Monday, May 30, 2011

Nothing Screams White Trash Like...


We had planned a camping trip with friends for Memorial Day weekend and even though I'm not a camper, I don't like when plans change.  I'm not much of a planner so when plans are made, I like to stick with them.  (My obsessive compulsive nature is probably why I'm not much of a planner!  I can't handle the pressure!)  Anyway, our trip got cancelled because Lydia has had pneumonia and ear infections.  The pediatrician advised us against taking her out in the elements for that long, and she is on these never ending breathing treatments, two antibiotics, nose spray, and allergy it really would have been a lot of hassle.

With that said, I woke up a little grumpy on Saturday morning.  Hadley and Lydia and another little girl in the neighborhood were running wild, bouncing from house to house, and driving me nuts.  We were waiting on my parents to arrive and even though they said they were leaving "really early" it was 1'o'clock and they weren't here yet.  My mood was a little tense!

I honestly can't remember how it started, but somehow Keith and I were arguing in the back yard, I also don't have any idea what we were arguing over.  At one point, I was getting pretty mad and Keith said "just go in the house." 

That's when it happened "DON'T YOU EVER TELL ME WHAT TO DO!!!"  I yelled at the top of my lungs.

"Stop yelling at me," he replies back.


Then, I said "do you even KNOW where our KIDS are?!?"

He tells me they are in the front yard so I stomp around to the front yard to find them and they aren't there.  I come in the house and look around a little and don't see them, so I go out front and yell(scream?) "HADLEY!" and I get nothing except a bunch of looks from neighbors because I'm pretty sure I sounded like a crazy lady.  I come back in the house, still yelling and find the three of them, upstairs playing.  I explain to Hadley how important it is for her to let me know where she is, all the time and go outside to tell Keith he was wrong.  (I know, I know)

I step outside and as soon as I peer around the corner, I see the little girl's dad who timidly asks "Is Maddy here?"  I tell him she's upstairs and I'll send her home in a little while and he quietly walks home.

Then it hits me...awesome!  This man came to collect his daughter from the white trash neighbors who were fighting in the yard!  Yes, we are those people!  (well, I am anyway!)  Definitely not one of my finer moments!

A couple of hours later, my parents finally get here and Hadlely is dying to get on my dad's Harley trike.  She grabs a bandana and wraps it around her head and climbs on with a huge grin.  Did I mention she's missing a couple of teeth?  Apparantly, that white trash gene is strong!  ha!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I Thought I'd Live in Centertown Forever

I grew up in a very small town, Centertown, KY.  My parents had a house built on the property bordering my grandparents farm.  I had a blessed childhood with horses, cows, tractors, and family.  I would walk to my grandma's house nearly every day and do anything she had going on.  I would "help" can vegetables, watch Wheel of Fortune, and basically follow her around talking non stop!  When grandaddy was outside working on the farm, I was right with him.  He'd let me drive the tractor and feed the cows and help with all of the every day farm tasks.  I always felt like the princess of the farm and I loved it!  As I got older I was supposed to have more responsibilities around the farm but if I felt like they were too much all I had to do was whine to grandaddy and get a reprieve!  You see, Grandaddy had two sons so when I came along as the first girl in the family my path was an easy one!

Mom always went to work at a crazy early hour.  She had to be at work for her 7am shift and it was a 45 minute drive away (at her speed! ha!) so she'd take me to grandma and granddaddy's house to catch the bus for school, only, I didn't like to ride the bus, so I would ask Grandma to take me.  Nearly every morning Grandma would take me to school and we'd stop by Grace's grocery store and get lunch and load up on candy and snacks!  One morning I over heard Grandaddy telling grandma that she really shouldn't spoil me so much, that she should make me ride the bus once in awhile.  Grandma, being the spitfire she always was said "fine then, you just tell her that she has to ride the bus."  He tried, I pouted, and he ended up driving me to school that morning.  I arrived at school shortly after stopping by Grace's to pick up the goodies I didn't need!  Poor Grandaddy!  Every once in awhile he'd try to flex his muscle but Grandma had a way of humbling you!  ha!

