Thursday, April 9, 2015

Dear Daughter...A Guest Post

Today  I have a snapper who has asked me to share this beautifully written piece about stepmothers and their children on her behalf. So we have a guest post! I am a stepmother, so this hits near and dear to my heart. Get your tissues ready, this is both poignant and beautiful. Hope you enjoy! And be sure and comment to encourage this brave lady to start her very own blog, so we can follow her!
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Dear Daughter,
Thank you for making me smile, and for lighting my world with your hugs and kisses and your calls for me when I leave your sight. Thank you for every silly secret, every laugh, and every moment that you have given me that I never thought I would want or need or grow to cherish. Thank you for loving me.
I feel like I know you, but at the same time like you’re a stranger. You’re only three, almost four, although you deny to your bones that you’ll ever be anything but “THREE”. It’s your favorite number. Elsa is your favorite person, kitties are your favorite pets, and Clifford and George are tied for your favorite imaginary animals. Your favorite book is the Man in the Moon, and your favorite food is spaghetti. You also love chicken sandwiches. Your favorite color was pink until last month, then suddenly it was yellow. When I asked you why it changed, your answer broke my heart just a little bit. Because Mommy loves it.
Sometimes you mistakenly call me Mommy, occasionally you call me by my first name, but mostly you call me Stepmommy. I’ve been here since before you could talk. I helped potty train you. I helped teach you your numbers and letters. I’m teaching you to read. I’m teaching you to count. I taught you how to say please, thank you, you’re welcome, and excuse me. I taught you how to climb. I’m teaching you how to walk confidently, to speak your mind, and to respect yourself. But I’m not really Mommy. You’ve informed me of this. I’m “Just Stepmommy.”
I don’t fault you for that. How could I? I know in my heart that there’s no way you’d know the difference if someone hadn’t told you. I’m the one that’s loved your Daddy since you can remember. I’m the one who’s kissed the booboos and sang the lullabies and served the breakfasts lunches and dinners and dispensed the medicine and tucked in the sheets and cleaned up the sick and answered the questions since before you could speak. I’ve been here more than half your life. Why would I be “Just Stepmommy”? Why is there a hierarchy of matriarchy in your young mind? It’s not because you don’t love me. It’s not because you don’t like me. The shine in your eyes and the squeal in your voice when you see me in the mornings or greet me after work belie that theory. Someone told it to you, and that’s not your fault.
But I know you love me. And hopefully, you know I love you. What I see when I look at you is a stranger, but a stranger that I would do anything to protect and to nurture. You are my sunshine and my days are all clouds when you and your brother are not home. But you are both strangers. I hold your hand, and feel beyond fortunate that these little, tiny, perfectly formed fingers nestle so snuggly in my palm. And for a moment, I am happy. And then, I wonder what those little fingers felt like the first day they felt another hand? How fragile you must have been in your first days here on earth! How you must have needed someone to hold you, to feed you, to clothe and bathe and protect you. You still need those things, but from a distance, because I’m teaching you to be your own little woman, to be self-reliant, to be “Strong and Super”, instead of “Cute and Pretty”. (You are cute and pretty. Cuter and prettier than any other little girl I’ve ever laid eyes upon.) And when I watch you while you sleep, so little, but legs and arms so long, you remind me of a foal, I watch as you turn in your sleep, and kick your long little legs just like your Daddy does in his sleep, and I wonder, did you kick before you were born? What would we be if we had ever shared that closeness?
Every time you recount a trip to the doctor, I listen intently, carefully, hanging on each word. And I ask myself, were you really sick, or were you craving attention? If you really were sick, did you ask for me when you felt so bad? Did you even want me? Did you even think of me? Or am I really “Just Stepmommy”? Just a passable stand-in while the real deal enjoys her free nights? But I listen, and I ask the right questions to move the story along. And I congratulate you on your bravery against all the shots and all the doctors in the world.
