Teenagers- The Monsters in My House

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thCAXOHQVNThere are these moments when your children are small, when they throw tantrums or vomit down the front of your white pantsuit… that you simply forgive and forget. The reason you do this is because 20 minutes later, that same day, their cheeks look like cherubs, they snuggle in your lap and tell you how much they love you, or they fall asleep and look like sunshine breaking through on a cloudy day. My point… little kids have a way of being beautiful after they’ve been monsters. So you keep loving them. You keep feeding them. You keep allowing them oxygen.

But, the darndest thing happens. The monsters just keep getting bigger. One morning you wake-up to find that a full-fledged¬†teenager has rolled out of bed in your child’s room. No more cherub cheeks. No more sunshine. Nope. They’re always cloudy. They walk through the day with a rain cloud above their head and at any given time they can call lightning down to strike you where you stand if you happen to disagree with them, don’t hand them food, or dare I even whisper…. ask them to wash a cup.

thCAXX6GUXYour natural instinct is to run from these beasts. To arm yourself with kitchen knives and a helmet. To sleep with your door locked, naturally wild beasts are nocturnal. They’ve lost their means to communicate, becoming grunting, glaring, eye-rolling zombies of the sweet angelic faces you can vaguely remember from their youth. From somewhere in the back of your mind, the words to an old song you know comes forth and smacks you with the truth, “You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave….” oh dear Lord. I’m trapped.

I tiptoe through the house, daring wake the monsters. Let them sleep. Or meditate. Or whatever it is they are doing while they float 6 feet above their bed, pentagrams drawn on the floor. I have clean laundry. Dare I knock? I stand and throw it toward their bed, they’ll never notice anyway, as it mixes with the clean/dirty laundry already there.

I need a hero.

Outlander the Book and the Show

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claireSince I began reading Outlander a few weeks ago; my brain has been wrapped around the characters, my mouth has been pouring out words like “Aye” and “Lassie”, my dreams have been filled with plush green rolling hills, castle stone, and cinnamon colored hair.

claire2Aye. I’ve fallen madly in love. Not just with Jaime Fraser, but with Scotland and 18th century history. I find my ears longing for the celtic song that plays during the beginning of the show and the dialect of the actors. Sometimes I can’t even make out exactly what they are saying, but I know that I want them to say it again and closer to my ear.

jamie2The love affair I’ve begun, I didn’t know was possible. I spent a few years living in England in my early 20s, and really was mildly impressed. When I consider more travel to Europe, I dream of Paris, Greece, and Italy. But not so any longer. Scotland has entranced me. Tangled me in a language of love and sat me down in the middle of war between clan and crown and I can never seem to get back to my book fast enough!

jamie3Claire is a fabulous female lead, she’s sturdy and stubborn. She loves without abandon and her faith in her ability to run headlong into trouble to save those she loves is such a breathe of fresh air compared to most female lead characters.

THEN THERE’S JAMIE.

bothWhat a dream he is. Not in the typical, oh he’s gorgeous ways… (which of course he is) but he’s humble, soft, rough, stubborn. He’s a man in every aspect a woman could possibly want a man. One minute you want to shake him violently and the next you know exactly why she’s tangled up beside him.

I cannot wait to get home and read some more. I haven’t loved a book this much in a long, long time.

When Everything is Right

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Hailey and I during half-time, I may have coaxed a picture out of here by withholding her snack money. Teenagers are slightly overrated.

Hailey and I during half-time, I may have coaxed a picture out of here by withholding her snack money. Teenagers are slightly overrated.

I catch these little glimpses of a messy perfection every once in awhile. Amung the crazy and the hectic, hides these days that breathe life back into my soul. This past weekend was one of those times. Friday night was Ryan’s homecoming football game, and Hailey’s middle school band was able to perform with the High School. The football game landed on one of those perfect southern Alabama nights. The air was chilly but not cold, fall colors setting in the sky, air thick with the scent of grilled hamburgers and cotton candy. My mom was able to join us for the game, and I have to admit, having family around me to do these functions with, really brings out the best in me. I would not have been able to handle 2 weeks with Russell out

Me, Mom, Ryan... in that order! Cheering for Hazel Green!!

Me, Mom, Ryan… in that order! Cheering for Hazel Green!!

of town, without them here to help with all the kids extra curricular activities. They also know exactly when I need a break from the crazy. After the football game I had to high tail it to the airport to pick Russell up, and let me tell you… it was definitely time for him to come home. I have to tip my hat to families that are making it work with parents that travel all the time. I was ready to pull my hair out!

¬†But like they say, “There’s no rest for the weary,” we were up and at it 0430 Saturday morning, headed to a soccer tournament in Nashville. I don’t know how they do it in the PRO world… but it is pretty hard to amp up a soccer star before the sun is up. Before breakfast. She was quickly back asleep in the car for the 2 hour ride to the field. Our girls were defeated Saturday, but not without playing their hearts out. They gave it their best, but these teams we have been playing mean serious business. These girls are brutal! After being destroyed on the soccer field, we were able to go spend some family time in Nashville, did some shopping, eating, football watching and finally some much needed resting. The weekend was great, the time flew bye, and all too quickly it is Monday. Here are some pics from the weekend, I hope your short break was as wonderful as ours! -Cheers!