As I got older I would walk to grandma's house so she could take me driving.  She'd be sitting in her recliner, crocheting, and I'd walk in super quiet and scare her awake.  I loved scaring grandma!  She was such a good sport too, she never got mad or fussed, she'd just wake up and get to it.

When learning to parallel park Grandaddy set up buckets on the farm and let me try, over and over to fit grandma's car or his truck in between the buckets.  I hit them more than once but did eventually figure it out.

On weekends and during the summer grandma and grandaddy loved to ride around through all the farm land and back roads and tell me stories of what it was like when they were kids and the history of the land.  I spent hours and hours riding around with them doing that, those are some of my favorite memories.  Then, grandaddy got a four wheeler and we'd ride around on it.  We never abandoned are rides around in the truck we just added the four wheeler to the mix.  It was a past time I loved and shared with Grandma and Grandaddy and many of my friends.  Even now, when I go back to visit I ride around on those back roads, but they have changed so much it's just not the same.

I grew up thinking Centertown was perfect and that I'd live there forever.  I had great family, great friends, and I had it all figured out.  Centertown was a wonderful little town.  I grew up knowing everyone because my family had always been there and Grandma was very social.  Growing up knowing everyone and having everyone know you was a blessing and a curse, I always had help when I needed it but I couldn't get away with anything!  It probably saved me from a lot of bad decsions but it saddled me with a certain arrogance.  I felt indestructible growing up. 

Shortly after I graduated from high school I moved in with my best friend, Joy, and her brand new husband.  This was such a hard time for me and I feel so blessed that Joy was by my side through it.  There were a lot of difficult things going on in my life during this time (no seriously) but Joy, Keith, and Grandma stood by me through it. 

Keith and I got married in 1999 and our lives were still a little tumultuous so when the opportunity to move to Louisiana presented itself I jumped at the thought of leaving all of the trouble behind.  We moved to Louisiana, made a life there and the rest is history.  We've since left Louisiana and ended up in Indiana and I guess this is home now.  I don't ever see myself moving back to Centertown now and that's a hard pill to swallow because I thought I'd live there forever. 

I love my life now and I am very blessed but, I have to admit, it's not exactly like I thought it would be.  I thought I'd live in Centertown forever.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I May Never Fly Again!

This time last weekend I was stranded in the Houston airport, wondering if I would ever see Indiana again!  I left Lafayette, LA at 12pm on Sunday.  We stopped at Raising Cane's  to have lunch but other than that we made a straight trip to Alexandria, LA airport. 

I should have known that it was going to be a rough trip when I hit the TSA officer in the face.  (Yes, this happened) but I didn't catch on until many hours later! 

To clear up the TSA incident, I was in the Alex airport and it was me and five TSA officers because it's a very small airport (but well protected from terrorists!).  We were all chatting, about nothing in particular, as I was going through security and I got to the end of the xray machine and grabbed my shoes to put them back on.  One of the officers asked about my trip and I was running through the list of what I'd done when it shoe got stuck on the grey plastic basket and as I yanked it up, too quickly, it flew out of  my hand and hit the TSA officer in the side of the head, hard.  I couldn't have hit him that squarely if I'd aimed.  He turned around, quickly and mad, and I can only imagine the expression on my face as I mumbled "I'm so sorry..." then burst out laughing.  (I know that was NOT the time to laugh but if you'd seen how mad he was you'd laugh too!)  The other four TSA people also burst out laughing, because they'd seen what happened and knew it was an accident, then they explained to him how it happened-not a moment too soon either!  I then told him "my husband is NOT going to be happy if I have to call him to bail me out of jail for assault with a deadly flip flop," and they all laughed with me!

I went on through security, unscathed, and waited for my plane.  I was reading my book Confessions of a Prep School Mommy Handler  (really good book!) when the plane got there, early!  We boarded and left a few minutes early-awesome! 

