Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Someday This WIll Make A Great Story!

For the last several years I haven't really had an opportunity to celebrate my birthday.  I've either had company events for Keith's job, or been pregnant or had babies.  This year I decided to do it up right, I planned a great night out with friends at a local bar that I love to see a great band!  I invited several friends and about 15 of us were going to go celebrate. 

Three years later, I can finally tell the rest of the story...

A week before the party, I found out I was pregnant (again!)!  Needless to say, plans changed for me, drastically and quickly.  Because I was only a few weeks pregnant, I didn't want to share with anyone so I was trying to keep it a secret.  I told a couple friends so they could help me conceal it. 

The night of the party, we all arrived and everyone thought it would be nice to buy the birthday girl drinks...my friend Jeff, took on the task of finishing them for me so no one would be suspicious.  We also bribed the waitress to keep sprite with cherries coming my way!  And she was a genius, right Jeff!  First thing she did was March up to the table and say "you don't want any alcohol right?  You're pregnant?" Fortunately no on heard, except Jeff, Keith, and me!  

We partied till the bar closed and quite a few of my friends were in no condition to drive, but guess who was?!?  Yep!  ME!  I loaded up the prius full of my party happy friends and deposited them all safely at their doorsteps.  One friend slurred to me, "it's so nice that you drove us all home on YOUR birthday!"  Yep, I'm a giver!  Don't get me wrong, I'm not a lush, but I'd prefer not to be the designated driver on my birthday! 

So, here we are again approaching my birthday, and I'm trying to plan something fun!  I'll be 35 this year, and I can't wait to see how the party will turn out!  I'm hoping for an epic do over. 

When we were laughing about this with friends, Keith said "Someday this will make a GREAT story!" 

I Don't Know What a Bon Bon Is and My Soap Was Cancelled!

When the superbowl was in Indy we went out with some of Keith's client's to a super bowl party, it was super fun! I'm fortunate to be good friends with one of the client's wives so it makes every outing fun, but last night was a party full of NFL players and scantily clad women hoping to land one of the said NFL players. Even if I'm not a football fan, the people watching was superb! I also got to meet Curtis Painter, who I think is ADORABLE! Bonus!


With that said, I got to meet some interesting people and had some great conversations!

At one point, I was able to spend an extended part of the evening discussing end of life care with the CIO of a local hospital. First, I really liked what he had to say. Second, he was a super nice guy! I grew up in a nursing home and have very strong opinions about how we treat our elderly and about end of life care. It's rare I find someone who's opinion aligns with mine so strongly, but this man's did and I appreciate that.

Anyway, the next morning Keith got a call from one of his coworkers and the comment was made that this particular gentleman was impressed that I could hold my own with some of the "big guys." I feel very certain he meant this as a compliment. That doesn't change the fact that I'm pretty sure his reaction was partially because I'm a stay at home mom.

Yes, I deal with toddlers and snotty noses all day. Yes, there are days when my conversations never rise above the latest Dora episode or the life of a third grader. Yes, there are days I don't get out of my pajamas and I eat peanut butter straight from the jar.  Don't judge me!

Surprisingly enough, there are also days (probably MORE of these) that I spend reading the news, catching up on current events-especially politics, and engulfing myself in knowledge. I owe it to myself and my children to be informed and intelligent. I can't raise empowered daughters if all I do is sit at home watching tv and eating bon bons. .

So, yes, I can hold my own in most conversations and I'll even surprise you in a few. I can tell you a conservative political view in a split second and can begrudgingly admit to knowing the liberal sides to most. I can quote great world leaders and a few poets. I use big words and actually know what they mean. I can talk about the state of the economy, or healthcare, or education. I'll admit to not knowing anything substantial about right to work or unions, global warming, or Obama.

With that said, I need to clear up something...
I don't even know what a bon bon is and they cancelled my soap opera so I do have a life!

Emotions, Pain, & Vulnerability...Oh My!

I expose a lot of things about myself and my family and friends on this blog for fun and catharsis, but I rarely expose things where I'm genuinely vulnerable.  I don't deal well with expressed emotion.  I don't like for others to see my weaknesses and, if I'm being honest, I'm more comfortable not seeing theirs either.  It's a rare occasion when I show a lot of emotion.  I'm good at being fun, and I'm okay at being supportive, and I'm awesome at adding humor to an uncomfortable situation, but I suck at being vulnerable. 

Not too long ago, I had a friend bare their soul to me and I was visually uncomfortable!  This is a friend that I love dearly, and I knew they were hurting and needed to share these feelings, but I couldn't hold it together.  I was hot and I had to turn the AC down and I was miserable, then finally at one point I cracked!  My friend sat on my couch crying with sincerity and all I could do was make an inappropriate joke to MAKE IT STOP!  Keith laughed at me and told our mutual friend, "my wife can be such a guy sometimes..." 

Just because I'm not good at expressing my feelings doesn't mean they aren't there.  I love deeply and there isn't much I wouldn't do for a dear friend.  I cry when they cry, I hurt when people I love hurt, I am fiercely loyal, and I will keep a secret until I die.  I really do try to be a good friend, but if my friends need a touchy feely emotional person, I can't be that.  Occasionally I will send a text message or an email or even a card telling my friends how much I appreciate them, because I do and I LOVE them dearly, but I am nearly incapable of being emotional in front of people.

I think all of this stems from my, near paralyzing, fear of abandonment and betrayal.  I won't go into details on my blog because I write for catharsis, I don't write for revenge and I would never want to hurt anyone just because I felt betrayed or abandoned, but I have my scars just like anyone else.

A recent disagreement with someone in my life has opened up a lot of old wounds and I'm struggling to work through them.  I have developed this defense of not letting people in.  When people get too close, I start to find flaws or excuses to pull away from them.  I've done this to some good people, and people that I wish I could be friends with, but I can't.  I can't make myself trust people not to hurt me.  I crave friendships, I long for a close girlfriend, and I wish Keith and I could have a close couple that we were friends with but I road block it every time.  I'm trying to heal, but each time I start feeling more confident it seems something happens to slide back into the memories of why I became this way to begin with.

I act like things don't bother me, and I let a lot of things roll off of me, but when someone makes me feel inadequate I shut down. I know this isn't the way to overcome these problems but it's the way I deal with them.  We each have our own way of dealing with things, and that is mine.  It does force me to rely on God more, so that's a beautiful thing.  I can be vulnerable with God, and I know he will love me anyway, and I am thankful for that!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Words Have Power, Why Give Them More?

I was listening to my daughters sing a song in the backseat of my car yesterday when I got smacked across the head with my angelic little eight year old blurting out a curse word, right in tune with the singer on the radio.  My knee jerk reaction was to say "NO!!!!  We don't say that word!!!!" but instead, I just let it slide and continued listening to her and her 5 year old sister belt out the lyrics and thought about this.


The song they were listening to wasn't a bad song, it's not like I was driving around town listening to gangsta rap, it was country radio.  My kids have no idea what the word means.  Hadley is clueless that she just dropped a four letter word at mommy's feet and you can bet if Lydia had known she would have rushed to rat her sister out.