We talk at night, and you tell me stories about monsters and bears, and how your Daddy will always save you, and I smile, and I contribute, and I listen to every word. You tell me things I don’t understand, and things that sound like what they shouldn’t. I help you with the words you can’t remember, can’t pronounce, and together we tell awesome stories. I read to you, and I speak to you clearly, hoping that every sleepless night I’ve spent at the computer researching speech development and therapy was for something. I make new games each week to practice our letters and our sounds and our words. We’ve made it to two syllables, and some favorite three syllable words are only slightly butchered. Your speech is improved so much in the last year, and I am so very very proud of you. But I wonder, if I had been along for the all along, would you have been so far behind at nearly 3? You’re almost 4 now, and we’ve gone from grunts and points to nonsense stories and only a quarter of the words are made up. I hope I’m doing well. I hope you’re learning and growing. I hope you’ll be smart.
I take you out, to the library, to see my grandmother, we take walks around the neighborhood, and when you speak to strangers, I translate. I rephrase. I correct. I make sure that you heard every word the way it normally sounds so hopefully eventually you pick it up in the ways that my coaching fails you. And I wonder, is there something more I could do?
You go into dazes, you refuse to look me in the eyes, even when you’re telling me a story. All I want in this world at those moments is for you to make eye contact, to stop looking at the floor, to stop looking at the wall, to stop averting your gaze, and for a while I wondered, do you only do it to me? But I’ve watched. It’s always. And then I wonder, if I had the right to take you to a doctor, would they confirm my worst nightmares? But I remember, I do not have that right. All I can do is hope and coach and try to teach and all I can do is expose you to the elements and hope you come away from it with something meaningful. Those are my only rights because I am “Just Stepmommy.”
You tell me that you love your Mommy, that you miss her, that you’re waiting for her to come home. And every week, when she fails to do that for long enough for you to forget, you cry when she takes you away from us. Away from me. I don’t tell you this, but I cry, too. When you and your brother are gone with your Real Mommies, I lie in my bed and I cry for you. Because I miss you. I’m in love with you little monsters, you little animals, you little angels. I love you so much that my heart breaks for you every week when you are, figuratively, ripped away from my side. I’ve grown so attached to you two in the last year, that sometimes I wonder if it’s not superficial. If it’s not too early to acknowledge it. But you two are a part of me that burns with excitement and pride when I watch you be yourselves, and burns with searing pain when I realize that there is no little girl or boy to share my meals, or prattle on about something I do not understand.
Sometimes I think about having my own children, I fantasize about sleepless nights that are all my own, that I don’t share with someone else. I dream about the logistics of daily care and the burden of diapers and feeding and carrying and teaching. I long for the opportunity to satiate that desire to be someone’s one and only. And I hate myself for wanting it. And sometimes, in the deepest darkest most guilty parts of my heart, I resent you for that. Your love put that desire in me where it never was before. Your smile drew me into a form of love that I never knew. Your absence showed me the hole that never was supposed to be uncovered in my heart. And your youth and need and chokehold on your father’s heart prevents me from having any real hope that I will ever be whole. You break me, and every week, as soon as I learn to love my lot in life, as soon as I accept that I am and always will be “Just Stepmommy”, you’re taken away from me again, and then I’m just nothing. Just alone in a house that needs cleaned again with no little monsters to mess it up for days. Alone in a home with quiet walls and doors and empty rooms. Alone in a place littered with toys and no one to play with them.
And then I wonder, how much must your Real Mommy hurt when you’re with me? This woman who stepped into your life with no explanation, no excuse, and, almost instantly, won your adoration and affection, your smiles and your kisses, your giggles and your shrieks, your accidental “Mommy” words? How could she ever forgive me for filling a role she was supposed to be the only one to fill? If I were in her shoes, I would hate the Stepmommy for that. And I would try to be nice, and I would try to listen to the stories, and I would try to accept the fact that, through nobody’s fault, things are just how they are. But I can understand why maybe, just this once, she slipped up and said to her little princess with a mind like a sponge, who is learning to speak and address people and understand the complex world and relationships around her, that I am “Just Stepmommy”. And, while it breaks my heart, I can understand it.
My dearest, darling daughter, I hope you never have to read this letter, I hope that everything is always as good as it is now or better. But if you do, what I want you to know is this: To you, I may be “Just Stepmommy”, but to me, you are not “Just my Stepdaughter”, you are my Daughter yesterday, today, tomorrow, and forever after that.