I got to Houston with a few minutes to run to the ladies room, powder my nose, swing by one of the gift shops, and pick of a couple of snacks for the next leg of the flight.  Awesome!  I get a great seat, right by the customer service desk, where I can hear all kinds of good stuff, and wait the next few minutes for my plane.  I sort of tuned out everyone around me as I was reading but I start to notice the airport getting crowded.  I check my fight status and it's been delayed about 20 minutes, not great but not unreasonable.  I keep reading.  The airport is getting even more crowded so I check my flight status again, delayed an additional 45 minutes, uh oh.  I start over hearing weary travellers at the customer service counter, they were all so grumpy!  It was like the guy behind the counter was personally responsible for the delays and he was sabotaging any hope they had to ever leave Houston, even though he was extremely courteous.  I hear something about weather, I text Keith and Nicole to see what they can find online because it quickly becomes apparent that if I move I will lose my seat and any hopes of a seat for hours!  I look at the radar and it's not good!  There is a huge storm, stretching from Texas to Illinois, basically my flight path...see below.

The delays kept coming in, the stranded travellers kept getting nastier, but it was a great day for people watching!  Speaking of people watching, I didn't tell this part of the night to anyone but Keith, but since I'm sure the guy who did this doesn't read my blog I'm going to share.  I made a comment on my facebook status about men who forget to zip their zippers.  Anyone who has insight on WHY this always happens, do tell!  I see men unzipped all the time, they really are just big toddlers, but this particular night I was sitting in front of the flight status screens and I'd kind of made a game out of laughing a little at the men with unzipped pants.  It all came to a screeching halt when I saw a man with unzipped pants who didn't have on underwear!  Seriously!  Gaping unzipped pants, nothing else!  I got so embarrassed that I could feel the heat on my face and I buried my head in my book as quickly as possible.  I wanted to tell him so spare him embarrassment but I couldn't bring myself to do it!

We eventually changed gates so I relocated to the other end of the airport to wait for my flight.  I may have moved away from the customer service desk but I still heard plenty of interesting conversations (however, I didn't look for unzipped pants anymore!  ugh!).  I overheard old oilfield workers talking about getting jollies from the pat down at security, (seriously TSA, ya'll might want to rethink these) I over heard cell phone convos to all over the world, and I was lucky enough to over hear a group of soldiers talking about the security level at their base, I had to ask. 

"I've been a little out of the loop this weekend, and I couldn't help but overhear what you said about security, what happened?" 

The young soldier, who couldn't have been over 20, said "I don't know, I think we killed Kadafi's son or something." He said.

"Kadafi? I don't think Kadafi has that kind of fire power does he?  Really?"  I asked.

PFC Cutie then says "I don't know, it's all I can think of though.  They have the base on the highest security level we have.  They aren't letting anyone on and they're checking everyone."

I didn't have any other ideas so I just went back to my book. 

A little while later I saw a man freak out at the ticket counter, I think we'd all had a few too many delays.  We had a pilot, we had a plane, but we didn't have a flight attendant so we couldn't leave.  I, so sincerely, told the pilot and gate attendant that I'd serve drinks, fill out paperwork, or anything else they needed if they would just take me home.  I even agreed, on behalf of the entire plane, to forfeit drinks on this flight but they weren't having any of it.  So we waited. 

When the flight attendant finally arrived, looking frazzled, we all applauded for her!  I have never been so happy to see a complete stranger as I was that night!

We were on the plane and nearing take off at 10:40!  We got off the ground and had been in the air when the pilot makes this announcement.

"I don't know how many of you keep up with current events but all the major media channels are saying the state department is expected to announce that we killed Osama Bin Laden!"  The entire plane erupts into applause and cheers!  I got a little sick at my stomach for so many reasons.  I know I play a hard nose republican but I can't help but think that was someone's son, daddy, brother, etc and it seems wrong to cheer that he's been killed.

This was the longest flight ever!  Aside from the little fear that we were going to go down in a blaze of terrorist jihad, the weather was brutal!  It was such a bumpy flight and we kept doing that thing where it feels like you're falling out of the sky.  At one point the guy sitting beside me and I had both dozed off and woke up to what felt like the plane falling out of the sky!  What is it about feeling like you're dying that makes you grab hold of the nearest stranger?  Ugh!  More embarrassment! 

