Monthly Archives: December 2012

Opening the Cage

So here we are friends, on the cusp of the 20 baker’s dozen.  I usually like to take some time and reflect a bit internally on the past 12 months.  What a crazy and phenomenal year 2012 was.  It had its downs, as everything does, but overall I am so happy with how 2012 went.  I think I went over that in my last post so instead I think I will just ramble for a bit and see where this goes.

I am not making a resolution.  I think that resolutions are a way to set yourself up for failure.  I don’t know if I know anyone who has kept their resolution, unless it was like “do the same exact thing I am currently doing for the next 12 months”.  So instead of picking one thing to fail at, I am going to adopt a do something different each month rule.  I will pick something and then for the next 30,31, or 28 (damn you February!) attempt to do that thing.  I have mine for January already picked out:

January Quest (that’s right, I am calling it a quest.  I don’t complete resolutions, but years of gaming taught me to finish the quests!) – Read a book in a genre I wouldn’t normally read.  I tend to stick to chick fiction (not like fluffy chick lit, but like The Help, or The Kitchen House) and I think I will read a book I have on my shelf “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro.  It is sci-fi, and I haven’t read much in the way of that, so it’s a good start.  If you have any suggestions of books, please let me know!  If I finish this one quickly, I may bump it up to two books, but again – not setting myself up for failure.

I actually have February’s planned out as well.  February will be stepping out of my home country for the first time.  Trip is booked and since I leave on February 28th, I am counting it as February’s!  I am super nervous that something will come up that will stop me, like me forgetting to do something, but I assume that is normal since FFAC always seemed to be nervous before coming as well.  I am doing some research to try and not mess anything up!

Here are some things that will not end up on my list because I fail at them every year…

  • Lose weight (Every. Fricken. Year)
  • Be nicer to people
  • Organize better (I am starting to think not organizing is an art form all in itself)
  • Not hide under tables when Girl1, Boy, or Girl2 are yelling my name.  Loudly
  • Exercise more (can fit in with lose weight, but really, sometimes it is just exercise more)
  • Learn to hip hop dance
  • Stop watching Friends reruns and wishing I wrote the lobster thing
  • Learn a new language that does not involve just knowing the dirty words
  • Eat healthier (see exercise more and losing weight)
  • Remember the correct child’s name when I am yelling at them

I am sure by this point you are probably wondering how cages fits into here.  To that, I say “Good Question!”  This whole post was supposed to be something different, but when I came back I realized that train of inspiration had left me.  So I decided to start fresh.  I know it had something to do with discovering yourself next year.  So do it.  I’ve spent a lot of time on a lot of people, but I can honestly say (as a mother and a woman) that I haven’t spent enough time on just myself.  I sat in my own self-imposed cage and within the last year realized that the only reason I was still in there was because I never opened the cage.  I only thought it was locked, but it was unlocked the entire time.

I remember sitting there, looking at the door and just feeling that excitement, that need to push against the door.  You expect to feel the tension, the door to stay shut, but it wasn’t the case.  It easily came open.  I stepped out, just slightly, and then a little more, and a little more.  I honestly feel I am better for it.  I feel I am a better person, a better mother, a better friend, because I am taking care of me in the process.  I know how you feel, friend.  I still sneak into the cage at night, not wanting to get caught outside yet.  Together we can do it.  We can blow the door off its hinges so we never have to go back in.  Open your cage and join me.  As that deep bastard Ludacris said,

“Any day can work if you’re working with people saying you don’t deserve it then don’t give in
Cause hate may win some battles but love wins in the end”


Deep, right?  Ok, maybe that one isn’t so deep, and maybe I shouldn’t be looking at someone who names their album “Chicken -n- Beer” as my personal guru, but whatevs.  He really does say some great things though.  The whole point of this is that you are beautiful.  You are smart.  You are worth it.  So am I, and it never mattered more to hear then when I said it to myself and believed it.  Open your cage and come with me.  Let the 20 baker’s dozen be even better than the 20 dozen.  Let’s go on many adventures, laugh hard and love often. Let’s drink lots of coffee and tea, have cookies, and read.  I can’t wait to spend it with you.


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Best of 2012

So, we are over halfway through December, and what a month it has been!  I’m not sure how active I will be over the next couple of weeks as this is notoriously a busy time of year.  Planning, creating, baking, shopping, for the holidays is busy.  With three kids, I also get the added bonus of every germ in the US finding its way into my system.  Seriously.  I had a chest cold followed by a stomach bug which we are still all working through.  I wanted to put up a positive post, as the last couple have been kinda moody.  I’m glad I wrote them, because honestly, who can be a ray of sunshine all the time?  To truly be friends, one must see all sides, or at least more than one side of someone.  Let’s truly be friends, ok?  I promise to love you no matter if you are moody or happy!  Now let’s talk about 2012!