 

Hailey performing with the HGHS band Friday night!

Hailey performing with the HGHS band Friday night!

 

The girls "running" from the bear at Bass Pro Shop Saturday night!

The girls “running” from the bear at Bass Pro Shop Saturday night!

My nephew, too cute not to include! These t-ball games are the best thing in the world to watch! If you're ever having a bad day, go watch a game of t-ball!

My nephew, too cute not to include! These t-ball games are the best thing in the world to watch! If you’re ever having a bad day, go watch a game of t-ball!

I am so glad he's home!

I am so glad he’s home!

Dinner and football!

Dinner and football!

Ryan and Russell bonding on our way into Dave and Busters.

Ryan and Russell bonding on our way into Dave and Busters.

Shopping for Hailey's Homecoming Dress Saturday. Would you believe we actually bought the very first dress she tried on? That had to be a fluke.

Shopping for Hailey’s Homecoming Dress Saturday. Would you believe we actually bought the very first dress she tried on? That had to be a fluke.

Moments in Time

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back to school 1back to school

I’ve spent the morning pouring over the last few years worth of pictures in my phone, on Facebook and Instagram. The soccer games, band recitals, drama productions, holidays, picnics, dinners, you name it. What a blessing my world is. What an amazing place filled with beautiful little faces. Good luck today my babies. I hope 11th, 8th, and 6th grade is fantastic!

Just Give it Time

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What a strange thing time is. Moments hang in the air that seem to last for eons, yet they are surrounded by a thousand days that went by in a blur. We capture these little moments, the ones we try to hold on to when we are stuck in those blue periods. How strange it is that the one thing we really don’t have much of, yet waste at an excruciating level is time.
Trying to fall asleep last night, these numbers kept running through my mind. We spend 8 hours working, 8 hours sleeping, 1 hour getting ready for work, 1 hour cooking dinner and eating it, and an hour trying to get to work and home from work. That’s roughly 19/20 hours a day, that are just gone. Used up on things that we have to do. That leaves us a meager little 4 hours. 1/6th of the day. 4 simple hours to spend how we choose. With the people we love. Doing the things we want to. Being ourselves. Now many people fill that time with homework, gym time, television shows… so really, it’s more of that stuff… more of the same. More have to. More time wasted. (You can argue with me that your gym time isn’t wasted all you want, but please… just read between the lines and get the point).
It’s those moments in the 4 hours of the day that belong to you. What are you doing with them? Recently my husband’s grandfather was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. They’ve given him mere weeks to live. Now sure, he’s lived 86 wonderful years, but for each of us, they do come to an end. We are mere mortals.
A few years ago, I was able to go to Italy with my grandmother and my mom. I’ve never seen such a sparkle in my grandmother’s eyes as I did for MEAGER 8 days. She was exhausted. Her legs were swollen nearly to the point of no movement from all the travel. Yet she was glowing. She was living a dream. Why do we only get to do that in 8 day increments? How did that happen? Why do we only get 1/6th of the day?
Speaking to my grandfather the other day on the phone, listening to his deep gravely voice that I have heard thousands of times over again, I realized how it’s one of my favorite sounds in the whole world. Yet I only talk to him on the phone maybe once a month. How many more of those conversations do I have? Why are they only 1/5000th of my year?
Russell and I get on the motorcycle and ride down the beautiful country roads of Alabama. The fields are full of corn, and cotton and the air smells thick of magnolias and honey suckle. The view and the smell is intoxicating. The humid air clings to our skin as music pours from his speakers, my arms are out and I feel wildly alive. These moments. They’re mine. They’re memories. It could have already happened for the last time. I’m not promised tomorrow. I only have now. We only have now. What are you doing with it? Are you happy? Are you faithful? Are you just? Today you have 4 hours. Maybe. Have you inhaled the scent of your baby? Have you danced in the sprinklers with your 6 year old? Have you held hands with the person you promised your 4 hours to?
I walk through the cafeteria where I work. I am somehow surrounded by people that strangely enough look very similar to each other. The men are wearing khaki pants and white shirts with light blue pinstripes through them. They’re balding. They’re carrying a tray of food to a table where they’ll sit next to their carbon copies and eat. They look boring to me. Or bored. I’m not sure the difference anymore. The women are in capri pant suits. They’re floral. It’s bad. Pink lipstick and fluffy bangs and oversized gold jewelry. They sit together and gossip and talk about their church groups and diet fads. They watch television in their own rooms, away from their spouses and kids each night. They all have their own televisions. And iPhones. They eat individual dinners, at individual times as they run from ball practice to dance practice to violin practice to Girl Scouts. They’ve lost their 4 hours a day. It’s been sucked into a backdraft of fucking have to’s.
Saturday will roll around and I will wake to the sun streaming in my window and watch the geese play in the lake. He will be there, and rub my back and hips as he always does, and I will breathe in the scent of freedom. It smells like bacon and pancakes and possibilities. Somewhere in the middle. Somewhere there’s a break between what we have to do and what we want to do. All I know is I won’t be content until my time is at least split in half. But I will not settle for this 1/6th bullshit. It’s not enough, and it shouldn’t be for any of us.

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