After the wake up scare, I decided to read some of my celebrity gossip rags till we landed.  No more dozing with strangers for me!  I'm deep into which of the Kardashian's is fat and how Steven Tyler has survived when the pilot makes the announcement, "looks like Indy is experiencing some pretty bad weather and we're going to have to circumvent the airport."  That's when the tears bubbled over and I looked at the guy beside me and said "it's been a really long day, but circumvent means go around, doesn't it?  I just want to go home to my babies!" 

I did finally make it home, at 2:49am and I promptly went upstairs and kissed my babies!

Just an FYI, I could have driven and been home in 15 hours, I wouldn't have had to be visually assaulted, listen to profanity in every dialect, and I could have plugged my cell phone in!  I chose to fly because it'd be a little quicker and safer, best laid plans, right!  Ha!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Take That, Agent Jack Bauer

Starting 24 hours ago...

The girls and I went to the mall for some light shopping since Keith is in Las Vegas for the week and they wanted to get new outfits for Lydia's preschool program. We were having such a good night! We found cute clothes, on sale; everyone was getting along having fun! On the way home we swung by Steak N Shake for burgers then came home and watched The Voice and went to bed…ahhh…doesn’t that sound like a perfect evening?!? It really was!

I got the kids to bed (mine) with very little hassle and then I started tooling around the house doing the mom thing for a few minutes when I went out in the garage to get something and saw my car doors open. My immediate thought was “oh no, I bet my battery is dead!” because my car battery tends to die when the girls leave the doors open since the car lights up like a Christmas tree. I quickly started the car, yay it ran, and turned it back off.

A couple of hours later I went in the garage again and heard “click…click……” in very rapid succession. It sounded like when you’re trying to start a car and it won’t turn over because the battery is dead, only I wasn’t trying to start the car and the keys were in the house. I popped the hood and sure enough it was coming from under there. (that was as far as my assessment went!) I came in, got the keys and tried to start it again and got NOTHING! Not even a clicking sound, NOTHING!

I freaked out a little because the next day was going to be busy and I didn’t plan on having car problems! I went into action trying to come up with a backup plan. I sent texts to friends asking if their husbands would come jump my car since I didn’t have another car here to jump off of, I sent other texts to friends asking if they’d take Lydia to school in the morning in case I didn’t get the car started in time. I texted neighbors asking if they’d swing by and plug in and I got NOTHING from ANYONE! (not entirely true, one of my neighbors did text that he was in Chicago and couldn’t come over) I started freaking out a little more...(okay, a lot more!)

I called Keith, near tears, in Vegas, and said “my car won’t start, I can’t get ahold of anyone, I have a busy day tomorrow, I don’t know what else to do…” in one long breath on his voicemail.

Two hours later at 11:32pm, I got a text that said “it’s extremely loud what did you need is it urgent”

I replied, halfway mad, more helpless and frustrated than anything, “never mind, I’ll figure it out tomorrow.”

Earlier in the day Hadley and Lydia gone to the dentist and Hadley had a loose tooth pulled, so sometime during the night the tooth fairy was going to have to get her act together and shove something under the pillow. The tooth fairy made three attempts to do so and each time was greeted by a wide eyed little girl saying “what’cha doin’?”

Did I mention Hadley and Lydia were both asleep in my bed?!?

I came to the living room and ate a bowl of ice cream, in misery, and watched mindless TV. (Don’t judge, the Real Housewives of Orange County actually made me feel a little better.)
When the show went off, the tooth fairy made another, this time successful, attempt to make the tooth swap! It was 2am when this FINALLY took place!

I crawled in bed with my two little sleeping cherubs and the dog and went to sleep. Ahhh…much needed night’s sleep at 2am!

I fell right to sleep and woke up to something wet on my toes, at 4am. “dangit Belle, quit licking my toes! You’re disgusting!” Only, it wasn’t her licking me…she was throwing up on my feet. CRAP! I roll her out of bed, shove the kids around until I’ve gotten everything that she’s touched stripped off the bed (the kids NEVER WOKE UP!) grab clean blankets and cover everyone back up, after all it’s only 79 degrees in the house, and I desperately go back to sleep.

At 6am I wake up, WIDE AWAKE, from stress. I decide to get up and as I’m sneaking out of the bedroom I step in dog pee! It really shouldn’t have surprised me because what typically happens when Belle gets sick is she has a seizure, throws up, then pees somewhere. It’s just that usually I’ve had more than four hours of sleep and I’m a little more alert.