So, basically, my kids said a word that meant nothing to them.  The word had no more meaning than any other word in the song, in fact it had less meaning than most of the words.  The song wasn't an inappropriate, there were no innuendos, there was nothing questionable in the lyrics other than this one word.  It was a love song they were listening too, and it was sweet.


I wrestled with this for quite some time.  Do I give this word power, by explaining that it's not a word we use or do I let it slide where it remains meaningless?


I can't help but think that we give words way too much power.  Quite frankly, profanity doesn't offend me.  I won't lie, there are a couple of words that make my ears bleed, but as a general rule, it doesn't bother me.  I teach my kids not to use words that are hurtful, they aren't allowed to say stupid, or call someone fat or ugly because those are hurtful words.  Those are words, that when used properly, can scar someone for a long time and my kids aren't old enough or mature enough to understand that.


I will occasionally say something like "my stupid phone quit working again..." and I've explained to my kids that mommy and daddy are mature enough to know what the improper use of those words are.  They get that.  My kids won't hear Keith or myself say something like "John is so stupid, or fat, or ugly" because we want to teach them to be considerate and compassionate to everyone and statements like those are so hurtful and can really have an impact.


Obviously, I know profanity is super offensive to some people and that's why, when my kids hear a word and ask me what it means I will tell them and then explain why we don't use it.  The general rule will be no cursing, but why teach my kids curse words just so they will know they exist?


I made the decision to leave a love song, a love song and not let one word have more power than an entire song about love.


When Hadley overheard a curse word recently and asked what it meant, we gave her the definition; it means "female dog" but that man is using it as a slur against a woman in a very inappropriate way and unfortunately society has turned it into a dirty word so we don't use it.  End of conversation, we haven't heard a repeat of that word since.  It's not like my kids are itching to curse, they just don't know yet.  Our head isn't in the sand either, I just don't see the need to add more to them when there's no benefit.  


The fact is, our children are going to hear profanity whether we use it or someone else does.  They will hear it on TV, the radio, school, the grocery store, a sporting event, you name it we can't avoid it no matter how much we shelter them.  What we can do, is take the power away from those words by making them as meaningless as the are. 


And yes, I'll be embarrassed if Hadley throws down those lyrics anywhere but in the backseat of my car while singing along with the radio, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there!  And no, I don't think we should all go around spewing profanity, this isn't a case for cursing, I just think that maybe if we didn't have such reactions to things they wouldn't matter so much.  Words are already have so much power, why should we give them more?


When I told Keith about this whole internal battle, he was completely on board and agreed that it was really a non-issue.  When I told him I was going to blog about it, he said, "ooh, well that's going to offend some people."  So I want to make sure that you all understand this is my opinion only.  I'm no different that any other christian, parent, or person out there,  I'm just trying to do the best I can with life.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

There's Hope For Me, Yet!

My dad and I are very similar, we have a lot in common, he's just got more wisdom and years behind him!

He is loyal to a fault, he will do anything for his friends, anytime.  He's pretty stubborn, and has a short fuse with a big temper but he's quick to forgive and even quicker to apologize.  He sounds awesome, doesn't he?!?  Well, he is a pretty cool dude and I'm lucky to call him dad!

Because Dad and I are so much alike, the other day when I called him to complain about this woman who only calls me when she needs something, I expected him to jump right on board and agree with me how bad she was.

I said "dad, she drives me nuts!  she calls me when she needs something, but she never just calls to say hi!"  I then explained to him how I'd had enough and lost my cool with her.  "Finally, I just told her, 'look, I'm sick of you calling when you need me so why don't we just cut our losses.  I don't want you calling me anymore and I don't want us to be friends anymore,' do you blame me Dad?"

I expected him to be all "get her baby!" but instead he said "maybe that's the only way she knows how to reach out to you."

"Uh, what?"  I stuttered in shock...

"Well, not everyone knows how to be a friend, maybe she's reaching out to you the only way she knows how," he continues.

"Uhhhh...."  I said.

"Just because you know how you think a friendship should work, doesn't mean that everyone does, and it doesn't even mean you're always right.  I love you baby, but maybe she's being a friend the only way she knows how and you need to give her a chance."

"Well, crap, dad!"

"I don't blame you for being mad though,"  He tries to say comfortingly.

All I wanted was him to tell me how much I rocked and he had to get all paternal and wise on me!

I have since apologized to this woman and she was very gracious to forgive me and to continue on with only calling me when she needs something, so basically nothing has changed.  I guess all is right with us, but it still irritates me to no end, I just don't yell at her about it now.

I told you he had more wisdom and years on me, so maybe that's what I have to look forward to!  I can tell you, 20+ years ago he wouldn't have been so smart either, so there's hope for me yet!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Everything I Can Do, Is Pray

Last week was rough, there's no other way to say it.  Along with some of my own personal life hiccups, several of my closest friends were struggling in their lives as well.  Each day, I woke up with almost a smirk asking "what do you have for me today" because each day seemed to bring it's own brand of hell, the week that just kept on coming!  I told Keith, every time I get one fire put out a whole new fire come blazing my way!

I am the type of person who who loves my friends dearly.  Friends are the family we choose for ourselves and I've chosen wisely.  I'm blessed enough that they've chosen me back, so when one of them hurt I hurt too.  I carry their pain as if it were my own, because they are an extension of me.  I am blessed to be surrounded by amazing friends and I thank God for them.

I have a friend dealing with health problems; cancer, surgery, etc.  I have a friend facing the sickness and ultimate loss of a loved one. One of my closest friends lost one of the greatest men that anyone was blessed to know, I'm proud to say she and I were close enough that I was able to call him family too.  There are a myriad of other issues friends are struggling with that are hurting my heart, but the fact is, I can't make it go away for any of them.

I have attempted comforting, I've tried to be supportive, and I've repeatedly said "I'll pray for you."  Saying those words once seemed so generic, and I wonder how many people really, genuinely, mean it when they say it, or if they just say it when there's nothing else to say.

Sadly, I have to admit that I was once one of the people who would say it because there was nothing else I could say.  I'm sure I rarely followed through, but it sounded good when I said it.  It filled a gap when I couldn't find anything else that would work.

I once told my aunt, "it feels so empty that all I can do, is say 'I'll pray for you."

She replied, "but that's everything."

"What?  It's nothing, when people are HURTING, all I can do is say 'I'll pray for you'."  I replied.

"You're not doing it right then.  If all you do is SAY you'll pray for someone, that's nothing.  If you ACTUALLY spend time in PRAYER, that's everything.  GOD IS OUR EVERYTHING and you are asking our creator to help those in need."  She continued, "You are going before the Lord on someones behalf, and asking the Almighty to step in at a time when they need it the most."

I sat there quietly, thinking to myself how right she was and how wrong I'd been.  She was right, I was doing it all wrong.  I was using the words "I'll pray for you" as comfort, not as action.  I made a promise to God, at that moment as I prayed with my aunt, that I would never turn such a meaningful promise into generic words of comfort again.  I promised God and to my friends and family, that if I ever say "I'll pray for you" it will be a sincere and genuine promise.

So, last week as I saw some of my nearest and dearest hurting, I prayed for them.  I didn't just say "I'll pray for you," in fact, I didn't even say it to one of them, but I DID it.  I devoted very much prayer time to asking God to comfort, heal, and help these friends.  I begged God to wrap his loving arms around each of them, and me too, and I begged him to show them his love.