Love, Stepmommy
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An anonymous post written by a beautiful lady.  Thank you for selecting me to share it with the world!



 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Afraid



I am afraid.
I am afraid to call. 
I am afraid of what I will hear. 
I am afraid of losing her. 
I am afraid to confront my grief.
I am afraid of being alone.
I am afraid of asking someone to be with me because I will have to explain. 
I am afraid she won't make it until the weekend, when I can go to her.
I am afraid she will go before I get to her, but maybe it's better if I don't.
I am afraid that my last visit with her, was my very last.
I am afraid to tell my baby, she's already lost my mom at the tender age of 3.
I am afraid.

I am afraid.
I am afraid of waiting any longer to call. 
I am afraid of waiting.
I am afraid of waking them up, when they all desperately need sleep.
I am desperately afraid to lose the woman who helped me pick up the pieces after my mom died.
I am afraid I will forget.
I am afraid I will not be able to convey her wonderful life and legacy of love in her eulogy.
I am afraid that I don't want to let her go.
I am afraid of life with out her in it.
I am afraid of losing the last person in my direct lineage that has been there for every single moment of my life.
I am afraid.

I am afraid.
I am afraid of losing my second mother.
I am afraid of losing the last person who knows all the moments of my deceased mother's life.
I am afraid of losing my last grandparent.
I am afraid of losing one of my very best friends.
I am afraid of having one less person who loves me unconditionally in the world.
I am afraid of losing the last living piece of my mother.
I am afraid to lose one of the last living pieces of my childhood.
I am afraid that all the dead relatives she is seeing are real.
I am afraid for her, as is she, that when she goes to bed that it will be the last time she lays her   
head down to sleep in this world.
I am afraid that when I spoke to her yesterday, that it will be the last time.
I am afraid that when she told me goodbye yesterday, that she meant it.
I am afraid that she knows.
I am afraid to lose my Nana.
I am afraid.



Monday, March 9, 2015

Thank You Brave Soldier

Everyday I wake up in my nice, warm, cozy bed. Every day I take for granted the freedoms I am afforded by the brave men and women who serve our country.  Every. Single. Day. I enjoy the right to exercise my religious freedom free from persecution, write whatever I choose on this very public forum, and I choose where to buy my groceries, never having to stand in a line for state provided allotments of food.  I get to choose where my child goes to school and how big my family will grow.  I take full advantage of my unlimited supply of hot, running water and electricity.

                                          

Around the world, not everyone has the luxury of these freedoms.  Freedom is not free.  There are those who must endure grueling training, fight the battles, spend months overseas deployed away from their mothers, fathers, spouses, children, and families to fight for the everyday freedoms we all take for granted.  These are the everyday heroes that do it all for us, so that we may enjoy life as a free country. They give of themselves freely, and donate time out of their lives.....for us.  You have never met most of them, they are a faceless force.  A force to be reckoned with. I am glad they are on my side, fighting for me.  Braving the horrors they are faced with and must endure. Dedicating their selves to our country, for me.  And you, and for countless millions that will never get the opportunity or take the time to say thank you to these brave heroes, the men and women of our armed forces.  I, for one, want to say thank you.  I am taking the time and this opportunity, right here and right now to say thank you for your service..



I watched the following video, posted by my friend Tammy Redden, the mother of an American soldier.  I cried as I watched.  I felt her pain, fear, and the joy at the returning of her baby, Sgt. Brandon Redden, from Afghanistan. I can only try to imagine the long months of waiting to hear from him overseas, waiting to wrap her arms around him once more, as the holidays passed, one by one, without him.  I am ever grateful to the families that are left behind, and their strength for letting your sons and daughters go. Thank you for supporting our men and women, your men and women, in the armed forces!

