The Most Randoms of all the Randoms

This week has been…trying. I’ve clocked in about a million hours at the office this week. My brain is too fried to do actual math, so a million hours may be a shifty estimation. But since I’m in charge here, that sentence gets to stay.

I just realized I didn’t really discuss last weekend in much detail. Day of prom…Listen to Your Mother…so much still to say that deserves a post all on its own. AND YET. I just don’t have the brain power to make it happen yet. Although, I feel like I should warn you that Mr. Prom Date is now a boyfriend type person to Beezus. So that happened.

Ramona’s last day of school is next Thursday. Not only is that ridiculously too early, it is obnoxiously too early. I have absolutely nothing planned for her because I’m super good at planning all the things. Maybe she’d like to get a summer job to keep herself entertained AND earn her keep. I’m just saying it’s an option.

madhatter

I went to a fundraising event with the ever adorable Stephanie last night. It was a Mad Men meets Mad Hatter theme benefiting the wonderful FairyTale Town. I’m not gonna lie, the theme alone makes me super happy. And I loved seeing how people dressed for the event. Plus? You should’ve tasted the chocolate and treats they had there. HOLY DELICIOUS, BATMAN.

tillamook

Speaking of delicious, if you’re in the Sacramento Area, Tillamook is bringing cheese to the people. And I kinda love that they are. But they best part? Since this month is National Hamburger Month (YUM) they are traveling around HIDING GOLDEN TICKETS FOR YOU TO FIND. It’s like Charlie and the Hamburger and Cheese Factory around local grocery stores. What I’m trying to tell you is that you could win free Tillamook for a year. FOR A YEAR. Do you know how happy that would make a person?? Do you know how happy that would make me? I would so totally steal your free cheese. Possibly.

Well, we’re headed into another busy weekend. Maybe not as busy as last weekend, but pretty damn close. Also, I really need a vacation. From all the things. I just want to sit on a beach (properly sunscreened, of course) and not move except to eat and drink. I really would like this to happen. Soon. Tomorrow would be nice.

paisleytoday

Have a great weekend everyone. Paisley loves you…even if she probably cannot see you.

xoxo

A Very Special Listen to Your Mother Thank You

crest

Dear Ann Imig,

I’ve been trying to figure out a way to write about my Listen to Your Mother experience. But how do you recap an experience that changed you in ways you can’t explain? I’m still not sure I can. But then I realized, that at the heart of all that I’m feeling, I’m so grateful to all that you began a few short years ago. And so I thought I would try to write some sort of a thank you. And while this might be an odd way to write a thank you note, I’m not sure it could be written any other way. Because I’m not sure I could fit my thanks to you on a note card I bought at Target. I’m actually not sure that I can fit my thanks to you in a blog post. But heaven knows I’m going to try.

Thank you for this amazing platform to share a story I didn’t know I still needed to tell. Thank you for this opportunity to heal and grow. For this chance to love others and myself through the words that I wrote.

Thank you for entrusting your vision to the beautiful and talented Margaret and Nichole who produced and directed one hell of a show. For giving them this chance to love us, and for us to love them. (My goodness, they are amazing.) (No really, AMAZING.)

Thank you for believing that Sacramento was ready for such a fantastic experience. Everyone loved the show. Everyone was blown away. I wish you could’ve felt the love that filled that theater. Thank you for believing in all of us.

Thank you for giving us all this creative and fulfilling celebration of Motherhood.

Thank you THANK YOU for the Listen to Your Mother Show. My life is enriched because I experienced this. My heart has grown in ways I can’t explain. I have learned so much from every aspect of this show that you created. I’m amazed and in awe of all the lives touched. I’m so grateful I was able to show my husband and my daughters what this meant to me. I’m so grateful that I could share this with so many of my loved ones.

Thank you for bringing 15+ amazing people into my life that I can no longer live without. Not to blow any secrets, but we’re already planning for us all to live in close proximity (maybe something of a commune) where we can all live in harmony and ridiculous amounts of love. There are BIG plans in the works, but we’ve settled on a weekend getaway while we solidify our more “permanent” plans.

I could say “thank you” a million more times…to you, to Nichole & Margaret…to my cast mates and to my loved ones and it still wouldn’t be enough. Listen to Your Mother has changed me forever. It is magical and wonderful and amazing and phenomenal. I’m so proud to have been a part of it. I’m so blessed to have experienced the beauty and the joy that this show brings.

So thank you, Ann. For all of this. You started something that has changed us all.

Thank you.

 Jill

Neighborhood Watch Sometimes

I’ve been thinking about the girls in Ohio.

The story boggles the mind. It’s horrible and shocking and it’s hard to wrap your brain around it at all. I’m sad for them. My heart breaks for their families. I’m angry. Angry at the situation. Angry FOR them.

