Distracted

Do you ever feel fuzzy?  Distracted?  I do!  My mind is SO full of things.  Thoughts are whizzing this way and that.  My great big wonderful life brings tons of items to my to-do list.

My family about to enter the crowd at the PoBoy Festival!

My family about to enter the crowd at the PoBoy Festival!  Look behind them you can see the sea of people!

It’s like standing in a huge crowd.  A PoBoy Festival, for example.

There are so many voices going on around that you can’t hear anything, or all you hear is the hum of the crowd, or if you strain to eavesdrop you might hear the one conversation of the person next to you.  I think this creates that fuzzy, distracted feeling and that tendency to focus (or not focus) on something else entirely.   Crowds can be overwhelming, but usually they’re there because something is WONDERFUL.  (Hello, fried green tomato, bacon and remoulade poboy!!)

Caleb drowning out the crowd!!

Caleb drowning out the crowd!!

It’s tough to deal with a crowd, but hiding from it means hiding from my life.  Not acceptable.   No crowd, no poboy if you know what I mean. I usually hide away from the crowd through mindless activity (like social media trolling) that lessens the crowd noise but doesn’t really do anything to thin the crowd at all.

This is a huge problem for me.  I love my big ol’ crazy life.  All of it!  Sometimes it can just be overwhelming and I tend to zone out rather than deal with the tidal wave.   It happens before I know it, and then I’ll “wake up” to half a day gone, or a deadline missed, or just feeling like I can’t enjoy my life.

You’ve heard the old saying “How do you eat an elephant?  (or a POBOY?) One bite at a time!”  In order to keep from getting helium balloon head and floating away from my life, I’ve got to employ the elephant eating philosophy.

Here are a few elephant bites that help bring me out of a fog:

 

1)  Find out what I’m about.  The crowd of voices in my head stems from all the wonderful things I’ve willingly brought into my life, but some voices come from other things too.  I’ve got to identify the things I love, what I’m about, where I want to go.  When I know that, I can tell the unwanted voices to Shut. It.   So what am I about??  My faith, my family, my friends, my career, and some side interests like good books, good music, good writing, and good food.  Throw in one more dash of feminine adventure just for me and that’s it. These things are my main things.  These are the voices I need to hear.  If it doesn’t come from one of these categories… then shut it.  For me, this would include multi-level marketing (learned that the hard way), overseas mission trips, knitting my own sweaters, and learning to sew.  All awesome things, but none that fit in with my life at this time.

Transitioning home to these darlings is fun!!

Transitioning home to these darlings is fun!!

2)  Make appointments.  Yes.  I make appointments with myself.  Nowhere near as much as I should, but I do it.  I use my phone alarm to remind me of these appointments.  We were visiting with my mom and dad recently and my phone alarm went off at 8am while we were eating breakfast.  Caleb said “Nana, it’s time for English!”  My mom asked what he was talking about and I explained that I use my alarm sounds to remind me when to move to the next thing.  Sometimes that little noise brings me out of the fog and gets me back on track.    I don’t want to be a drone dependent upon my smartphone to direct me.  I see the phone as my secretary.  My personal assistant who sounds off to remind me what we’ve got going today.  If only it could pour me coffee and rub my shoulders too!

3)  Re-evaluate.  Every so often I’ve got to take inventory of what I’m doing and evaluate whether it is effective.  Sometimes as we change, kids grow, life morphs and strategies that used to work don’t fit so well anymore.  Lately the routine of waking the kids up after my shower isn’t working well.  I’ve had trouble getting the kids fed and started on schoolwork on time.  So we’re trying a new strategy where they are responsible for waking up on their own and getting to the table.   At 16 and 11, they’re big enough to begin learning to get themselves up, and it saves a step for me in the morning.

 

The hubs and me at work!

The hubs and me at work!

4)  Learn to transition.  Every morning on my way into work, I enter the house through a back door and walk down a long hallway toward the time clock.  I use that hallway as my transition.  I take a deep breath.  I let go of what we did or didn’t get done that morning at home and transition to business mode.   I’m learning to give what I’ve got while I can, be entirely present, and then when it’s time to move on I can let go and move on knowing I’ll be back to that task again tomorrow.  On the way out, guess what?  Same hall.  Deep breath.  Work is over and time to transition to mom again.  I find the transition at the end of the day to be more difficult than the beginning.  Often I walk in my front door and greet my family still grinding my teeth over the work day.  I want to learn to more effectively shake off the work day and fully embrace wife and mom once again.