I decide to use my time wisely and send out a couple of texts because I still haven’t heard back from anyone, no one answers these either. I get dressed and do my thing til 7am when I wake Hadley up and get her ready for school. I return from the bus stop around 8am and call my mechanic. This man has daughters and a wife and God bless him, he has the patience of a saint! He calmly talks me off the ledge and tells me to get my car started and bring it in.

I call Ms. Dawn at church and spill the entire saga to her and she says she’ll find someone to help me out. She calls Mark and asks him to help and a few minutes later I’m rescued! The car was running and I’m ready to go, only I’m not…I get Lydia dressed and ready for school and I gather up the bed spread and all the dry cleaning and head out. I might as well make the trip count and I was scared to turn the car off because I didn’t know if it would start again so I ran a few errands before taking her to school.

Around 9am I start calling rental car places and I’m looking online at Enterprise (whom I will NEVER rent from again because of today!) and the prices in Carmel are $18/day for an economy car but over by my mechanic the price is $27/day. I call Enterprise and try to talk them into giving me the better price and they refuse and basically tell me I’m lying, that they don’t ever have cars for that price! Even though the message playing when I was on hold mentioned $9.99 weekend rentals, but I guess that’s just a fairy tale too! We had a little verbal altercation and I called PJ, my mechanic back. He assured me I could rent a car from him and I’d be okay.

The funny part of the rental car call is that as I was dialing, I dialed the wrong number. I called some woman in Hawaii who says “aloha, I’m going to have to call you back” then hangs up. Oops! I later get a text from that number that says “Hey! Sorry I missed your call but normal people sleep at 2:30am. Did you forget I live in Hawaii? J Talk to you soon!”

Umm…I don’t know who in the heck she thinks I am but God bless her for being so kind!

Got to the mechanic, got the rental, getting back on track! Yahoo!

Everything seemed to be falling back into place. We got the girls hair done, we went to dinner, and went to Lydia’s preschool end of year program. (Which she ROCKED!)

Then, I got the news from the mom of a little girl that had been here for a play date this week…the little girl has lice! UGH! In my desperation to keep everyone busy while Keith has been out of town, we’ve had LOTS of play dates. LOTS. Unfortunately this little girl’s dad found lice on her tonight and since she’d been here she felt obligated to tell me.

I want to start by being very clear; I have no blame what so ever for the little girl or her mommy! In fact, I sympathize, very much, with her sweet momma. However, that doesn’t make it any less frightening and frustrating!

So, I’m digesting this on the way home and the girls are in the backseat of the rental car bickering and being down right mean to each other over a to go cup of Fresca. I said “Hadley, just give me the cup!” So she does, and in my frustration I jerk it out of her hand and try to throw it out the window when the wind catches it and it flies all over me, the car, everything in the car, and the windshield, before finally going out the window.

Yes, I know littering is bad. Yes we live in Carmel and that’s a major faux pas but for crying out loud can’t I catch a break today!?! (I guess the good news is that I didn’t hit a Carmel police officer with my littering! Ha!)

Lydia begins chanting “mommy you blittered, mommy you blittered.” I tearfully reply, “I know, Lydia, mommies mess up sometimes too” then I sob my way home!

Needless to say that when I told the girls to put their pajamas on and go to bed, I didn’t get much flack about it! The thought mommy was a basket case and it would be best to avoid her!

Oh, and tomorrow…it’s Friday the 13th!

So, take that, agent Jack Bauer! You aint seen nothing till you’ve spent a day in my life!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I Love My Friends!

I really do!  I am blessed with great friends who have terrific senses of humor and fun personalities. 

I love to laugh!  I enjoy that feeling of laughing so hard you can barley breath and laughing until tears are falling down my cheeks.  Those are the times when I feel truly alive!  Second only to my family, laughing is one of my favorite things!