Sgt Brandon Redden's Return from Afghanistan

Sergeant Brandon Redden, enlisted in the United States Army during his senior year of high school.  He went to basic training in July of 2011.  After completing basic training at Ft. Benning, Ga. he was stationed at Ft. Hood in Texas. He was deployed in June of 2014 to Afghanistan.  He just returned to the United States at the end of February.  While he was in Afghanistan, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.



He is in the Infantry, Third Cavalry Division, Apache Troop.  Before leaving Afghanistan, he was awarded the Combat Infantryman's badge. My hero is 21.

 
Here is what that medal looks like.
 
 
I remember when the shootings took place at Fort Hood, where this young man was stationed.  I cannot imagine how his mother felt that day. I cannot imagine the horror. I prayed for him that day.  Along with all the others that lost their lives, and those who came out unscathed.  I prayed for him and all of our troops while he was deployed. 
 
 I do not have the pleasure of knowing this young man as an adult, but I remember him when he was a child.  I love his mother, him because he is her son, and because he is an American soldier. Fighting for me, protecting me, keeping the freedoms I know and love intact.  I respect this young man, and many, many others who have the courage to say, "yes" to the call. 
 
 
 
I am an unknown American.  I am unknown to these service people that defend our great nation, but one of thousands that continually pray for their safety while serving our country.
 
Thank you Sgt. Brandon Redden, for your time, your dedication, and your sacrifice.  It has not gone unnoticed.
Thank you to my friend Tammy Redden, his mother, and his entire family, for providing such an excellent support system at home for this young soldier. You all fight the silent battle.
 
 
 
Welcome Home!
 
 
 
 
 





Friday, February 20, 2015

My Journey in Compassion...


Wikipedia's definition of compassion is as follows;

Compassion is the emotion that one feels in response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help.[1][2]
Compassion is really the act of going out of your way to help physical, spiritual, or emotional hurts or pains of another. Compassion is often regarded as having an emotional aspect to it, though when based on cerebral notions such as fairness, justice and interdependence, it may be considered rational in nature and its application understood as an activity based on sound judgment. There is also an aspect of compassion which regards a quantitative dimension, such that individual's compassion is often given a property of "depth," "vigour," or "passion." The etymology of "compassion" is Latin, meaning "co-suffering." More involved than simple empathy, compassion commonly gives rise to an active desire to alleviate another's suffering.[2]
Compassion is often, though not inevitably, the key component in what manifests in the social context as altruism.[citation needed] In ethical terms, the expressions down the ages of the so-called Golden Rule often embodies by implication the principle of compassion: Do to others what you would have them do to you

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Compassion for me has been a part of my daily life as long as I can remember.  I was raised in a social service youth organization that bespoke compassion as one of it's greatest teachings. My mother and grandmother were very caring, compassionate people. We were always going to visit the sick in hospitals and nursing homes, just to bring them a smile, a laugh, a card, some human touch to make their situation better or bearable.  To bring a little sunshine to their day.

 I had a privileged upbringing. Along with that came the lesson of social service and giving back. I was not raised privileged and pretentious, I was raised to appreciate what I had, and that there those less fortunate and also those that were suffering or struggling.  I was taught to try to be the sunshine in everybody's day. To be caring, kind, and compassionate. To leave people a little happier, more cared for, or appreciated than before I came. I was taught to share the gift of myself with others.  Sometimes all we need as humans, is the touch of another to know someone cares.  Sometimes all we need is a little time spent to reaffirm our faith in people. Sometimes we all need a butt in a chair beside us, simply holding our hand. A little caring, sharing and laughter help feed the soul!

I learned by example from my mother, father, Nana and Pawpaw how to be compassionate.  I was not aware that when someone's loved one passed away, going to their side, taking them food, holding them while they cried, being by their side at the wake and funeral were acts of compassion, it's just what we did. I learned that when my Granny and Pawpaw passed that you would do anything to take away the hurting, the pain from your loved ones if you could...even though you were hurting yourself.  You help pick out the clothes, you write the thank you cards, you are just there, supporting them silently as they go through the journey of grief. When friend's grandparents and parents pass away, you are just there by their side, no matter the miles, because you know just by being there, you will bring a little relief to make their suffering bearable, even if just for a dinner, a visit, an hour.