5)  Re-fuel.  It’s important to take intentional breaks.  Last weekend we had a little getaway.  No school.  No work.  All fun.  It was

Takin' a break at the BEACH!!  My favorite place to refuel!

Takin’ a break at the BEACH!! My favorite place to refuel!

awesome!  I try to use my lunch break each day as a rest time.  I usually bring my kindle and read something I’m enjoying or something encouraging.  I take more deep breaths.  I sit in the quietest, most private spot available.  I can’t be “on” all the time or I’ll find myself totally “off.”

It’s so easy when we have lives crammed full of…. well… LIFE, to become overwhelmed.  It’s easy to slip off into a fog of distraction because there’s just too much going on.  I just don’t want to settle for fogged up, fuzzed out, life on autopilot.  These are ways I’m trying to keep myself engaged and in tune, so that I can really live, really love, really embrace the life I have.

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Stepfamily Step-Up

If you’d like to turn your life upside down, tornado style, try a second marriage.  Seriously.  If you’re looking for a wild ride, marry again.  For serious thrill seekers, add kids.  Statistics tell us that second and third marriages are very risky.  I gotta tell ya, we have learned this first hand and it’s true.

We’ve had our share of failures.  Ugly ones.  But we’ve stumbled upon a little success here and there and I wanted to share a specific strategy that’s working for us.

Our StepSensational Family

Our StepSensational Family

Our family has a total of 4 kids.  One, my husband’s grown son.  Two and three, my daughter and son from my first marriage.  Fourth, our child together, one of life’s little surprises, haha.  When Dwayne and I married, I already had a rhythm of life going with my two kids.  He already had a bachelor style thing going since his son is grown.  It was challenging to try to mix the two.  Then we threw a baby like a grenade into the mix.  The guilt I feel over the pain my kids have been through, the tight schedule we keep, the vast differences in our parenting philosophies… are you feeling motion sickness yet?

Anyway… one of the biggest things we have going for us is our “want-to.”  We both WANT to make this work.  My husband is so willing and enthusiastic about helping me and the kids.  One of our biggest frustrations came from the differences in our expectations for the kids.  Since my husband is off earlier than I, he has the kids for several hours in the afternoons on his own.  He expected the kids to take on some chores and responsibilities.  I agree with that.  But often I’d come home to unhappy faces and a disagreement would ensue.  I felt he was expecting too much.  He felt the kids were only responsive when I asked them to do things.  I felt stuck in the middle, wanting my kids to be happy and feeling they were good kids, and wanting my husband to be happy and feeling respected, and who in the world was looking out for how mommy was feeling????

We sat down as a family and aired out our expectations.  We came up with a list of responsibilities.  We put down a lot of detail, from what time we get up in the morning to who does what chores.  We listed consequences in writing.  We all signed our family document and we posted it on the wall.  From that night on, we agreed we would all refer to our family contract.  The kids’ chore assignments are on there.  We  no longer ask more than once or remind.  Everyone knows what to do because it’s listed on the wall.  If it’s not done, the consequences are also listed.  No more guesswork.  No more he said they said.  I can’t tell you how effective this has been for us and how peacemaking.

1)  The kids love it.  They’ve never said this aloud, but I can tell.  They rose to the challenge of having a more grown up style of responsibility.  They are relieved to know they won’t be nagged or begged.  They don’t have to wonder what will make us happy.  I’m so proud of how my kids have followed through with this agreement.  The responsibility is on them.  If they choose not to do the chore, they’ve chosen their own consequence.  I’ve found they know how to make good choices.

2)  My husband loves it.  He doesn’t have to explain to me or try to get me to enforce a rule.  Either the job is done or it isn’t, and the resulting action is in writing.  He’s no longer the bad guy, no longer the one who has to try to enforce the chores since the kids make that choice for themselves.

3)  I love it!  I don’t have to feel stuck between making my kids and my husband happy when it comes to household chores.  I no longer come home to conflict about who’s doing or not doing chores.

