachers will be putting together packets to be worked on while they are not in class (please, please, please)…. Here is what stuck with me – Nate had gone to the store with his dad, and saw people with their carts piled high – the person in front of them buying over $1,000 worth of groceries. He was sort of disgusted with her, and felt she was super selfish. Part of me was like – hell yeah, that is ridiculous! But the other side, the one that wants to believe that I am raising my kids in a world where there are good, kind people…. tried to explain it in a way that was a little lighter – maybe she was buying for loved ones that couldn’t come and get their own? He wasn’t buying that line of crap, but I had to put it out there. I hope that at least some of these folks are doing some good.

Since I have already ranted for this long, let me end with some good stuff too… We live in a gated community, where there are several residents that are at the high risk age group. Several friends and neighbors come together to put out a flyer that offers help to those who cannot (go get groceries, whatever) – giving a name and phone number of each amazing person who is willing to help. So awesome to see the good that is out there! The boys and I helped hand out flyers and other neighbors (kids and adults alike) got out there on a rainy afternoon and help spread the word. What an amazing thing for those who don’t have a tribe nearby, to know that there are neighbors who care.

I know… they aren’t wearing helmets, but we were just slowly cruising down the street. And, let’s not forget I am M.O.T.Y….

So please friends near and far…. take care of yourself. Take care of others. Be cautious but not fearful. Be supportive. Breathe. Have fun (seriously – if you aren’t hanging out with people that make you laugh and smile, find new people). Call or come talk to me. No agenda. No filters… we can talk about how fucking scary the world is and find a way to laugh until we aren’t scared anymore. I’ve got your back (even if it is from a “social distancing” situation).

Have a drink (or a few). Do some cartwheels in the yard. Eat good food. Meditate. Exercise. Don’t be an asshole. Be a good neighbor. We will get through this… some way, some how – and hopefully what comes out on the other side of it is a better place to raise my sons.

#CrazyAsAMother #YallAreNuts #PleaseStopThePanicBuying #WashYourHands #MakeKindnessViral

FortyFreakinTwo

Yesterday I turned 42 years old. That’s 504 months. Or 2,184 weeks. Or 15,340 days. Or 368,164 hours. Or 22,089,848 minutes. Or 1,325,390,891 seconds. My point being, it is a lot of time developing into the person that I am today. And I still have so much more growing to do.

As women, we are taught to fear getting older…. But I love it so much! Every year I become more real with myself. More comfortable with just being me. Most of the time that means I am a #HotMessMom – but at least I own it. Yes, I am double the legal drinking age (and I may have drank enough last night for two), but we laughed and danced and had fun ringing in my new year.

I don’t try to paint my life on social media as if it is perfect. I share (maybe sometimes overshare) the ups and downs of my world, especially when it comes to being a mom of twin tweens. Half the time I have no fucking clue what I am doing. I’ve grown to accept that as my parenting style.

I’m working on my physical health…. I actually worked out all week last week! It’s a small miracle (and some days were harder than others for MANY reasons). I don’t have a goal weight in mind. My goal is to just be healthier & hopefully look better naked. #MomLiftKitHereICome

I love my job. I SERIOUSLY do. I work with the absolute best people. We work in a gorgeous place. We have an amazing future in front of us. I’m very fortunate and thankful.

At this age, I realize that real, true friends are rare and treasured. I love my tribe so freakin much. I don’t care if we shared time together last week, or 20 years ago – if you are my people, I LOVE you.

I am sensitive. I am very kind hearted. While that means I feel all the feelings, it makes me who I am, and I wouldn’t change it. If you are one of my people, I will go out of my way just to try and make your day better. Let people know when you need a pick me up. Let your tribe help you through. Let them know when you are feeling dark & twisty… let them know when you are not okay. It’s okay to not be okay.

I love to have fun. I love to laugh. I love to let loose. I love to sing & dance. I love to hop in the car and head for an adventure (and yeah, it’s better to do with someone right next to you). I like to drink – I enjoy a good glass of wine or a great glass of whiskey. A good hug from one of my people is all that is needed to turn any day into a better day.