My friends are still hurting, and my heart aches for them, but I have no doubt that God is with each of them and me too.  God can weather the storm, and if we stick with him we can too.  So, when I say "I'll pray for you," it's not because that's all I can do, it's because it's EVERYTHING.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I'm Sorry the Mayor Hurt Your Feelings and I'm Sorry That Duke is a Bully

I have a rough draft written about last night's Duke Energy meeting but before I publish it I'm trying to figure out how to edit the venom and profanity.  (This is a Christian based blog, after all.)  I'm bitter, it's no secret, I'm angry, I'm trying to deal with it, and I'm disappointed and hurt, which is what I'm going to write about in this post.

I have been a big supporter of our local mayor.  I haven't always agreed with him, but I've defended him in conversations and online and I had faith that he was truly doing the best job he could do and that he was meant for this job.  I think that a leader should be a good family person and a Godly person first and a politician last, and that's what I believed our mayor to be.  I've read and heard the reports that he's been caught lying and creative budgeting but I truly thought that was a man getting caught being a man and not a politician being caught in a politician's cover up.  I take everything in the media with a grain of salt and there are a lot of people who would like to see Carmel fall so any attacks on the mayor, I believed to be an attack because of Carmel's status.

I've always sort of believed the city council to be a group of power hungry, social climbers, with no real talent or skills.  I worked for the government (not in Carmel) and our city council was made up of just that.  A bunch of talking heads, who were nicely dressed, with no authority and zero ability.  That was my experience, I may be wrong and I believe that some (probably very few) city council members are people who want to make a difference but my general opinion isn't that one. So, when I emailed my city council person I didn't have great expectations and I got even less than I expected.  Ironically enough, since the bar was set so low, I was surprised.  I emailed and got and got a pretty snotty reply telling me that I had no leverage and no one does, against Duke.  (I'm calling BS, but I'll get to that later!)  I was also advised to keep a level head, even though the email was particularly calm (promise it's true!).  Lastly, I was then told how this particular council person and the mayor had used their "good working relationship" to persuade Duke to make some changes because a neighborhood down the road asked them for help.  (A large, very expensive neighborhood...hmmm).

I'd like to be clear that all I was asking my local government to help me do was have Duke adhere to the letter they released with THEIR plans clearly explained in black and white.  I am not, and have not been asking them to make changes, I haven't asked them to stop, I haven't asked anything other than to follow through and be accountable for what they said.  I asked them to stop making excuses on why the letter was completely different than their plans.  I asked them to TELL THE TRUTH.  I asked nothing more than I ask of my children, family, and friends.  I asked our officials for nothing other than to help hold Duke accountable.

Last night, my very intuitive eight year old, Hadley, asked why I had been crying.  She's scared with all of the changes that have been going on and this thing with Duke isn't making it better on any of us.  She's created her own worst case scenario and has fears that I can't calm.

"Are you okay now mommy?"  She asked.

"I'm okay sweetie...you know this pregnancy makes me crazy!"  (I'm shameless when it comes to this pregnancy and the things I blame on it!)

"Why were you crying?  I knew you were crying when I came in."

"It's okay, honey, I just get overwhelmed sometimes and cry"  I told her.

"Is it because it's going to be dangerous to have that power pole so close to my bedroom?  Are you scared a drunk driver will hit it into my room?"

"Umm...no, that's not exactly what I was crying about."

"Well, that's what scares me.  It's my biggest fear"  She tearfully tells me.  It's comments like that, that break my heart and make the momma bear want to claw someone's eyeballs out!

"Well sweetie, that's not going to happen.  Mommy and Daddy will always keep you safe"  (we hope)

"Then why were you crying?"  she pushed.

"I promised you I'd always tell the truth, so here it is.  I was crying because I'm so sad that our world is driven by money and not people.  I was crying because I saw what the tree trimmers did on 116th st. and I'm sure that's what they'll do here.  I was crying because I hate when bullies win.  I was crying because my local government let me down.  It hurts when you trust and support someone and they betray you.  And, most of all I was crying because daddy worked so hard to buy us this house and Duke has taken a piece of the joy out of it, while our mayor and city council watched and did nothing.  My feelings are hurt because I feel like a lot of people who should care don't."

Then, Hadley smiled.  "Well, at least we are all safe and we have each other.  And, Mommy, I love you and I'm sorry that the mayor hurt your feelings and I'm sorry that Duke is a bully."  From the mouth of babes, right there!

Hadley and I cried together a few more minutes and she expressed several more fears that broke my heart.  I kept my fears quiet and did my best to calm hers.  I went to bed last night begging God to comfort my precious daughter and protect my family and my unborn child from this stress and anxiety.  I begged Him to protect this pregnancy, as I already have a couple of strikes against me and I know this isn't helping. I prayed for peace and comfort for my family and for me.

I'd love to say I slept peacefully and woke up renewed, but that just wouldn't be the truth.  I woke up with a heavy heart and I've devoted a lot of my day to choking back tears.  I have faith that God is in control, I just really wish I could feel some genuine comfort and peace.  In God's time...In God's time...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

To Take Shots or To Not Take Shots (Progesteron-Part 1)

I'm going to say something shocking for anyone who knows me, so brace yourselves if we're friends in real life.

I'm pro choice.

That doesn't mean I'm pro abortion.

I think people should make the right choices.  I'm conservative, I'm republican, and most of all I'm a Christian.  People should choose to do the right thing and I want to reiterate that I do NOT think abortion is the right choice.

Today I went to my OB appointment, and for anyone who doesn't know, I'm pregnant and due August 2012.  Back in January when I went to the doctor for the first time, the doctor and I went over my history (of having two preterm or early deliveries) and he suggested I do some research and decide whether or not I'd be interested in getting progesterone injections to prolong this pregnancy.  He told me I'd need to start them around 16-18 weeks and continue until approximately 37 weeks.  He explained that there are basically no side effects and can prevent spontaneous labor.

I did my research, I googled the heck out of it.  (yay google!) 
The list of "no side effects" include:
-depression-that should make this hormonal roller coaster even more fun!
-constipation and headache-sound fun, huh!
-fatigue-again, great timing since I'm growing a human and already exhausted
-weight gain-great timing; throw on another hundred pounds!
-acne-seriously, I'm already obsessively fighting that battle
-feeling hot-add that to the pregnancy hot flashes and I may spontaneously combust
-soreness at injection site. Since everything else is already hurting, I might not even notice this one
-weekly injections-enough said

The three that are highlighted are from mayoclinic.com quoted on the livestrong.com site, which I consider both to be pretty reputable.

At my last appointment I told my doctor (his partner actually) that I'd decided not to take progesterone and he said okay, made some notes and left.  Needless to say that when the topic was brought up again today by my doctor, I was a little surprised.  When the topic was pushed, I was offended, and when we were leaving and Keith said to me "he almost sold me on progesterone," I was hurt and angry.

This is the part where I realized why I'm pro choice.  This is MY BODY.  How dare these two men sit in agreement telling me why I should inject something into my body and why their opinions are equally as important as mine in this decision.  Yes, my doctor is the one who's educated on this, and Keith is the father of the baby, but this is still MY BODY.

