Thursday, November 3, 2011


Often times during the day I pop in to my girls rooms to tidy up, (or perhaps to steal a Halloween candy), or even simply to soak in the sunshine that pours into Audrey's room. It is a favorite resting space for the dogs, too, who are always at my feet.

Each time I feel myself pining for my girls who are off at school. I want to turn back time and sit on the floor with them --and read--and giggle- and play dolls. I want to sit at the foot of their beds and chat about their lives, hopes, dreams, desires, and loves. I want to paint their nails and dance about the room and belly laugh until our sides ache.

I have been told I live in a fairytale world at times. I completely agree. I love the idea of all the things an "ideal mama" is "supposed" to do and while some of the things I do really well there are many others where I fall very very short. Daily.

I have a sharp tongue and high expectations and impatient ways and there is so much I wish I could do over when it comes to how I am as a mother.

My hope is that someday when they stand in the quiet of their own children's rooms and experience the overwhelming sense of joy and pride and abiding love for them that they come to realize--- I can completely relate.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I am not sure I will survive Middle School. I cannot believe how pissed I get most evenings. I think it's because I feel so hopeless. It is a horrific emotion for me. After my upset I am then riddled with guilt as I know Liv goes to bed feeling bad about herself. It is a twisted awful dance.

There are loads of factors--a kid that is simply not uptight nor is she always at the ready to please. Trust me, THANK GOD she is not a Type A people pleaser, yet when you yourself are wired to want to always be on top of things and deliver than it is a very very tough spot to be in when your firstborn just ain't on the same page.

She knows half of the instructions most of the time so I check the Website (three different spots, review the planner, and try to jog her memory). She is a visual learner and in school there is so much talking. Or noise ---if you're Liv's brain.

But, it appears that she is:
A) Not alone. ALL of her friends parents report the same scenario. But if you know me well, dear reader, you know I am not a misery loves company type of  gal. I never have been. While I like to know people understand me and hear me I do not like to know they too are drowning.
B) Not always at fault. It is absolutely, positively not always her error. Often times the directions are half baked when I view them online or when they're verbally delivered in class. It is infuriating to say the least.

This is where I find myself wanting to scream at the top of my lungs or curl up and cry. I cannot fix it and there is not one clear cut issue to correct. I have her make phone calls to classmates, I text and call her friends parents for instruction, we email teachers, we take online tutorials, we have friends scan in work or direct us to online resources---and really, it completely blows.

NOW--it does all work out in the end but at what cost?  I will also have you know the teachers simply say to me, "She is a great kid. Totally capable, engaged student. She is doing well."  Again, THANK GOD, but we move Heaven and Earth nightly it seems to get there.

The principal told me to chill a bit (he said it kindly and I definitely felt heard) so I started to. Chilling meant fulfilling some of my Girls Night Out dates that I have not cashed in on. I also have had some client, school and neighborhood commitments to tend to in the evenings.  Fall is always a bustling time.

I knew Olivia and Eric were capable of following homework instructions and reading all my post it notes where I helped her prioritize what needed to be done and when. But, honestly, the wheels started to come off the bus because it takes a village and someone to run it. The job was getting done but not to the same extent as it was when Olivia and I were working together. This is no slight on Eric and he will be the first to tell you that he needs me with her at night to assist. In fact, he told me last night that I should cancel my Thurs. night plans. I know he is right. Which is why I am guilt ridden--for the fact that I probably should but don't want to and for the fact that Liv went to bed again knowing I was burned out because of her school life. It is no way to say goodnight.

I pray there is a better solution and light at the end of the tunnel. For now--I am sending out an SOS.

Tomorrow is a new day and Middle School is not forever. Somehow we all survived it but it remains the worst years of my life. How desperately I am fighting to have my daughter not say the same. The good news? While my experience was terrible because of mean girls and feeling so awkward and ugly--hers is not starting out that way at all. The only ugliness she is facing is her mama's attitude.
God help us. Sincerely.

Pick Me~ or not

I drafted the post below about 2 weeks ago and I was feeling insecure about posting it--until now. I spoke to a handful of close friends about my feelings (not the post per se) and I felt so much lighter afterwards.

