Category Archives: In all her Gracefullness

She’s a teenager with two left feet, not that she knows her left from her right. Brilliant and beautiful, but the world moves under her feet causing her to trip over the air that just wooshed by.

Thursday Morning

We’re running late this morning.
Of course, we just started running late, we’re always on time until one of the kids announce that they forgot they had to be at school early for archery, or Spanish club, or study group… or anything else that could throw our morning into a pile of screws.
“mom are the red bowls microwave safe?” I hear Grace call out. “Yes” I say and then wonder to myself if they really make bowls that are not microwave safe these days? What a waste that would be. “Good” she calls back, “all the other bowls are dirty”.
Whats the point in loading the dishwasher if you’re not going to run it? I lecture myself.
I hear the buttons on the microwave beep, 1 minute 30 seconds, it’s what is required for the perfect bowl of oatmeal, I silently wish I would have had oatmeal this morning.

The microwave begins to whir when Gabby says “Oh Mom, I do have archery this morning”
Grace and I look at each other and then look at the clock on the oven.

It’s 7:37. Grace has to be at school by 7:50 if Gabby is to be at archery by 8. No time to eat your oatmeal at the table like a good American family now.

I tell the girls to grab their jackets, school bags and Gabby’s lunch as I plop the hot oatmeal into a mug with a handle for Grace to eat on the way to school – whip open the silverware drawer just to give myself the second fat reminder in five minutes that I didn’t run the dishwasher, so her choices are a fork or a serving spoon. I select the serving spoon and run and start the Beemer so it can be warming while the kids continue to gather their belongings.

On the ride to school Grace calls her dad to tell him good morning using her sisters phone, texts her boyfriend back a “good morning” from her phone and takes a bite of her oatmeal at the same time. I smile, cause if there’s one thing I’ve taught her, it’s multitasking.

Gabby reminds me from the back seat that she needs an excuse letter to miss the Archery tournament tomorrow – so I lean over to the floor board to rip a sheet of notebook paper out of Grace’s spiral just as she gathers it up to jump out of the car and begin her school day. She’s fumbling the door open as I’m going down the list in usual morning routine .

“you do have money for lunch?” “yes mom
“and your school ID?” “around my neck
“and your phone?” “love you, bye mom

We come to the worlds longest stop light and I began to write Gabby’s cop out letter. After 16 years of parenting, I’m skilled at cop out letters, but this one is truthful, and unfortunately, something I have to write often.

“Gabby will not be able to attend the archery tournament on Friday…” I begin just as the light turns green. I throw the pen and paper into the seat next to me. I might juggle a lot but there is no way I’m going to try to write and drive. Being at a complete stop is one thing.

Between three long stop lights I finally manage to get the words out in blue ink:

Gabby will not be able to attend the archery tournament on Friday as she has visitation with her dad in Tulsa”

Gabby pops out of the car while I’m running down the usual morning list with her:

“got your lunch box” “yep
“and your backpack” “uh huh
“did you turn your cell phone off?” “bye mom, love you
“bye baby, be sweet.”

I slip into the driveway five minutes later and gather the wrappers and oatmeal cup from the car.

Step into the house and immediately begin to load the dishwasher with the dishes of the morning so I can finally run it. Oh God, please don’t let me forget to run it again. I’ve been beating myself up over it all morning. I wipe down the counters and the table and notice that the place mats are crusty. I use that word lightly. “sick” I say out loud while scraping what may have been a lucky charms marshmallow off with my fingernail.

I gather all the place mats and the throw-blankets from the living room for the washer, but when I go to put them in, I see that Gabby has left her laundry wet in the washing machine from last night. I want to be mad, but I left the dishes in the dishwasher, so I’m really not a good example.

As I am digging through the washer to separate what can be dried from what will shrink if I even exhale on it, I fish out her swim suit. It’s January. I’m not even going to ask.

The load isn’t full so I go into her bedroom to see if there is anything that needs washing, and on her bed lay 4 shirts. She did laundry last night, so these surely can’t be dirty – but I learned a long time ago that the sniff test is just self inflicted punishment, so I scoop them up too and throw them into the most jumbled load of laundry that ever was.

Rerun is whining at my feet, so I lean into the pantry and scoop out a cup of dog food for his bowl, with an equal sized cup of water to drink, he’s so excited I think his 10 pound body might knock me over. I pour the pebbles into his ceramic dish and think “that’s the last mouth I have to feed for 6 hours”

Feed. Yes. Thank God I remembered. I shuffle to the fridge to lay something out for dinner tonight.

I look through my appointment book, satisfied that there are no conference calls today, I locate my laptop and sit down on the couch, it’s finally time to write.

But first, I really need to run the dishwasher.

Linking up with Bees With Honey on Let’s Bee Friends Friday

and also with:


Wordless Wednesday – A bond like I’ve never had

I wasn’t raised with my sister. In fact, the first memory I have of her was when I was 5 or 6.

