Monday, December 31, 2012

2012, the year of chaos

i've been thinking a lot about the year 2012 today. it's only natural i suppose, with it being the last day and all.

but as i sit here browsing society6, drinking my hot tea, and knowing i definitely won't last be awake to kiss my man at midnight i'm having trouble remembering much of anything.

i know i turned 32 this year.
i know all my kids got older.
i know i was gone nearly every weekend making awkward conversation with mostly kind families, begging their children to smile. and in doing so, i missed out on so much.

the year 2012 could be coined the year of chaos.

i learned to love my body, then drifted back into hating it again.

elliott learned how to read.

otto learned how to poop on the toilet. finally. 

faith knows how to do 3 digit subtraction, addition, and the importance of multiplication. 

cory is nearing the end of his degree. 

4 people my age or younger that i was connected to in one way or another passed away.

all of these things are facts. i know they happened. yet they feel like they're hidden behind a cloudy haze. 

i think 2012 brought a certain amount of cynicism to my life. 

people tried to squander me out of earning a living to help support my family. hurry hurry hurry. rush rush rush. why can't you work faster? 

it was all a huge lesson in life. spending so much time getting walked on means it's become difficult for me to trust. 

this next year will be spent with me trying to find that soft edge again. 

i think the most exciting thing about january 1st is the word possibility. 

nothing is decided yet. everything is wibbly wobbly. 

job situations will likely change. dreams may be realized. milestones will happen. as i type at this very moment elliott has his first loose tooth and it's moments from falling out of his sweet little mouth. 

we all know there will be births. and deaths. illnesses and happiness. 

i used to proclaim that i hated change. yet i find myself being more open to it as time marches on.

2013 means 10 years of marriage. 10 years of love. 

and a cabin with a hot tub that i'm quite certain i'll refuse to leave. 

i'm having visions of hiking, water, geocaching and sleeping. so much sleeping. 

what books will be read? 

what movies will be seen? 

will sherlock come back to me? 

will 11 regenerate into 12? 

there are so many unanswered questions that i can't wait to discover the answers to. 

i know 2013 will bring new experiences. i'm counting on it really.

i never set resolutions. commitment issues...i have them. 

wait, scratch that. i'm setting some resolutions this year. but really, we'll just call them things i'd like to do, but will only do if i have the time...resolutions....

which leads me to resolution #1...

slow the fuck down. 
busy busy busy busy. 2012, the year of chaos. 
2013, the year of slowing the fuck down. 

2. learn how to play the guitar already.
because in my head i'm a super duper awesome folk star anyway.

3. take up running again. 
3 1/2. get to a size that enables me to walk into any store and find something i can wear. 

4. have enough of a personal portfolio by the end of the year to do a show.
whether i actually do a show or not is irrelevant. 

5. start writing a freaking book already.

6. read 35 books. 
one of my biggest accomplishments for 2012 was reading 30.
you guys, i read 30 books in the year of chaos. 

7. alone time. take it. and refuse to feel guilty about it.

8. attempt to make french macaroons from scratch.
this is the one that scares me the most.

9. quit drinking diet coke.
i'm thinking of replacing that bad habit with smoking.

10. lighten up.
while we were dating cory once told me i was a fun sucker.
and i was. i was the worst fun sucker of all time. 

2012 was the year when i started sucking all the fun out of things again. 

this directly relates to resolution #1. 

slowing down & taking time to just fucking breathe will help me stick with resolution #10. 

it's a cycle really.

busy = stress
stress = the mom/wife/friend that no one wants to be around. 

the humming dryer, the lorax dvd being stuck on the menu in the next room, the fan on the laptop.
these are the sounds around me. 

good night, 2012. 

2013, you're lookin' fantastic.

our visit to the toy & action figure museum

this weekend my baby turned 4. and i'll say the cliche oh it's going by too quickly! but really in a lot of ways time has literally dragged by as slow as it possibly could.

i have such mixed feelings when it comes to the kids growing older. while i miss the feel of a tiny baby and other things they bring, i don't miss the lack of sleep or certain amount of freedom that i'm starting to feel.

but really the only point of this post will be to share pictures from our day with you.

we've been on our way to visit this place for years and finally made it on otto's birthday. and we'll definitely be going back, despite the surly girl at the register in the gift store. excuse me, surly girl, but look at where you work. it might be the coolest place in the freaking state so yea, smile k?

my baby's face when we walked in. new goal: get him to make this face at least once a day.

they totally had an entire area designated for costumes that the boys could try on. it was their dream come true.

and even an area set up with a doll house. this deer in the headlights look is totally authentic.