I had already made my decision and voiced it to everyone who needed to know and I thought Keith agreed.  My opinion is that the doctor had no right to push his agenda on me, and I told this to Keith.

He said "I think he really believes in what he's telling you."

I replied, "I'm not saying he's trying to hurt me, I'm saying I disagree.  You are in sales, you know it's easier to sale something you believe in.  One of the reasons you're so successful at your job is because you truly believe you're selling a superior product, so it's great that he believes in it, I just don't."

I left the doctor in tears.  I was mad at Keith, my doctor hurt my trust, and I now feel like the most selfish woman to ever carry a baby-all because I don't want to take weekly progesterone shots.

Today felt like he drew a line and asked me which side I was going to be on.  On one side, we have weekly progesterone shots that "basically have no side effects."   Or on the other hand, have a preemie who may or may not live, and will definitely require a NICU stay for who knows how long.

So, do I go against my beliefs and instincts and give in or do I risk my child's well being and hold onto my faith in my body to do what it was made to do, and my faith in God to protect us?

I was at peace with my decision, the stress of actually deciding was over, I was enjoying the freedom of this pregnancy.  Today, my doctor took all of that away from me and left me with two choices that will make me equally afraid during this pregnancy and no matter what decision I make, I will be worried that it was the wrong one. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

We're Trying, That's All We Can Do

Since we've decided to homeschool we've received criticism and opinions from everyone and anyone, even though I don't remember asking.  The hard thing about this is that when Hadley was missing weeks of school at a time because her health was so bad, or when she was having anxiety attacks because her school life was so unhappy, no one had any help or advice to offer.  She spent months too sick to be a child, she missed 24 days of school, she had to drop out of every single extra curricular activity she was involved in, and she had to basically quit socializing with her friends, we got all the sympathy in the world.  But, aside from seven medicines costing nearly $200 (post insurance, out of pocket) a month, and dropping out of life, no one had answers.

Keith and I didn't enter into homeschool lightly, we talked to our doctors, the principal, teachers, and friends.  We prayed about it.  We thoroughly considered our options and having our eight year old check out of childhood wasn't one of them. 

There are tons of rewards to homeschooling, I've defended them for weeks now and listed them to as many people as I could.  I've spent the last three weeks listing them, defensively, to everyone who is so quick to tell us why it's wrong so I don't feel the need to do it again in this post.

I wish people would remember that there are a lot of sacrifices, for the parents, that go into homeschool as well.  I've only been homeschooling for three weeks, so I can't even begin to know them all but I can assure you, we considered as many as we could come up with.  I'm PREGNANT (tired, grouchy, hormonal...)!  I enjoy quiet time, it's gone.  I like to lunch with friends, I can't do it.  I use my free time wisely, but now I don't have any.  My kids aren't quite old enough to stay home alone so where I go, they go.  I am solely taking on the responsibility of teaching my child, if she fails all eyes will be on me.  If she were to fail in traditional school there would be several people to share the blame.  These are just a few struggles I'm facing as the teacher, but my support system hasn't asked.

I have been asked about structure and socialization.  Because no one will come right out and say they don't think I'm smart enough, I suppose structure and socialization seem approachable.

One friend, who I love dearly, is worried because she says Hadley needs structure and structure isn't my thing.  She's right, sort of, Hadley does like structure but she's fine without rigidness.  I also think she underestimates my abilities.  I organize events for the women of my congregation on a regular basis, I am part of the team who started and have continued Trunk or Treat at our church, which began with just over 100 attendees and has grown into nearly 500 people.  These aren't events that I'm scrambling around to do at the last minute, and they aren't events that just fall into place.  Admittedly, I'm not doing them alone there are several women involved, and I hope that homeschooling won't be a solo project either.  These events all have to be planned and coordinated, they have to be scheduled appropriately and adhere to a budget while trying to make them as spectacular as they can be and appeal to as many people as possible.  They require structure, and I'm pretty good at them.  So, no, my day to day life isn't rigid with structure or schedules but when I need it, I'm capable of it.

As far as socialization, I think I have it covered.  Honestly, socialization is probably the thing I'm the least worried about.  No, she doesn't spend seven hours a day with 30 other eight year olds and her socialization may not always be her first choice and they may not meet the standards of all the people who are so worried about it, but I guarantee, it's handled!

As far as being smart enough...well, even though no one has commented outright I'll answer that one too.  I'm smart enough to know when I'm in over my head and I'm humble enough to ask for help.  So, there may be things that I just can't teach Hadley and it may start sooner than later, but I will not sacrifice my daughter's future to save my pride.  I'm just not that person, I have a lot of flaws but I can usually keep my pride in check.

So far, I haven't gotten words of encouragement from anyone that I'd hope to get it from, or even expected it from, every discussion has felt like an attack.    Sometimes the people you need support from the most are the ones who can't offer it.  We've gotten support from friends who homeschool their kids, even though they never doubted our decision to send her to public school, they are excited to support us now.  The people who know my family the best, and know that we will do anything in our power to be good parents and offer our kids the best opportunities are the ones who have been the most critical.  It's hurtful and I don't understand it from them, I'd understand from outsiders who don't know us, but not from our closest.  I'm sure they have their reasons and Keith keeps telling me "they just want what's best for Hadley."  Me too.  Keith too.  We're trying.  That's all we can do.

Ironically enough, one of the non homeschooling friends, (actually a teacher in a public school) who has been the most supportive is someone who I know, beyond a doubt, disagrees with our decision.  I know where this friend stands on homeschooling, and I know she doesn't agree with us, but not because she's told me-she absolutely hasn't.  I know this because we're friends and we've had enough discussions that I have a pretty good idea where she stands.  She knows that I don't hate traditional school, I don't think there is anything wrong with it at all.  She knows that our decision to homeschool Hadley was not a stand against traditional schools or teachers, it was just the decision we came to after tons of thought and consideration and out of love and concern for Hadley.

I've admitted before, this may or may not work out, I pray it does but there is a chance of failure.  I don't believe that even if we do fail, we're doing irreparable damage but I recognize it's a different way of doing things and it may even be wrong.  Maybe my hormones are making it more personal than it should be, I really can't be sure.  I did tell Keith that since we are no longer asking for opinions or advice on the decision-it's been made, people should adhere to my grandma's rule "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" because at this stage, all you're doing is hurting my feelings.  I know these people love us, and I know all they want is the best for Hadley, I know that these aren't personal attacks, and I know they are all said with good intentions and love. 

There are no hard feelings and I'm not angry that people disagree with our decision, it's just hard sometimes because we truly believe we are doing what is right and that we are seeing signs and results to say that it's true and we wish others could see it too.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Santa Brought Forgiveness and Mercy

I wrote a post about getting angry at my preacher, and I ended up taking it down until he and I worked it out because my intention was never to be polarizing and that's what was happening. With that said, I'm putting it back up right before I post this one. I have edited out some of the more unkind things I said, but I thnk it serves a purpose too so I'm posting it.

It wasn't written as a "he said she said" type of thing. I write one side of the story, my side, that's all I'll ever write. I don't try to be fair and balanced most of the time, because this is about my feelings, memories, and perspective. Occasionally, I'll say things like "in his/her defense" but usually, this blog is about me.