I want to talk about the best things that happened in 2012.  This list is in no particular order of greatness (though FFAC would tell you that the best thing to come out of 2012 would be my meeting him in person, and I would agree).

1) D&D – Finally getting to play D&D was awesome!  It was something I always wanted to do but lacked people and knowledge. My lovely DM and I talked about playing together for quite some time, but I couldn’t commit to the schedule before and after she had her ball of cuteness we were able to come up with something that worked for us.  Since she was going to work at home, and I would still be in the office, it gave us an opportunity to still hang out. The best bonus of all?  I got to play with the Boy and Girl 1.  Sharing this ultra geeky hobby with them has been awesome, and a lot of fun.  The second best bonus?  Dice!

2) Finding my creative side – I am not crafty, or at least I wasn’t.  I would say this came to fruition thanks to Pinterest and Kuna.  Kuna is very crafty and Pinterest is a great breeding ground for inspiration.  Pretty much everything on my tree is handmade and I’m not done yet!  I have been able to create with my children and myself. I am still working on my blanket.  Never in my whole life would I imagine I would be able to crochet anything, never mind come as far as I have with my blanket!

3) Sending my last child off to school – This one is so many good and sad feels rolled up in one.  It hurt to send her off into the world, but it is such a great feeling to see her head up the stairs, so excited, so many new things ahead of her.

4) New job! – It was the job that almost wasn’t.  I waited almost my whole career at my current employer for this exact opening to come up.  I interviewed for it, it went very well, but I didn’t want to get my hoped up.  I knew I had some tough competition, and I was nervous because I wanted it so badly.  I didn’t get the job, well not at first, but then a couple of days after getting that news another position had opened and I was offered the position.  I started training this week and so far it is going really well.  I am once again excited for work. It feels nice, friend.

5) The Hunger Games movie came out! – It was really exciting!  I was waiting for that movie!

6) The return of Teen Fiction in my life – I hadn’t really read much in the teen fic genre, despite my number 5 reason for loving 2012.  I read a couple of books that really showed me that teen fiction can be just as good, sometimes if not better, than some other books I had read.  Both Tiger Lily and The Child Thief had touched me in different ways and were beautifully written.  I can’t wait to dive into it more and see what I have been missing for these many, many, years.

7) Girl 1’s revelation – If you don’t know, it was a few blog posts ago (It’s Raining Men).  I was so very proud of my beautiful girl.  It really was like watching a caterpillar transform into a butterfly in front of my eyes.  The fact that we are so close, and the whole thing came out the way it did was so wonderful and so us.

8) Meeting FFAC for the first time – I know he was probably going crazy reading all of this with no mention of him yet, but I wanted to hold out as long as I could.  Six years in the making, and we finally got to hang out in the same airspace.  Some people you just have a connection with, and it’s instantaneous.  FFAC is like that for me.  From day 1 of talking to when we met, to now, it’s just one of those unexplainable things that happens when you meet someone who just changes your chemistry.  He could probably finish my sentences.  We lost contact for most of those 6 years, but you wouldn’t know it.  As soon as we started talking again it was as if we had never stopped.  I remember fearing it may be awkward when we met, though it wasn’t.  It felt like he had always been around.  We did lots of things, like go to New York with some of my favorite people, check out Nomads, eat a lot, go to the aquarium.  It was a lot of fun.  I was really sad until…

9) The return of FFAC! – He came back in October.  He is one of my best friends, and while I am grateful that technology allows me to talk to him weekly (and for free!), nothing beats hanging out in person!  We got to play D&D, go back to Nomads, eat a lot, watch all three extended director’s cut Lord of the Rings movies, have get togethers.  It was really a lot of fun having him here.  I’m working on getting him out here full time because a girl can’t be without her bestie!  I do miss him an awful lot, and I get sad when I think about it, and this isn’t meant to be sad.  I am super grateful that he came over not once, but twice.  It was something I never thought would actually happen, especially when we stopped talking.  If the Universe has taught me anything though it is that things happen when they are meant to happen.  I don’t think you can mess up the Universe’s plans.