I recently went through a pretty big, unexpected life change. It wasn’t what I had planned at this point in my life, but sometimes it works out in the end. Here is the biggest thing I learned from this change – at my age I know exactly WHO I am, but I really suck at letting people know what I need (and well, that doesn’t work so well in a relationship). There is a big difference between feeling content and feeling happy. So yeah…. I’m still learning.

I’ll close with this…. remember that it is nice to be told that you are appreciated, you are loved, and you are beautiful; for no other reason than just to make you smile. Share kindness people – it’s infectious.

Cheers to 42 years my friends…. and wash your hands!

#GettingOlder #LoveYourTribe #CrazyAsAMother #ChaosIsMyFavorite #HaveFun #LivinLife #TweenTwins #MomLife

Deep breath, Reset

Deep breath & reset…. if you have been around me at a baseball game – you have heard me say this. If you worked with me during the stress of the acquisition at work last year, you heard me say it. Take a deep breath, reset your mindset and move forward. And now I need to take my own advice.

This week marks 7 years since I met Jerritt and we became us. Unfortunately I am not going to be sharing the usual anniversary post this year. With a very heavy heart, I am letting you all know that Jerritt and I have decided to separate. I am putting this out there, because rather than letting rumors or speculation run like wildfire, we just want people to know. This is a hard time for all 4 of us, and what we really need is our tribe to show up and be there for us.

Let me start by saying, if you feel the need to “choose sides” and place blame – don’t. Our hearts are breaking right now, and we don’t need any added drama.

The reality is that we are two adults that love each other, but at this point in this life – the healthiest thing is to be apart. And it fucking sucks. Being an adult sucks. Being a parent in this spot – impossible.

Twelve year old boys have a hard time with all things emotional anyways. Now we have to explain to them that we are at this point, and we love each other and we both love them unconditionally (and super stress that this decision is NOT THEIR FAULT, at all…not even a smidge) – but, surprise – we are blowing up your lives. Seeing my boys cry, hardest thing EVER.

Friends & fam… this is one of the most important things to get out of this. Jerritt has been there for these kids since they were 5. I NEED my tribe to help with these boys. Their lives are better with him in it, his life is better with the boys. We are going to go through this awkward stage while we untangle our lives – but I fully support, and encourage their relationship. Perhaps they will grow even closer without all the other stress of our lives together. So, friends – don’t make it weird when he shows up for them at games or school things. We are family and we focus on what matters.

Our moody twelve year olds need some extra love and support. They need a little extra understanding. They need solid people around them that they can count on.

For me – I need a drink. I’m kidding (sort of). I need hugs. I need to be able to let my grief breathe. I need a plan to move forward. Don’t ask how I am doing – unless you are ready for some tears. Don’t expect me to share gory details of how we got to this point – except I can tell you about the things I own in this…. But please don’t let me wallow in this alone. I am tired of being strong. I am tired of being the one who keeps going. I will be okay eventually. I just need some extra support right now. So please, reach out – I am not good at asking for help – but I am doing it now.

I just want to be brave enough to really love my body, embrace my weirdness, tell energy vampires to fuck off, face my demons, try new things, listen to my intuition, speak my truth, and be the wild woman I was born to be.”

Brooke Hampton (fb/barefoot five)

We don’t know what the long term future holds for us. No one does. No one cheated, no one lied. Neither one of us is to blame. Both of us need to take some time to work on our own issues and support the kids – and we will see. Maybe we find the best versions of our selves and it leads us back to each other – maybe we just end up thankful for the time we had. Our hearts are broken right now, and we are asking for your love and understanding.

One last note….be prepared, because I will be using you all for my free group therapy as I sort through my issues…. Writing makes me feel better, so thank you for reading.

One final thought for anyone who decides to use this crappy situation to perpetuate hate…

Seriously – please… only looking for love and support right now. No drama.

#AdultingSucks #BrokenHeartedMomma #JustKeepSwimming #FrickAndFrack #CrazyAsAMother #ExhaustedAndTrying #StandByMyTribe #NoDramaMommaLlama

Tis the Giving Season….

