Friday, October 10, 2014

A Morning Getaway

It's 6:15 in the morning, and instead of trying to read The Fountainhead or packing, I'm typing on my computer.  I'm making a concerted effort to write every day again, even if it is just blogging.  Writing every day is harder than you think, when you have a full time job, three little ones running around, and a plethora of activities where they need to be dropped off.  I wouldn't say I'm lying if I said I feel like a chauffeur most days.  I think all Moms feel that way on occasion. 

Tomorrow I'm going to the beach with this little goober:

She is all legs, and this photo disturbs me a little bit because I can see some of her 16 year old self here.  She is growing up, my baby. 
I took this photo with my Canon Powershot A2500.  I guess it's a good camera.  I had a wonderful, amazing, big semi-SLR Sony camera for years, until it broke.  It wasn't worth fixing.  I had already sunk $100 into it once before, and doing it again would be worthless when I could buy a comparable camera for $400.  I just miss it.  The quality of photos was amazing.  The video function on the camera was awesome, and I didn't get mediocre quality.  Now I resort to using my iPhone camera almost as much as this little Canon.  And we all know what the resolution is on an iPhone camera: sucky.  But there are some benefits.  I don't mind handing the Canon over to my kids, and I get real beauties when I do, like this modern piece of art entitled Apple on a Cluttered Counter:

I think this piece says a lot about our lives.  Number One took this photo, and I've increasingly let him borrow my camera to take more and more photos, because honestly I don't care if he breaks it.  I would never have let him touch my Sony, but Canon, I mean PowerShot: he can take all the photos he wants with it!  It's like a little peek into how he sees the world. 
Now I have to go get ready for the day.  I still need to pack the car up.  Tonight the boys have Trunk or Treat, and tomorrow Darling Daughter and I are getting on the road at 5 AM.  But first I have to go to work, go to Yoga, and take Number Two to a soccer game.  It never seems to stop. 
I can't wait to sit on the porch at the beach with my Mom with a glass of wine and let the sea salt air sink into my pores.  I can't wait to hear the waves crashing and to let the rush of life slip away just for a few days.  It's all worth it. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Living Lessons: Change and Growth

I just love it when my body wakes me up at 4:30 AM.  (That's sarcasm, in case you didn't catch on.  I know it's harder to get when you're reading).  Oh well, since I'm a glass half full type of person I'll make the best of it.  I have things to do this morning, like write random blogs, and iron shirts for picture day.  Can I just say: I HATE ironing.  When I iron, it still looks like the clothes were left crinkled up at the bottom of the laundry basket for day (a little secret: they were at one point).  I can't make the clothes look flat and non-wrinkly. I don't use starch.  I think I would be a mega-fail if it were still the 1950's.  But guess what? It's not, and I'm not a housewife.  I have a career.  I have three kids.  I have my own social life.  I exercise.  I couldn't fit much more into my days if I tried and how well I iron is not going to determine my worth!

Speaking of three kids.  We were up until almost 9 finishing homework last night with Number One.  Homework battles are out the window (thank goodness!), and he's finally "getting" the math problems, showing his work and doing it well.  But first we had cross country, then dinner, and by that time it was already 7:30  He worked diligently on his homework while waiting for dinner, but after dinner it took awhile for him to solve all the problems, show his work and explain it to me. We're getting there though.  Math has been hard for him this year, but last night I was super proud of him because he worked hard and didn't get frustrated.  If you know Number One personally, you know this is a major achievement.  Sometimes frustration can shut us all down, and once it's taken over it's hard not to let it overtake you. 

But I really wanted to post about CHANGE today.  This morning, as I lay awake in bed with the cogs in my head spinning out of control, I thought about CHANGE.  Change is such a scary word for some people.  My life has had a lot of change.  There have been ups and downs and go with the flows.  There have been some days I have felt I could barely move on.  Life is HARD people.  Life changes ALL.THE.TIME.

Here's what I've learned: accept change, but don't try to change others.  As I was thinking this morning about change, I thought about what a friend told me recently, "People don't change."  I don't think this is true, or maybe a better phrase is: I don't think this is entirely true.   I think people are dynamic.  I think they can look at themselves and make positive changes for themselves.  I don't think they can change for others, nor do I think they should.  I think they can only change if they really want to change.  But I'm not even sure "change" is the correct word here.  Maybe the word is grow or evolve or that self-helpy word: self awareness.  We grow into ourselves as children, feeling out the world around us and figuring out our place.  We grow into ourselves as adults, as parents, as empty nesters, and finally as elderly people.  The world around us changes.  Everything happens for a season, and then suddenly we are amidst new surroundings, new people, new thought processes, new technologies, and a new way of living our lives.