So, I’ll end it there for now.  2013 looks to be promising!  I know I have my passport now and this weekend the trip will be booked for my heading over to see FFAC in NZ.  That will be pretty exciting as it is the first time I will be stepping foot out of the US of A.  2012 was really an amazing year; some ups, some downs, but mostly ups.  It taught me that it really is what you make of it.  There are beautiful things everywhere, just sometimes we are so busy, and get so caught up in ourselves and our issues, that we fail to see what is right in front of us.  Some things you have to work for, but dearest friend, if you have to work for it, do it.  Work hard, so hard that you feel the sweat coming down.  It’s always worth it.

2012 was a year of finding myself.  I was lost for a while, but I worked hard.  I found parts of me all over the place.  I found parts of me in places I didn’t think I would.  I found some in music, in yarn, in globs of glue and glitter.  I found some in my children’s faces, and those parts of me may stay with them.  I am not done working to find them all, but I have made wonderful progress.

2013 will be the year of putting the correct pieces in the correct places.  It is more hard work, but for once I am not afraid.  I will soldier on.  I will succeed.  Above all, I will be happy.  I am aware of yin and yang, with happiness may come sadness, but again, I am not afraid.  I am looking forward to all 2013 has to offer.

I hope the holidays are kind to you, lovely friend.  Over the past week we have all witnessed acts of unspeakable ugly.  I am going to work on bringing some beauty back, some hope, and maybe if I am lucky some peace.  We are worth it.  I’d like to hug you, even if I don’t really do hugs, and wish you a happy holiday, from my heart to yours.

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When the World Goes Quiet

I was going to write an uplifting post.  I swear I was.  I was planning it out this morning, and instead of my planned day (last day in my current role, play some WoW, watch some American Horror Story), I got to watch the news unfold with a real life American Horror Story right in my own state.  

Today, for reasons unbeknownst to me, a man walked into an elementary school in Newtown, CT and killed 26 people.  Out of those 26 people, 20 were kindergarten children. 20 babies, innocent lives, taken less than 2 weeks before Christmas.  Six adults, taken from their families less than 2 weeks before Christmas.

I don’t know how to process this, and after a day of news watching I can’t.  I don’t think I will ever be able to.  There couldn’t have been a reason for such destruction, such pain.  The world mourns with Connecticut tonight, for those families and the community.  

Girl 1 was home, she came home early before I even heard the news.  When The Boy and Girl 2, Girl 2 who is about the same age as most of those we lost today came in, they hugged me and I cried.  I cried for the feeling of blessing I had for being able to hug them.  I cried for the pain that those families must have.  I cried for the responders, those who went in and saw the devastation and led children out, instructing them to close their eyes as they walked out.  I cried for the survivors, who will no doubt have nightmares and questions no one will ever be able to answer.  I’m sure I am not done crying, because the pain of this cannot be felt all in one feels.  It’s waves, because as you know if all the waves came at once it would be crushing.  

I ungrounded The Boy.  For dinner, they can have whatever they want and I won’t say a word.  Girl 1 can dye her hair any color she wants, Girl 2 can stay up as late as she wants.  I am sure my evening will be the same for a lot of households as we hold our children a little tighter, let the rules go a little wayward, and tell them we love them a little more than usual.

I’m on the fence with religion, having an abstract relationship with God, but tonight I will light 26 candles on my porch and I will pray.  I will be a child coming home,not for myself, but for the 26 lives that left us today.  I will ask him to take them in and hug them for their families and find them a nice place to play.  I will ask him to send peace to those families who are grieving and peace to the world that grieves with them.  I know He’ll hear me, as well as the countless voices asking the same thing.  

Be well, friends, and love well tonight.  Hug harder, kiss longer, read an extra bedtime story.    

“If every tear we shed for you became a star above; you’d stroll in 
Angel’s garden, lit by everlasting love.”
~Author Unknown 


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The State of My Union


I would like to think that all my words and talks can be inspiring, or funny.  Truth is, I think I am way funnier than I probably am.  The same may be said about being an inspiration. Regardless, I think I will keep my rather high opinion of myself and soldier on.  

Some conversations are harder to have than others.  I would love to talk about what great things I am reading (currently Anna Karenina), what great crafts I am doing (still crocheting my blanket!), what tasty things I am baking (nothing, actually), my progress in video games (first Horde character!), or how I am cleaning all the things (that’s only sometimes).  Some days I have to put it all away and just be real.  Today was a real day with some really hard conversations.

Girl 1 is having some difficulties in school with her peers.  She has always been cut from a different cloth (which I adore), but coming out to the world has added one more block on the quilt of difference.  I got a call from my madre who informed me that she had called the school on Girl 1’s behalf.  Girl 1 had texted my sister about what was going on and some of it frightened me.  Bullying is serious business folks, and the things it can do to young minds is heart breaking.  I don’t want this to happen.  I called the school and this will be an ongoing partnership.  I don’t think Girl 1 is pleased with all this involvement, but I just can’t sit by.