But, like much of the media and like many of you, I think about Charles Ramsey. The man that saved them all. He is their hero. Absolutely. But after all the media attention goes away, I wonder what he’ll be feeling. Glad he could help, of course. But I wonder if he’ll feel guilty for not helping sooner.

I hope not. But I know that I would.

I don’t know all of my neighbors. I see some of them out and about. The house to our left is holds some of our very best friends. We are friendly with our neighbors to the right and straight across. We have spoken to a couple other neighbors once or twice. But there are several families on our street that I’ve never met. And sure, I’ve seen the funny lady who is looking for her cat on a near daily basis, but I have no clue what her name is. (I do, however, know the name of her cat.)

I’m not implying that any of my neighbors are holding kidnapped women in their house. PLEASE KNOW THAT I’M NOT. I’m just saying, if they were, I wouldn’t know. I would be that person on the news saying, “I had no idea anything was going on. They seemed like normal people!”

How would I feel if something like this happened in my neighborhood? I’d feel shitty. I’d feel shitty and I’d feel so much guilt.

There isn’t a magic answer for any of this. I don’t expect one. I don’t have any desire to snoop on my neighbors. I’m no Mrs. Kravitz. And I certainly don’t want everyone knowing everything about me. It’s none of their business. I guess you could say there’s a slippery slope of being aware without being nosy. It’s coming to the realization that something like what happened in Ohio could happen to any of us in any neighborhood. Because we probably wouldn’t notice. We probably wouldn’t have any clue at all. Because how could we?

I don’t have any answers or pearls of wisdom. I’m just hashing this out as I think about it. This world can be so insane, sometimes you just have a take a few minutes to try and process a little bit of it. And then you just have to let your faith take over. Because making sense of it all is kinda impossible.

Freddy Krueger, Bloody Mary…light as a feather, tired as a board…

It’s hard to not be mad at the kids that taught MY child about Freddy Krueger, CandyMan and Bloody Mary. Even though I totally know that it’s a rite of passage that we’ve all gone through it at some point or in some way. I get it! But then again, I didn’t have YouTube around when I was a kid. And a video of some chick trying Bloody Mary in the mirror probably would’ve scared the bejeebus out of me, too. Because watching some kid try it out at a slumber party is scary enough. And while I don’t remember keeping MY parents up most of the night because I was too scared to sleep, I probably should check into that before sounding like a total ass.

And yet, I’m probably too tired to care if I sound like a total ass because OH YEAH I WAS UP MOST THE NIGHT WITH A KID TOO SCARED TO SLEEP.

When she originally told me about the all-things-scary conversation she had with her classmates, she didn’t sound wigged out by it. But I won’t lie to you, I was super annoyed. I reminded her about the conversation that we have with her ALL THE TIME about being careful what she watches…and what other people want to show her. We talk about YouTube and the on-line world and how we can’t trust everyone! In fact, there are bad people who put things on the internet that are scary or inappropriate or just NOT SOMETHING THAT I WANT MY 11 YEAR OLD TO SEE. We talk about all this! So yeah…as annoyed as I was at her classmates, I was also frustrated with her. I don’t know how many times we’ve told her that once she sees something, she cannot erase it from her brain. Ever.

She apologized. We talked about it again. And again. But so many hours had passed between that conversation and getting ready for bed, I didn’t immediately put it all together.

It started out with not wanting to go to bed. (Normal.) But really feisty about NOT wanting to go to bed. (Not normal.) And then she asked if I would lie down with her for a bit. (Normal.) And then kinda freaked out when I went to go get in my own bed. (Not normal.)

(Although, I just now remembered that the reason I couldn’t find my flip-flops this morning is because I left them in her room. I probably won’t remember this when I get home tonight, so I’ll need one of you to remember this.) (Okay, back to the story.)

So yeah…I should’ve put two and two together. I should’ve. And then when she complained about not feeling well, I thought it was the hamburger that she ate for dinner. (Because, duh.) I was so ridiculously tired, I just told her to come sleep in my room so that I could keep an eye on her. We got a little bed set up for her. But then she climbed into bed with me because The Dude was still out in the front room working on something. Again, too tired to really care, we both fell asleep. Until she needed to go back to her little makeshift bed on the floor once The Dude was ready for bed.

And then she couldn’t sleep again.

It wasn’t until about two in the morning and she just happened to mention something about the mirror on my closet door that I got it. I finally understood that it had nothing to do with a tummy ache, it had everything to do with being too scared to sleep. I felt like an idiot. And then, like the wonderful and understanding mother that I am, I was pissed. PISSED.

I promise I didn’t yell at her…but she knew I wasn’t a happy camper.