I missed it. Giving Tuesday. The opportunity to reach out and ask those looking to donate to support something that is near and dear to me. Yep, I am a day late – but I am not going to let that stop me. I’m still going to ask, and hopefully some of you are still feeling generous this holiday season.

I am sure that if we are close friends, you know all about my latest venture. I am trying to make the dreams of some amazing baseball kids come true. Now, they aren’t particularly endearing at this age – so sharing a ton of photos of them probably won’t persuade you (I mean – we are talking about a group of 12-ish year olds….we think they are cute, even when they are smelly – but pre-teens are not for the weak hearted #InsertEyeRollHere). But, they are all very, truly passionate about baseball.

Cooperstown Dreams Park annually hosts an invitation only tournament. We are fortunate enough to live in a town where the opportunity is grandfathered to team after team – year after year. We are lucky, Hollister has a long standing history of passionate athletes….

Cooperstown is the town where baseball began. The kids not only get to play in some high-caliber games against teams from all over – they leave with a sense of pride, dignity & accomplishment. Each player and coach will be immortalized by being inducted into the prestigious American Youth Baseball Hall of Fame (and they get a ring!). It is a culturally rich experience for the players, and for the families. Not every kid will have a shot at the big leagues, but we have the opportunity to give them a little taste of greatness. And you have the chance to support their big league dreams right now!

Now, I am not doing this JUST because I like to support our youth. I have a player on this team. And in order for me to raise money for HIS dreams to happen – I am coordinating an effort to raise money for the entire team. It isn’t cheap – the cost of the tournament alone is steep. But we are also asking families to travel to NY for a week. That is a big deal, and makes something like this unreachable for many. I want this dream available for any player (of age) that wants it. I want to go with a team of passionate players & coaches that will show up and give it their all. I don’t want money to be the thing that holds anyone back.

Let me stop for a minute to tell you about these kids & coaches…. For the most part, they have been playing together since they were old enough. Through little league, various travel ball teams, All Star teams – you name it. The amount of passion that this team has is inspiring. The kids eat, sleep and breathe baseball – if they get together for any reason, there is a sure bet that they will find something and some way to play a form of baseball. And well, the coaches are top notch. They have helped the kids grow in so many ways, and where we come from – baseball = family.

Think back to when you were 12 years old. What would it have meant to you if someone supported and encouraged your dreams? How would that have changed your life?

Please reach out to me if you are willing and able to make a donation and support this opportunity. Any donation gets us closer to our goals.

Here is the sweet part of this deal. We are raising money under our non-profit travel ball team – even though we are competing as a different team (made up of players from our normal team and many others). We are a registered non-profit, which means that any donation made by you or your business is 100% tax deductible. If you need another write off for the year, we sure would appreciate the support!

Hope your holidays are filled with everything you wish for. Thank you for your consideration and support – it means the world to us.

#CooperstownDreams2020 #AllIWantForChristmas #BigLeagueDreams #BaseballFamily #GivingSeason #HelloTaxDeduction #SupportYouthSports

Take it From Me

Hey you…..yeah, I’m talking to you –

You children on the cusp of official adult-hood. Specifically the ones who started their senior year of high school this week….. I am talking to you.

This is your year. This is a year that is a lot of lasts, but the start of a lot of firsts. This is the year to make the best memories with your friends, and to really grow.

I know you have a lot of pressure right now – you are supposed to know where you want to go to school. You are supposed to know what you want to do for work for the rest of your life. You are supposed to know who you are. You are supposed to be responsible and earn good grades, and keep striving. Study hard. Work hard. Be the best at sports. Do it all, and keep a good attitude, please. No pressure, just be the best.

Here is the deal. I love so many of you. I have watched you grow from little babies in preschool, t-ball, elementary school, baseball, football…. I have seen your friendships with my nephew grow and change (as all of you have). I have cheered you all on at school functions and sporting events (and I will still, every opportunity I get). Whether you are going to a 4 year college, junior college, trade school, joining the military, taking a gap year, or going to work – I am proud of whatever it is that you choose to do next. I am a little teary-eyed, seeing all the first day of Senior year posts, and I am so insanely proud. But I am writing to you today, to let you know a couple of very important things….