You see, it’s hard as a parent to drop your child off each day, knowing that the day will be hard, knowing that things may happen, and you can’t be there to protect them.  Kids have always been cruel, and I never see that changing, but you still want to feel that your child will not have to go through their school day being taunted.  You want your child to be in a safe environment, not just physically, but emotionally as well.  Girl 1 is a strong girl, I know this, but sometimes it’s hard to be strong, and even the strongest have their weak spots.  I called M’s mom to just give her the heads up, you know, in case the school was going to dismiss her.  Her response shouldn’t have shocked me, but it did.  She told me she knew this would happen since she posted it on FB, her being a lesbian, and she shouldn’t have told people.  

Ummmm, no.  Not in my house, not for my children.  If she is comfortable to come out, then have at it, sister.  I will not instruct my children to hide who they are, to be ashamed, to pretend.  I am proud of who each of my children are.  I will not make excuses for other children, or non-children, who feel it is ok to harass someone that they feel is different.  We all have a right to be who we are.  I came home and went up to her room.  We cuddled, watched some Paula Deen, and talked.  I have decided I will do that more often, just go up and cuddle and watch some Food Network.  I’ll stand by her, mostly quiet, and if her strength gives out for a moment, even if it’s just for a moment, I’ll be there to pick her up.  She has got a lot of people who love her and wouldn’t let her walk alone even if she tried to get rid of us.

That was actually hard conversation number 2.  Hard conversation came much earlier in the day.  Truth be told, M and I just aren’t the same any more.  Something happened along the way, I don’t know what it was or when it was.  My guess is it was a long time ago, but both of us enjoyed that quiet safety net of routine.  Complacency makes for a great bedfellow.  We’ve always been great friends, but lately, even that seems to have disappeared.  Today we discussed how we aren’t happy.  We have had this conversation quite a few times in the last year and change, saying words that are expected to be said.  “We’ll work on it.”  “We’ll fix it.”  “It will get better.”  Words are great, Complacency took the actions and threw them out the window.  Today those words weren’t spoken.  Today it was, “I don’t know how to fix it.” “We haven’t really worked on it.” and “It isn’t getting better.”  The unspoken question became “Who will say it first?”  We talked about the differences of love and being in love. We agreed to get through the holidays before we talk about it again.  It’s hard, friend.  It’s a hard conversation to have with some hard truths. I have put up an impenetrable wall, it’s true.  I can’t begin to know how to take it down any more.  He is content with half things.  Half paying attention, half helping with the household, half conversations.  We’ve always been such good friends and I don’t even know where that has gone.

I don’t usually get this personal here, but this is part of my life.  It’s also happening all over the place, to lots of people.  My hope is that by putting myself out there, telling my tales, people can relate and we don’t have to feel so isolated and alone.  We aren’t alone.  Girl 1 isn’t alone, I’m not alone, and if you are reading this then you aren’t alone either.  My only request is if you read this and you work with us, don’t bring it to the work table.  Work is work and I stand by that.

No matter what happens, I know that I have so many things to be happy about in my life.  I was offered the position I didn’t get initially, and that starts next week.  I have a wonderful group of friends.  I have successfully created a lot of Christmas time memories for my children, and we aren’t done yet!  There is still more holiday crafting to come!  I will face each day and we will have some serious decisions to make, but I am still optimistic.  

Thanks for hearing me out today.  I think I needed to get this out because it has been eating at my soul for a long time.  I know a little bit ago, I had read a post about a similar situation and I thought, “What a brave woman, putting that out there!” and how it made me feel better somehow, knowing that out there, someone was feeling my feels.  If I can do that for someone, make them feel like they are ok, they will be ok, then I feel I have paid it forward.  Some conversations are hard, some things in life are hard, but we don’t need to hide or sweep it under the rug.  We should embrace it and soldier on.  I am doing that now, embracing, understanding, and finally putting myself in a position to just do something other than talk.  

I promise my next post will be more uplifting.  I will have cookies that I can’t eat, and warm drinks of choice (I even have some good ole Irish Cream is you need a pick me up in your coffee!).  We’ll make something together, a craft, a conversation or a memory.  For now, I will leave you with a quote from one of my favorite books – Les Miserables (and no, this is not a plug for the movie, which I will be seeing).

“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” ~ Victor Hugo


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