I also don't write things to get people on my team! I don't mind disagreeing politically or personally. I don't expect everyone to agree with my views or opinions, I'm not trying to indoctrinate anyone, or persuade anyone. I've admitted that I will even write things that may not be flattering, about myself and that anyone in my circle is vulnerable. I don't do things like put people's last names and and I didn't write what church I go to when I was complaining about my preacher, those are details that no one needs and they neither make or break what I'm saying.

So, with that said, I did say some unkind things about my preacher and how angry I was. I made assumptions about his logic and reasoning, and I was wrong. It's another one of those times when I lost my cool, blurted out something, and ultimately apologized. (I have been forgiven and we have moved on.)

The funny thing about this predicament is that I make a lot of mistakes. I feel like I'm apologizing to someone for something stupid I've done pretty regularly. It usually doesn't take me too long to realize that I've done something I shouldn't and I'm more than willing to admit that and apologize. I know a lot of people who think they never do anything wrong, and I'm kind of the opposite of that. (Here comes the funny part) The thing I forget is that other people make mistakes too. So wow, other people make mistakes too! I also learned that I'm not the only person who is willing to apologize when a mistake is made. I'm so used to being the one apologizing that being on the receiving end threw me for a loop!

So, I approached out minister on Monday and told him why I was so mad. I spent a solid 10-15 minutes telling him all the reasons I was angry, hurt, and disappointed. I spent a lot of time praying about this interaction before it happened, because I knew it could go in any direction and I knew my approach could dictate that direction. A friend gave me some great advice before I spoke to him and I remembered it!
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:2-3 (NIV) I also recognized how mad I was and didn't want to stomp in his office and fly off the handle, screaming and throwing things is even less attractive at the church office than at home, ha! I kept a cool level head, but I wanted to be sure to emphasize my frustrations.

He listened, quietly, taking it all in and really considering it before responding. (geeze, I wish I had THAT ability!) Anyway, when he did speak, he was so humble and genuinely apologetic. He admitted that his comment had been a mistake and he wanted us to work together to repair the damage with Hadley.

We talked quite a bit longer and realized our lives had crossed paths before. We took the time to get to know each other and he's a good guy, and I'm not as scary as he anticipated. We decided that the best way to get Hadley past her hurt would be to give her a chance to get to know him as someone other than "the big mean man who lied about Santa." What we decided was that we should have dinner together sometime and later in the conversation he mentioned that his wife was out of town so I said, "why don't you just come over tonight?" He politely accepted and that was that, he was sitting beside Hadley at our dinner table last night.

I told him that I never want to be the person who is a discouragement and that I have a huge respect for what he's doing. My intention was never to be confrontational or problematic and I really want to be an encouragement but with that said, I have to put my daughters first. My first obligation is to raise good christian daughters. Steve told me that my approach wasn't discouraging and he appreciated my desire to address it. I had explained that I am incapable of holding it in, I knew if I didn't address it it would build up inside of me until I couldn't stand it anymore, and I have enough respect for him and appreciation for my church family that I wasn't willing to let that happen.

So yes, my first blog was a little harsh, and maybe I should have tempered myself a little better but before anyone judges who I am now, they should know who I was a few years ago. If this had been five or six years ago I probably would have stomped up to the pulpit mid sermon or I would have left angry and never gone back to the church again. So no, I'm not perfect-I never will be, but I'm trying to get better! I care enough about people to fix it, and I don't always approach things in the best way, but I approach them in the best way I can.

Hadley made her feelings very clear when I told her Steve was coming for dinner, she wasn't happy. She agreed to be on her best behavior anyway and have an open mind and heart. By the end of the night, she wanted to know when Mr. Steve could come back or when we could go to his house!

I told Steve, when I left yesterday, that as far as I was concerned this whole thing was over. I said my part, he listened, we both apologized and it's done. This is not something that will come back, it's done. We even hugged when I left and Hadley (and Lydia) were sad to see him leave after dinner last night!

I'm sorry this happened (for many reasons!), and I'm sorry that my honesty and bluntness upset some people, but I'm not sorry that an opportunity presented itself to both learn and teach about forgivness, humility, and mercy. I'm also not sorry that I got a chance to know Steve and he got a chance to know me or that Hadley and Lydia made a new friend.

So, we still believe in Santa in this house and for valentines day he brought forgiveness and mercy, all around!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

HO! HO! HO! and God Bless!

For the first time, in my entire life, I left in the middle of a sermon because I was so mad at what the minister had to say. Ironically enough, what I've been kicking around in frustration all day had nothing to do with the Bible or Bible principals or anything to do with Jesus or God. The thing that caused me to stomp out of the auditorium in anger, with a crying eight year old on my heels was Santa Claus. Yes, you read that right, Santa. And, just for the record, I wouldn't have stomped out in anger if the timing had been better or had this sermon taken place in a room full of adults, or if my daughter's heart hadn't just been broken.

This morning we had our baby dedication service so there was no children's church. I've been working with Hadley and encouraging her to listen to what goes on in the auditorium. Today, I wish I hadn't. The part of the sermon that I heard revolved around being honest with our children, which I totally agree on. More than once, I've told my children that I will always tell them the truth, even when it's really hard an uncomfortable, and I do. Sometimes it downright hurts to tell the truth to them, but when they ask, I answer.

So, when the preacher said, "this may bring some uncomfortable questions to some of you but I'm going to tell you anyway" I assumed he was going to talk about being honest about sex. We've been there, done that in this house, so I didn't even blink. Then he says "Santa! When my kids asked us if Santa was real, we said NO, Santa is not real but it sure is fun to believe."

This is where I should mention that his kids are college age and up, mine are ages four and eight, and the auditorium was filled with ages newborn through adults.

Hadley looked at me with big tears in her eyes and said "Why would he say that mommy?" at which point I nearly lost it. Yes, the hormones make me a little crazy but Hadley has had a rough few months and now one of the people we teach her to trust has yanked the rug out from under her with zero regards to whether or not she's prepared. That's when I stomped out of the auditorium, dragging my bawling eight year old behind me.

I'm not mad over Santa, let's be honest, every parent out there knows that there's an expiration on that fairy tale. I'm mad over this man's insensitivity towards my children and lack of consideration for my choices as a parent. I agree 100% that when our children ask us questions we should be honest, but MY CHILD DIDN'T ASK!!! HE made the decision on when she would find out.

What's even more disappointing is that Hadley is at the tender age where she's starting to make memories and things that happen now are the things she'll remember for her lifetime. What's the most upsetting of all is that this will probably be one of her earliest memories of church service. We teach her to trust and respect our minister, we pray for his family and life, and, without thinking, he chooses to make a bold statement that will forever be imprinted on her memory as one of her earliest church experiences.

I was about Hadley's age when I remember my first real church experience and fortunately it was a very positive one. Long story short, our minister taught us to love one another and all of our differences. He taught us that as long as we weren't doing something sinful or hurtful it was perfectly okay to have fun and enjoy our life and we shouldn't judge others for doing the same.

Up until this point, I've appreciated most of what our minister has to say. I've respected his sermons, some have been both thought and conversation provoking, and I've kept a very open mind. I've also been impressed that he's bringing some heavy hitting sermons while still settling in. He's both acclimating to a new congregation and a new area, all while bringing his 'a game' to the congregation. My sweet eight year old has prayed for his family during this time, because she agrees that it's scary.

