Monday, January 31, 2011

All Because I Love You

The passage below came from a girlfriend's Facebook status.  It just rang so true with me and reminds me so much of my Dad.

When I was in high school I really thought that the rules did not apply to me.  I was bored and restless.  As a 15 year old tenth grader I went off campus for lunch almost every day.  Sophomores were not supposed to leave campus for lunch.  Well, all sophomores but me!!  There was a certain day of that year when I came back from off campus lunch and my Dad was sitting in his truck in the parking space right next to us. My Dad was not the person I wanted to see in the parking lot of school.  Ever.  Subsequently, I ate lunch in the Principal's office for an entire semester after that.  Good times.  Good times.

Now that I'm a Mom I see that we all do the best we can as parents and sometimes it's a lot less fun than we want it to be.  I can only imagine how many parking lots I will sit in waiting for The Princess.  Oy vay!

I get it, Daddy.  Thank you.


I will stalk you
freak out on you
lecture you
drive you crazy
be your worst nightmare
embarrass you in front of your friends
hunt you down like a bloodhound...
all because I LOVE YOU.

When you understand that, I will know you are a responsible adult.
You will never find someone who loves you & cares about you more than your parents!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Confessional ~ Date Night and Dirty Girls

I Confess

Having kids that are good readers makes me really proud.  I am secretly thrilled when I find The Athlete staying up late to finish a chapter or two.

Having kids that tell me I shouldn't drink from a cup that says "Make your own damn dinner" does not make me proud.  I wish they couldn't read that.

Or my emails over my shoulder.

Or my text messages from my girlfriends.

I Confess

E and I are due for a date night.

Life is stressful right now and we just feel like worker bees, and housekeepers and check writers.

We need to drink some cocktails and stay up late talking about something besides our kids and the scheduling conflicts we have next week.

I Confess

There are some people in my life right now that I am not sure are worth it.

I am intensely loyal and hold tightly to people that have touched my heart.  But I am working a LOT harder lately on them being in my life than they are.  I'm not sure how much longer that can last. 

Even the idea of it makes me sad.

I Confess

My daughter and I are oil and water sometimes.  Or we could just be the same person in different packages.  I dunno.

She's developed a significant disdane for showering lately.  I don't quite get it since getting beautiful is her FAVORITE.THING.EVER. but I guess she doesn't make the connection that you gotta be clean, too.

Just in case I was wondering how she really felt about taking a shower this week, she wrote a letter.

And "I mene never in my hole live" have I been so damn afraid of a kindergartener.

HAPPY FRIDAY, Friends.  Go see Mamarazzi and Glamazon or more Friday confessionals.  They'll make your day.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Every Coach is a Life Coach

The month of January makes me hyper sensitive to young athletes and the men (and women) that are spending time with them when their parents are not.  My son plays basketball, has baseball tryouts and starts track in January.  My husband spends countless hours this month coaching, practicing and playing basketball with boys our son's age and with the 7th grade team he has coached for three years.  He also makes time to watch other games that are coached by his friends.  All of them good men, but none of them is truly prepared to add "Life Coach" to their business cards that already read "Dad, Brother, Husband, Bartender, Lawn Man, Dog Groomer, Analyst" . . .  It's temporary and time is volunteered.  They're just coaches.  Or not.

Remember when I talked about the baseball coach that was so deserving of an attitude adjustment from me?  The one who was going to make me be That Mom?  Well, I remember him.  It's been almost a year since The Athlete played for him and I have not (nor will I) forget how much of an impact he had on our family that spring.  A negative impact.

Coach B taught my son that if you weren't successful in every position and every at bat that there must be a problem that needed fixing.  He taught him that being big was always superior to being small and full of heart.  He taught him that no matter how hard he tried or how much he cared he was not going to be part of his A Team.  He taught all of us a lesson that season.  Given the opportunity again I would shield my son from that sort of lesson at his age, but we did learn.

Then there was another coach.  Coach TJ.  He taught The Athlete some different lessons.  He taught my son confidence and shared skills that he sought in players as a college recruiter.  He taught my son to play hard but not to count runs, wins or losses.  He taught him to play his hardest and always have a good time in the process.  He taught him how to accept failures graciously and hold on to them as learning opportunities.

E came home before his basketball game on Saturday and told me that The Athlete looked really great at baseball tryouts that morning.  My son told me that he saw Coach TJ in the field watching him.  Less than an hour later I got a note from TJ

Mrs M

Boy did The Athlete look fantastic today at tryouts.  I told all the coaches what a great kid he is; made the old coach proud.  Keep up the good work


Any coach can teach our kids the proper stance at bat, which angle to run in to accurately field a fly ball and where he should aim for on the backboard for that perfect shot. At this stage in the game I am comfortable that my son could actually find all of those things through google.

