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Thursday, November 16, 2017

My Version of a Mid-Life Crisis....Apparently

So, I did something.  A few things, actually.

After I did them, my sister said, "Changing it up in your 50's!"

I honestly hadn't thought about it as an aging woman choice, just a wanting a change choice.

But, now that I look at it, I guess it is my version of a mid-life crisis.  I just didn't get a hot new car or a hot new man and leave my husband and kids.  LOL

So, here is what I did...I went from this:

  (I still say I had pretty hair, but...)

To this:
Fun and sassy. 

However, apparently that wasn't enough for me, so  a few weeks later, I went back and did this:

Instead of a little red sports car, I got a sassy, little, red hairdo!

I am loving it.  Rainman loves it.  The kids love it.  My mother-in-law even loved it and said it made me look younger.

I will take that!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Happy Anniversary Rainman

Rainman and I have been married for 21 years today.

Really a crazy thought to me.  Sort of like I don't feel 50.  I also don't feel like I am someone that has been married for over 20 years, like a real grown up.

Marriage is really something else, isn't it?

Fantastic at times.

Not so fantastic at times.

Annoying..... much of the time.

But, I wouldn't have it any other way.

I am currently in an annoyed state of mind with Rainman.  Nothing major. Just lots of little things.  I have learned, in my old age, that these things are cyclical and shall pass.  So, I sort of silently go along with life. 

Honestly, usually he doesn't even notice.

But, of course, he turned to me in bed a few nights ago and said, "Hey, what's wrong? You mad at me?"

To which, I internally rolled my eyes and said (inside of my head), "Seriously...right now, at 11:00 at night.  Now is the time you actually pay attention and notice that I am perturbed at you?!?!?"

Outloud, I actually said something like, "Just sort of annoyed, in general."  He then wanted to know if he had done something "new" to annoy me or if it was the same old, same old.  Ha!

I admitted that it was nothing new.  He pecked me on the cheek.  Rolled over and went to sleep.

It totally makes me laugh today.

Because that is how marriage is.

You are annoyed.

You are angry.

You are teamed up with this person, so, buckle up, get over it, and move on.

My Facebook memories thing popped up with this post that I wrote 2 years ago for our anniversary.

Aren't I just the gushiest female you have ever met?  Bwaaahaahaha!

Every word of it is true though.

I know this man loves me.

I hope he knows that I love him.

But, man oh man, that guy can rub me the wrong way sometimes.  I do wonder if there are marriages out there that aren't like that.  The ones that are married to their best friends.  I don't know.  Maybe I am being too pessimistic about a marriage partnership.  But, I don't think so. I think we are human and I think we can all be jerks sometimes, even to our best friends, so, my version of a happy, successful marriage feels much more realistic.

Does that stop me from having  the occasional fleeting thought would think after 21 years, that man would know me a bit better.  


But, I will say this: We have a happy marriage.  We have a healthy marriage.  I do not want to be married to anyone else besides Rainman.


Do I always feel understood?


I think this might be the biggest reason that I will admit that I am NOT married to my best friend.  Rainman does not understand me.  He certainly understands pieces of me and can sometimes predict how I will react to something.  Sometimes.  But, he doesn't really understand me, my thought processes, my feelings about many things, or what makes me tick.  Is that part of being a mysterious woman?  I don't know.  He tries, sometimes and other times, I know he just throws his hands in the air and gives up on ever understanding the frustrating, inscrutable woman that I am!

Do I always feel cherished?


But, I bet he doesn't always feel cherished either.  I think this is the good and bad thing about being in a good marriage.  You take each other for granted.  You don't really worry about the other one getting so sick of you that they will leave.  We are confident in each other and our marriage, so we don't always "try" super hard.  We just let our hair down and don't worry about the consequences.  But, as I am typing this, I am thinking....I wish he wouldn't let his hair down quite so much....which then led to me thinking....I suppose he is probably thinking the same thing about me.


I am going to have to work at this marriage thing too. 

It is so much easier to see the areas where a relationship isn't super great.  It is probably very easy to allow yourself to think that someone else would understand you better or love you more fully. 