This one agreement has done more to bring about family harmony than anything else we’ve tried.  We are blessed to be dealing with just regular family stuff, no serious behavioral issues or special needs.  I’m no expert, and I hope this doesn’t seem too simplistic, but I thought I’d share what has worked for us in the hope that the idea might also help some of the rest of you who are in the step-family storm chasing life.

So you step-people out there… what are your great ideas?

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Makin’ Groceries

In New Orleans, we don’t buy groceries. We “make groceries.” Whatever you call it, feeding a family of five is no small task, especially if one wants to stay out of the drive thru lane. Lucky me, I have a chef for a husband and a daughter in culinary school. We’re officially “foodies” now. I know. So cool.

Mackenzie and ChefDad doing a taste test

Mackenzie and ChefDad Doing a Taste Test

Lately, we’ve been working on a menu-planning, grocery makin’ project. Here’s what we did:

STEP 1: INVENTORY

I’ve learned from my very own Chef that inventory is an important part of menu planning and grocery making. Honestly, it’s something I didn’t do much of in the past, though I’ve done my share of attempts at menu organizing and grocery list making. So we took inventory of everything we had in the house. Every. Single. Consumable. Item.

We made a word document and divided our items into categories so we can see a list of our stock on paper. Knowing what you have on hand is important, right down to the spices, jams, jellies, vinegars, everything. To my surprise, we planned almost four weeks’ worth of meals off of what we already have on hand. This also was a way to reveal the things we’ve had on hand for like, a year, and have never eaten. When something’s been sitting in your freezer or pantry for a year, there’s a good chance it’s either out of date or it’s something your family really doesn’t like. Might’ve looked good in the store or been a great deal, but if you aren’t going to eat it… you get the point.  What… ya’ll know you’ve got some Ramen noodles from 2010 just like I do.

My husband keeps an inventory list on hand at work and uses it when he orders groceries every week. (The UNGLAMOROUS part of a chef’s job, my friends. Behind the scenes, they sit at computers, order groceries, spend hours inside freezers and refrigerators and worry about food costs. They endure all of that to bring a smile to your mouth. That’s why they’re so sexy.) So we’ve decided to do the same at home to help us use up the things we have and know when we’re getting low on staples that we use often. I printed our list and put it on the fridge so that we can mark off things as we use them up.

STEP 2: PLAN MENU

In the past, I’ve tried doing this by the week and bi-week and month. I’ve had successes and failures all ways. This time, I decided to just see how far our inventory would take us. ANNND our handy-dandy inventory list kept us from having to run back and forth to the fridge, freezer or pantry to make sure we have an item needed for a meal.  Interestingly, we got almost all the way to the end of the month planning meals out of our inventory. I’m not necessarily a proponent of shopping by the month, but I do love the idea of one MAIN trip to the store each month and the rest of your trips are just for perishables like milk and eggs. This is the way it worked out for us and is how we’ll probably continue to roll, considering our time is so limited anyway, and one Saturday morning per month to shop for groceries with a three-year-old is a gracious Lord’s plenty if you ask me.

Since we are a family of food-lovers, we all sat down together and brainstormed our menus. We planned three meals each day, since we homeschool and actually serve all three meals at home. We used some cute printables for this. I’ve found that even though my big kids are capable of getting their own lunch, they do better knowing what’s for lunch that day, which means less blank staring into an open fridge, which is fine with me.

In the future, I’m thinking we’ll put the food magazines, websites, and cookbooks that overrun our home into good use as we brainstorm more creative ideas to add to our inventory and meal repertoire. That’s why they have Pinterest, right?

STEP 3: MAKE A GROCERY LIST

I don’t feel the need to get all crazy with a grocery list. The perfectionist in me considers, for a second, that all the dairy should be together, then the meat, then the freezer aisle, then the staples… then I slap her and just get the list on paper. The reason for having a list is to keep from getting sidetracked by the “deals” at the store on the aisle endcaps, and by the Oreos you always want to buy.  Don’t act like I’m the only one.

STEP 4: SHOP

I take the kids with me grocery shopping. I do this because life IS school, and the grocery store is part of life. I do this because I want them to see the REASON behind the math work they have to do. I do impromptu math lessons in the grocery store aisle as we figure out which item is REALLY the best price. Hint: It’s not always the item “on sale.” I also do impromptu logic and reasoning lessons. For example, we bought applesauce this trip. We talked about the fact that there are individual packs of applesauce, but for less money we could get a large jar of applesauce and portion it out ourselves. We discussed the fact that what we were really paying for would be the convenience of not having to wash dishes and spoon out portions. We decided it was worth the price to have a little less clean-up and to have something Caleb can snack on by himself without much help. We also discussed how most prepackaged foods aren’t the best choices and we can make so many things ourselves and save money.