I get so frustrated when the girls scream at each other, I try to tell them that not everyone is as lucky as them, and that someday, when mom and dad are gone, they will be each others strongest and closest link to their past.

But they continue to bicker.

And I swear they’ll never get it.

But clearly I am the one that doesn’t get it. They have a bond I’ve never experienced.

I am so glad they have each other.

My Linky has been broke for weeks but this week it works! It works! So Click and link up!

As Long As I’m Living….

I was flipping through photos we took last weekend when I ran across this one of Grace on my back. I quickly recalled that I had another photo like that just a year old so back, so I scurried through my facebook photos in hopes of finding it. I was right about having a similar picture. I was wrong about it being a year or so old. When my eyes fell on it, I realized with one breath how much has changed since the earlier photo was taken.

  • 30 total pounds between the two of us
  • just over a foot in height (all her)
  • 5 school years
  • two different homes
  • two different cities
  • two different marriages
  • nearly 5 birthdays
  • 3 boyfriends (her, plead the 5th on mine)

Only a couple of things stayed the same.

  • I still love the color turquoise
  • She’s still my baby

Linking up with BitsofBee today
in what might be my favorite link up!
Grab your favorite quote, say something
about it and link up!

PS. Gabby, never fear, the next one is about you 🙂

My husband? Oh – he makes magical meatloaf

I’m just going to take a few minutes here and brag on my husband, because not every post here has to be some emotional uncovering from the depths of my…wherever. When I started keeping a blog in 2006 it was seriously to chronical my life. Now it’s for that and because I’m an attention wh**e as my blogosphere bestie calls it.

Sunday we were all freaking stressed. Between Baldy’s pending neuro appointment, my pending cardiology appointment and the week of hell stemming from my 16 year old tornado, our house was just d.o.n.e being a family. No one was on speaking terms. And I really didn’t care for a minute.

Anyway, we hadn’t set down to a meal together without a fight in a good week and somehow the God’s spoke to Baldy and convinced him to be Martin Stewart and pull our family back together.

So I started smelling something in the kitchen but ignored it except for the occasional “when will dinner be ready?”

I think once I said “need me to help” – which I always say while sinking into the comfy couch begging inside that he say “no” because me in the kitchen? Mess.

I finally rounded the corner to catch this kind of kitchen action that made me giggle and think of the cafeteria lady back in Elementary school.

Bald Lover

And while I know you can’t tell what the heck is going on in this picture, the man is seriously stacking my potatoes on top of my meatloaf. Because we are so damn spoiled by his cooking that we can’t, you know, eat our food in separate bites.
When he was finished assembling the meal we were presented with Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy layered goodness, with a side of fresh green beans and told to sit, and eat.

And we did. It caused us to shake our head at him together, and giggle a little, and within a few minutes, we were all enjoying our dinner without worrying, without fighting, without the awkward silence that has fallen on us a few times over the past week.
Of course the tower of goodness eventually falls to a million pieces while you eat it, but for some reason it was the perfect thing to get our family re-connected.
The girls even mostly ate their mushrooms without a whole lot of begging, twisting of their faces or complaining.

And ever since? There has been no fighting, no tears, and very minor health related stress. I’m calling it the magic meatloaf.
Oh, and just to brag a little more on my husband? He didn’t leave me a mess to clean up, he cleaned it, and then I caught him CLEANING THE HOOD VENT. Not even kidding.

The Mid-Parenting Crisis

I’m brainstorming here. I’d like this to be well thought out resonating post of parenting rationalization but the truth is that I’m sitting at my desk shocked by interactions that have taken place between myself and my teenage daughter in the past week, things that have come out of nowhere.

I know that over the past year I’ve come to a sort of mid-life-crisis in parenting similar to that of the 40 year old man that is mid-life minus the new Porsche and Viagra. My daughter is turning 16 in a few weeks and with two years left before the world sees her as an adult (which is WTF for another time, because really calling them adults at 18 makes my brain asplode). But in the past year while dealing with the thought of her spreading her wings I’ve realized that there was so much left to teach her, and so many things I did wrong over parenting that I wish I could delete. While she turned out miraculously amazing, especially for being raised by a teenage mom, I effed up on my part in more ways than I can count. There just isn’t enough time to correct those errors, not enough time to teach her to cook and mow the lawn and fix the car and change air filters and apply for jobs and interview and … and I’m in a panic. It’s almost over and I didn’t do these things. So I’m scurrying to correct, show, train – all the while she’s in a mid-teen-crisis of realizing that she’s nearly 16 and old enough to make her own decisions. She’s ready to have her own ideas and do what she wants to do, she knows everything, I’m stupid.  Suddenly she feels as big as a bear, inferior, and full of teenage sarcasm and attitude. The way she has spoken to me in the past week has caused me to show great restrain because if she were an adult, I might just lay her on her ass.

But she’s my kid. My baby. The one that I have done everything that I can for, for almost 16 years, the one that I cried for,prayed for and worked for.

I have to remind myself of this because when I look at her with that teenage rage, I can’t seem to find my baby anywhere in her face.

