Monday, January 10, 2011

Snowy Days and Mondays

Most of the time, all I want to do on Monday mornings is enjoy the quiet, have my coffee and catch up on what I may have missed over the weekend. Apparently, according to Facebook, just about everyone I know is having a snow day today. First of all, I find it quite amusing that after spending 32 of my 35 years living in Mississippi, I can probably count the number of snow days we had on my fingers. This is not taking into consideration the Ice Storm in 1994 that left us without electricity for two weeks and caused my high school graduation to be rescheduled. Now I live in Idaho where that ability to have snow was on the pro side of our moving list and we are getting a light dusting of flakes. I also find much amusement in the way snow is handled in the South. I suppose I never really noticed while living there because it was just what you did or maybe I could just remember being without power for that time, so I thought over-reacting was a good idea too. I would be willing to bet that there isn't a loaf of bread, can of tuna, crackers, water, etc. left in Walmarts in the South today. I can laugh at this now because I know that when snow falls here, our days go on. If you are lucky, some jobs will have late reporting because they want you to drive safely. School is cancelled once in a blue moon and nothing actually closes. We go to the grocery store to buy food because our cupboards are bare and not because we fear the great blizzard. Snow falling means lots of wet boots and having to wear skull caps and gloves. It means that you have to go out extra early to dust off your car and scrape the windows. This in no way means that I have grown tired of it, but that I have learned to adapt. I am trying to see the positive in all things these days. The whole glass half full thing is pretty new to me. I have always figured that you anticipate the worst and pray for the best. Days like this give me plenty of time to think about my blessings. So what if my health is not perfect right now. At least I was able to wake up this morning and go about my day. There are so many who are in constant pain, have limitations on their activity and even those who know that their days are numbered. Maybe Peyton is having one of those whiny, four year old days. Whining is like nails on a chalkboard to me, but I am so fortunate to be able to listen to him whine. So many people have lost their children or weren't blessed with the ability to have them. Hopefully he will soon make a funny comment or do something wonderful and that will remind me how wonderful it is to be a parent. I know that I don't have a perfect husband or marriage (Chris knows this too, so don't freak out). He has habits that drive me insane and we are continuously adjusting to living together. Even after almost 11 years of marriage, there are plenty of trials in our marriage, but we have made the choice to make it work and to work very hard at it. Afterall, leaving and staying are both options. You have to choose. All you new(er)lyweds remember that when you say that you want what we have. In order to have it, you have to work hard and fight like hell. God doesn't hand you perfection, you have to find your own perfection. With all his faults, let me say, they are nothing like some of the men I have encountered lately. My husband trusts me (some may say this could be one of his faults) and I have never had to constantly account for my whereabouts to him. I suppose he figured once I left my parents' home, enforcing a curfew on me would be ridiculous. Yes, I have met women with curfews. I have complete access to our finances. I earn very little of our income, but he doesn't see that as a reason to put me on an allowance or for me to have to ask permission to spend normal amounts of money. Yes, I know women on allowances. After he works all day, he would love to come home to a clean home and a homecooked meal on the table. He, however, understands that my day doesn't only consist of those two things and if it happens, he appreciates it, but he doesn't expect it. I have heard men berate their wives about not having dinner ready at a certain time. I know men who come home to sit and watch TV, never picking up a hand to help with the kids or simply give their children attention. Well, Chris is not one of those men and thank God! I am very fortunate. If he were, chances are I would be in prison right now, because a man like that would drive me to abuse, assault, maybe even murder. Now I am going to have lunch with my whiny son, probably soup because that is all that I can eat these days and maybe clean up a bit, just because he doesn't ask me to.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Testing Your Love