But those aren't the lessons that my son is going to take with him beyond Pony League and my husband's seventh graders will take to high school. The lessons they'll leave with are the lessons about honor, and sportsmanship and effort. Good or bad, intentional or not our children are learning from their coaches every day.  Every encounter is a learning opportunity and I am eternally grateful for men like TJ and my husband.  Men that understand the impact that they are having on the next generation long after the sweat has dried on their jerseys.  Men that know they are life coaches, even without the title.

"It is not how big you are; it's how big you play"

Monday, January 24, 2011

In The Lord's House

Sunday came and went again and our family was not at mass. At the end of the week we are tired. There is cleaning to be done and a project to be finished. Yet again, 9 AM mass didn't happen.

Then today my back is out {again} and I am piled in bed with an ice pack and a terrible attitude. Feeling limited in any way is a problem for me. I do not want to be in bed when I do not want to be in bed. I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it.

And although I was not in the Lord's house this weekend he came to mine today. And he brought Maddie James.

Maddie is a 5 year old kindergartener and is friends with The Princess' "boyfriend". Our little friend's Mom asked us to pray for her last weekend after a sudden and devastating diagnosis of an inoperable, malignant brain tumor called DIPG. I can't even allow this little girl into my consciousness without tearing up and immediately wanting to hug and kiss my children endlessly until I'm certain they're whole and well.

The Lord brought her to me today as a reminder to get over myself. I am certain of that. I can just be the most rotten spoiled brat sometimes and sweet Maddie might not get the chance. I get it.

Please pray for Maddie. Perhaps if not for healing then for comfort and peace for her and her parents in the coming months. And if you need to get over yourself, too. Do it. ASAP.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Confessional


I Confess

One of the reasons I don’t cook at home more is because I am too tired to clean up after my family.

Last night I swept food off the counter and directly onto the floor for clean up.

I knew the dog would find it before I get a chance to sweep again.

I Confess

That I desperately want to finish The Athlete's Indian project for him.

Not because he’s not doing it the way that I want him to. No.

It’s because I think he’s learned the value of hard work in the THREE WEEKS that we’ve been working on it. Yep, that’s why.

I Confess

My blog layout and header got totally screwed up when I was trying to give it a little New Year's spruce  I can’t figure out how to restore it to it’s former glory.

I almost don’t care.

That’s a lie. It’s driving me nuts and I just don’t know when I’ll have a chance to do it unless I am willing to forego bedtime soon.

I’m not willing to forego bedtime anytime soon.

I Confess

Sometimes I make inappropriate generalizations based on gender, race or sex.

I know that’s inappropriate.

However, if one more slick little asian man walks into our office building ahead of me and lets the door slam in my face I will embarrass him by kicking his ass.

I know that’s inappropriate.

And I don’t care.

So THEY (Glamazon and Mamarazzi) say confession is good for the soul. So confess and link up. Don't forget to add the SUPER cute button.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out

My friend Kellie just told me she's not blogging lately because there's not anything she's passionate enough about that she wants to share in writing.  Amen, sista!  I LOVE my blog, but in the middle of the days that are a blur of lunch boxes, traffic, conference calls and the grocery store there really aren't a lot of things that are worthy of the attention a blog post would command.

Then I heard about Shell's "Pour Your Heart Out" and tonight it's the perfect outlet for my misplaced frustration and heavy heart.  Tonight, of all nights, I have to pour my heart out about two sweet you know who's ~ of course.

There's nothing in the whole entire gigantic world that matters more to me than being a parent to them.


No One (sorry, E!!)


Being their Mom is the reason I get out of bed, make lunches, sit in traffic, pretend to be interested engage fully on conference calls and go to the grocery store.


Those Two

Him and Her

And anytime I am not with them or they're sleeping it's all I think about.  But they don't sleep much.  And I end up feeling like a failure as a Mother most of the time.

I am not patient.  I yell too much.  I don't cook enough vegetables or make ants on logs out of peanut butter, celery and raisins.  I threaten consequences for swampy bathroom floors and unpacked backpacks.  I send them to bed without kisses and prayers when I am at the end of my rope.

And I loathe myself for being that person as often as I am

They are so good. And funny.  And talented.  And sweet.  And smart.  And they're still young enough that they WANT ME TO HELP THEM.  In the essence of Pour Your Heart Out I am heartbroken even as I type.  They WANT ME TO HELP THEM and on too many days I am just spent.  The selfish thirty something that went to work at 6 AM and has traffic court tomorrow can't keep it together until 8 PM to do whatever they ask.  I can't curb my innate sense of whateverness long enough to help with a Venn Diagram and a butterfly graph.


I did pray tonight, and read Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies with her and have "Talk Night" with him, but it should have been more.  They deserved more, but all of my more got sucked up before they got me.  I knew it and I fought it and felt guilty even as I tried to salvage something for them.  Always guilty.