When Hadley, tearfully, asked why our preacher would stand in front of so many people and lie, God gave us grace with what to say.

We said, "Honey, he's not lying."

"Yes he is, I know Santa is real, how would he leave that note on our Christmas tree if he wasn't real?"

"No honey, Mr. Steve doesn't believe in Santa."

"Well, I believe and he's wrong."

"It's okay if you believe, but we've talked about this before, not everyone believes."

"Well I believe, mommy, Santa is real and Mr. Steve is wrong," with big tears in her eyes

"Sweetie, it's okay for you to believe and it's okay that he doesn't."

--mommy was thinking that Mr. Steve should have kept it to himself but through the grace of God, I kept that to myself.

"Do you believe in Santa, Mommy?" Hadley then asks.

To quote Joy's mom, from many many years ago, I said something that God gently reminded me of,
"I believe that Christmas is a magical time. I believe that there are lots of blessings and lots of things to be thankful for and people tend to notice them more at Christmastime."

"Does that mean you believe or not?" Hadley insists.

"It means exactly what I said it means, sweetie, I love Christmas and all the magic that surrounds it."

"Well, that's fine mommy, but I still believe in Santa."

So, despite the fact that none of this really has anything do with Santa, Hadley is hanging onto the magic of Christmas as tightly as she can. I'm planning on having a discussion with the preacher regarding all of this. I don't know what outcome I'm hoping for, but if I don't get this off my chest, it will eat me alive and I'm praying that this won't jade Hadley's opinion of every minister from here on out.

Until then, HO! HO! HO! and God Bless!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Well, I've Been Thinking...

Since yesterday's rant on Hadley's teacher, and school, and the injustice of life I've had time to think and I've gotten some excellent advice from some great women, both moms and teachers, and I've come to some conclusions.

First, in the grand scheme of things this is minor, it sucks, but it's doable. 

Second, we're halfway through this.

Third, and probably most important, its not the teacher who is going to make the difference here-it's me.  My reaction to this situation will have more impact on Hadley then the situation itself ever will.

I get so wrapped up in how this is going to effect Hadley that I forget that there are other sources of influence in her life.  My aunt gave me some great advice and since it's me, I can't imagine she'll be surprised that I'm quoting her, but this is what she said.

The teacher isn't the point. It's how you deal with the whole situation that's the real test. I can find you people who love AND hate any given teacher. Teach Hadley to handle unfairness and whatever else is happening thru this experience. You can't always change things in life, you have to learn to walk thru them as best as you can. Hopefully, she'll learn about the kind of person she DOESN'T want to be. Trust me, she will handle this better than you will! Kids are very resilient.

The stubborn side of me wanted to argue and say "but, but, but..." but, there was nothing I could say to argue with that.  This is my first real opportunity to show Hadley how to handle adversity, and so far, I'm failing miserably!  I'll do better, and I know I can.  Yeah, I've faked liking the teacher and I've even told Hadley "just because mommy doesn't like how she's doing something doesn't mean she's a bad teacher" but my heart wasn't in it.  It's true though, she may be a terrible teacher or one of the best but my opinion has been so jaded because I don't like how she's doing things, that I wouldn't know.  And, honestly, it doesn't matter!

“So Jesus explained, ‘I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.’” John 5:19 (NLT)
 
That's a load for a mom who's been running on emotion, but it's so true and it's go time around here!  I'm going to put up or shut up.  Starting right now, my attitude is adjusted!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Teaching is Hard, but Being Mom is Tough Too!

I got Hadley sent to school and then went back to bed this morning because I didn't sleep well last night and thought I'd reclaim some sleep.  Didn't happen.

Why?  You ask.

Because my mind is spinning and the longer I laid there the more upset, aggravated, irritated I got.  I decided to put this post together to organize my thoughts and ramblings and clear my mind a little.

I had questions about Hadley's report card so I made a copy, wrote notes by the line I had questions on and sent it in to the teacher.  I knew the teacher was going to be out of school on Friday so I didn't expect to hear from her for a couple of days.  I tried to be clear on most of my questions and only wrote "please explain" by a couple. 

I understand that being a teacher is a difficult job and dealing with parents might be the worst part so I try to take that into account when I communicate with any of Hadley's teacher.  I want to convey that I respect their position but I sometimes need a little clarity.  Except maybe this year and I've just HAD IT!  My patience has worn thin this year, but I'll get into that later in the post.

The reply I got was completely unsatisfactory.  She basically told me that grading would just be harder sometimes and that I was misunderstanding the scoring system.

Okay.  Well, that's WHY I EMAILED YOU!  But, that was the only answer I got. 

My reply was less than understanding (in part because I'm pissed but this particular email was a victim of auto correct which made it sound even worse.)  I tried to reply, "I just need you to answer the specific questions I sent you."  But it came our more like what was in my head "do your damn job!"

This teacher has made our year hell.  She has zero compassion or consideration and I completely get how under appreciated and underpaid teachers are.  It's sickened me to see the education cuts while throwing money in directions that are unnecessary.  None the less, this is the world we live in.  With teaching jobs being as scarce as they are we should have nothing but the creme de la creme in the schools.  There is no excuse to have a sub par teacher when there are a dozen good teachers lined up around the block for every job. 

I read somewhere the other day that a girls self esteem peaks at nine.  It really scares me that Hadley is going to peak after spending a year with this woman.  It terrifies me, really.  I know each child learns and responds differently and each child has different needs.  What separates a regular teacher from a great teacher is the ability to learn each child's personality.  Last year Hadley had the teacher who managed to teach the kids, but she also really KNEW her kids! 

Hadley thrives on praise and positive reinforcement.  She doesn't do well with turmoil, she can't handle people yelling (at her or others) and she certainly doesn't want to trouble anyone.  Hadley is one of those kind souls who truly can't understand why anyone would ever do anything to displease or hurt someone.  She comes home in the afternoons with a heavy heart. 

The school has Hadley for approximately 35 waking hours weekly, I have her approximately 50 waking hours weekly.  That's not a huge amount of time to combat negativity, especially considering her confidence is going to peak in approximately six months. 

I'm sorry for whatever personal problems this teacher may be dealing with that makes her so unhappy and I have spent a lot of time praying for her.  I really don't hate her, or even dislike her, but I will NOT sacrifice my child's well being while she works out whatever she has going on.

With that said, I've come to the conclusion that I'm tired of dealing with the teacher and having her tell me all the right things and do none of them.  When my kids get in trouble and say "I'm sorry" I tell them, I want to see it, not hear it.  Saying I'm sorry is easy, showing you mean it is when the truth comes out and that's where I am with this teacher.  I don't want special treatment, Hadley doesn't need to be coddled and neither do I, but I expect my child and every child in that classroom to be treated with respect and kindness.  School may be the only place some children ever feel special and unfortunately, part of a teachers job is to make sure they do. 

I have friends who are teachers and although I worried a little that this post might offend them, it's a case of my blog being true to my life (good, bad and ugly) as I wrote in Surprise, I'm only Human.   Then I started thinking of the kind of teachers  (and people) they are and I realized it wouldn't be offensive. 