But, I think that is a big crock.  It isn't realistic.  Love really is a choice.  I know, I know.  Total cliche.  But, for our marriage, and for most good marriages, it is true.  It has to be.  We choose to be together. 

For good or bad.  In sickness and in health.  For skinny or for fat.  For they "get me" or they don't.  For hurt feelings or not.  For P. U.  to Old Spice.  For we are rolling in dough to we are drowning in debt.

I know when push comes to shove, Rainman will have my back.  I hope he knows I have his too. 

There are times that I know he is doing things simply because he loves me and wants to make me happy.  I do have a tendency to take those for granted and just accept them at face value and as my due. 

Like, this house.  Although Rainman and the rest of the kids are now also completely in love with this house, it was my desire for a home that worked better for our family, that started it all.  They were content where we were and didn't think much about having anything else.  But, Rainman, knew I wasn't happy there and he wanted me to be happy. (Again, not that a house can make or break your happiness... but, those of you that have seen me in both houses, totally understand what I am talking about.)

The little ways that Rainman loves me are things as simple as keeping my van full of gas, doing most of the grocery shopping or not being annoyed when I come up with a new gadget or eating plan (never cheap) that is going to finally help me lose all this weight.  He doesn't outwardly roll his eyes or say anything about the cost.  He just says, "okay" and figures out a way for it to fit into the budget.  Meanwhile, the man continues to love me just the same as he would if I were a size 8 again.

The little ways that I love Rainman can probably be easily overlooked too. Cooking.  Cleaning.  Doing the laundry and folding his clothes the way he wants them and not the way I want them.  The typical housewife type things.  I don't do them because I love them and feel super fulfilled by them.  I do them because I love him....and the kids....and I want this home to be a peaceful haven for them. 

It is what you do when you love someone.  Try to think about them as much as you think about yourself, and maybe, just maybe, a little bit more than you think about yourself.

I am trying. I probably fail more times that I succeed.  But, I am trying.  Rainman and I have tried for the last 21 years and will do it for the next 21 years. 

Choose to love each other....warts and all.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Whiny Curmudgeon Alert

This post has been sitting in draft form on my blog since last spring.  I was reminded about it last night when Rainman told me that we have to bring stuff to share with my high school daughter's team this weekend. Then he informed me that the last time everyone brought drinks/snacks to share, the kids hardly even touched them.  I practically shouted at the poor man. "So, what is the point? Why can't everyone just bring their own stuff?!?"  Which sparked my memory of this post I wrote and apparently wasn't brave enough to publish last spring.  I am feeling feisty today, so here you go:

Okay, I can't control myself.  I have to vent a little here.


Why do kids need "snacks" for their sporting events.

Why do 12 year olds all the way up to 18 year olds, need mommies and daddies to sign up to bring "snacks" to the little darlings?

I am using snacks on quotation marks because apparently in some circles, snacks actually means meals.

We have numerous kids in sports.  Already a fairly expensive endeavor when you factor in fees, sports physicals, and any equipment that the athlete needs.  Now add in the fact that transportation needs to be provided to and from "away" events (although there have been 2 where they have actually been able to ride a bus).  Also. add in that of the 3 kids in a sport this current season, somehow their games all seem to be on the same night and around the same time.  Rainman works many of those nights, so there have literally been times that I was supposed to be 3 different places at 3 different times.

So, yes, I am already a bit ticked off about sports.  Now, add in the expectation that I am supposed to not only feed my own 6 kids, but the team and in some cases, the coaches.  I believe the magic number for one team was to feed 25 people.

For the 12 year old, the expectation is actually a quotation marks.  But, my problem is the same:  Why?  Why can't I just give a snack or meal to my own child?

The reasoning for the high school team "snack" is that they get out of school and then have to head to their game.  This is where I begin rolling my eyes, just like a teenager, and say, "So, what?"

