Monday, March 31, 2014

what YOU doin'?

The Dude has not taken to big-brotherhood gracefully, but I do not give up easily.  So when I caught them playing on Sunday - together - I freaked out.  Little victories.  I take 'em.

On kind of the same topic (not really, but kind of in my head it works) - have you ever been really disliked?  As a grown up, I mean - not as a kid (that's too easy).  And you ran in the same circles?  I have.  I actually don't blame them - if anything I'm always amazed at the caliber of people who are willing to love me.  There are more than enough reasons not to and they are willing to look past my obvious flaws - amazed every time.

It hurts, right?  You make yourself scarce around them and try to be as invisible as possible, and it puts a knot  in your stomach every time.  I'm not perfect at it, but I manage okay when I find myself in that place.  Now here's the question - what if there is someone YOU can't abide?  And you know how crummy it feels to be excluded and frozen out - and can't stand the idea of doing that to someone else?  Just curious - how do you manage your feelings in a situation like that?  I don't want to make anyone have a knot in their stomach because of me.  Fake it till you make it seems to work.  But what if you are having trouble doing that?  I remind myself that people are children of our Father in Heaven and he loves each of us - and it's my job to do the same.  That works most of the time but there are some people who blindside me and I get worn down.  Anywho, what do YOU do?

Also - I'm not talking about YOU.  I love you!!

Friday, March 21, 2014

have an awesome life

How did we ever live without All The Informations All The Times?  And heck, how do we live with All The Informations All The Times?  I lovelovelove things like Pinterest where I can come with a question about something and come away with the coolest solution and visuals.  My FHE prep is like 5 minutes, thanks to that and my handy dandy color printer.  But then there's the dark side.... the self-important Facebook links to top ten lists of what you are doing wrong or should be doing differently or why-the-heck-aren't-you-doing-this things.
It's a lovely double-edged sword.  The latest thing that got under my skin about 3 minutes ago (hence this quickly worded post) was the one about how we are an overprotective society and ruining our children.  Lovely memes about how "we survived childhood back in the day, what's wrong with your kid??" - and how living in our culture of technology is dooming their brains and it's all our fault.

All I have to say is...

Good for you.  You are alive and a functioning member of society.  I'm very happy for you.  

I don't have much more than that.  Wait... except for this...

Parenting is HARD.  Most parents have no training whatsoever for this.  It gets harder and harder.  I refuse to feel guilty because I protect my children.  I refuse to feel guilty for allowing them to be tech savvy.  I'm not even going to hedge that with how I only let them use computers and handheld devices for short periods only on even numbered days that land on a Wednesday - because you know what, I don't have to defend myself.  I refuse to demonize other parents for their choices.  Parenting is hard enough.  I refuse to make it harder for anyone else.

We are all in this together.  I support you and will keep my parenting tips to myself, unless it's a girl's night out and we are begging each other for parenting advice, since that's basically the topic of every GNO - that, and birth stories.  We do love to talk about childbirth in public over dinner, am I right?

So dear human, this is for you:

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

hey there mom

How do you de-stress?  The normal mom probably wants some pampering, some peace and quiet, but me?  I just had the best weekend off ever - back to back gigs with my 2 Celtic bands down in ATL.  All that  traveling, time with my fiddle and my favorite musicians on earth was just what I needed.  The husband kept watch over the 3 mini humans and cleaned the kitchen.  He is so flippin' hot.

I woke up yesterday to 3 very happy kids and felt so incredibly blessed and at peace.  I called my mom to get filled in on her latest news, since I'd called her up during the weekend glowing about my own time.  And you know what I found out?

She broke her leg.  Last Thursday.  Skiing.  She didn't want to distract me from my weekend away so she didn't tell me.  How thoughtful and insane is that woman???  She swears all is fine but being a mazillion miles away and having kiddos in school, I'm feeling pretty useless out here.  So I'm going to do my darndest to blog more regularly to distract her.  She likes my blogging and I like that she likes my blogging,  So mom, here's the weekend through camera phone pictures!

My first flight was awesome - window seat with an empty seat next to me and a handful of magazines.  Good omen for the weekend ahead!

Michael always gets me the most awesome gifts - and this was no exception.  How perfect is this shirt??  I wore it for both gigs.  We don't have any Irish heritage, right Mom?  I'd hate to think my t-shirt was a liar.

The first gig was a heavenly 3 hour set with the Blarney Girls.  How weird to see your face all big up in a window like that?  Especially because the pic Michael used was from a selfie we took back in October.  We tried to take a selfie of us in front of the giant selfie of us, but my arm just wasn't long enough.  I'll bet you and your monkey arms could have totally managed it, Mom :)

You wear steel toed Docs, you just get the urge to kick things.

