Happy New Year

This is my favorite week of the year. I am one of the fortunate who get to live this week like days don’t exist, only moments.

Most years, on this week between Christmas and New Year’s, I often have to stop and think about what day it is. And that’s only if I have to, or want to. Usually, I don’t care.

This is the week of eating when our stomachs, rather than the clock, tells us it’s time to eat. It’s the week of reading, and lounging, and watching movies, and catching up on all the things we said we’d do when we got the time.

This is the week of no schedules. The week of staying up late and eating too many carbs. The week to spend time with family – really spend time – and some of the rules go on pause. This week, we drove two hours just to go to a zoo, because we live where it’s still 75 degrees in December.

While the guys spent time at the dining room table, laying down some puzzle pieces (I am not allowed near the puzzles – it may or may not have something to do with stealing pieces,) I spent time behind a canvas, laying down some paint (which I’d rather do anyway.)

We’ve watched everything from classic Christmas movies to football games. We’ve eaten Christmas dinner followed by days of leftovers and most of the pie and cookies, including the treats our neighbors brought over.

And we’ve had the good fortune of an older son willing to teach a younger son to drive.

My favorite week of the year always ends with my least favorite part of the year – the dreaded RESOLUTIONS. It’s probably my least favorite because I never accomplish what I wanted to by the end of the year.

As this week comes to a close, and we prepare to ring in a new year, it’s easy to think on all the things I would have done differently, could have done better, wished would have not happened at all. There weren’t many things during the year I can say went exactly as I’d planned for them to go.

And thank God for that. I would have royally messed up some things.

In the midst of any disappointment or regret is the knowing that none of it is a part of my story alone. Everything that happens to me also impacts the lives of those around me. And I am thankful God includes us in each other’s stories. He’s got it all figured out before we are even aware there’s anything to be figured out. We just need to remember where to look.

I’m not one for making resolutions, as I’ve written about before, but I think making goals are important to growth. On this last day of 2016, as I think about my goals for the coming year, I’m making a mental list of a few unimportant things that need to be left in 2016, a few things that I’m taking with me into 2017 to continue to work on, and a few new things to add in the next year.

My goals for the new year include more of certain things – write more, read more, move more, love more – and less of others. Empty carbs are the only thing in the less column so far, but I think my husband would like to add a few things to it.

For now, I’m going to enjoy the last few hours of this year. There’s carbs to eat, champagne to drink, and an annual family poker game to be played. Tomorrow is a new day, a new year.

Happy New Year!

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Life With Boys

This is life with boys.

Husband, after mowing: “You’ll need to pull your car back into the garage because I’m too sweaty.”

So, I go out to move my car…

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In the house, all the boys are snickering. One did it, they all knew about it. Not one warned me.

So, don’t anyone dare suggest to me that raising boys is easier than raising girls. I happen to know from experience that that “easier” comes only when you’ve grown a pair, if you know what I mean.

Me, with the evilest eye I can muster, after removing a dangling snake skin from my rearview mirror to pull my car into the garage: “That wasn’t nice. And payback can be a b**ch.”

I’m not mad. Really, I’m not. I actually like that they bond together over pranking me. But I just don’t see how I can let this go unreciprocated. Because a snake was involved!

This is life with boys. And when you’re the only girl in the house, you get ganged up on in the name of fun. But karma has nothing on a mama who has a prank to repay.

Stay tuned…

Hurricane, Kansas Style

What happens when you put a Kansas girl in the path of an Atlantic hurricane?  She’s likely to panic and buy too many hurricane supplies.

Hurricane Map

I know hurricanes are very serious and should be taken seriously. The truth is, hurricanes scare me. Even though they are probably the most predictable of the natural disasters (I didn’t look this up; I’m just assuming,) the effects are largely unpredictable (again, my assumption from this virgin experience.)

Savannah is somewhat protected from hurricanes that hit the Florida coast, because the trajectory is bounced upward toward the Carolinas and skirts our little armpit area of the coast all together. Which kind of makes Savannah the perfect coastal city.

Unless the hurricane is making landfall on the Gulf coast of Florida. Then, apparently, it barrels across state after state excruciatingly slow as a tropical storm, throwing up tornados and laying down trillions of gallons of floodwaters. This was the prediction that was broadcast on every news channel and emergency outlet.

Schools cancelled for today, all non-essential persons were off work (if you had to work today, consider yourself essential,) and city authorities were advising people to just stay home and off the roadways if at all possible.

So, along with the entirety of Savannah and the surrounding communities, I went shopping yesterday for supplies to get us through every possible scenario. I, basically, spent $248 on canned soup, bottled water, and batteries.

