Pick Me! Pick Me! I Can Aim Low!

Blogging, little as I understand it, has become my thing.  I am a big starter and a so-so finisher.  I’ve been blogging for nearly three years, which is HUGE for me.

Blogging walked me through the adoption of our son from China.  I started following a few adoption blogs from the agency’s yahoo group.  As I followed, I gained the courage to hold the course through the uncertain nature of adoption.  I started my own, in hopes of sharing my story for those who’d walk that path.

One day, I saw a “blogs I follow” list.  Too new, to know a niche or that I had wandered away from camp, I found this blog. I laughed until I snorted and tears ran down my cheeks.

I stay home with my kids.  It can get lonely.  In December 2009, Jennifer posted to a meme at that blog.  Since then, we have built a friendship that I care about as much as some of my dearest IRL friendships.  She has encouraged me, mentored me, laughed when I laughed and cursed when I could only cry.  Like the finest friends do.

Blogging saw me through the adoption, my husband’s miserable job situation, walked with me through some health issues and realizing what a mid-life crisis is.  I think there were a lot of laughs, along the way.

I found Aiming Low several months ago.  They sound like how I speak in real life, except I can’t use the the eff word. I  do think it.  Remember, I am homeschooling two (2) 15 year-old girls.

Aiming Low has a Non-Conference.

The first time I saw the ad…

I peeked.

Yep, it’s what I think it is.

The next time,…

I took a longer look.

It’s not that far away.”

Then, when all my blogging crushes role models went to BlogHer, I got serious.  I looked at the cost to stay at Callaway Gardens,

“…and done.”

From then on, I diligently looked from references to Non-Con.  It wasn’t expensive.  On the contrary, it’s quite reasonable.  It’s just that in recovering from our season of going without food so the company owner could vacation in Hawaii economic recession, we need to plan for  things that come next–Christmas and extra-curricular activities.

Then, I saw it…

Simply Sassy Media Wanted to Send Me to Aiming Low’s Non-Con.

I wanted to write a sassy post.  I wanted to write a clever post. But the truth is…

I’ve nearly imploded in the last three years.  The blog probably saved my life.  Now, it’s time to build a soapbox to stand on to tell my story.  If there is one thing I am, it’s smart enough to know from whom I like to learn and for whom I’d like to fetch coffee.  Non-Con is “slam-packed” with the kind of stars I’d like to hitch my wagon to.

That’s, All Y’all.

Tell, Ree, if she’s of a mind to take the weekend off, I’ll bring rolls.

 

Thanks to Simply Sassy Media for the challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Politics

The presidential election is bearing down on us in less than eight weeks.  Everyone’s on TV acting like the Republicans have a chance.  Like it’s a race.

I don’t know anyone who’s excited about Romney.  I kinda feel sorry for him.  To be running when we all kinda know.  It’s not gonna happen.

That’s just my feelings.  My politics are different.

AN ACCIDENTAL GUIDE TO GETTING OVER MYSELF IN AN ELECTION YEAR

1) No one runs for President thinking, “I’ll be friendly til I get in, and then I’ll destroy it and go down in history as ‘that guy’.”

2) Ultimately, we all want the same things. To live life now, plan for the future and have a little something left to enjoy ourselves a little.  My friends who are philosophically at the other end of the continuum, think the order of priorities is different than I do. That’s all.

3) My life is largely determined by what I do with what I have.  Time, money, health, and education.  Who has been president hasn’t made a lot of difference in that.  He can’t make me be wise with what I have.  He can’t prevent me from being irresponsible.

4) When Bill Clinton was elected the first time, I was teaching in a private Christian school.  On Wednesday morning, I had first graders coming into the classroom crying because it was the end of America (If every guy, who did his job pretty well and had time leftover to get up to no good was the anti-Christ, we’d need an internet database to keep up with them all).

Really, Mom and Dad? Really?

Is that what Jesus would do?

No.

(for extra credit: guess why I don’t teach in a private Christian school)

5) A president is more than his stance on my pet issue.  I want the adoption tax credit to be extended.  Some people have sons in Afghanistan.  Some have children who have medical needs that are no longer covered by  insurance.  Some have children with special learning needs and their district doesn’t have enough resources in special education.

What I need more than a president who agrees with me, is a president who displays character and consistency.

I think either political party would be happy for me to vote, based solely on my pet issue as long as I vote for them.

6) It’s not worth it to me to break relationships.  In the end, whomever we elect is not coming over for Thanksgiving and we don’t have to see them every week.

7) I wouldn’t want to be president.  The secrets they have to know.  The burden of making decisions that will change the course of history, right or wrong.  I respect anyone who is willing to take it on.

8) I have only one vote.   You have only one vote.   I respect your right to decide based on lots of study, his or her position on your issue, or his or her membership in your party.  It’s your vote.

9) We live in a privileged country.  With privilege comes responsibility.  My privilege. My responsibility.  We live in a country with a dream named after it.  It’s the dream of freedom to work to become what you want.  And to help others do the same.

10) We are not each other’s enemies.

 

Christmas Magic

The office Christmas party?  Dull, but no one showed their girdle. Big boss had walked in the office with a big smile on his face the day before and I had just cut him a look (not the right thing to do at all, but I had just drawn my hands out of a stranger’s commode.  My rubber glove had torn, so the toilet water had touched my hand and by the time stupid boss guy flashed his giant grin, I was in no mood to pretend “it’s all good”.).  I thought I could sort of tell he and his wife were treating me differently, but whatever.  I can only re-iterate that we aren’t really friends(I have spent more time with the tellers at my bank this year).  He feels there has to be a party and we feel compelled to attend.  Fortunately, the other partner hosted with her new husband.  The food was great, they had a gift for each household (beyond the ornament exchange)and Mickey and I brought home the gag gift, per usual.  On the way there, we realized we had forgotten to pay the mortgage, so I never really entered in, anyway.