FIRST of all- Have fun. Seriously. This last year of high school is an end of an era for you. Please, take part in all the school stuff, even if on the surface it seems lame – make it cool. Grab your buddies and go. Every sporting event you can to cheer on your classmates. Every rally, every dance, every senior trip…. every single school related event. It’s your last chance to make memories in high school – don’t waste it thinking you are too cool.

Part of having fun this year means making sure you are surrounded by the right people. This is a lesson that some adults can’t even fathom. If there is someone who constantly drags you down or sets you off – create some distance. You don’t need to be a dick about it, but you don’t have to carry the burden of others. It can be a girlfriend/boyfriend, or just someone you have grown up with – you are responsible for you. No one else. If someone is in trouble, you can be there for them, and get them help – without bearing the weight of their burden. Say it with me #ByeFelicia….

SECOND – Make good choices. The pressure you all are under is unreal. It is different than it was 20-30 years ago…. and even then, believe me when I say that your parents, and our friends still did not make the best choices. Some of us are lucky to have survived. I lost so many people in high school to poor choices and bad luck. I understand the need or want to blow off steam. I know how peer pressure works. I forgive you for getting into situations that you don’t know how to handle and occasionally make the wrong choices. You are young, and you are just figuring shit out – here is what I need you to know – you don’t have to get through this alone. You can call your parents, your friends parents, CALL ME. Any time, day or night – if you need help – I will be there. I would rather get you home safely to deal with whatever consequences, than to console my friends with the loss of their child.

LAST – you don’t need to have life all figured out. I am 41 years old, I am still working on me. I know that adults in your life don’t often admit it, but sometimes we are flying by the seat of our pants. I often look at my kids and my house and think – “Who the hell left me in charge?!?” It is okay to follow your dreams and adjust them along the way. It is perfectly normal to be unsure about what you want to do. The only thing we need you to choose right now is to be happy.

Every day, for the rest of your life – you are in charge of your happiness. That doesn’t mean that everything is going to be perfect. That definitely doesn’t mean that there won’t be challenges and heartbreak. It is how we grow. It shapes us into who we will ultimately be. You can’t control everything, but you can control how you react. You can choose to be happy, and not be a victim of your life. And only you can choose that.

I made some of the absolute best memories in high school. I am still friends with so many that I spent those years with – and even when we don’t get to see each other much (other than through social media), they are tried & true friendships that are just as solid as a family bond. We made mistakes. Most importantly, we survived.

I am not kidding when I say that I am here for you. I will keep you safe. I will help you through. I will help carry the burden so that you can enjoy this last year of high school and prepare to start the rest of your life with a full heart and memories and friendships to carry you through. Use your phones to capture the moments, but then put them away. Be present and soak it all in.

I can’t wait to see the amazing things you do this year! You’ve got this, and I’ve got your back!

#CrazyAsAMother #ClassOf2020 #HighSchool #LivinLife #ChooseHappy #EveryonesAuntLindsey #PutMyNumberInYourPhone

Honestly….

I’m normally pretty chill (until I’m not). But right now, I am a little worried. I am trying not to worry about things that I cannot control (like whatever will happen at my work). This week I have bigger things weighing on me.

Nate is having surgery tomorrow. Not anything major – tonsils & adenoids are coming out. But, still…. that’s my kid. He has to be put under. His life will literally be in someone else’s hands. I am sure the surgery will be fine. I am worried about the recovery.

Nate (Tater) doing what he loves most… ❤️⚾️

I don’t like to see my kids in pain. Seriously… that will be the hardest thing. I hope his recovery is easy. I hope whatever pain will be worth it in the end.

I hope that he will breathe easier. I hope that he will sleep better. I hope that whatever we experience in the next couple of days, he remembers that we were here for him – taking care of him.

I am thankful that I have an understanding team at work, that will allow me to work from home over the next couple of days to take care of my kiddo while he needs me.

The truth is that worrying doesn’t get you anywhere. I have to trust in the skill of the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, the hospital staff… I have to trust in God. I have to have faith that all will be good, and we will come out better in the end.

That said – if you are the praying type, please keep Nate in your thoughts and pray for a safe and speedy recovery. We will take all the good wishes we can – today, tomorrow & always.