I know that I probably sound unrealistic in this post and that I think my kid is perfect (and I sort of do!)  I don't only feel like my child is suffering from this, I feel like the whole class is and it saddens me.  Children are so vulnerable and precious and even though some of them can be little jerks, we can't punish them all because of that.  Teaching is hard, kids are frustrating, and parents are obnoxious.  I get that and it's exactly why I'll never be a teacher but I can't imagine that people who become teachers are blindsided by this and if they are, I'm truly sorry.  Unfortunately in life there are sometimes surprises, and jobs can turn crappy in the blink of an eye, but you either roll with the punches or find a new job.  What you don't do, is torment small children or make them feel anything but like the gifts from God that they are! 

Tonight, I was talking to Hadlley about school and I asked her "Hadley, if you have a present from God, how do you think you should treat it?"

"AWESOME!" she replied.

"Sweetie, YOU are a gift from God, so how do you think you should be treated?"  I asked.

"Ummm....good" she stammered.

I then said, "why would YOU be treated any different than any other gift from God?"

"I dunno..." she again stammered.

"You shouldn't.  You are God's precious child, and you are His gift to me and I expect you to be treated as nothing less."  I demanded.

"Okay, I want to be treated like that, Mommy."  She said.

That is my prayer for her and other children, that they be treated like God's precious children.  Teachers aren't just helping kids learn to read and write, they are teaching them to be adults.  It's a hard job, with amazing responsibility but the truly great ones will leave a remarkable stamp on the world!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Surprise! I'm Only Human...

I wrote a post yesterday called America the Stupid, where I called someone stupid (more than one, really) and admitted to losing my cool on more than one occasion.  I posted a link to it on facebook and quite a conversation ensued. 
 
Elinore and I rarely agree on much, but we have a mutual respect for each other and we have a mutual interest in each other's lives.  Since she posted the comment on facebook I feel pretty confident that I'm not crossing any lines by re-posting the convo here.
 
Before I post the convorsation, I'll say it definitely brought some things to light that I've known and assumed others knew, but never really shared. 
 
I'm blatantly honest, even when it isn't necessarily flattering.  This blog is about my real life, so I'm real about it.  I could leave out the parts where I lose my cool and say mean things, or I could change things around when I do something stupid to make me smarter, but it's just not reality.  Real life is messy and I'm a real person living a real life. 
 
One of my largest character flaws, and something I'm continually working on, is patience.  My patience is always thin, I'm not one who has a high level of tolerance for things I deem stupid or incompetent.  I'm the one who gets things done, if you need a diplomat I'm not your girl.  I know this about myself and believe it or not I'm really working on it and have actually improved.  I tend to speak first and think later.  I was describing my friend Matt to someone the other day and I said "he's just like me, without the filter" and the friend I was telling said "oh crap!  LESS of a filter than yours?  I guess you have a filter, it just has a lot of holes."  That's about right too, and I often find myself thinking, I really wish I hadn't said that!  But, I'm working on it!
 
So yes, I'm the one who called the girl at the drive through stupid, I'm the one who got a speeding ticket because I yelled at a police officer, and I'm the one who made some extremely unkind remarks in the pharmacy speaker while waiting for a prescription (by the way, they leave that speaker on ALL THE TIME!  Just a little nugget of wisdom I learned the hard way for you!)
 
However, I'm the same one who called the guy at the a/c company to apologize after ripping him a new one, and I'm the person who went into the pharmacy to apologize, face to face, after realizing he heard me through the speaker, and I'm also the one who prays for forgivness and prays that I do better each day than I've done this day. 
 
(see, humility I do okay with!  If you have a mouth like mine, you have to be humble and willing to apologize...a lot!)
 
I really am working on myself and God is working on me, I'll always be a work in progress but I hope each day I do just a little better than the day before.  As long as I write this blog, I'll be honest about myself.  The good, the bad, and the ugly will be shared because that's life, and life is what I like to share.
 
Below is the thought provoking convo that inspired this post.  Thanks to Elinore for calling me on my stuff and putting up with it all these years, while still being kind and respectful!
 
Elinore- The movie, 'Idiocracy', comes to mind.

I respect your thoughts and that you're so open in sharing them.

I do have to point out the hypocrisy, that I see; you are complaining of a dumbed down society and then you are going to McDonald's for your sick family because it is easier?

I just find it odd to complain that our society has dumbed itself down by making things "easier" and you are running back and forth to the crappiest fast food joint known to man, because it's easier for you.

Not only are you doing that but, you're calling innocent bystanders (because generations before them have failed them) stupid. That's just being mean.

I understand your point though and I agree. We are definitely lacking in the critical thinking department and problem solving. I'd hate to see what would happen if we were forced to survive like our ancestors.
 
Lisa (me)--Hey, we'd been out picking up Hadley's homework and McD's what right there and the kids begged because they, literally, NEVER get it. I said what the heck and pulled in! I hardly think eating at a fast food joint once in a great while makes me a hypocrite. Nor do I think I'm being mean by calling stupid, stupid. Generations before me aren't solely responsible for my behavior. I have wasteful parents who think nothing of doing things like burning tires (true story) but I KNOW better! Not because they taught me, but because I chose to learn from elsewhere.
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  • Elinore--I don't believe you are a hypocrite for eating at McDonald's once in a while.

    What I found to be hypocritical was complaining about the make-things-easier/dumbed down society we have created and then taking part in said society. Maybe it's just the examples that were used that lead me to view it that way. Or maybe I'm also getting grouchy with age. Either way, it's just my point of view, not really that important. I just like to discuss things so that I can maybe get clarity on a subject.

    Just because a girl is placed infront of a do-it-all register and probably hasn't been challenged to think outside of that, doesn't make her stupid. Ignorant, yes. Perhaps, you calling her stupid made her question what she was doing and you've done the girl a great service. But, maybe she's been called stupid her whole life and it just hurt her self-esteem a bit more. That's why I think it's mean. You don't know her.

    I like that you are outspoken and assertive. I respect the way you think about things all the time and put yourself out there. I appreciate having access to your thoughts because we don't see eye to eye, quite often, and it challenges me ;-)

  • Lisa (me)--I think what makes someone stupid is not trying to do better or learn more. You and I don't see eye to eye on a lot of things but I still respect your opinion and I know you respect mine (even when we think each other is crazy!) Had the girl asked me to explain what I meant rather than arguing with me and treating me like the stupid one, I would have patiently explained, but she chose to be stupid! I admitted (even in the blog) that it wasn't my finest moment but stupidity seems to be an epidemic people will never know if they refuse to learn. I really try not to lose my cool, but it happens more often than I'd like and this was just an instance. I could edit it out of my blog to make me sound better but I'm human and my blog is about my real life so I roll with it. Ignorance with obstinance is stupidity!
  • Wednesday, January 11, 2012

    America the Stupid

    My aunt used to say that Microsoft was responsible for the dumbing down of America and I always laughed and shrugged to humor her because my generation isn't dumb and I know it!   I was right, to an extent, my generation isn't as dumb as the one right behind me and I can only imagine how stupid the one after that and then my children's generation will be, but I do imagine that my generation is dumber than hers!

    A few examples...