Anyway.

Yeah, still procrastinating on the Santa thing with the boy.  He is keeping his mouth shut after his sister who cares not about anyone else’s feelings hollered, “There’s no Santa,” at him. I think he thinks she is wrong.  He and I need to discuss it.  We were out the other day and there was an instrumental recording playing and Mickey asked me what the song was… It was ” I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”.  He got a look on his face like “Eeew, how completely inappropriate.”

In the meantime, I am beginning to doubt my stance.  Occasionally, that little inner voice has whispered, “You hate fun,” since I posted in September about my kids making their own fun, then about not Trick or Treating; I have more an more often seen myself from the outside looking in.  It looks like we haven’t had much fun with the kids or each other or anything else.

In spite of all this, Christmas is coming anyway.

Somehow, friends have come alongside.  We could not have done anything without their help.  There will be presents under the tree.  We are total charity cases this year, but God has reminded me that He sees.  His people are His hands and His feet.  It is irritating to be humbled.  It is humbling finding out who cares most about you and who either doesn’t care enough to know or knows and doesn’t care enough to just squeeze a hand.

By His grace:
-bills are current.
-there will be something under the tree.
-stockings will be filled.
-Mickey is still employed. (They haven’t done the holiday firing. Yet.)
-friends have gathered around to encourage us.
-there is plenty of food in the kitchen.

Amongst all the emotion and the fight for fun…  I realized that last week marked the anniversary of Mickey’s mother’s death, 2 years ago.  6 years ago, this week, my grandma and great-grandma passed away within 27 hours.  Gah, no wonder we struggle to enjoy the season.  So that is filed away.

This afternoon, we are going to “Market Square” to the Holiday Ice Skating place and a friend and I will visit while our children skate.  See.  I am fun.

The girls got to go Swing Dancing with college friends on Monday night.  See? Fun!!! Right?

I don’t know what tomorrow holds.  But I can’t prove that Santa didn’t put me back in front of Jesus again this year.

Don’t Tempt Me!!!

I am generally not a bare naked blogger, where I let it all hang out about my life circumstances and my joy and pain and medical needs and romantic disappointments escapades.  More and more I find that if I am going to move forward with the blog (and the cheap substitute for desperately needed therapy, it provides) I do have to be a little more candid.

Ima vent.

We used to live in a major city.  Gigantic house, for which we paid practically nothing.  Great relationships.
We now live in what I consider a small city. It considers itself ‘whatever-will-make-you-love-it’. Doesn’t meet the definition of ‘urban’.  We lived here right after Mr. S. graduated college and moved to be nearer to family after the kids came along(learned a lot…like, ‘family’ is ‘who has your back’). Through a series of circumstances, we moved back here in 2006.

Since then.

Dance Camp… My kids excluded from play at “free time” because of skin color.  Teacher’s reply, “Some babies are born yellow; some people turn green when they are seasick. Some people are blue when they are not getting oxygen. So, you just happen to be black.”  Official line to me, “We can’t dictate what is taught in this child’s home.  We are sorry for your daughters’ experience and hope you won’t hold it against us.”

Private School… My kids got put back a grade because of a math placement test.  They consistently had a hundred average and I was asked to speak to my children about slowing down in their work so that they didn’t have so much free time in class. Again, skin color was not a non-issue in class.  (Our fault for having been involved in a cross-cultural church before we moved and the girls really didn’t realize that skin color is a dividing line.  Fortunately, the schools are willing to teach values that are not taught at home.)

The Job… We had been back just about two and a half month, when a mom at the pool, asked me how was my husband liking his job.    As I considered how to answer, I realized hated his job and was trying to be the grown-up and give it a chance.  I told her I would have to ask because I didn’t know.  She looked right in my heart, and was as horrified as I was.  She’s cool that way.

I think there has not been one day that the job has been awesome. My husband’s personality is changed.  I think he is seriously depressed.  He is like a man in chains.  For fifteen of the last twenty months he has taken a 25% cut in salary in order to help the firm survive.  I am trying to teach the children that we need to be grateful Daddy has a job. We would be equally grateful for the ordeal to be over.

Digression, the first: One of the partners said, “People who blog are morons,” when I had been blogging about 9 months.  I did not flip her off tell her she is number one. One day, I will send her a link.

The House…historic.  Flipped by folks who had clearly never lived in a site-built/stick-built single family dwelling.  We were going to renovate/restore it.  WITH WHAT FREAKING TIME WHEN THE JOB DEMANDS HIS SOUL?  ‘Nuff said?  No.  We believed the drug house across the street would be swept away in the gentrification of the area.  But, no.  The non-resident homeowner makes more in a month than anyone is willing to give him for the property.

Digression, the second: We found out that our house was the scene of horrendous child abuse. A little girl used to crawl out on the roof to cry, so they would not hear her.

Why…Had we remained in the other city, we would not have our son*.  That, in itself, is a miracle story.  Miracles are made out of hard work and letting go.  We got the lesson…sometimes what looks like a terrible accident(clearly, you ‘screwed the pooch’ were mistaken.) is really accomplishing God’s design(bringing orphans into families.  Trials make us more mature if we let them).

Last week, our best friends, whom we left behind when we moved, told us they may be moving three hours away.  I failed to rejoice with them. Or even for me.  In my selfishness, all I could see was that they get to start fresh with a clean slate.  They are getting the only thing I want in the world.

What would it take for me to pick up and move?

Boxes.

This post was written due to the very welcome inspiration provided by Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.  Everyone is welcome to participate.

Mama’s Losin’ It

*or a lot of other really great things like being a doula, the girls success in track,  or my dog.



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