I appreciate a person who can laugh at themselves and I enjoy being around someone who is quick witted, fortunately most of my friends have those qualities.  Shawn is certainly no exception to my mix of self deprecating, quick witted friends!
While I was at Shawn's house, we got to do all the stuff we used to do when we were neighbors.  We sat on the back porch and drank coffee, we sat in the living room and drank wine, we ate Chinese food...(yikes!  I just figured out why I gained weight in LA and it wasn't the pregnancy!)  We also went to a birthday party for one of her friend's daughters, way out in Abbeville!  If you're from Louisiana, especially Lafayette, you realize that Abbeville is way out in the middle of nowhere!  Seriously, it's probably only a thirty minute drive but it seems like days!  There's one stretch of road, through Maurice, where the police are like Carmel police on steroids!  Seriously, if you even consider speeding you will be ticketed!  I don't know how they know, but they do! 

We were driving to Abbeville and Shawn was talking about this amazing gps ap on her iPhone, she typed in he address and away we went.  We'd been driving along doing zig zags and figure eights when we got to a road that was closed.  There had been a caution sign alerting us that the road was closed but the gps didn't acknowledge it so neither did Shawn.  (I started realizing how those nut job people end up driving in rivers when the gps tells them to-those aren't just tales! sorry Shawn!)  We got to the part of the road that was closed and realized that it was really closed, not just under construction...the drawbridge was out.  So, we turned around and made a long trip even longer.  Secretly I was very happy because I was having a blast riding through the backroads of LA hanging out with Shawn (oh, and quite possibly because two year old bday parties just aren't my jam.)  But, mainly because I was having fun with Shawn!

Then we get to a part of the road when the realization hits Shawn that we could've been there already if we'd gone the "normal" way and not the "gps way."   So, picture this (oh how I wish I'd had a video camera rolling) Shawn is looking down at her lap, while driving, muttering a string of profanity that would make a sailor blush.

I couldn't help myself, I looked at her and said "what is wrong with you?  Do you have turrets or something?!" 

Instantly, Shawn in laughing until she's got tears going down her cheeks.  (the good ones, I didn't hurt her feelings!)

We laughed, hysterically the rest of the way to the party and when we got there, one of Shawn's oldest friends and Shawn's husband were there.  She told them about the turrets diagnosis and throughout the group there was and aha moment!  It's like everyone who knows her has been trying to put their finger on it and now the riddle has been solved!  She's not a foul mouthed woman, she's a previously undiagnosed turrets patient!   I asked if that diagnosis would come with a special parking pass and we all thought it might be a great thing at Christmas!  Another friend of  Shawn's made the comment, via facebook, that "this diagnosis will get you away with some shite!"  I'm thinking there may be a bit too much excitement about a mental disorder! 

We survived the birthday party, just barely, and went home, exhausted.  However exhausted we were though, we were all now enlightened to Shawn's condition.

The morning before her diagnosis, we were on a mission to find food.  It was a bit of a busy weekend in Lafayette so every restaurant we went to was packed. 

Finally, I said "we're going to Old Tyme, I don't care what the wait is.  I'm hungry"  (yeah I get a little grouchy when I'm hungry!)

So, we pulled into their average sized parking lot (remember this, it will make sense in a minute) and Shawn pulls her car into a spot...sort of.  Then she backs up and straightens it up, only she doesn't.  So she backs out and pulls back in, equally as crooked.  Next she backs out and pulls in so close I can't open my door-at all!  After that she pulls out and pulls back in so close she can't get her door open.  Finally, she pulls the car out and puts it in the spot and I can't help myself but to say "OH MY GOSH.  JUST PUT THE CAR IN PARK!"  Seriously, it was a twenty minute parking attempt that ended with the car still being cooked!  Fortunately, Shawn knows she's a terrible parker, (honestly her driving isn't nearly as bad-as long as you keep her going forward and not backwards.) and she laughs hysterically!

Later that night we are getting ready to go downtown to Festival International and Mike and Shawn are discussing who's going to drive and I couldn't help myself but to inject "I don't care who drives, but Mike HAS TO PARK!"

The icing on the cake was a couple of nights ago when Shawn calls and says "you're not going to believe this, but I tore the rear view mirror off my car this morning on my way to work." 

Not surprised, I say, "no kidding, how did that happen?"

Who knows what she really said but basically it was "oh, I'm just a terrible driver!  but, I called Mike on my way to work so he had all day to get over being mad!" 