My question, albeit said under my breathe (because apparently I am the only non-Stepford parent in these parts), during the meeting where I was informed of this requirement, was......why can't they just pack themselves a sack lunch on game days?  Why can't they make themselves a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, throw in a bag of chips and a Gatorade and call it a day.  Feed themselves what they would like and what they will actually eat.  They have shown they are responsible and can actually....gasp.....feed themselves.  Their parents don't have to take out a loan in order to feed the team, or take off of work or make arrangements for the food to be delivered to the school at the appropriate time.

To me, this is just lunacy.  

Why do high schoolers still have a snack list for their parents to be involved in?

Why does a 12 year old team have a snack list?

It is idiotic.

It is.

I love my kids.

I want my kids to do well, in life, in sports, in love.

But, geez Louise, they can feed themselves if they need to.

My precious little snowflakes will survive if they have to snarf down a slightly squished PB&J and not a hot Chic-Fil-A sandwich or something before their game.

It may surprise people to know that I was once an athlete.  I was also a frequent participant in dramatic shows and competitions.  I also competed in vocal productions and competitions.

My mom never had to bring snacks for me or the "team".  Ever.

Was she asked to volunteer at fundraisers.  Yes.  Did she have to drive me back and forth constantly.  Not really.  I will admit that she had to do it occasionally, but in the olden days, there were buses for that, or it pretty much didn't happen.  She also did not attend my "away" activities (but that is a whole other blog rant).

We also planned ahead and either had a big lunch at school on game day or threw in an extra sandwich for later, to hold us over.  Then, when we got home, we snarfed down whatever we could find.

Our church also asks parents to volunteer a few times a year to bring a "snack" for the youth group on Sunday nights.  Yes, I am again using "snack" in quotation marks.  Yes, I understand the idea in theory, but I wonder what is wrong with them eating when they get home at 6:30 or 7:00.  You know? I do not volunteer very often because of a few reasons:

Number one:  The concept annoys me.  (Surprise.  Ha!)

Number two:  Those kids waste a LOT of food.  (I have a thing about wasted food.  Ask anyone who has met me).  I serve a plate of food and then 15 minutes later when they are cleaning up to start playing their games, I see a full plate being thrown in the trash.  We paid good money for that food and could use it at home if you aren't going to eat it. Don't take it if you don't want it.  Which brings me to...

Number three:  Money.  Rainman and I are working hard for our money.  Money that I would like to decide where it is to be used.  We give quite a bit to charity.  We tithe.  I don't really want to include a budget item for feeding other people's kids every month.  Feeding my own costs enough.  I am okay feeding my own kids.  I am also okay if my kids skip a meal every now and again.  When you start adding up all the extra money, it is not cheap.  Especially, if you happen to have more than 1 or 2 kids.

I just don't understand what has happened to our society where this expectation is normal.  Where it is up to me to make sure my kid (and every other kid on the team) has enough energy or hydration to compete in their chosen sport.  If you, as a grown up, have a meeting from 5 to 7 p.m., don't you use common sense and say, have a snack at home before hand to hold yourself over and them eat a later dinner...or another snack when you get home?  Is that so awful?

Guess what?  If they are stupid enough not to know to fuel their body before the big game, maybe they shouldn't be playing in the first place.

And, before you get started, this is not one of those situations where....this might be the only good meal these kids get in a just isn't.

Again, I must say.....why?  Why are we taking every little inconvenience out of our children's lives?  And, in the process of that, completely inconveniencing ourselves!  Ridiculous.  But, somehow, I seem to be the only parent who thinks this way.  Or, perhaps the only one stupid enough to put it in print and publicize it.

I think we are doing a huge disservice to our kids.  They need to figure out to do little things like, do their homework and plan ahead to complete assignments.  They need to figure out how and when they are going to feed themselves, when necessary.  They even need to know how to do their own laundry, fill out their taxes and that things like car insurance and cell phones cost a lot of money.

You know what else costs money?  Food.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

V-girl Turns 8...oh yeah, and I Turn....50!


I really, really cannot believe either of those facts.  Didn't I just have V-girl?  Yes, I was considered to be of advanced maternal age with her during the pregnancy (actually, I think I was considered advanced maternal age for at least 4 of my children!)

I do not feel 50 (although, seriously, once the birthday happened, various body parts started being mysteriously sore for no reason....)