I’m not sure if you remember, but I have quite the busy and insane and stressful week ahead of me. Not getting enough sleep is a recipe for disaster. This weekend is already going to be a bit emotional for me. (To put it mildly.) But a week of stress and chaos and on top of that NO SLEEP?

It’s just not something that we should test, is what I’m saying. None of us are qualified to handle a tragedy of that magnitude.

And yet there we were…the middle of the night with not much sleep for anyone.

We moved Ramona to sleep away from the offending mirror and closer to her dad. Something about that worked and we started to go to sleep. Until she started complaining that her dad was snoring. At that point, I wanted to stick some headphones in her ears and just let her watch TV all night until she fell asleep. But thankfully, and miraculously, she finally fell sleep. I have no idea what time it was because I didn’t dare look at the clock, but I will tell you that when my alarm clock went off this morning, I’m was certain I hadn’t been asleep for more than an 15 minutes. I also felt hungover. Which is a lovely way to start your morning.

And my kid? Well, she was just as chipper as could be. So chipper, in fact, that I may still have irrational anger about it while I try to figure out a way to mainline ALL THE CAFFEINE straight into my veins.

Deadlines and insane schedules be damned, we’ll see if I can just stay awake for the entirety of today. However, If you see me sobbing and rocking in a corner, please just buy me a Starbucks and send me on my way.

But if I start weeping with gratitude making us both feel uncomfortable, please do not hold it against me. I’m really hoping things will be better tomorrow. That or I’m just going to move in to my local Starbucks and call it good.

preparing for the insanity…and the most amazing

I have a big week ahead of me.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have worries about surviving it. I know I’m made of tough stuff. I know that I’ll get through it ok. And I know that it’s actually going to be quite an amazing ride. But I’m trying to prepare myself for an emotionally/physically/mentally draining week. And somehow I need to convince myself that this week won’t kill me dead. I mean…it probably won’t.

I already feel like I have seven jobs right now. It’s hard enough to get the desk job done. But then this mom/wife/regular person-gig has about 648+ jobs attached to it. And then do you like living in a clean house? WHO IS GOING TO DO THAT?? Also, did I mention that I’m sharing a part of my soul to a room full of people this Sunday? (On a stage? With bright lights and stuff?) OH AND JILL YOUR FIRSTBORN CHILD IS GOING TO PROM. GO AHEAD AND KEEP WEARING THAT HEART OF YOURS ON YOUR SLEEVE.

So…yeah. I wasn’t exactly prepared for my kid to get asked to prom. Turns out no one expects the Spanish Inquisition OR your sophomore kid getting asked to Junior Prom. But I will have you know that as of yesterday, we already have a dress and shoes. In one day. And I only got emotional twice. It would’ve only been once, but when a certain fairy godmother starts arranging things and being all magical and shit, EMOTIONS HAPPEN. I couldn’t help it. But my non-shopper self survived A DAY OF SHOPPING with three teenage girls. I even found a perfect pair of shoes for myself and that thing where I’ll be on a stage with all the lights and great shoes.

And you know what else I survived yesterday? MEETING THE MR PROM DATE. Because apparently shopping for all things prom was not enough tap-dancing on my heart for one day.

We met up at an indoor softball/baseball arena. Since MR PROM DATE and my child both play ball, we felt like that would be an even playing field (pun absolutely intended) for this meet-up. When I walked in, not only did I get to meet MR PROM DATE but I was also so thrilled to meet MR PROM DATE’s parents. Who, bless them, have a teenage daughter as well and appreciated the fact that we wanted to meet their son before he was allowed to take her to prom. We even found out that we know some of the same people. Also? They were just as interested to meet my kid as we were to meet theirs. It was so great that this is important to them, too.

But even better? MR PROM DATE passed with flying colors.

He was a gentleman. Super polite. Respectful. And he was clearly a mama’s boy. Since it was family fun night at the arena, he was roped in to playing kickball with all the littles after they were done with the batting cages and MR PROM DATE remained polite and respectful and even helpful and encouraging with the littles that were there.

I’m not going to sit here and pretend that he’s perfect and never does anything wrong. He IS a teenage boy. But he’s a NICE BOY who is nice and also, respectful and nice. (He’s also a little bit adorable.) But does it make things a slight-little-bit-easier to send my kid off to prom when MR PROM DATE is a good guy? YES. YES IT DOES.

This week IS going to kick my ass. This weekend IS going to be emotional. And a lot of this emotion is wrapped up in this kid of mine that is growing up so damn fast. But I also know that all this growth and change and hard stuff is exactly what I need to be experiencing. I REALLY am going to try hard to embrace it and be proud and excited. But I know that I’m gonna get a little beat up this week. I will probably have an emotional black eye for the better part of it. But it helps to know that I’m where I’m supposed to be with the people that I’m supposed to be with.