In my youth group, when you were elected president of your local assembly as well as when you were elected to be the district president, you got to choose a project. A social service project that you raised money for, a charity for which you had all the members volunteer, a social service project that in some way allowed the members to give back to their community.  Some collected winter coats for children, some donated all the money from saved pop tabs to local women's shelters, some raised money for the Heart Association, I chose to collect toys and candy canes to take to the Shriner's Crippled Children's Hospital in Lexington, Ky.  We traveled to the hospital the week before Christmas and delivered the toys and got to meet and hang out with many of the children. The smiles, hugs, and laughter that filled the room that day I will never forget! At least for one afternoon, for a few hours, the girls from my district assembly and I brightened the day of each and every one of the sick children in that hospital.  We brought more than presents that day, the gift of ourselves. Most of those children spent Christmas that year in that hospital, some never made it home again. 

When my mother was sick and eventually passed away, what I gave to her came back to me a thousand fold. I was in awe of the sweet calls, food, visits, play dates, friends, cards, gifts, messages, and  general outpouring of love and compassion that was shown and given to me.

When one is a loving, giving, compassionate person, it sometimes comes back to bite you on the booty! People will refuse your offers of kindness, and they will take advantage of your compassionate nature.  Don't let them block your sunshine! Gracefully bow out and know that you did your best!



Sometimes when we need compassion from others the most, is when people will surprise you.  Some will just simply be there for you in whatever ways you need, silently standing by you through your loss, guilt, disappointment, or shame and the ones you thought would always be there for you, will remain silent and far away.  There are many lessons learned through and in compassion.  Being on the receiving end can really open your eyes to the goodness and on the flip side the imperfection in people.  Everybody has bad times, bad days, bad situations, and conversely good compassionate people have lapses in, well, being compassionate. 

You never know what struggles someone is facing.  You never know what battles someone has fought and won.  Always try to put yourself in someone else's shoes.  Be the one who tries to understand. Not just for those who are less fortunate than you.  You can show compassion in every facet of your daily life.  Is there a new mom at the PTO meeting? Scoot over and invite her to sit with you.  Is there a new face in the pickup group after school? Say hello! Is there a mom with three kids struggling to get the door? Hold the door for her! Is there a set of new parents in church with a chatty baby? Tell them that you are glad they are in church, and comment on how cute the baby is! Know someone struggling with infertility? Share your story and/or a hug. Know a person who has just lost a a parent? Share your story and let them know that you know their pain and suffering! Offer prayers,a shoulder, some food, or to handle the influx of visitors after the funeral, to help them disappear for a few hours to get their mind off the tragedy.

There are a million ways to be compassionate!



Always be the most compassionate you can be.  The world is hard and ugly, and sometimes people are too.  Just put your compassionate panties on and carry on! Don't let anyone bring you down or make you want to change your sweet giving nature! Give of yourself freely and often.  It feels good to brighten someone else's day! Even in the face of naysayers, be good anyway! Do good anyway.

Be a listener, be a friend, be someone who hugs even though they don't understand, show some love, share yourself, be there, show you care, and always honor the golden rule.






Wednesday, January 7, 2015

My Super Secret Blog

Happy New Year Snappers! Welcome to 2015! This new year means different things to different people.  To me it is my first year in my forties, beginning a fourth year with out my mother, and the year my baby is in the first grade. The year(my fortieth) that I have vowed to live completely out loud, be myself one hundred percent, and make no apologies.

This past year, I took a step back from the blogging world, and decided to breathe. I decided that I am tired of  'blogging on eggshells' so to speak, so I set up a super secret blog.  Anyone in my real life that is close to me, knows all about my blog.  Therein lies the problem. So I have a completely anonymous super secret blog.  Or two.  These are a place where I can go to write about my frustrations, my peeves, and to let it all out.

