Dear Pinterest, I hate your guts.

Um, you guys?  Let’s talk about all the reasons why I hate Pinterest.

  1.  It’s ruined kid birthday parties for all moms everywhere.  Gone are the days of throwing hot dogs in a crockpot and buying a yellow bag of lays and some Hi-C and letting the kids run around the backyard.  For both of my kids’ 1st birthdays, I did the whole Pinterest thing.  What did it get me?  A bill of like $600, 100 hours spent making crap on my Cricut, a baby who slept through almost the whole thing, and a lot of leftovers because no one wants to eat things like “Owl bet you love gummy bears!”
  2. I am a teacher, and I tried to use it for cute lesson ideas.  But, you know what?  Every time I find something I could actually use, I click it and either takes me to a) a page where I have to buy the damn thing, or b) a blog where I search for 45 minutes and still can’t find the thing I actually want.
  3. Workout videos RIGHT next to dessert recipes.  Need I say more?
  4. Flourless, sugarless, only-made-of-air desserts that are AMAZING OMG????  Um…not amazing at all.  You can’t fool me.
  5. Get fit in 7 minutes a day with these easy workouts?  BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
  6. Halloween.  Halloween has been totally turned into a giant burning pit from Hell.  All I want to do is get a white sheet from a rummage sale, cut some eye-holes in it, and say my kid’s a ghost.  Um….have you seen what “ghosts” look like now?  You need $250 in supplies from Michaels and a blow torch to make it.
  7. Oh, wait, back to being a teacher.  Apparently, now at things like Open House, Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and the last day of school, I’m supposed to make something cute that matches a saying.  I am “Bursting” with excitement for this year!  Here are some hard starburst that I dug out of my kid’s Halloween candy from last year!
  8. It puts so much pressure on you to do everything yourself.  Some of us REALLY should just buy the stuff.  Some of us just don’t do things the way everyone else wants us to.
  9. Pinterest projects keep you awake at night.  How, might you ask?  Well, here we go.  Last summer I had this brilliant idea that we should try to get to as many of the 50 states as we can as a family while we can travel.  So I wanted to buy this framed map thing with pins, but my husband was all, “Omg, we can make that.”  So, I ordered a map of the U.S. and he went about bought like trim or something from Home Depot and some cork board squares.  Oh, and double sided tape.                            Well, guess what?  It’s fallen and slid down behind my bed like 10 times.  And then.  And THEN!  Last night.  My husband’s out of the country, so I’m sleeping in here alone.  Suddenly, in the middle of the night I wake up.  I look at my phone and it is 2:30 a.m.  Why am I awake?  Did a kid cry?  Is there a burglar?  Wait…what’s that sound?  It sounds like….um, YEAH IT SOUNDS LIKE THE SOUND OF PLASTIC RIPPING OFF OF DOUBLE SIDED TAPE.  So, I try to fall back asleep, and I am dozing off when….oh, yes.  You guessed it.  THE WHOLE DARN THING FELL RIGHT ON MY FACE.

Here is where it should be:IMG_5965

And, where it is now, after I ninja chopped it off my face in the middle of the night.

img_5964.jpg

In closing, I, Christy, solemnly swear that I am DONE with Pinterest.  We are breaking up.  And I won’t be mad if you do, too!

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Crazy Little Thing Called Love

There’s nothing like a wedding to make you reflect on your life, right?  (Or, maybe that’s just me and the rest of you are like, “Uh, weddings mean cake and free beer, yo!”)  This weekend I stood up for one of my best friends as she married the love of her life, and I’m telling you, I did NOT stop crying.

And, here’s a little secret. Mostly, I was crying of happiness.  But, sometimes I was crying because 1) I know I’ll never see my babies get married, and that sucks, and 2) I just absolutely adore this family, and I kinda sorta wish I was actually a part of it.

I have always wished I could be part of a big family, or even have a big family of my own.  I wanted lots of siblings, and a crazy uncle to do ridiculous things at Thanksgiving dinner for me to complain about.  My husband and I both have pretty small families, and we’re not really close with anyone except our tiny, nuclear family.  Holidays are usually just us and our tiny little group.

What’s hard as you grow into an adult with your own children is that you want them to know their family!  Our extended families have never even really met my kids, except through social media.  I think about my own mom, who makes sure to care for her cousins and aunts and great aunts and I think…my kids will never know them.  We don’t live close, and it’s not convenient, and there’s a myriad of other excuses I could give you, but really, none of us are trying too hard.

I think that many of you with big families are probably reading this and going, “Gurllll, you should be thankful you don’t have to put up with crazy Uncle Joe and his drunken monologues over a burnt turkey with my cousin’s racist boyfriend spewing insults.”  I totally get it.  Grass is always greener, right?