I want them to move confidently in the world and get good grades.  I want them to be the kids that are always welcomed by other parents because of their impeccable manners.  I want them to make good choices when they don't want to listen to me anymore.  I want them to be the very best versions of them they can be.

I want them to know how much I love them.

Those Two

Him and Her

Sunday, January 16, 2011

In a Moment

Our weekend has been good. The degree of good varies by moment.

Friday found me in my PJs nursing a nasty cold, the flu . . . something. The day was made up of strained conference calls, E pinch hitting for my parenting duties and nothing really terrific.

Saturday was full of Dayquil and errands and basketball and laundry. I sliced open my thumb and asked E to buy me some skin glue on his way home from the store. I didn't need it after all. We scrambled to get spiffy because we had a sitter coming so we could celebrate his Aunt and Uncle's joint surprise party for their birthdays.

More Dayquil and some extra blush turned into a really great time with our family. We danced and had cocktails and then we shared cheese fries at 2 am. The Princess got her hair braided and her toes painted. The Athlete got a crush :) It was a good night for all of us.

Sunday was perfectly lazy. A sunny walk for us and bike ride for them at the beach. The kids got ice cream and only some of us showered. Something about the pending holiday silently gives me permission me leave the last load of whites in the dryer. I invited my BFF over to drink wine and watch the Golden Globes. We critiqued dresses and gossiped for a couple of hours. I hugged her tight and closed the front door thinking about how happy and lucky I am.

And then I got an email. From another friend. On behalf of her friend. Who has a 5 year old. Who was diagnosed just this morning with an inoperable malignant brain tumor. I am speechless, but I promised to pray.

And in a moment my ordinary, Dayquil filled, errand running, sunny Sunday weekend was magnificent. My blessings were greater and my children were more precious than they had been just the hour earlier.

A moment. Just one moment. Bedtime will last a little longer tonight.

Love who you love
And say that you do
Hold on as tight as they'll let you

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mind Sweep

When I am at my best, there is a very visible line for me between my business and professional lives. And when the distinction is clear I am more effective at both. I am able to give each of them everything I’ve got in their own segments of time.

When the distinction is less clear (like ALL THE TIME RIGHT NOW) I am not very good at either one of them. I spend a good deal of my business day chasing personal tasks and most of my personal time (read “time with my family”) dwelling on the business items I neglected. The outcome proves to be toxic and unproductive at every level.  Enter my beautiful friend, Alexis.

I met Alexis when our professional paths crossed a few years ago in San Francisco. She is the most pleasant person to be with and it was an added bonus that she is fantastically professional. We hit it off right away and have maintained a relationship over the course of time even when we didn’t have any business on the table.

The last time I saw her was at a meeting over the summer in Vancouver. I was thrilled that she was there and so excited to have a chance to spend some time with her. She hinted to me that she was considering making a change in her life and shared a little of the detail about her passion. Then . . .


She left her comfortable, predictable job with a salary and benefits for her family and followed her passion. I was then, and still am, so impressed with her.

Her vlog today was about a Mind Sweep.   You can watch the 1 minute video HERE.  Guess who needed that?!?! I love the concept. She suggests that you take a piece of paper and write down everything on your mind - business and personal. In no particular order and with no rhyme or reason. Just write it all down. I did it right away and then shared it with another friend who I really think could use it. Just saying on paper that I know it needs some attention was a huge relief to me. And when I asked her if I could blog about her idea she sent me a link to share that outlines how to use the Mind Sweep to create an action plan for yourself.  Go here for that handout

I love simple things that make a big difference.  And I love good people that manifest the good things they deserve.  Thank you, Alexis.  I can finish the week now with some clarity and purpose and make sure that my weekend is all about what matters . . .

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ten Things

This December really didn't give me ANY reasons not to smile, but in the spirit of the season and to close out a terrific year here are my top ten reasons to smile about from December

The sheer joy and anticipation of my children as we counted down to Christmas

Receiving Christmas cards with warm sentiments and sweet photos of our nearest and dearest

A red reindeer nose on my favorite kindergarten girl

The official start of basketball season for our family

How beautiful even the shabbiest house looks when adorned with colored lights and an evergreen wreath on the door

Being in the grocery store, a casual restaurant or on the sidewalk and seeing multiple generations together.  Just together.

Making a conscious decision not to spend a fortune on gifts and giving from the heart

Not exchanging gifts with E and still feeling like the luckiest girl in the world

My Athlete reminding me of what a good boy he is and being a truly gracious gentleman

Getting beautiful photos of my favorite two with my Mom
(to be shared later!!)

Happy New Year, friends!!  Go see Emmy and friends for their Ten Things, too.


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