i was in the midst of reading the deathly hallows when we went, so seeing these was like seeing my best friends hanging out. 

they had an area with vintage western toys...and i've decided that i need to have another baby then come steal these.

the epic amount of batman shit? a giant bat cave. 

and basically cory was just as excited as the boys. maybe even more so.

totally worth the 6 bucks per person we paid for admission. 
and my favorite part, you guys? the big sign at the entrance that said "we welcome cameras". 
i took so many pictures and could back to take like 500 more. 

hooray for nerds!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

just share

so there are a few conversations i have way too often with people.

they vary in frequency depending on life situations.

the parenting discussions don't happen quite as frequently now that my kids are bigger. there are no longer the talks of breastfeeding, co-sleeping, vaccinations and blah blah blah things that don't really matter because in the end every mother mothers the way that she feels is right.

but discussions often lead to three things:
my parenting
my finances
how all homeless people/people on welfare are looking for free handouts because they're too lazy to work

back when faith was a tiny babe i belonged to the nest, which is a follow up to the knot...that site where brides pat each other on the back for being pretty enough to have captured a man.

there was a discussion on food stamps and i immediately got bashed for collecting them at the time.
never mind that cory was working full time, we were both going to school full time, and the only way for me to go to work would be to dump faith in a dhs approved day care because there was no way we could've afforded it. it was one of the worst internet experiences i've ever had. i was a new mother doing the best she could and here were these other privileged women who had never known what it was to go without telling me that what i was doing was shameful. that i was letting them support me because i was too lazy to go out & get a job.

ever since then i've kept it quiet when we've gone through hard times and collected food benefits.
going through the line at the grocery store with 3 kids in tow means i hang my head low & turn on super stealth mode so that no one around me sees i'm using an ebt card.

but people never stop to hear my story. instead they judge me because they think i shouldn't have children if i can't afford to feed them without assistance. and these are the same pro-life nut jobs who would've judged me should i have chosen to not have those children. and the thing is that fuck you, my kids are amazing. they're going to grow up, do wonderful things and make an impact in their community. if my body could handle it i'd go full dugger and pop out dozens more. so basically this argument is completely invalid.

and that's enough ranting about my situation. but really my only goal was to use our family as an example.

the numbers of people sitting on street corners with signs and cups asking for help has increased drastically. it's impossible to drive through downtown okc and not see them huddled in their sleeping bags, crowding around the bus station hoping for some warmth on their bodies and in their bellies.

about 3 weeks ago a beautiful woman struck up a conversation with me. i was sitting by the fountains in one of our city gardens, reading. she was snacking on some crackers and drinking a bottle of water.

i remembered seeing someone i greatly admire on twitter say "sometimes homeless people just want someone to talk to" and i immediately put down my book, ignored my phone and gave her my full attention.

she had come here from trinidad to find a job and have a better life. she'd come with a friend & they had great plans. now she's found herself here, with an expired green card and nowhere to go. green card means no job. no job means no money. and money, of course, means no housing. she had nothing more than the clothes on her back and those snacks that some kind soul had bought her earlier in the day.

she didn't ask me for money. she didn't ask me for food. she just wanted to talk. she tearfully told me that none of the three churches she tried that morning could help her and she didn't know where she was going to go.

i gave her all i had on me, which was $4 in cash, a handful of change, and a free drink voucher to starbucks. that free drink voucher, you guys. her eyes lit up & she exclaimed "i can get a hot chocolate!"

and hers is another story that should be heard. it's not a case of being lazy, a junkie needing another fix, or someone trying to swindle you out your obviously hard earned 20 dollar bill. she was a friendly young woman who was down on her luck and just needed a helping hand.

we put so much of our self worth in our things, don't we? our money, our houses, our cars, our clothes. and in the end does it really matter? if someone is sitting there asking for our help it's not our job to judge them publicly or humiliate them. it's not our job to interrogate them or hand them job applications telling them to get a job. our job is to love.

and love is one of those things that so many of us are lacking. it never ceases to amaze me how many people have lost basic human compassion. they forget that they're just a few bad circumstances from being in the exact same place others are.

lumping everyone into the same category does them such a disservice. and it actually hurts us more than anyone else. to find ourselves so calloused and angry that we can't just let our guard down and trust that to those people a cold bottle of water, or whatever small amount of change you have in your car won't be appreciated.

i can't tell you how many countless times i've rolled down my window and given someone whatever i had on me, whether it was a 10 dollar bill, a granola bar, a free voucher to some food somewhere along with a smile that i haven't been thanked over and over again.