I do, however, know this big family.  And they humble me every. day.  I don’t know that I’ve ever met anyone who has so many loyal friends as this family.  They have taken me in, making me feel so special, and loved, and kind of like an honorary member.  Everyone I was introduced to over the weekend went like this, “This is Christy.  We love her.  You totally will, too,” and I was greeted with a GIANT, GENUINE hug.  Do you know the kind of hug I’m talking about?  The REAL hug.  A hug with meaning.  Where you can feel the love and acceptance coming right through it.

It was like this with everyone.  How does one family have so many friends who are so genuinely kind?  Well, they are genuinely kind.  They are fiercely loyal, and brave, and they so deserved this weekend of pure love and happiness.

Reflecting back on my own wedding, almost 11 years ago, now, it’s hard to think about some of the friendships and relationships that have been lost throughout the years.  I know that’s normal, and expected.  We grow and change.

But, mostly, it makes me think about the word family.  And you know what?  I have seen all the memes and read all the quotes about it, but I have finally decided that it’s totally true.  Family is MUCH more than just the people you are related to.  As we grow, we create our own families.  Our friends are also our family.  And I am so lucky-even though I wish for a closeness with my relatives that I don’t always have, I have family everywhere.

I think of my people.  The ones who have been here, by my side, through every sad or happy event.  Those who reach out to me over and over to make sure I’m ok.  How lucky am I?  I mean, come on!

 

I totally do have a big family.  It’s made up of all sorts of people I’ve dragged along with me as I navigate through life.  And sometimes we kind of grow apart, and back together, but we still grow.  And the pastor reminded me during his words that there is NO way we can stop the bad stuff from happening.  We just can’t.  But, we can make sure that we have people there to support us through it all.  Together, you can make it!

Like I always say.  We’ve got this, yo.  We’ve got this!

 

Buttons

Today, my 4-year old son pushed EVERY button that I have.  I swear, there are days when he is like a little tornado and he breaks or hits or spills or ruins EVERYTHING in his path. By dinnertime, my patience was completely gone.

And when my patience is gone?  Everything just gets worse.  So, instead of me saying, “Oh, that’s too bad that you spilled your milk again.  Please clean it up and now you can have water for the rest of dinner,” it turned into me yelling, “SERIOUSLY?  I swear all you did all day was make giant messes for me to clean up!  GO get a towel, right now!”

So, of course, instead of cleaning it up, he pounded his fist on the table and screamed, “EH!!!!” and gave me a look.

His sister looked up from her dinner plate and quipped, “Geeze, mom, it looks like E is not listening to you at ALL today.  Are you going to take his lego train away?”

Daggers.  DAGGERS in her direction.  HOW, oh how do kids get so sassy?

Then, of course, and I bet you can guess what I did next, I yelled, “I have had enough!  It’s time for a time out!”

You guys.  I don’t even use time outs.  I don’t even really think they work in the way that people use them.  I think a break from something or time away can work, but the way I was handling this was failing miserably.

2 minutes later, we were both sitting on the floor, hugging each other, and crying.

What I know:  my kids feed off my attitude, my demeanor, and my actions.  I also know that my son is very physical and busy and he spills and breaks things all the time and I know that he (almost always) doesn’t do it on purpose.  I know that I need to show him that I’m serious and show him that he can’t push me, but that I still respect him.

Right now, my husband is in another country, and he’s going to be gone for 3 weeks.  My anxiety is high, I’m not sleeping, and I don’t have another adult around to coach me (my husband and I coach each other or tag team when things get rough, so we don’t have things like this happen).

But, now I’m sitting here, feeling like I’m the worst mom on the planet and wondering how I was ever allowed to have kids.  I’m debating whether I should write out how I really feel, which is a failure.  A complete and utter failure.

A friend of mine once told me, “Be careful not to take too much credit for what your kids do that is great, because if you do, you’re also taking responsibility for their mess-ups.”  I totally loved that when I heard it, and I try to remind myself that only so much of what I do has anything to do with how they act.

But, then, there are days when all the parenting articles and books I’ve read and all my teaching experience just gets thrown out the window, and I’m sitting on the floor, hugging my kid and sobbing.

I would tell anyone else, “You are a GREAT mom!  We all mess up!  Go easy on yourself!” and I would mean it.

But, not for me.  For me, I think, “You suck so bad.  How can you do this again?  You’re going to ruin your kid for life and now he’s crying because you can’t even handle being a parent.”

I’m tired, tonight.  Weary.  Right now we’re watching our 3rd episode in a row of some terrible show on Netflix because we tried to do art and I got out all the paint supplies and my daughter painted her brother’s face and he threw his paint brush at her because he was mad.

Tomorrow will be a new day, though, and after they go to bed I’m going to watch 2 episodes of Scandal without anyone saying “MAMA!” and eat some chocolate, and attempt to get a good night’s sleep.

And tomorrow I will remember that although I’m not perfect, and although I mess up, my kids are going to be ok.  Maybe even great.

Just need to breathe-we’ve got this, you guys.  Whether your struggle is with your spouse or parents or children, just take a breath.  Give yourself a pep talk.

On we go.