I feel, maybe 30-ish.  Definitely in the "I am a grown up" phase of life, but not the middle aged dowager portion that I am actually in.

My birthday came just as we were moving into our new house.  So, I spent it unpacking. A-girl and L-girl had already started school.  Rainman had to work.  I was torn between selfishly still wanting a fuss to made over me....and saying "oh, goodness, we are all so busy and this new house is all the present I need, dearies." (But, come on, the house is for all of us, not just me....)

But, I will be honest.  I wanted the fuss.  I didn't get it.

I got this at like 8:30 or 9:00 at night, when I had already taken my bra off (notice the strategically placed cake in front of the saggies) and put on my pajamas.  So, yes, thank you, I guess I DO look 50.

Rainman also brought home Chinese food, which is one of my favorites.

My two little girls gave me a hand made coupon book filled with foot rub and back rub coupons.  My friend, Sherri, gave me some cute stationary.  That was it.  I get that my birthday isn't the most monumental occasion in anyone's world, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't a bit disappointed in how my birthday played out.

Okay, enough old lady whining.

V-girl turned 8 on the day of the eclipse.  Oh, my was she excited for the big event. (which ended up being a huge letdown for her - I know how you feel, sweetie)

D-man came home the weekend before her birthday so they could have a special day together since he wouldn't be here for the usual family celebration.

He took this picture of her getting to choose whatever she wanted on their birthday date.  😍

She was happy with all her birthday goodies.

We "watched" the partial eclipse through our homemade viewers.  I thought I had ordered eclipse glasses, but my order was never completed. I think it would have made the viewing much more enjoyable if we could have just looked right at the sun.  :(

For my grown up self, it was still pretty cool when things got a little....dim.....but, not the spectacular event that my kids were envisioning.  D-man, who ended up (skipping classes) driving to see the eclipse in totality, was the only one who was and continues to be blown away with what he saw that day.

Happy Birthday to V-girl who, literally and figuratively, whips through our lives adding fun and joy wherever she goes.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

I Don't Know Where September Went....

I had fully intended to get back into the routine of blogging more regularly.  If for nothing else, than to keep my own pictures and memories of the kids and our lives straight.  Now that I have a smart phone, I am finding that I update my family a bit more but just shooting them pictures in a text of stuff the kids are doing and not by writing blog posts.

But, I miss writing.  I miss spending time forcing my brain to analyze my thoughts and feelings about our life events.

So, I am trying again.

But, these first few are going to end up being random, stuff all jumbled together with little to no rhyme or reason.  Fair warning.

V-girl got her 3rd grade Bible this year.

Once we actually found the boxes that had our school in it, we were off and running.  Now that we have an actual "library" space at our house, we are doing a lot more reading.  Yay!

I gave S-girl and V-girl bangs.  They look so stinking old.

S-girl has starting golfing, just like big sister, A-girl.  She has also started winning in her age range.

I just realized that everything I just talked about happened in August, and I still haven't touched on the three August birthdays we had!  So, apparently, I don't really know what happened to August or September!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Normal Updates

It is time for just some normal "life" updates.  In July, we took a road trip up to Minnesota and Indiana to see both sides of our family.  Here are some random shots.

V-girl and my mom.

We went to the best movie theater I have ever been to.  Ever.  It is this cute, sort of french cobblestone street theme inside.  The seats are super comfy.  The tickets and popcorn are super cheap (compared to the Atlanta area) AND they have a bar where you can order adult beverages and bring them into the movie with you!  It was great.  

D-man met us here, since he rode my with sister, but apparently I didn't take any pictures after he got there.  Oops.

The scene by my mom's new townhouse.  Beautiful, quiet view of the Mississippi River.

I have to laugh after any of our road trips.  I know that we all love babies around here, but when I see my camera after road trips, it is just kid after kid after kid, with baby after baby after baby.  Makes me laugh.

Poor little tiny L-girl was so over us by this point!  Ha!

When we got back it was time for A-girl senior pictures.