and you know what? my children see that. they witness cory and i spread love when we can. and that means that they will grow to be compassionate people who will hopefully do the same some day.

because in a world where so much is wasted we really do have so much to give.

and a side note: all these thoughts were spawned by a local business that exchanged hateful words of judgment towards those in need using their public business named social media. it shocked me, saddened me, and has been at the forefront of my mind for the last 2 days.

but the irony of the situation is that she did nothing but solidify my feelings. i'm using her as an example to my children today as to why love is so much more powerful than hate. why we should never judge a book by its cover, and to always remember compassion.

so really maybe i should be thanking her. and the people of this city should be thanking her. because she can be damn sure i'll be giving as much as we possibly can to everyone i come across that's in need.

love, guys. it's all that matters... so cliche to say, but so true.

and to quote a friend on facebook "It is just food..share it".

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

christmas when you're broke

it's trying to make memories that don't require dozens of gifts under the tree.

it's making as many gifts as you can from the things you have laying around.

it's hoping that they'll hold onto the memories of making hot chocolate from a mix they made themselves, eating cookies i made them from scratch and won't remember the lack of extravagant gifts.

it's being grateful that the grandparents always go overboard, and trying not to feel like total shit because they only have 2 presents each to open from us.

it's stuffing their stockings with dollars trinkets and hoping that will help things feel more full.

it's knowing that you strive every day to teach them that love and kindness are oh so important, and that things don't really matter in the end.

all these thoughts have been running through my head after talking with friends who had about 20 dollars to spend on each of their kids.

every time i talk to my mom lately she commends me on being tough & not complaining about our financial situation. and the thing is that i actually feel fortunate most of the time.

we have what we need. we can never be homeless. and we have more time to spend together than most families do.

i wouldn't trade this for a life of cory being gone all the time, only seeing him for half an hour each day, the kids never knowing what it's like to lounge on the couch in the afternoon and watch movies with him.

but at times like christmas it makes the life we've chosen a tad more difficult.

i'm having to force myself to focus on the good. our beautiful tree, the hand me down decorations that make me smile because of their history, the fact that my kids ask to watch "nightmare before christmas" at least once a day.

my house is warm, my fridge is full of delicious junk food, and we can afford toilet paper.

what more can a girl ask for really?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

smart. i am.

life is a never ending circle of something err something that means something that makes you go "wowwww that was deep" and repeat it to everyone you know while simultaneously posting them to all your social media.

i'm not a very deep person. pretty house pretty tree syndrome. is that a real thing? because it's what cory tells me i have.

i married a really smart guy. and sometimes that comes back to bite me in the ass.

growing up with a mom whose third language is english and a dad who's a redneck from muskogee, oklahoma means i have like the worst grammar ever. i say y'all, call my kids darlin' and sugar, and use words that i think are really smart & shit that actually mean something completely different.

it's a problem.

and it's only a problem because i'm an extremely self conscious person. to be laughed at ruins my entire day. which probably means i'm emotionally imbalanced. not really all that surprising.

cory made this really genius comic worthy of its own graphic novel with our friend tessa. in it he describes his most embarrassing moment. my most embarrassing moment? it involves my first day of junior high, the day after aunt flo appeared for the very first time, period blood and a denim jumper. i haven't made a comic worthy of its own graphic novel detailing my most embarrassing moment. because it's tragic is why. it's even too tragic for a humorous montage in a judd apatow movie.

then this one time when i was a budding pre-teen who knew nothing about boys my best friend had me stand look out outside her bathroom while she did god knows what with a boy in the shower stall. that basically sums up my entire adolescence. clueless third wheel.

see? self conscious. not really all that surprising.

it's so funny to me that a naive, prude little private school girl grew up to be, well, me.

the woman who shaved her head & not her legs for a good solid year just to make people uncomfortable.
the woman whose mother would disown her if she knew just how liberal she is.
pro-choice, pro-gays, pro-people are allowed to make their own fucking decisions. it's shocking, right?
i high school & the first year of college i definitely had a hoodie that said "abortion is homicide".
when i think about that girl who wore that thing it makes me wanna punch her in the tit.
how insensitive was i? i mean, really. i wish i could write everyone who ever had to see that a lengthy apology including footnotes on my childhood.

and i no longer try to pretend like i'm a deep thinking philosopher of life & all.

that was so community college...

i know what's important to me.
i know the kind of children i want to raise.
i know i like bacon.
i know i love to drink beer.
i know i will always picture my things in other people's houses.
i know my family is better than anyone else's.
and i know all these things define who i am as a person.

and for some reason it felt really important to write all that down today.