    Cashiers are no longer capable of counting out change and Lord help them if their computer goes down because they can't fathom that anyone else can do that math either.  I got my total the other day at a drive through it was $4.26 so I gave the young girl at the window a $5.00 then I saw a penny so I handed it over and the cashier replied "you gave me enough" and hands it back. 

    I said to her "I know I gave you enough, I'm giving you the penny so I won't get a handful of change." 

    When she looks at me, exasperated and says "well I can't change it, I've already put it in the computer." 

    I couldn't help myself, laughing I said, "seriously or are you kidding that you can't do the math on that?" 

    She didn't even realize I was laughing at her when she said "well my computer told me how much change to give you and I can't change that." 

    **deep breath, Lisa, don't slap her**

    "You would take my penny and add it to the twenty four cents you have, two dimes and four pennies, and then you'd give me a quarter." 

    "Well I can't do that, it will mess my drawer up." 

    I resisted the urge to scream YOU IDIOT!  YOU'RE THE ONLY THING THAT WILL MESS YOUR DRAWER UP BECAUSE YOU'RE STUPID!!!  and instead said, "just forget it, clearly you're stupid" and she tossed my food out the window at me and I went on my way.

    Then, last weekend my family went to Scotty's Lakehouse (which by the way, has NO lake view whatsoever but does have great food and service).  I ordered a turkey club off of their lunch menu and the waitress said "Oh, lunch ended at 3, I'm sorry."  First I said, "what time is it?" because I knew it was right around that time and the waitress replies "3:02"   I then said "okay, well it doesn't have to be a lunch special or anything but I'd like the turkey club please."

    "Well, I can't do it, the computer won't let me...well, let me check..." and she walks away.  She returns and says, "no, the button won't work so I can't do it, what else would you like?"

    First, I have to say it struck me that this seemed perfectly normal and acceptable to her, then it irritated me.  "So, are you telling me that you have all of the ingredients to make it, and a chef that knows how to do it, and a customer who's willing to pay for it but you CAN'T do it, is that what you're telling me?"

    Harsh, I know but patience has never been my strong suit, then she said "Yes, the computer just won't let me, I'm really sorry." 

    OH. NO. SHE. DI-INT!  So I gave her the look...you know the one, it says fix it or die!  And flustered, she agreed to take my order.

    I will say, the food was delicious!!!  And, there was SO MUCH of it!  Not to mention, service was great, and even though I'd been less than friendly to this waitress she took care of us like we were her best friends and truly didn't seem to hold a grudge, which really says more about her than me!

    Now, the tip of the iceberg was Sunday when we went to Noodles and Company with some friends and Amber dared order a family bowl when the cashier said "oh, we only do that to go."  Amber, sensibly said "then make it to go..." which totally irritated the cashier and seemingly ruined her day!  She practically threw the food to everyone at the table and Amber's husband, Jeff, even said "wow, Lisa, she really hates you! hahaha!"  I said, "Amber started it!" in my most grown up voice.

    All of this has me thinking, is our nation really that stupid, or maybe just this area?  It seems that an entire generation has missed out on problem solving skills.  Either that, or these restaurants regulate their employees so tightly that they are afraid to attempt to solve problems.  I'm not sure, but either way it needs to change.  Customer service is suffering and it makes these places look stupid for hiring stupid people!  Come on guys, you can do better!

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    Another Dolce Post

    I got a call this morning from Coleen, who owns Dolce, to let me know that my hairstylist is leaving.  UGH!!!  I love that she called to let me know so I wouldn't be blindsided next time I call but I can't help but ask why do these stylist keep switching salons?  I really liked this one!  I love what she did to my hair, she's super personable, and she made Hadley feel like a rockstar!  I'm really bummed that she's leaving!

    I learned a long time ago that you can't follow a hairstylist around because you'll end up going all over town and they will just keep moving and moving.  So, what I learned to do was find a salon that I like the management at, that sales the products I like, and that has a standard that I agree with.  That way, as the revolving door of stylists comes and goes I can be sure that they'll hire a certain caliber of person.  That is why I'm so loyal to Dolce. 

    I like Coleen, I believe that she's probably a good person to work for, and I think that Dolce appears to run pretty cohesively.  That doesn't change the fact that I wish I could find a stylist who would stay in one place!  Seriously ladies!  There will always be a new opportunity, and the grass will always be greener, and I'll admit I've never worked for Coleen or at a salon but if you find something good why not stick with it and make it work!  This doesn't just happen at Dolce, if it did I'd be suspicious but it's happened at every salon I've ever gone too in every state I've lived in!  With the one exception of the salon I went to in WV that had their stylist sign an iron clad contract, thus making them all stomp around in misery!  (or maybe that was because they lived in WV...it definitely made me surly!)

    Tuesday, January 3, 2012

    Hair Cut With a Side of AWESOME!

    Hadley has sort of taken a hit to her confidence this year.  Between a teacher who cares less about nurturing children than checking email(totally the wrong profession for her!), miserable little mean girls (yes, this young!), and a new asthma diagnosis to struggle with, it's been a difficult year to say the least.

    As mom, I want to swoop in and fix it!  I want to smack her teacher, smack the bratty little girl, and take her asthma away, but I can't.  All I can do is try to give her the tools to handle things on her own and offer her support when things get tricky.  It's really really hard! 

    One thing I've tried to do at home to combat the negative school environment is to make sure she knows she's appreciated.  We tell her as often as possible how much we love her, how smart she is, how proud we are to have her as our daughter, what a blessing she is, and how beautiful she is.

    In the mornings when I'm brushing her hair I pause and tell her to look at herself in the mirror and I show her what I see.  I show her the stunning blue eyes that are looking at us with such a deep kindness.  I make sure she sees the beautiful smile that warms hearts and makes my life better.  I want her to see how beautiful she is, not only on the outside but the inside too. 

    We try to make sure she has hobbies that she's not only good at but enjoys.  We try to let her spend as much time as possible with her best friend.  We are really trying to keep a balance in her life right now by adding as  much positive as we can.  The shool has her for seven waking hours and we have her for about five so we have to make our time count!

    Everyone who knows me has heard me rave about how much I love Dolce Salon and Spa but today really drove it home because they are more than a salon!

    I took Lydia for her first hair cut and Hadley needed a trim to so she got in line for hers.  Lydia went first, which was hilarious!  Amber (my stylist) cut just the right amount off of Lydia's hair, just enough to help combat tangles but not enough to really tell.



    I told Amber what my "no no's" were for Hadley's hair.  NO bangs, not too short, nothing too crazy.  I told them other than that they could do what they wanted and I went to sit down and let Hadley take control.  I gave them what seemed like enough time to get almost done.  I walked over to check on them and where I left a little girl sat a young lady.  Hadley looked so beautiful and so grown up.  I looked at her and told her how pretty she looked and with bright eyes and a huge grin she said "I know mommy!" and then she brought tears to my eyes "I don't usually think I'm pretty but I really am now."

    I could see in how she carried herself and how she was looking in the mirror that she actually believed she's a beautiful girl!  Who knew that something as simple as a hair cut could make such a difference in an eight year old girl's life.  And who knew that the stylist I love because she does such a great job on my hair and is a fun, nice person could do what I've been trying to do for months!