P.S. I find it very disturbing that the hospital has mentioned multiple times that he is a minor, and one of his parents needs to stay there with him…. Is this a thing? Do parents just drop their kids off for surgery and go grab a bite to eat?!? They will practically have to restrain me from going in the operating room with him…..

#CrazyAsAMother #MyTaterTot #StressingMeOut #EverythingIsGoingToBeAlright #FaithAndValorWillGetMeThrough

Seriously Though

Y’all… it’s been a hot minute, but I need to get something off my chest. You are my free therapy. My sounding board. My people.

I’ve been writing another post, a light and fun one – but that will wait for another day or two. It’s been a crazy week. Let’s be real, a crazy month that seems to go on and on….

Let’s get down to business:

Raising kids is HARD. Raising boys sometimes seems to come with its own set of challenges and rewards. Now, I’m not saying that raising girls is easy (nope, no way… I am thankful every single day for boys) – but sometimes I just don’t even know what to do.

To say that I love my kids, seems too small. They aren’t perfect. I’m not perfect. But they are mine, and I am theirs. How do I protect them and still let them learn that life is not always easy?

My boys are VERY different from each other. It is a blessing and a curse. Raising twins is an added layer of complication to this parenting gig. Right now I want to talk about something that happened to one of our kids today at school.

This is my Kevin.

He loves to read. He loves to play soccer. He is an artist. He is a musician. He has a huge heart. He is super smart. He loves to volunteer. He is passionate about a lot. He is also quirky. He has a sassy mouth. He has a habit of being a know-it-all (that makes us all crazy). He can be a little sensitive & dramatic. He is complicated, funny, unique and amazing. He is one of my sons and means the world to me.

We have been trying to work with him on being more social at school. He prefers to go to the library at lunch and read quietly. I read at lunch too…. so it is hard to fault him there – but I want him making memories with his friends, and if I am being completely honest – I don’t want him known as the weird loner who just reads. The kid has friends. He is a typical kid, when he lets himself be. It’s that hard area of being a parent where you want them to be themselves, but also be “normal-ish”.

I know. That makes me sound like a terrible parent. I am just trying to be honest, like always here.

So knowing a little bit about Kev, let me tell you about today’s Middle School Adventure:

He went to the library before school (because that is what Kevin does). Some older kids, that he doesn’t know, opened the door and were calling his name and taunting him.

He got ready to go to class, and these boys were hanging out close by. There were about 10 boys – 7th & 8th graders – who surrounded him. He saw them, he ignored them when they called out… and yet they felt the need to push him a bit, cuss him out and threaten him.

Apparently the ring leader was under the impression that Kev was bullying his sister. Thankfully a teacher (who knew the older boys) broke it up, but Kevin was scared. That is not okay.

He got to his class, visibly upset, and told his teacher what happened. She was quick to act and try to figure out who the kids were. At the same time, the teacher who broke it up was trying to figure out who the young kid was, to check on him and report the incident.

The school called me to bring me up to speed. My first thought – I am driving straight to the school and kicking someone’s ass!

But, I didn’t. I talked to the Vice Principal – who told me what happened. And told me that they were actively investigating & would keep an eye on him and keep him safe. I know her. I trust her.

I talked to the Librarian, who was letting him chill in there during his morning break and lunch. She let Kev call me to tell me his side of the story and he assured me that he is okay.

I was called by his first period teacher who brought me up to speed and shared what she could. She assured me they were all working to resolve the issue and would all watch it for him. She also asked Nate to get Kev after school so they can walk across the field together. And, she walked with them.

Nate

I am grateful for the school staff and administration. So far. Now, I know that the school has policies and procedures. AND, as happy as I am for the care they have shown, I will be calling tomorrow. I want to know what happened to these offenders. I want to know what happens if they retaliate. I want to know HOW DO WE GET IT TO STOP?!?

{sigh}

So. Kev figured out who’s brother it was. She claimed she never said anything about Kev & doesn’t know how her brother even knew who he was. I (being the fabulous parent I am), asked him if he ever said anything mean or that he thought was funny to her that could be perceived as being a bully. He said no, I believe him.