Lessons like these are priceless. If you ask me, it’s fine to spend money on whatever you deem worthwhile, as long as YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING. I want my kids to know where their money is going and how to decide if what you are buying is worth the price TO YOU.

STEP 5: EAT TOGETHER!!!

Caleb Eats

Caleb Eats Grilled Steak and Tomato, with Potatoes and Steamed Broccoli

Ya’ll, none of this works if you still go to McDonald’s most nights. You gotta cook the food, put it on the table, sit down and eat. This is our favorite part, the main attraction.  All of the inventory, menu planning, listing and shopping are simply to lead up to the actual EATING TOGETHER.

Makin’ groceries is a big part of makin’ a family.

 

 

 

 

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Minivan Mojo

I’ve finally got my dream car.  It’s a sleek silver seven-seater. My husband is way too cool to drive it, but when I get in it I feel like the coolest, ever.  I’ve called her Sylvia.

Me N Sylvia

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being a minivan mama.

First, there’s the fact that it’s the ideal mode of transportation for children.  The seats are just at the right level so that my toddler can get in and I can buckle his seat belt while standing up straight.  No longer do I have to lean in and over to wrestle with the buckling two-year-old while my rear end (“trailer” as my daddy would call it) is the only part of me out in the daylight.  Try this in a skirt and you’ll go directly to your local minivan dealership.  No longer do I have to try to figure a graceful way to back my behind out without hitting my head or falling, readjust the clothing, and look around hoping nobody was watching my show.  Sylvia’s got my back (side) and has preserved my dignity many-a time.  There’s a veritable playground in there, so I can open the back, toss in the toddler, and load groceries to my heart’s content knowing he’s safe and sound, out of the parking lot… and he thinks it’s the greatest since he got to climb in the back.  There is room for several gadgets at once, so the two-year-old, ten-year-old, and teenager can all travel in harmony and comfort.  Whether we’re going two blocks or a thousand miles, this does untold wonders for my sanity.  Since my minivan is practically a living room in itself, I can climb in with the kids, close and lock the doors and take my time getting everything situated and ready to go.

Second, there’s the thrill of driving the minivan… alone.  There are the compartments and pockets and cupholders, all with MY stuff tucked away just the way I want it.  I get in, shut the door, start her up, and breathe in the cavernous space behind me.  Space.  My space.  Quiet space.  Maybe this isn’t a big deal to you, but I haven’t peed by myself on a regular basis in almost 15 years.  I share a bedroom with a guy who likes everything just-so.  I’ll often come home and my bedside table will be bereft of the books I’ve been reading or the earrings I stuck on the dresser top so I could grab ’em quick will be back in their hiding place… and he’s a chef so the kitchen isn’t exactly my domain either.  But my van… (hear soft music) my van is my space.  Drop the last kid off at school and honey, you’ve got a bubble bath on wheels all to yourself for ten whole minutes!!  I’ve got napkins, snacks, a change of clothes (for a two-year-old, but still…), magazines, makeup, and a little money all right where I want and need them to be.  I’m sorry, Sylvia’s not available for loanership. But I just may invite you in by calling you on my hands-free blue tooth system.  Sylvia knows all my friends’ names and numbers and calls them on voice command.  I’m not trying to show off, I’m only sharing my shock and awe that I actually figured out how to make her do it.  Sylvia’s very discreet and won’t leak a word of our conversation.

Haven’t made a believer out of you yet?  Well, don’t discount the minivan’s romance factor.  Add a couple of pillows and the right beverages and “parking” takes on a whole new level of luxury.  (Also disproves the misconception that married people with kids no longer have fun.)  We can steam up windows with the best of ’em.  (So what if we don’t leave the driveway?)