Today when I went to draft an unrelated post I pulled this one up again and read it. At this time I can say that I really feel I have taken my own advice that I wrote at the end of the post below.

I decided to share it today, however, for the times I may slip back into these emotions and/or for any of you who might relate. I will say all the girlfriends that I shared my heart with on this subject had the same message, "I totally get it." Here goes~

I am not sure I've ever felt so fulfilled in my friendships.

I do not take that statement for granted as I think it is such a blessing to be able to experience such fulfillment in my 40's.

I treasure all of them--these friends I met in childhood, or at college, or on school playgrounds, at parks, at mom's group, at work, or upon introductions from mutual friends.

My heart is full. And yet I find myself still wanting to be "liked" by others. Not that I need to find a new bestie but I definitely want to feel as if people would want to be my friend. It seems so childish.

My eight year old does not appear to share this same desire even. She is very matter of fact when she knows someone does not want to be her close friend. "She isn't really my type either," she casually remarks and brushes it off.

Amen. To be honest I do not necessarily find the people that I want to "like" me to be my cup of tea either. It is usually quite the opposite. I find them harsh or  insecure or passive aggressive and yet, I still want them to like me. How silly.

I have wracked my brain about my desire to be accepted quite a bit since my girls started at their new school a couple of years ago. Not that my emotions are anything new but the need feels greater at times. Perhaps it is because I am so entrenched and so passionate about the place.

I was discussing this with a girlfriend (mom at the school) over lunch the other day and she said, "You have a target on your back. Like it or not you have your hands in so much and therefore, you set yourself up for judgement."


I expressed this to another friend who said, "I trust it's annoying to some people that you are so involved. I assume you make some people feel inferior and they probably wonder if you're genuine."

Alright. Well, no, OUCH. Anyone that knows me well knows how hard I work at transparency and being real. Which is why this eats me up. You don't have to have me over for dinner but you do have to know this is real. But why? And who cares? My 3rd grader has already figured out that acceptance by all is never gonna happen. So how come I feel like an emotional tween at times? Or do many of us feel this way but some of us are better at keeping such thoughts to ourselves?

Emotions aside, I do understand why some of my behavior and high energy might be eye roll inducing or that the chemistry I have with some people doesn't work and for hundreds of other reasons I understand why someone would not choose me to be their pal.

I just need to LET IT GO and turn my attention back to what does matter---my overflowing cup brimming with true friends who take me just as I am.

Lucky girl.

This shot (both the photo and the one in hand) was taken after a lovely day out with friends this past Spring 

Losing Lucy, Claiming Charlie

Nervous Lucy Girl 
We recently had to part ways with our rescue dog, Lucy. We had her for nearly 5 months. While she was a pretty, sweet miss she was deathly afraid of children--especially mine. It was plain and simply "not working".

Growling at my girls all day long as they ate breakfast, did homework, and danced about the house was incredibly stressful. For all--the girls, my husband, me, and the dog.

We learned the sad way that no matter how hard you try to love something there can be far too much damage done before they enter your world.

Adopting a dog in need and having to return it is brutal. You feel like a sell out. That is, until you do your research, speak with professionals, confess to your closest most trusted confidantes and most of all --search your soul-- and then you come to realize where your loyalties lie and revisit the goals in the first place.

In our case the goals were to provide a family dog for our children and offer a safe nesting place for a dog in need. In the case of Lucy, none of the criteria was being met. Thankfully, we adopted her from the local basset rescue woman who more than understood the struggle and strain. None of Lucy's litter mates were adoptable as they all suffered in a puppy mill for more than 4 years--crated and unsocialized. These dogs were terrified of children which was unbeknownst to us until Lucy moved in.

So, we returned the scared girl and in her place we adopted Charlotte (the girls call her Charlie). She came from the home of a man who lost his job, house, and marriage. She is a jolly, big, happy gal who loves people and simply wants to be loved.

Welcome, Charlie

Stay tuned for updates on Charlie and how she settles in to life at Wilkinson Manor. You can see she's quite the people pleaser.

Best TV watching pal in the house for Bliss
Rise and Shine, Audrey!
Go State- sporting Green and White colors for Eric!