Good call, Shawn!  Good call!

Later on she posted this picture on her facebook page (hey Shawn, you might want to check your security on FB, I had no trouble stealing this pic at all!) 
"damn, I miss that mirror!"

In response to Shawn's caption, I'd have to say "I don't know why...clearly you weren't using it!"

Love you Shawn!

Oh yeah, I stole this pic too!

Carmelite in Training

I catch a lot of flack about living in Carmel.  We moved here because it was very close to where Keith worked and we'd read and been told that it was safe and had good schools.  We came to see the town and thought it was beautiful!  In June, we'll celebrate our three year anniversary of living here.

I've heard all the jokes, I've been told all the cliches, and sometimes I even wonder about people who have never lived anywhere but Carmel...the rest of the world will eat them alive!  Carmel is a bit Utopian, but the people here work hard to maintain the city.  I've met very few people who actually brag about having/being the best and to be fair, I knew people like that in WV, LA, & KY too, there are some in every crowd!

There is even a facebook page about "you know you're from Carmel if..." and some people post real comments but more often that not the make digs at people from Carmel.  I don't know how okay this is, but I'm going to copy and paste a couple of comments from the page so you get the idea...

when the most profitable business in your town is lawn care because 98% of the population are too lazy to cut their own grass. (of course, the other two percent hire a neighborhood kid who is only doing it so he can buy the wii to play in his home theater, the xbox and ps3 he already has just isn't enough.)

when I was the only one in the neighborhood with an Obama sign and my neighbors would "politely" take it out of the ground at night and lean it against my trash can.  I want to live in this neighborhood, I would TOTALLY do this, but I would have stuck it IN the trash can!

You know you are from Carmel when half the people you meet are inconsiderate stuck up jerks who think that they own the world and feel as if they must be better than everyone else.

A 40'' T.V. just won't satisfy.

Your friends from Indy continuously make snob jokes.  some of you know you're guilty of this!  ha!

when you get dizzy going 5 miles away due to all the roundabouts
you are out of town, stuck in traffic, and think "this wouldn't of happened if they had just built a roundabout here"  this has happened to Keith and me more than once!

When ppl think the high school is a small community college! (our high school is HUGE!)

The students at the high school have better cars than the teachers.

I could go on and on...As you can see, some of them are funny, good hearted comments but others are really nasty and hurtful.  People who live outside of Carmel claim that it's because Carmel is so full of snobs, people who live in Carmel clam it's Carmel Envy. 

Honestly, some of the stuff is true but most of it's nonsense really.  However, tonight we were driving to get frozen yogurt and Hadley makes the comment, "Mom, did you know we have to leave Carmel to get to church?"

Keith and I both kind of raise our eyebrows and slowly say "yes..."
Then Keith asks "does this bother you Hadley"

"YES!" she responds.

Keith and I are both snickering for several reasons.  One reason is because we've heard all of these cliches and this is laughable, the other reason is because our church is only about a mile or two out of Carmel but I guess that's enough for a little Carmel kid!  haha!

Of course we did deeper and ask why this bothers her.

"Because I don't like to leave Carmel, I like Carmel."  Hadley says.

We then inform her that we also left Carmel for our frozen yogurt and she's appalled!  She wants to know where we are!
"We are in a part of town called Nora," we tell her.

Then out of nowhere Lydia chimes in, with shock in her voice, "people LIVE HERE?"

OH.  MY.  GOSH!  What have we done?!?  We really are raising little Carmelites!  ha! 

In all honesty, I do worry a little about raising our kids here because it's so vanilla.  Everything is cookie cutter and perfect.  I worry that they think everyone has as much money as the majority of the population in Carmel and I worry what will happen when they leave Carmel for the first time.  How will the rest of the world treat them?  Will it chew them up and spit them out?  The real world is a culture shock compared to Carmel!  I'm sure there will be worries no matter where we live, but those are some of my concerns about this place.