Sylvia holds my extra brochures and business cards and keeps the pee-pee accident kit discreetly hidden.  Or she’ll proudly display the toys and dirt and roll up to the playground lookin’ like the mommy-mobile extraordinaire, with extra wet-wipes to loan to the mom with the Camry.  She’ll seat a business executive and won’t (hopefully) leave an old french fry stuck to his pants.  Or she’ll open her doors to six of my girlfriends and become the ride of our lives.  Sylvia can serve a family dinner if need be, and even has a kid-watching mirror so I can glimpse mine enjoying ice cream or cheeseburgers or whatever we’ve found to get into.

Maybe it’s silly… but ol’ Sylvia makes me feel like I’m ready for whatever my wonderful life demands of me.  I’m thinking about getting a theme song and some loudspeakers… maybe hydraulics….

Maybe not.  But it’s still ON like pecan when Sylvia and I get on the road.  Grab ya sunglasses and let’s go for a ride!!

 

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Birthday Fun

This week we reached a milestone: Levi turned 10! That’s a whole decade I’ve been mom to this incredible boy.

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Levi brings a smile everywhere he goes. He’s funny and witty. His voice is unmistakeable and though I have to remind him to be a little more quiet sometimes, I love hearing that voice. He can sing like an angel. As a matter of fact, a complaint from one of his teachers was that he would “sing out” in class. Regarding that complaint, Levi told his Papa and Nana: “When you got a song in your head, you just hafta sing it!” Levi is kind and caring. He’s a great big brother, and a great little brother too. Two nights before his birthday, Halloween night, we were heading out to another neighborhood to attend trick-or-treat festivities. I was especially tired from a long day at work and wasn’t really looking forward to going. Levi noticed I was dragging and said, “If it helps you, Mama, I’d be happy not to go.”

That’s Levi. That’s my amazing kid. And of course I replied “Just for saying that, baby, I’m definitely takin’ you!”

We had a blast for his special day. Since Disney celebrated his birthday with the release of Wreck-it Ralph, Dwayne took Levi and a couple of friends to see the film. They had an awesome time, since Dwayne has a knack for knowing what ten year old boys will think is “SO COOL!” They no doubt frazzled a few movie theatre employees and then headed back to the house for pizza.

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And Whoopie Pies!! (Nothing better for ten year old boys than eating something with “whoopie” in the name. Whoopie cushion references were in plentifulsupply.)  The whoopie pies were unbelievable if I do say so myself.  Something a little different, not really any more difficult than regular ol’ cupcakes but SO much fun to eat and they taste fantastic.  Think Oreo Cakesters but homemade and better tasting.  Quite fitting for young boys dontcha think?

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They laughed and yelled and made tons of noise and played Wii. I went to sleep to the sound of boys laughing and woke up to the same sound.

Hanging out with ten year old boys is good medicine. They’ve got the effervescence of testosterone, but haven’t yielded to it’s total control. They’re bright-eyed, full of energy and fun. They’re a mix of all that’s right with the world.

Next morning, birthday pancakes, of course!

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An awesome celebration of an awesome young man.  Levi grew inside me during a very difficult time in my life.  He kicked around in there and provided a much needed reminder that God wasn’t finished with me yet.  Once I sat, very pregnant, on the couch at my mom and dads and my brother sat next to me.  Levi’s hand or elbow poked right at my belly button. You could see him poking it out, almost as if to say hello.  So I poked in.  Levi poked back.  Then my brother poked at him and he poked back again.  We played around with him for a while, having the most fun thinking he was playing back.  I’m still convinced he was.  He was a delight to me then, and has never ceased to be an absolute pleasure.  I’m lucky to be his mama.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Blast From The Past!

In honor of my amazing sister and all those times that there’s nothing left to do but throw back your head and laugh… I love you, Angie!!

>Weird (by Becky)
January 2, 2007 in Uncategorized, Where I’ve Been with 4 Comments

>I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to notice how my life constantly teeters on the edge of the ridiculous. Does that ever happen to you? I try my hardest to be a civilized, respectable, cordial woman; but the absurd is ever-present, always lurking just below the surface, reminding me that high class is just out of my reach. As a young girl, even as a newlywed I had wonderful visions of a clean, civilized life where I would have well behaved children, a well-kept home, a well-maintained figure, and a well-known career. Of course, I would have an attractive husband, I would be well-spoken and well-read. I would engage in intelligent conversation, be witty and charming, and go around doing grown up civilized things like having meetings, going to lunch with friends, shopping, cooking wonderful dinners, and driving a clean smelling car. And you know, that is actually how I picture myself most of the time. I ignore the laundry piles, pizza boxes, crumbs, and elastic waistbands; and picture myself just one step away from achieving my dream. I would be happy in my deluded concept of reality, except the most random things pop up to keep me aware that though I have some aspects of my dream in the bag, other parts of my life would make great displays in Ripley’s Believe it or Not museums.