Look at your life 10 years ago and tell me if it looks the same?  Do you still hang out with the people you did 10 years ago?  Probably not.  Do you still enjoy the same activities? Probably not.  Did you have an iPhone 10 years ago? DEFINITELY NOT! 

Change is inevitable, even though for some it's scary.  Forcing change on others is a no-no (man this sentence really makes me feel like a toddler mom, sorry folks).  And I'll give you an example, even though it's not life altering or anything.  For years, I've bitten my nails.  NO--that's an understatement.  Since I've had teeth I've bitten my nails.  I can remember riding in my Mom's green Town-and-Country in high school, and she'd slap my hand, "Get those nails out of your mouth, Lauren!"  It only made me want to bite them more.  Strangers would tell me to stop biting my nails.  And recently a co-worker told me to stop biting my nails.  I looked at her and I said, "Why worry about something you can't change?"  This has been my mantra lately, and it has allowed me to look at my life and let things go.  It's made me realize that if you're so caught up on trying to change other people, then you're missing the point and you're not looking at the one person you can change: YOURSELF.  It took me a long time to realize, and I went about things incorrectly for a long time: criticizing, judging, and trying to change other people when I should have just been looking more closely at myself to see how I could incorporate more grace and understanding into my life.  This is something I'll probably be working on until the end of my days.  For now, I'll simply say the only person I'm going to ask to change from now on is myself.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Kids Say Funny Shit!

We went over to my parents’ house a week ago Saturday, to have one last swim before the cold sets in (which may be soon or may be two months from now).  Plus, they’re closing the pool so they can go gallivant elsewhere!  Last Hoorah!

 When I arrived, my Mom was obsessed with “Untold Stories of the ER.”  She said she’d been watching it all day.  I wanted to go swimming, but I need a cup of coffee because I was tired that day, and the next, and then the boys came down with strep, so yeah, I was fighting off something.  
We all sat around and watched “Untold Stories of the ER.”  Then we put on swimsuits, went swimming, and enjoyed a glass of wine each and chatted about family and ancient history.  Don’t worry Mom, I won’t spread any of your stories for the Internet world to read!

We went on about our business for the rest of the weekend.

So imagine my surprise on Monday. 

We’re driving to school and listening to MY FAVORITE: Raffi.  In between “If You’re Happy and You know It Clap Your Hands,” and “Baby Beluga,” Darling Daughter blurts out, “MOM—remember this weekend on the TV.  That girl had a worm crawling out of her butt!” 

I laughed so hard, I almost ran into the car in front of me.  She has mentioned this about fifteen times since.  Apparently, Untold Stories of the ER made a huge impression on her.

This morning she says, “Why was there a crowbar on the ground, and how did that guy get it into his head?’ 

 I said, “Darling Daughter, do you want to be a doctor when you grow up?”

“No thanks,” she said. “I’ll be a mom.” 

There are worst aspirations!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

All About That Bass

If you haven't heard the song, All About That Bass, by Meghan Trainor, then maybe you live under the rock, or you have kids who don't listen to Pop, or you don't attend Zumba class like a fiend the way I do! 

Anyway, here's the link to the YouTube video:

You need to watch this video.  And after you watch this video you need to share it with your sisters, your moms, your daughters, your granddaughters.  You need to share it with every woman you know, because this song, with its catchy tune, and its poppy lyrics, has such a great meaning.  This song is about accepting yourself, accepting your body and realizing that the idea that "perfect" is a size 2 is absurd. 

I think my favorite line in this song besides, "I got that boom boom that all the boys chase
And all the right junk in all the right places," is when she sings, "I'm bringing booty back."

Girls, I've been bringing booty back for years!  Without my booty, I wouldn't look like such a hot mess when I Zumba. 

Be proud of your bodies.  Live healthy.  Exercise, eat right, but don't think that being skinny is the goal.  It should not be.  Every one's bodies are built differently.  I happen to have a skinny top, wide hips, and a big booty.  I've struggled with my weight for years.  I've struggled to lose weight, and to fit into the "ideal" beauty mold.  I've struggled with self image, just like every other woman on this earth (even the size 2s)!  Well let me tell you something, there's no such thing as an ideal beauty.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Being confident in who you are and how you look is the most important thing.  I've struggled with this, not only with my body image, but also from losing my hair.  And I realized that I'm a beautiful person, and I'm proud of my body, because I know it's strong and I know it's toned. 

Teach your girls to embrace their bodies, no matter what size they are.  Teach them self-love.  Teach them that models and Barbie dolls are "fantasy" and not "reality."  Teach them that they are beautiful just the way they are.  Teach them that it's about inside and out, and give them strength to deal with anyone who tells them differently. 

Accept yourself for who you are.  Accept your body.  Accept your bald head, your pointy elbows, or any other flaw you think you have on your body.  Chances are, what you think are flaws in your body are actually the things that make you the most beautiful. 

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