I took this selfie during the Collies gig.  Playing with them is like buttah.  Do you realize this fall will be my 10th anniversary of joining the group??

Homebound.  I had to wear these shoes all Sunday because there was no room in my luggage.  At least they're fun to look at.  Mom actually has a pair of red Docs that are like these but a little taller.  I'd steal them, but my mom in her 60s can still pull off an outfit with those boots better than I can.  Aside from the broken leg, that woman is perfection.

Another bit of good luck - on the way home I got a window seat with an empty seat next to me.  What did I do to deserve such awesome legroom??

And then, back home to my favorite mini humans.  While I was gone, the husband made the long overdue switch to a normal carseat for Thing 3.  He thinks it's the coolest thing ever and I am wondering how he got so ginormous??

Also, I texted this to mom because it made me literally laugh  vocally (JUST SAY NO TO LAUGHING ACRONYMS) but I think it was too small for her to really appreciate it, so here's another shot at it.  I love you, Mom!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Letters to my daughter #2

The last one was more more planned out - I'm just going to shoot from the hip on this one.

This morning as you raced out of the van for school, I forgot to give you my traditional send-off because I was looking to make sure you were crossing the street safely so the Dude decided he'd do it for me and yelled out from the back seat: " Make good choices!!"

If I really think about it, that's the most important thing I want you to learn.  That's just about all - MAKE GOOD CHOICES.  But for the sake of a decent read, I'll elaborate.

You chose this life.  You chose to come here, to be subjected to the good, the bad and the ugly.  I even believe you chose our family and me as your mom (although in reality, I probably was begging you to be my daughter).  You have made some massive, mighty choices that you don't even remember, but you did. As future WonderGirl, you owe past WonderGirl a huge THANK YOU.  And you owe it to past WG to to use this life you chose wisely.  I thank my younger self for her choices ALL THE TIME.

I thank her for practicing the violin, even though she hated it (playing is fun!  practicing is ugh... but you can't have playing without the practicing).

I thank her for developing good habits and skipping out on the bad ones.  I've got my fair share of vices and flaws, but I'm thankful I don't have bigger ones with consequences that get in the way of my present.

I thank her for listening to my mom.

I thank her for reading her scriptures and writing in her journal.  And for blogging.

I thank her for choosing to get an education - and, not just any education - but pushing to get as much as she could handle.  Now that I have far less personal time, I'm so thankful for the things she learned that I can use now.

I thank her for having really great girlfriends and cultivating some wonderful relationships.  Can you imagine how dull life would be without Aunt Dani??

I thank her for the dumb things she didn't do.

I thank her for listening to a LOT of good music and reading a few really great books.

I thank her for doing hard things.  For not letting the jitters and doubts win.  For apologizing.  For admitting when I had made a mistake.  For getting on stage and pushing through the fear.  I know I didn't get every time right, but those times that I did the hard thing - I grew.  I became someone who I could respect just a little more.  I got a little more confidence so the next time it was easier to do the hard thing.  The moment before I opened my mouth or played my first note - I wanted to run and hide every time - but as soon as it was said or played, the feeling was amazing.  I felt like the floodgates of heaven had been waiting to give me this massive pile of love and peace, but all I had to do was take that one step.  And after I had, I'd look back and wonder why I hadn't done it sooner or why I'd dreaded it so much.

I thank her for listening to my dad.

I thank her for trying lots of things.  For being in the high school musicals, for joining bands, for writing stories, for traveling, for doing open mics, for going swing dancing, and trying out lots of hairstyles.

There are plenty of things that I wish she had done differently, but the good choices have been enough to keep me aimed towards happiness.  Really, my life now is pretty darn awesome, but I couldn't have done it without past me making some really, really good choices.  As I get older and I see how the lives of my peers are turning out, it amazes me how much those choices mattered, how much their effect has on a person for years and years and years.  You can't see where the choices you make will lead you, but you know the difference between good ones and bad ones.  Just trust the that the good ones are worth it.  And that future WonderGirl will thank you.*

*and if you are lucky enough to be a mom, your future children will thank past WG over and over and over and over for the good choices you made.  You aren't just doing all this for you, you know.  So many people are impacted by your choices!  We are all in this together, sweetie - so let's do this right!

HEAR YE. I need to document the fact that I ran 3 miles and didn't feel like death.  So just to make sure it wasn't a fluke, I did...