Why do you need a secret blog you ask? Because my husband, my kids, my in-laws, my husband's entire ginormous family, my extended families(there are several by marriage), my friends, other bloggers and people I have never even met, occasionally read my blog.  We all break out our brand spanking new blogs for the first time, proud to call ourselves bloggers.  We start writing for various reasons, for an escape, a release, because we like to write, because it gives us stay at home moms a hobby or something to make us feel 'heard'. You become part of a silent sisterhood of bloggers. Our blogs pick up steam, we aspire to be the next 'BIG" blog, and dream of one day getting published.  We design our blog's look, participate in or sponsor blog hops, write guest posts for other blogs, create our buttons, invest in one or more self help blog advice books, or bloggers how to guides, set up our Facebook fan pages, our blog's Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Bloglovin, and various and sundry other social media tie-in sites, get everything all set up and running smoothly, some even get published, make some bloggy friends, ... and BAM! Then it happens, writer's block. 

Then we pick ourselves up and start writing again.  Eventually we rediscover our voices. We get back into the rhythm of blogging. Then again, over time, we begin to find what once was so much fun, becomes monotonous again.  We find ourselves slaves to the numbers, where the numbers are more important than what we actually have to say.  How many views did this post get, how many comments did I get last week, so on and so forth until we lose sight of why we first started blogging.

Why did you start blogging? I started blogging after I became a stay at home mom, and to spend time with my sick mother(who passed four months after I started my blog in July of 2011). I used to entertain classrooms full of people on a daily basis, and now there was an audience of my mother, myself, and my two year old. So I needed to talk, to write, to vent.  To get the "ME" out. I used to tell my funny kid stories to my classes, and now I tell them to my blog. I have always been a social person, and the slower pace of my newfound life took a lot of getting used to. I wrote because it was my outlet, my release.  Then after my mother died, I started a blog about Grief, The Grief Chronicles

The other part of setting up a secret blog is that there is more than one side of me.  I am by nature a people pleaser.  I am the peacemaker of the family. I was raised a lady, and remain a lady.  That being said, I also have a wicked sense of humor, a naughty side, and have been know to have quite the potty mouth when I step out without my child. We each have many roles in life.  When you are setting up a blog, you must choose which persona you present to the public. For this blog, for example, I have chosen to be the cool mom, homeroom contact-person-ie 'mom', dutiful, fun loving, happy go lucky wife and mother, who gives you a peek into my at times airheaded, fun, crazy, less than perfect, wild and wonderful life. I do not choose to share all the other sides of me publicly on this blog.  And trust me, there are many.  So when I feel like not keeping my mouth shut, and writing a scathing, bitchy piece, I go to my super secret non-censored blog and voila! I feel all better!

Does it bother me that it is not wildly popular like this blog?(Well, to me 50,000+ is wildly popular in these here West by God Virginia hills) Nope, not at all! That means I don't have to promote it! And let's all be honest, it takes a lot of self promoting and time to rack up the numbers! SO I recommend that everyone has a super secret blog! I love mine! A blog free of scheduled in advance writing times, scheduled this and scheduled that! And only a handful of people who know of it's existence! A blog for just me! That being said, I love you guys! And you can't get rid of me!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

My Traumatic Bathroom Catastrophe #169

Hiya Snappers! Merry Christmas Eve Eve everyone! Hope everyone is ready for the holidays! I myself still have 3 more things to get, and a few things left to wrap.  Then I am ready!  I thought I would share my funny story with you all today.  I have been super busy with life, homeroom momm-ing, PTO volunteering, coordinating volunteer readers for classrooms at my child's school, traveling, Christmas partying in northern Virginia, sightseeing in DC for the first time, seeing my almost 87 year old Nana to present her with her 50 year membership pin to the Order of the Eastern Star at my Uncle's installation as Master of his local lodge in Pineville, North Carolina, visiting family, shopping, playdating, cookie-ing, gingerbread housing, Frozen party at schooling, and a half billion various and sundry other things that occur in the daily life of a stay at home mom!  SO here goes the story about one of those such occurrences! Hope you get a laugh at my expense! You are welcome! Merry Christmas!