The holidays are a wonderful thing. I have always loved this season. I love getting together with friends and family. I love decorating my house, although the de-Christmasing takes me forever to get around to. I love the music and the movies. I love the way my kids' eyes light up on Christmas morning. I always loved being out of school or work for the holidays, like Christmas made time stand still. However, now that I am a parent with kids home for the holidays, I am so ready for the madness to end. If I hear that my kids are bored one more time after they have a room full of new toys that I have yet to find room for, I may have a breakdown. If I have to yell one more time to leave your brother alone or stop fighting or just be quiet, I may commit a felony. It is so funny how the same time of year that brings so much joy to my life can also bring so much frustration and aggravation. I love my children to the depths of my being. However, school vacations can most definitely test the true depth of that love. When I was a student, I would have cringed at the idea of year-round school, but as a parent....bring on the long school year. Dear State of Idaho, first and foremost you need to get with the program and realize that all-day kindergarten is the only way to go. Parents dream of the day their kids go to school for this reason. For those of us who stay home, we dream of having the hours to actually get things done. For those that work, they are looking forward to childcare expenses disappearing (or at least lessening) and no longer being childcare poor. We would also contend that even in the poorest states, children go to kindergarten all day. Also, while you are at it, look into the benefits of a year-round school year. The benefits of not having a bunch of bored adolescents roaming the streets for two months during the summer alone should be enough to consider it. I would love for my kids to be education forcused all twelve months out of the year. If I could do this myself, I would homeschool. Let's face it, I have enough trouble getting them to put their shoes away and put the seat down on the toilet, so getting them to do math and read daily is not that easy for me. As you may can tell, I am still stuck in the last days of our holiday break. While the first few days were nice, the novelty wore off a couple of days after Christmas. While we only have one day, you may find that I actually camp out in front of the building on Tuesday night just to make sure that they are at their respective schools at the earliest possible minute that they can be. I am so looking forward to the return to school and normalcy that I can assure you that Wednesday morning I will be like a kid on Christmas. I look forward to maybe having a cup of coffee with some adult conversation, so if anyone is interested, let me know. School will be starting back and I will regain my life again. Although it may not seem like much, those few hours a day are precious and I will never again take them for granted. To all the parents that say they aren't ready for school to go back...either you need to stop lying to yourself or I need to send you my kids because you are much better at this parenting thing than I am.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Each year at this time, people sit around pondering what it is they can decide to do or not do that will make them better people. Most changes will only last two weeks at the most and then it is back to the same old thing that they always do. I, too, have been guilty of that in the past. Not this year. Resolutions to me seem like prohibiting myself from making choices. I don't get to rationalize what the better choice is because I have simply resolved not to do it. It is kind of like when your parents ground you. They take away your TV for a month; this will actually work to better your life, however, you didn't make the choice of your own free will to spend more time with books and less with TV, so when that month is up, you overdose on TV time. When you go on a diet, you deprive your body of things that it has become accustom to having. Yes, it may be a better thing, but instead of choosing to lessen your intake of the bad, you just say no more. Well, once you become tired of that, you over-indulge in those bad things almost to a point of gluttony. This year, I have resolved to make better choices in my life. That still leaves the choice part to me. If I make better choices, then the rest will fall into place. I will be healthier, maybe thinner, have better relationships, maybe be nicer (but I wouldn't count too much on that one). All in all, every vice that I may have are choices that I have made. I did not wake up one day as this person. Every fork I came to in the road, I made a choice as to which route to take and it got me here. Now I could backtrack and re-evaluate my life to exhaustion or I can just accept the past and make a real effort at making smarter choices. I am going to pick the later. If you like me, then chances are, you will continue to do so, whether my vices stay or go. If you don't like me, maybe you will start to, but honestly, one of my better choices is choosing to put me first and the opinions of outside entities can't and don't matter. If I died tomorrow, I just want to be remembered as a woman who lived her life to her fullest ability, with no regrets and as a friend said recently, "full of piss and vinegar". I want the idea of me to bring a smile to people's faces and if I can do that, for whatever reason, then I have been a success. Mostly, I resolve that this won't be my last year on this Earth, so don't think that you will be rid of me so fast. I still have plenty of soapbox rants left in me, plenty of opinions left to share and hopefully lots of smiles and laughs to produce. This is going to be a good year.