With this great combination of my mid-parenting crisis and her new found mid-teenage-crisis spinning in to a whirlwind of chaos and arguments and tears and disappointment our life has been turmoil the past year but man, it’s been sheer hell for the past week.

A whole week. A week out of being under the same roof, as mommy and daughter that we will never get back, because the days aren’t stopping.

And I can’t figure out where her anger is coming from, the same that I can’t find the “soft side” of me that I’ve always had in parenting that would put an end to all of this, pull her into my lap and fix this, like I used to be able to.

For the first time in all of my parenting, I don’t like being a mom right now. It’s harder than I thought, but at the very same time, I love being a mom and I wish it weren’t almost over.

I’m a complete and total mess.

And in 4 more years, I’ll have another 16 year old. Someone hold me.

My Dearest Santa,

Dearest Santa,

I haven’t been so good this year. I know I promised to be better in 2011, but I lost track somewhere along the way.
I fussed about housework, even though I promised I would be thankful for the opportunity to clean up after those I love.
I grumbled when Gabby wanted me to watch movies with her, even though I swore I’d take in every parenting moment I could.
I griped when Grace borrowed my shoes (and jewelry and purses and hair accessories and…) even when I remembered that that would come to an end in a few short years when she’s an adult.
I was short when my husband asked for a kiss after I had already rolled over. I know it doesn’t take much to roll back over and give him a kiss, but it was the principle that I’d been facing him all freaking evening and when I finally rolled over to sleep THEN he wanted a kiss. I was tired you know, from the house work, and the bitching about all of the other things.
I know.
I’m pretty lucky that someone like him wants to kiss me.

I could have given more at church, I could have volunteered more time, I could definitely have cussed less when in traffic with a bunch of damn idiots. There I go again. You know me, always making promises I can’t keep.
I make mountains out of molehills and I fight to be right, not to solve problems. I get by doing as little as I can and if I do much more than that, I make sure that people take notice.
Somehow I’m loved, but in retrospect, I wasn’t much of a blessing in 2011.

So I don’t want any presents.

But the girls and Bald Lover have been anything but naughty. Oh sure, there’s attitude and stuff, but they all get that from me. So along with their presents, could you help the day go beautifully. Make the Ham edible, help me to bite my tounge, Prevent me from arguing with a teenager until they cry, just for this one day.
Let the “economically friendly”presents brighten their eyes, and let their dad call them and not get into a fight.
Just this one Christmas.
And next year, I promise, I’ll be so super awesome. I really will.

P.S. Don’t eat the cookie on the right, it has been on the floor.
P.S.S : We’re also making you Peanut Butter Pie



I freaking love lovelinks!

What I don’t regret is you.

In the Spring of 1995 things were going along chaotic in my twisted teenage life. I was skipping classes, failing many of them, getting in fights and general mischief, hanging out with the wrong crowd at times, getting busted doing things I shouldn’t be doing, not getting busted doing things I shouldn’t be doing. I was 15, and I was typical. The boyfriend at the time was a good rock for me, why that straight A, awfully introverted guy was attracted to my wild nature, I’ll never know.
We did what teenagers do sometimes, you experiment or whatever (note to my kids: Not until you’re married). Anyway, short story shorter, I ended up pregnant at 15 years old.

Fifteen. A decade and a half. The end of my Freshman year. I couldn’t even drive a car, but now there was this baby to take care of.

Everyone had advice at that time, abort, adopt out, you two should get married, you’re too young, my cousin in Iowa wants the baby, what are you going to do?

But it was never a question what I was going to do. Sure, a failing 15 year old with a hatred for the world had no business raising a baby, but there was no way you could have told me that all those years ago. I didn’t want to hear about any other options.

When I delivered Grace the entire world was for once in my life, peaceful. I had a clear focus, my mind was no longer raging, I didnt care for trouble, or even roller-coaster rides anymore, I wanted to be safe, grounded, and a good mommy to her. Her little smile is the reason I graduated a year early, with straight As, a complete polar opposite of the Fs that used to line my report card. I never got into trouble again. Never.

And things we’re never really easy back then on the outside, I didn’t have a drivers license or a car for her infant years, I wasn’t financially stable enough to buy her the cutest baby clothes, I was too young to know about attachment parenting, I couldn’t nurse her because of my classes. She didn’t get the life I would have wanted her to have. But she was my life.

Now that she’s almost 16, we talk about teen pregnancy a lot. And often times she tells me she was a mistake. Those words send choking sobs into my throat.

It’s such a fine line to encourage her to wait before she becomes a mother, without making her feel like her life on this earth was a mistake.

She sometimes tells me she was an accident, and refers to herself as the “oopsie baby” –I like to remind her that she was just a surprise from God.

A surprise that I could not have needed more. A surprise that likely kept me off the streets, away from drugs, and the only reason I graduated high school or went to any college at all. The first step in the direction of my life that led me to where I am today (which feels like a pretty good place).

Grace gave me the will to be something more than a failure. What I don’t regret, Grace, is you.