I am in the shower.  I , of course, cannot shower alone. There are multiple 6 year old interruptions.  First she talks to me.  Then she pulls back the shower curtain.  After telling her not to do that again, she then tries sticking something in the shower for me to see.  I have obviously forgotten, what it is like to have my child at home with me all day long, since starting the first grade in August.  I am thrown off from my normal shower routine and timeline.  I am busy thinking of all of the things I have to do today. I take my razor and lift my arm to shave my underarm, and when I go to make the first swipe across my pit, the razor flies past my pit and shaves of two big, long, ugly strips of skin from my chin. It hurt! A lot! I try and pretend that my chin is not bleeding.  As I feel it oozing down my chinny, chin chin,(or as Lil Pumkin Do says, "My Shinny, shin shin!") I open my eyes and peer down into the bottom of the tub.  Yep.  There is an amazing amount of blood pooling around the drain, slowly swirling with the water.  It looks like a macabre candy cane design.  Then in a strange, removed from the situation, as if in an opening scene from a  Stephen King movie kind of way, I realize in horror, that that is my blood.  TWO DAYS before Christmas festivities begin! Oh my WOW! Well, just...SHIT!

I cannot believe that I have just done this.  Right before Christmas! When there are so many pictures to be taken! ACK! So I then realize I only have to wash my face, because I obviously am having an airheaded day that does not need to involve using a razor kind of way, day! So hairy legs and pits, yeah, we'll just go with it! Le sigh! So I wash my face, and it burns like hellfire! As I rinse my face, I can distinctly feel where there once used to be pieces of me that are now gone! Ooww! It burns! As I watch the last of the blood swirl down the drain, I touch my face, trying to gauge how fast my chin is bleeding, to see if I need stitches or not.  I think we are okay to just swathe my face in band aids, and wait until the bleeding stops! I cannot believe I did this.  I amaze myself at times. SO I peek at my chin in the mirror.  Yep, just like I thought, no covering that one up! So I whip out the Mickey Mouse band aids, and go to town.  Ironically enough, one of the band aids says BAM! Oh so appropriate! And hilarious.  This is a goldmine in bad jokes waiting to happen! So I am just going to roll with it! So much for pretty perfect makeup for holiday photos! Good excuse to go makeup free, or opt out! Hah! Not happening! I am that annoying picture taker at EVERY family gathering.  Not likely that I will be allowed to opt out!

So by the evening, it finally scabbed over.   I now have to remember not to touch my chin. Because it hurts.  So here are a few not so random selfies, because I just had to share this with you all! At least it wasn"t my eye this time! Hahaha!

 


 


I hope everyone has a beautiful holiday, Merry Christmas, Happy Hannakuh, Happy Kwanzaa, or whatever holiday you celebrate or don't! Love you guys! Merry Merry!



 
 
 
 

Monday, October 27, 2014

My Dream Pumpkin



Ever since I was little, in the fall, my parents took my brother and I to pick out pumpkins for carving.  It was a yearly Halloween ritual for our family.  Like a lot of families, we each got to choose a pumpkin.  There were rules to choosing our pumpkins.  It had to be the right size for carving.  Not too big and not too small. You wanted to pick out a pumpkin with a smooth face for carving, but tall enough for a face. Every year I dreamed of getting a giant, perfectly round monstrosity of a pumpkin.  My dream pumpkin would have no flaws, be round and perfectly symmetrical, and the most beautiful shade of orange you have ever seen!  Each year I longingly looked for my perfect dream pumpkin, while picking out a smaller version for carving. I kept my pumpkin dreams to myself. One day, once I had found my soul mate, had a daughter, or three, had a house with a porch for a big 'ol pumpkin, I would have my dream pumpkin!