I will leave it at that for now and bring you more normal life updates soon!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Finally Settled In

We are in our new house and honestly, we couldn't be happier.  This place has felt like home since the very beginning - even amidst the mess and boxes and the chaos after closing.

We closed a few weeks after we had planned because of the easement title issues that surfaced as part of that whole paperwork stuff that goes with buying/selling property.  We thought we had it all worked out.   We lived with our friends for a little over a week, so our renters could move into our old place.  We closed and were set to take possession at 5:00 the following day.

But, the people we were buying from, the M family, ended up having an issue with when they could take possession of their house.  Someone didn't sign something/didn't pay attention to the dates and so there was a misunderstanding with the homeowners of the home they were moving into.  Did you follow that?  They weren't out of the house when they were supposed to be, nor did they have any intention of hurrying up so the M family could get in.  It was crazy.

So, the M family told us to go ahead and move in as we had planned since most of their stuff was already loaded on the trucks and trailers and what wasn't could just be pushed aside.  So, we did. (Remember 99% of our stuff was already loaded into the basement of the new house since we had to get out early)  I think we all expected that the M family would be on their way in a few hours.  We put our food in the garage fridge/freezer and they kept theirs in the kitchen, since they didn't have anyplace to actually put their food without it going bad.

However, we were all wrong about it being a few hours before they could get into their new house.   It ended up being a few days later.  They were here (they slept at their realtor's house).  We were here.  
The craziest thing was that it didn't even feel that weird around here.  I can't really explain it.  One of my friends was over when the M family was in the backyard, then the garage, and eventually in the kitchen, cleaning their food out of the fridge.  She turned to me at one point and said, "This is weird, isn't it?"  For me, it really wasn't.  As strange as it sounds, we sort of became friends with the people we bought the house from.  We actually like them, and I think the feeling is mutual.

One of the days where we were both sort of co-living in the house, L-girl and their teenage sons got off the school bus together at the end of our new driveway, since their parents were hanging around here waiting for word that they could get into their new house.  It really confused the bus driver.  She thought for sure that L-girl, the new girl,  had made a mistake and was getting off at the wrong stop.

But, we were all weirdly comfortable together.  Rainman and D-man helped them load things into the truck and when they finally were able to get into their new house, D-man and A-man helped them move.  For real.  The M family actually donated their old couch and chair that they didn't need in their new house to D-man for his first apartment at school this year.  

(If this doesn't scream bachelor apartment, nothing does!)

After the final trip of getting them all set in their new house, D-man came home and said, "I really like the M family.  They are just so nice.  I mean, I am even on a first name basis with the grandparents."  I knew what he meant.  We were all comfortable with them.  I was fine with A-man being alone with their family on their final moving days.( D-man was back at school and Rainman was working....and I was busy working here.)  Hard to explain it.  I will just say that it definitely felt like a God thing and that He had brought us together with this other family.   

I have to be honest. I love this house so much that I feel a little bad that the M family had to leave it and doesn't get to live here anymore.  To make myself feel less guilty about loving it so much, I have to believe that they left because they really wanted to leave and move to their new house. You know?

Some of them stopped by the other day to drop off a few things that they had of ours and pick up a few things that they had accidentally left here.  I said how much I loved the house and how it felt like "home" immediately.  Later I kicked myself for saying something so stupid/insensitive in front of the former owners.  This was their home for 10 years.  I just really, really hope that they are having these same kinds of feelings at their new place.

But, oh my word, I love it here.

I was sitting outside after dinner the other night with a few of the kids and Rainman.  I turned to them and said, "I love it here.  I. Love. It. Here."  Then we laughed, because it has been fairly obvious to everyone how I feel.  

It is beautiful.

It is peaceful.

It is quiet.

There are deer.

There are stars galore.

I actually sat outside in my pjs the other night reading for awhile.

I sit outside all the time here.  Sometimes I read.  Sometimes I drink wine.  Sometimes I just sit and look and listen to God's world.

It is fantastic.

Here are some random pictures from our first few weeks here:

First morning visit by a deer.

A-girl and F-girl LOVE this house and being able to run around outside and keep on an eye on the goings on in the backyard, whether it is deer or people playing baseball.