And we used none of it.

Basically, what I got out of this storm is that Savannah hurricane days are very much like Wichita snow days. Minus the snow and hot chocolate, add boiled peanuts and green tea. (I still have not grown a taste for sweet tea, but I’m now convinced the only way to eat peanuts is salty, warm, and slightly mushy.)

Seriously, this storm was just like being back in Kansas. Right down to the 3am tornado warning. I was the only one who got out of bed to check on it, didn’t bother taking cover because the rotation wasn’t close enough, and was back in bed, listening to the wind howl inside of fifteen minutes. All the while, our “storm rations” will be my lunches for the next 27 days.

But, hey, the kids got a four-day weekend out of the deal. Just like they did in Kansas.

Minus the boiled peanuts and green tea.

It Starts With Me

I read An Open Letter to My Teenage Boys About Brock Turner and Rape Culture to my own teenage boys at lunch today. I didn’t make it through it without crying and they, of course, thought I was off my rocker. But, that’s OK. This is important stuff they need to know.

I am thankful God chose me to raise boys – boys that have and will become men who will face some of the same decisions this young man and the two tacklers faced. From what I understand, raising boys is easier than raising girls. And mostly, I agree with that. Except when it comes to stuff like this.

Moms (and dads) of boys have the huge responsibility to raise them up to be men who WILL uphold the dignity of women at all costs. Who will not take cookies from open cookie jars when they know it is wrong. Who will throat punch, in the name of God, anyone who tries to.

As a mom of boys, I am so thankful it doesn’t end with me. But, I am acutely aware that it does start with me.

Boots in Summer

These pictures popped up yesterday in my Facebook memories from a few years ago. We had a major hail storm that did several thousands of dollars damage to our house and decimated my yard plants. I had to shovel the hail to find the power cord for the pool cover pump.

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The snow boots with capris look was one I had not worn before – or since. In fact, since moving to Savannah I have not even seen those snow boots. It doesn’t snow here.

Or hail.

Although we are nestled in the armpit of the East coast, hurricanes are not out of the realm of possibility. I should probably get boots for my hurricane kit, just in case.

I Am Mom, Hear Me Roar

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I have this thing with music. It’s my ‘go to’ when I’m in a mood. My mood steers the music I listen to, sing to, worship to, cry to, scream to. Maybe it should be the other way around, and I guess sometimes it is, but not today.

On days when there is a roar in my gut clawing to get out, the only way to loose it from its cage is to climb inside with it. Hard rock music is the key in the lock.

Most of the time, I don’t even hear the lyrics. The throaty, guttural, roaring voice fills the cage, but there are no words, because words just aren’t sufficient enough to calm the beast like the pounding rhythm can.

This is remnants of my formative years, I know; the effects of growing up with 80s heavy metal blaring from the car stereos of everyone I knew. But it’s a part of me that I never wish to change.

On angry days like today, Disturbed’s Warrior is the battle cry of this angry mama. I am one with the Warrior inside. Yes, I am angry today, but the anger will not win. For now, that beast has been let out and slain.

I am mom, hear me roar.

The ABCs of Me

I saw this as a friend’s Facebook post and thought it would make a fun blog post instead.

A- Age: 40ish

B- Biggest fear: cancer

C- Current time: morning

D- Drink you had: coffee

E- Every day starts with: coffee

F- Favorite song: depends on my mood, but never a country song

G- Ghosts, are they real: never seen one

H- Hometown: Andover

I – In love with: coffee; do you sense a theme here?

J – Jewelry you wear every day: 4  rings; 1 of them since 4/1/89 and have never taken it off

K- Killed someone?: Of course, haven’t you?

L- Last time you?: I’ve never!

M- Middle name: Michelle (Feather, if you ask my Aunt Karen)

N- Number of siblings: I lost count at 5 or 6

O- One wish: Gone to college, studied Journalism/Communications

P- Person you last called: my mom-in-law

Q- Question you’re always asked: you have kids how old?

R- Reason to smile: Isn’t is statistically proven smiling makes you feel happier?

S- Song last sang: The Sign, Ace of Base

T- Time you woke up: 6:45, then again 9 minutes later

U- Underwear color: I have several colors.

V- Vacation destination: to the mountains, any mountains

W- Worst habit: tuning out my kids

X- X-Rays you’ve had: teeth, foot, elbow

Y- Your favorite food: pretzels and milk chocolate, even together

Z- Zodiac sign: Not a believer, but my birthday is in January if you’re wanting to get me a gift.