Case in point: Friday, my sister and I were sitting at a restaurant. We had taken my brother to the airport and were enjoying a nice civilized lunch, savoring time together while I’m in my hometown for a visit. We were looking forward to seeing a movie together later in the evening. We were laughing, joking, and engaging in grown-up conversation. For a few moments, we had it! We WERE the dream. Two intelligent, attractive, classy women lunching together like civilized adults. My sleek, civilized cellular phone rang, and I answered. My husband was on the other end ready to lower the boom of the absurd. “I have some news you need to know,” he said. He proceeded to inform me that my daughter had spent the day before we left town with a friend who now has head lice. Immediately, I shifted from high-class adult to red-neck, white trash queen of the ridiculous, ready to fight off the constant barrage of random craziness my life continues to throw at me. Our intelligent conversation shifted from the politically correct use of the word “thin” referring to Mary in a sermon, (how did he know she was thin anyway?) to how many packs of lice treatment kits we would need to treat all the people at mom and dad’s house. (We figured two packs would do it.) Then we lost all couth as we hooted about how our movie plans were now “Nixed.” (As all the moms out there will know, Nix is a brand of lice treatment shampoo.) We were getting punchy and people were starting to stare. I don’t know, I just somehow never imagine myself at lunch with another intelligent adult, strategizing about the fastest, most preventative way to treat ten people for head lice, then laughing my head off about it. Sure, I might pass up movie plans for a better offer, but certainly, it never occurred to me that I’d sacrifice my movie plans to form a head lice treatment assembly line. Sorry, but head lice eradication was never a part of the dream.

There I was as my dream self, having a perfectly normal lunch, and it quickly descended into the ridiculous. The evening only got more absurd. We drove home, making a pit stop at the drug store for the lice shampoo, and began the treatment. It was starting to seem normal. No one had any sign of the bugs, but we weren’t taking chances. We got into a good groove shampooing one kid while the next kid was rinsing and the next combing out. We were spraying furniture and stripping beds. Again, the phone rings. This time my sister picked it up and got the news that my nephew had gone to the back of our property on his four wheeler and was stuck. We had just discovered him missing when it came his turn for the shampoo. We continued carrying out the lice treatment while now trying to calm our parents down and find a kid who just buried his four wheeler. Somebody showed up to pull out the four wheeler, (around our neighborhood there are plenty of good ole boys with 4×4’s just waiting for a chance like that) we stripped the muddy kid and put him in the shower as last to be treated for lice. By that time, we had lost all vision of the dream. We allowed life to spiral all the way down to utterly absurd. We loaded up everybody and went down to Jerry’s Restaurant (which isn’t actually called Jerry’s, but the guy who owns it is Jerry) for the Friday night fish fry. We took up a whole room in the place and gave at least one waitress a night to remember. We yelled out stuff no one ever plans to say, like “Get your mouth off the back of that chair,” and “Siddown! This room ain’t a race track!”

So much for high class living. Isn’t it funny how we have a concept of the way life should be? Like my life should look like an episode of Masterpiece Theatre, when in reality it’s more like a marathon of Roseanne. For some reason I keep holding to the dream. Maybe it pacifies me to pretend I can have a civilized life. Maybe it just keeps me sane to have a glimpse of high class adulthood once in a while. I don’t know. I considered it tonight in deep thought as I drove home listening to my kids sing their own original composition “Worms are Weird.” Rest assured, kids, it’s not just the worms that are weird!!

Truth is, that though I never dreamed of preventing lice, saving an ATV, and shutting down a local greasy spoon all in one night, the ridiculous things in my life bring the most laughter and fun. If not for the completely random junk like that, I might never throw back my head and laugh embarrassingly loud. I might never come close to wetting my pants or throwing up because I’ve laughed so hard. I might not have memories of some crazy but special times shared with my family and friends. Maybe it’s time to alter my dream. Maybe it’s time to embrace the stupidity of my life and cherish it for the smile-inducing wonder that it is. Or maybe I’m just weird.

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