One complaint I've heard as an HOA board member in our neighborhood is that the water pressure isn't good.  When asked to elaborate, the homeowner explained that they can't take showers in all four bathrooms at once because the water pressure was weak.  I couldn't help but laugh because I grew up on a farm in a small rural KY town and we couldn't run the water hose and flush the toilet at the same time!  Forget about four showers, because honestly, I never knew anyone with more than 2.5 bathrooms and those were the "big" houses!

Overall though, I'd say we are blessed to live in Carmel and of course there are concerns but there will be concerns no matter where we live at least we know we're safe here and our kids are getting a good education.  With that said, I guess we'll keep raising our little Carmelites!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

God is Always With Us

Hadley is a beautiful little girl with a heart of gold and often times I wonder how I was blessed with such a daughter.  She has learned to read exceptionally well and she has a real passion for it.  She carries books with her everywhere and there are truly times when I have to fuss at her and say "put that book down!"  I love it!  I think this will help her with her future and I think reading is not only important but a great past time.

In first grade they have to turn in a weekly reading log on Monday mornings.  One of the reading log requirements is reading, either alone or with someone, for at least sixty minutes a week.  There are times when it's almost comical to think she'd read for sixty minutes a week, she cranks that out in a day sometimes! 

One of the other things they do for the weekly log is some type of reading comprehension.  There are various activities to illustrate the students understanding.  They really are a good worksheet (yes, this is one piece of homework I agree with!  I know, shocking!) they are good for Hadley and they are helpful for me as well because I get a little insight on how she thinks.

A couple of weeks ago we spent a little too much time enjoying our weekend and not quite enough time getting homework together, so late Sunday evening we were scrambling. 

I said, "Hadley just grab a book that you've read and do your reading log on it." 

One of her go to books is a little pocket book that was mine when I was a child (probably older though!).  It's a child's version of Daniel and the Lions Den she practically has it memorized and I'm certain she reads it weekly.  Hadley likes the story and she's very nostalgic so I know she reads it because she likes the romance of it being a book her mommy read. 

It was no surprise that Hadley chose to do her reading log on that book when we were in such a hurry but her understanding of the story blessed my heart!

Matthew 18:2-4 

 2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

It all makes sense when you see it through the eyes of a child.  We, as adults, clutter everything so much but it really is simple.  God is always with us!  Thank God for Hadley showing me that!

I am also blessed when I read her teacher's comments.  I've said, more than once, how much we adore her teacher and her comment is just perfect!  Good thinking Hadley! Amen to that Mrs. M#%@*& and thank you for acknowledging it!

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, the much confused holiday that is NOT Mexican independence day.  For years I grew up thinking it was and even as an adult I hear comments made that it is.  Well, I'm here to tell's NOT! 

Last year, in the midst of the SB1070 hooplah, some teens wore American flag tshirts to school on cinco de May and were asked to take them off.  In several reports Mexican teens were quoted saying that these kids were disrespecting their "Mexican Independence day."

First of all, these kid's ignorance is more disrespectful than anything those boys did.  Secondly, we are in AMERICA!  I don't think for a minute that these teens, in American flag shirts, were as innocent as they claimed, I think they wore their American flag shirts to get a rise out of their Hispanic classmates.  Well, it worked!  Not to mention the school officials really fed into it by making the boys go home. 

Some of the Hispanic students were also quoted saying "we wouldn't do that to them on July 4th."  Okay...well, I don't care if they did wear Mexican flags on American Independence day because despite what people may think Americans don't hate every other country out there, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that, again, May 5th is NOT Mexican Independence day so it's comparing apples to oranges! 

Just an FYI, Mexican Independence Day is actually September 16th.  Now you know! ha!

What is cinco de Mayo?  It's a memorial day for a battle of a little bitty town in Mexico against the French army and the Mexican army won.  Worth remembering, definitely!  Worth getting so bent out of shape over, me thinks not!  It's great to celebrate our different heritages, I love St. Patty's day (I'm like one zillionth of a percent Irish!) and Oktoberfest is always fun (another teensy party of me is German!)  In fact, I even like cinco de Mayo!  I'm pretty sure I'm zero percent Hispanic but I'm all for good Mexican food and margaritas!

This year, let's enjoy cinco de Mayo for what it is and embrace our Mexican American citizens, and then when September 16th rolls around we can recognize THAT as Mexican Independence Day!