What I didn’t realize about my role as a momma-bear…. is that I have to keep all the men calm. Like seriously, how am I supposed to lose my shit when I have to keep them from losing theirs?!? WHAT-THE-ACTUAL-FUCK?!?

J is out of town for work, if he were home he would have been down at the school. He left a message for the boys to call him (I’ll come back to this in a minute). Rich was in a meeting, but I brought him up to speed when I could. My nephew T is fired up, and wants to talk to some of these bullies. And I love them all for being so fiercely protective. But, trust me guys – momma’s got this!

Here is the interesting conundrum that comes with raising boys…. we talked to Kev, told him he did the right thing – but if he needs to fight back to protect himself he should. J talked to Nate and told him that he needs to look out for his brother. If he needs to stand up for him, he better. We DO NOT condone violence. But, what the fuck are you supposed to teach your kids when it comes to this sort of thing?

But wasn’t that the essence of what this other kid – the ring leader – thought he was doing? Even if his information was wrong, did he think he was standing up for his sister?

Regardless- 10 older kids ganging up on a smaller, younger kid is unacceptable. I PROMISE you that if my kids were on the other side of this – there would be hell to pay. Serious consequences. Being a bully is not okay.

Everyday I read about teen suicide. Usually because of bullying. It has got to stop.

I sincerely hope that there is a group of parents on the other side of this, that is struggling with how to deal with this on their end. I hope and pray they find a way to get through.

The dynamic duo….

I will be following up. I will be checking in with my kids. I will listen with both ears. I will guide them with my heart. And I will hope they come out stronger for this experience.

Whew… That was a lot of info… I tend to be a little wordy when I am fired up! Here is the moral of the story folks:

Learn to listen to your kids, so they will always talk to you. Talk to your kids, even about the hard stuff. Do not worry about being their friends- you need to do whatever it takes to raise decent human beings.

Boys…. they make family photos interesting

{photos were done by the AMAZING Patty Schmidt Photography}

#CrazyAsAMother #FrickAndFrack #RaiseThemRad #StopBullying #TeachKindness #DontMessWithMyKids #AdultingSucks

One Day, I’ll Get My Shit Together

Hello…. is this thing still on?!?

It isn’t like I suddenly don’t have anything to say. My life is still chaos & fun & stress & all the things…. But being unemployed leaves me feeling a little lost. Work has always been an anchor to help weather life’s storms. I enjoy the sense of purpose. I thrive on deadlines and schedules (and you know – having money to pay for crap)…. and I am currently drowning in my stress of finding my next anchor. But I will write more about that soon.

While I work on getting out of my own way, and reaching some goals – I wanted to share a funny little story (that proves my normal shenanigan filled life is still in full swing)….

Last year, I helped start a non-profit travel baseball team for one of my kiddos. I am by no means a coach or anything important, just the chaos coordinator (my natural calling). I have been collecting fees for start up costs & our first tournament. One family paid cash yesterday. I guess I had stuck the cash in my book (that I take to practice, but never read).

I always read a bit before going to sleep – sometimes a paragraph, sometimes a whole book…. last night I remember reading a couple of chapters & off I went to dreamland.

Around 2 am – I woke up. No clue why…. but I noticed I had something in my hand. I was holding a $5 bill, like someone had just handed it to me. I lay there for a bit, trying to figure out where it came from. Did Jerritt give it to me? Why? Did one of my boys sleepwalk and give me money?!? What the heck is happening???

Then I heard one of the dogs licking something under my blanket. I found a $50 bill! Holy hell – what is going on?!? 2 am is not the best time to try to figure out where money is coming from… but (for a few minutes), I was pretty damn happy that I was finding money!

It was only after finding the $20 on the ground on the way to the restroom that it clicked… $75 found in my bed, the same amount paid to me at the ballpark! I swear – sometimes I just don’t know how I manage to survive.

I don’t do my best thinking at that hour of the morning, but thank God I am able to laugh at myself….

#CrazyAsAMother #GetYourShitTogether #SinkOrSwim #SleepShenanigans #CantMakeThisShitUp