Broadway Babies


This year I took my girls to their first broadway shows. I had this image in my head of what the day would be like, how magical it would feel. How I would take cute pics with Soph and the curtain from Wicked, maybe a little photobomb from the Clock of the Time Dragon. How Autumn and I would use these temporary tattoos I’d been saving for yeaaars that said “Rise Up” before going to see Hamilton. Welp, all these preconceived notions I’d had fell by the wayside. Because of other theater-goers obstructing our view, Soph ended up sitting on the other side of her cousin-- we weren’t even next to each other. Then, I was so overtired that when Autumn and I were putting on our Rise Up tats I forgot to lift the plastic and ruined mine! 




I felt somehow disheartened within these otherwise magical moments, like I had ruined something. I felt like no matter how I tried and how I planned I couldn’t create the magic I was looking so forward to, the magic that made me feel so deeply connected to theater and to other people. I wanted a Broadway bond and I felt like if everything wasn’t perfect then I was unworthy. Or maybe I wanted it to be so perfect that in my heart I had a hard time reconciling anything less. I have found myself over and over and over this year and in all my time parenting having to remind myself of the following: my love is enough, relinquish control of things that don't bring joy, and not all of the little things are the big things! I have had to reexamine how I deal with my anxiety so that I do not find myself over-stressed and overwhelmed in moments where I just want to settle into being over the moon. 


All three of us had amazing times at Hamilton and Wicked. I love Broadway so much and I am so happy I shared this with them. I just wish it had not been despite my anxiety. My husband and I saw a few shows this year and they were also wonderful beautiful casts and stories in Waitress and Betrayal. The girls and I are going to see another show for my birthday next year. I have not decided what show or what day but I have decided that I don't need cute photo ops or the perfect seat to have a great time. I only need my girls. 

Some days you are the stick and some days you are the piñata!

 

I did not take very many pictures at my youngest daughter's 11th birthday party but I have so many feelings. And this little piñata is the symbol of them all. First of all, tweening is tough, and so is tween parenting. All three of my kids have been tough ten-year-olds and I am happy that we are symbolically marking the next stage for them all now. The last two parties we have had at our house had freeze-frame moments where I was literally crying or screaming because all of the tasks fell to me as my kids listening skills were atrocious. I know they were all excited, I know it was not intentional, but as the stress and weight of time bore down on me I was at peak stress level. 

The week before the 11th birthday party my husband happened to check the kids grades and he found that on the one day a week they visit their birth mother they had skipped their homework for the last two weeks. On top of that we were told days beforehand that projects were due and snacks were needed for parties. As our to-do and to-pay-for lists kept growing I could not help but be angry at the kids birth mother. How could she not handle this for the short time she had them? And when I was venting to my husband about this I realized my anger was an excuse. This was a teaching moment. The kids were all old enough to pick up their pencils and get their work done. 

We had a great family meeting and we created new household rules about projects and food supplies (one weeks notice) and about making plans (if it is not on the family calendar, it does not happen). However, looming in the back of the kitchen were the supplies to make a piñata for the upcoming party. Night after night as they played catchup on their grades we said "we will make the piñata after you are done with homework" but homework lasted until bedtime. So here we were on Thursday, the night before the party, with nothing to smash for candy. 


I had envisioned the piñata to be a fun craft for me and the kids. I loved the idea for an Ice Cream Social birthday party! We had lots of signs thanks to target and Cricut, a full toppings bar complete with old style ice cream hats, ice cream themed goodie bags, an amazing cake, and video game tournaments and nerf wards planned. The centerpiece of the party was the piñata. I had to swallow my pride, and my longing to bond after such stressful weeks leading up to the party. I paper-mached a  balloon with a box attached and it sat in the center of our kitchen table over night. After school the kids painted it and decorated it. To show you how insane my house had been, please note that the stuffing used for the whipped cream was actually from my couch because the day before the party OUR DOGS DESTROYED OUR SITTING ROOM SOFA! 

I may not have pictures, but my kids all had amazing memories of that entire weekend. The party rolled into a sleepover and that rolled into a family party and that rolled into a Christmas music dance party in the living room. Sometimes there are no words more true in my life then the now cliche:
We may not have it all together, but together we have it all. 