I grew up.  I then picked out more medium-ish pumpkins for my annual single girls Halloween party, year after year.  I still secretly longed for my great big, fat pumpkin, even though I subconsciously relegated myself to never having  my dream pumpkin. I admired them from afar, those big, fat, orange, round beauties that I secretly wished I was lucky enough to possess. One day I vowed, I would have my dream pumpkin! I kept telling myself that when I was married, settled down, and had a family...then I would have my dream pumpkin.  Every year on the front porch of our home, our giant pumpkin would be proudly displayed. One day!

So I settled down, found my soul mate, got married, joined our families and the pumpkin hunting tradition was revived for Sissy the Eldest and Mr. T.  We picked out pumpkins for carving every year, and I found myself reciting the same rule as my parents before me, 'Not too big, not too small!" My pumpkin dreams got pushed to the side once again, although this time in exchange for affordable family pumpkin memories. Big punkins' are 'spensive y'all!

When we had Lil Punkin Doo, again we picked out pumpkins for carving each year, and the same size restrictions were in place.  Seeing the sheer joy on all of our kids faces, from a simple, fun, family activity like picking out their own pumpkins and carving them is priceless! Hearing them scream when pumpkin guts touch their little hands is also priceless by the way! Just in case you were wondering!



This past weekend, we took Lil Punkin Doo to Gritt's Fun Farm in WV for the day.  They have slides, corn pits, tractor rides, corn maizes, photo ops, hay bale climbing, and a big glorious pick your own pumpkin patch.  At the end of the day at Gritt's, it was time to pick our pumpkins.  My LPD picked a tall long faced pumpkin, and just like that, I turned around and there it was.  The pumpkin of my dreams.  She was fat, the perfect shade of orange, the exact size and dimensions I had always dreamed of! She was perfectly symmetrical, and had a big, thick stalk on the top.  Beautiful.  I suggested her to LPD and she said no, that she wanted a tall pumpkin.  So after we found her perfect vision of a pumpkin, I turned to Hubbie the Dearest and asked if I could have my dream pumpkin.  He said yes! I told him it was my dream pumpkin, and he said yes!!! So while I was soaking in the fact that I was about to score my dream pumpkin, happy as the day HTD proposed, he advised me I had better hurry up and get it, because there was another family looking at the pumpkins right beside my pumpkin!


 I left LPD with HTD, and practically ran back to my pumpkin.  The little family was picking up the pumpkin beside mine.  Pschew! I thought I had lost her! Before they had a chance to try and steal her from me, I bent over and grabbed ahold of her thick glorious stem, and lifted her.  And thud.  Back down to the ground she went.  My baby is heavier than I had imagined.  So I reached down, put a little back into it, and lifted her with both arms into our wagon. Wow.  Funny how I never imagined my dream pumpkin ever weighing more than a normal sized pumpkin!



So HTD went to get the car, and I stood in line and pulled the wagon with LPD, and our two dream pumpkins to the wash and weigh station.  I lugged my beauty onto the scale at the weigh station, and it turns out she weighed 31.7 pounds.  LPD's weighed 17.2.  49 pounds o' punkin, plus my kid, plus the wagon.  My forearms are going to be killing me tomorrow was all the negative I could think, in my pumpkin finding, elated state. I am now the proud owner of my perfect pumpkin.  After lugging our 50 pounds of pumpkins around the pumpkin patch and into our car, I was exhausted. But I had my dream pumpkin.



We waited until the next day to clean out and carve our pumpkins.  Lil Punkin Doo drew her face, and I carved it into her pumpkin.  She then decided that she was going to draw the face for my pumpkin too.  I was happy to let her draw the face for my dream pumpkin.  I proudly drew it on and carved it out.  It may look like a many eyed, stop sign nosed, scary toothed face or a tutorial in shapes, but I am so very proud to have my daughter(my creation) create the face for my dream pumpkin, that I am close to bursting with  happiness.  And it now sits proudly displayed on my front porch, right beside hers, just like I always dreamed.  Totally worth the hours of carving and achy back, shoulders, and arms!



It is a good thing to hold onto your dreams, no matter how big or small, no matter how long it takes, because soul mates, families, daughters, dream pumpkins, and dreams really do come true!

Happy Halloween Snappers!