This is A-man and the M family dad playing baseball on one of the days we sort of co-lived in the house.  LOL  

This is my view when I wash dishes now.  My view at our old house was of a wall.

My little girls have opened a library at this house.  They have hours.  They have applications for library cards and actual library cards.  It is cute.  It makes me very happy.

I sent this next picture to D-man after he had moved back to college.

To which his response was "Laaaaaame!  You need to do that the next time I come home and all the other times after that."  

I used to bake all the time.  I used to have a cookie jar filled with cookies.  The last few years it had become only cakes for birthdays and at Christmas time to make our cookies that we hand out to friends when we go caroling.  Baking used to be one of my favorite things to do.  But, at the old just wasn't fun anymore.  I never "felt" like baking.  I only did it when I had to do it.  

Hoping this becomes a regular site again at our house.  (Although my hips, thighs, tummy, and butt, are probably hoping that it isn't!)

To put it simply, I am happy here.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

A Move, And Then, Another is happening.

Our move has begun.  Our closing ended up being postponed a few times due to title/land easement problems. Plans had to change.  So, a little over a week ago, thanks to the kindness of the sellers, all of our "stuff" got moved into the basement of our new house.  The eight of us, however, moved into the basement of our ever so generous (or stupid) friends M and S.

Our renters, who are planning to do a lease purchase of our house, moved in a few days ago.  They do not appear to be scam artists or liars.  They just seem like a nice family.  Praise the Lord, and...fingers crossed.

My excitement about getting into the new house is somewhat dampened by the fact that it took us about 2.5 days to get everything out of our house and hauled over to the basement of our new place.  Then we had another day or two cleaning up the old place (that sadly, involved yet ANOTHER dumpster!) Some of you may be interested to note that I did not have really one slightly sad or sentimental feeling about leaving the old house.  Not one.  We shall see if that lasts (I think it is going to)

We are exhausted.  And, now, we have to go and move all our stuff again into its proper spot in the new house.  When we started loading things inside of the basement, we sort of had a plan.  You know, kitchen stuff over here, clothes over here, kids stuff and toys over here, but, boy, oh boy, by the end, we were just shoving stuff wherever we could find a spot and stacking stuff on top of stuff.  Seriously, there is a little path from the door to the stairs and that is it.

There will be no rhyme or reason to how we actually move into the new place, even though I have cute, colored coded labels on my boxes this time.   I have already given myself permission to let it take awhile to get settled.  But, you know and I know that once I am in there, I am just going to want to bang it all out and get it done.  Plus, I am going to need to do crazy things like feed my family and wear clothing.

(First day of school pictures in front of our generous friend's front door)

The public schools down here start classes started yesterday, which meant that A-girl and L-girl had first day of school stuff at our friends house and will come home to our new empty, messy house on Tuesday and then will try to make order of their space AND most importantly find their school clothes.  Oh, yeah, and do their homework too.

Our home school for the past few years has also just basically mirrored the public school calendar. It was just easier for all the kids to be somewhat on the same schedule whether they were learning at home or not.  However, all of my curriculum and school supplies are currently buried in boxes in our new basement.  Who knows how soon I will be able to get to them and find what we need, so school for the three youngest is postponed until further notice, even though we are all (even the students) looking forward to doing school at the new house!

I am starting to let myself get excited for our new home.  But, first, I have to get our friends house clean, do a bunch of sheet/towel laundry and put her home back into order, then we are doing a big grocery and Costco run this afternoon.  (See above note on feeding these people I live with.)  We get possession of the new house at 5:00 today.  Just enough time to put up our beds and hopefully grab a few boxes before heading to bed.

Tomorrow,  I have to be up at 4:30, Rainman has to be up at 5:30, A-girl and L-girl have to be up at 6:30 and D-man has to be up by 7:15 for our various jobs or school.  So, no late night unpacking will be allowed.

I really do have high hopes that once we are in the house, we are all going to be very happy and feel at home (even the reluctant teenagers).  I will share some pictures in the coming weeks so you can see why I love this new house.