When it Feels Like You've Lost the Journey


I had a terrible appointment with my doctor recently. I had some systems that the internet said could be various vitamin deficiencies and despite having changed my diet and added supplements I still felt off. I thought this might mean blood work was in order. I went to the doctor feeling GOOD about myself, I mean feeling proud at my work towards being healthier. 

I had not seen this particular NP in a while but she was surprised when she saw me. She acted shocked as though I had gained remarkable weight. Being of small frame, 30 lbs is a lot but I had reached a point I had gained 50 and I was coming back down from that. And this is a person who had access to my records! She kept fixating on my cholesterol (spoiler alert, after the bloodwork it was great) and trying to trick me into saying I eat crappy foods. She would sneak in questions like "so when do you eat all the processed stuff?" or "so you don't eat breakfast and then binge on snacks at work?" and even wrote about junk food on my exit ticket from the office. 

I was mortified. I was hurting. And I allowed her preconceived notions of what she thought I was doing wrong overshadow all that I had been doing right the last two months. I woke up every day in September and August and worked out using Blogilates Summer Sculpt. I also walked on the treadmill, focused on fresh ingredients for all meals, and began to phase out meat from my diet. 



I've included images here where I took notes on how I felt both rounds of these exercises. One thing I did realize finally, was maybe my most fatal flaw of working out had been not focusing on selfcare at all. It was all about calorie burn, limiting my diet, and how I WOULD look someday. This doctor appointment made me realize that anyone at anytime could judge me. That I have no control over that. And as has been the mantra of my life: I have to relinquish control over the things that don't serve a positive purpose in my life. 

I am slowly recalculating my plan to remove meat from my diet, having eliminated nearly all red meat and pork. I am slowly replacing chicken with fish and have settled on being a pescatarian rather than a vegetarian. But I am working on this in stages. It is silly to think I could do everything I want to do at once and that I am not worthy of kindness, bedside manner, or even having my picture taken because I am out of shape and overweight in this moment. 

I have purchased a 90 day journal and I am slowly getting myself ready to use this beginning 12/8 (I loo this is a random date but I want to have time to find things that will work for me.) I am excited to see where I end up right before my 37th birthday. I can't wait to share before and after pictures and notes with you. But I mostly cant wait to share before and after feelings! 







Last Minute Stranger Things Teen Party!


In our house we have a bit of birthday overload. We do a friends party, and a family party, annnnd a celebration just for the 5 of us on the kids actual birthdays. This is something we always did in my home growing up and I love doing it for the kids. 

My September baby wanted to have a party before we went back to school so she planned an adorable campout in the backyard centered around a Smores bar and "Scream" projected on the detached garage for an outdoor movie. Her party was from a Friday to a Saturday-- and her family party was to be on Saturday afternoon. On Wednesday she came to me and said "I was thinking the campout thing won't really work, so can I do a Stranger Things theme for my family party?" And of course I said "yes!" because I freakin love that show! 

Then, it set in that I had 3 days to make something out of nothing! I started to look around and see what I could come up with at home. I made a sign for the tent that was going to still likely be up from her campout party with friends. 

 

When the girls all had gotten picked up from her party, I planned to quickly sketch a nice little Will-esque drawing (circa season 2) on our chalkboard wall and string some lights across our sitting room window. I used car crayons to write on the glass. (You can click the images below for a larger view.) 



 When she first asked me I went right to Amazon where I ordered plates, napkins, and a tablecloth. When they arrived I got plates, stickers, and this lovely wall hanging. Oh and I had about 18 hours to spare before the party. I tried to roll with it and I decorated around the cake with the stickers and everyone enjoyed grabbing some cute Stranger Things stickers to take home. I hung this bad boy up (and left it up through Halloween)! 


But the pièce de résistance was, of course, the cake featured at the beginning of the post made by my mother, a jack of all arts and the most divine baker I have ever known. 




Party Playlist
River - Leon Bridges
Stay with Me - Sam Smith
Classy Girls - Lumineers
She's Got You - Patsy Cline
Hazy Shades of Winter - The Bangles
Theme Song - Never Ending Story
Amazing - Andrew Allen
Drop in the Ocean - Ron Pope
Autumn - Ben Rector
Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper
Theme Song - Stranger Things