I have great kids that are just so damn awesome.

I have a great husband who loves his family.

I have the best friends and family ON THE PLANET.

And I’m a part of this magical and amazing experience that has allowed me to grow in ways that I didn’t think possible.

It really is going to be ok. And by golly, maybe this week and this weekend have to be tough and emotional and crazy because *I’m* tough and emotional…and crazy. (WAIT,what?!)

Or maybe it’s just because I need to dig a little deeper to remind myself how far I’ve come. And that it’s okay that I still have a long way to go. This week is going to be full of hard work, prayer…and A LOT of amazing moments.

And I’m ready. For all of it.

I got this.

at some point, I’m going to have to learn to let go

I don’t remember being tormented by my children “graduating” preschool or starting kindergarten. I remember being sad that they were nervous and scared, but I don’t remember having a “my baby’s growing up!” moment back then. Even when Beezus started middle school, I was all business. I don’t think it occurred to me to be sentimental or sad. It was just the next step! Part of life!

I’m not saying my heart was made of stone. I just think I was working so hard to just keep us all afloat and alive that recognizing milestones wasn’t something I could focus on.

Until I couldn’t focus on anything else.

The night before Beezus started high school, I realized there were a bunch of milestones sitting on my chest and weighing on my mind. They weren’t going to let me get away with ignoring them anymore. It wasn’t so much that she was starting high school-I was excited for that-but that all of a sudden I was on a deadline. Without realizing it, college became this ticking time-bomb and the countdown on the clock was staring me in the face. It was like I could actually see the glaring red numbers showing me exactly how much time had already passed. How much time I had missed when I was so busy just surviving.

Her starting high school meant I had four years left on the clock. Four years left of her being mine.

I’m not dumb. I know that she’ll always be my daughter…but it will all change when she leaves for college. I won’t be able to squeeze her any time I want. She won’t be around for me to cook her favorite meals. (Shut up, it happens sometimes.) She won’t come home to me and us and our house each night. I won’t be able to just walk into her room to see how she’s doing. She’ll be her own person. She’ll be grown.

b&me

This all hit me like a ton of bricks the night before her freshman year. It was wrecking me in ways that I had never experienced. I have no recollection of most things that night. But I remember climbing into bed. And then getting right back out and walking down the hall to her room.

I wordlessly climbed into her bed with her. She was still awake.

“Hey.” I whispered.

And then there couldn’t be any other words from me. The hot tears ran down my face and soaked her pillow as I tried to take a deep breath.

“Are you crying??” she asked. If only to give her something to say.

She knew that I was, of course. We both laughed. And then we resumed crying. Because of course I made my child cry.

When I could finally speak, I told her that I was freaking out. I told her that I was so excited for her and all things high school, but that all of a sudden, I was losing my mind over the fact that I only had four years left before she left for college. I told her that it had snuck up on me. I told her how proud I was of her…how much I loved her. And that I knew I was being a little bit ridiculous. But that I just couldn’t help myself. We laughed that I couldn’t seem to stop crying. At all.

I knew she needed to sleep. I knew that I was supposed to let her.

But I also didn’t want to leave.

mom n beezus

We grew up together, her and I. When I was a (too) young mother just struggling to just survive, she kept me sane. When my heart was broken in a million pieces, she put me back together. At times when I didn’t think I was doing anything right, she made me believe that I was. She was my bright spot when everything was dark. If you wonder why the thought of sending her off to college leaves me wrecked, this is why. She is more than just a piece of me. She’s one of the very best pieces of me.

And I’m going to have a very hard time letting that piece of me go.

feliz dia de los ninos

Today in Mexico, and every April 30th, children are celebrated. Dia de los ninos. Or, Day of the Children.

I love everything about it. And I hate that I forget every year…until I’m reminded, of course. (Usually by family on Facebook.) Yes, I realize that we spend most of our days caring for or worrying about our kids. But I kinda wish we had a day here to celebrate children. To celebrate childhood.

Because, my goodness, they are pretty damn great. Celebrate the hell out of ’em today if you can.

 

kids

a *mostly* wordless weekend round-up

 

wknd

 

My brain is fried. The migraine that I’m battling may be proof of that. Pictures of our weekend might have to suffice.

#March of Dimes #Sacramento #Funnywaterbottles #Cutie-Piefriends #BattingCages #AninvititationtoPROM #LTYM_Rehearsal2 #girlandherpup

Another very full weekend. Super tired Monday.

I love you all.

happiness is

I had a great birthday you guys. Full of happy and busy and mellow…and just magical.

And when you’re lucky enough to share a birthday with some of the most amazing people, and maybe even get to have a birthday brunch with one of them, you can’t even believe how damn lucky you are.

 

nichole&jill

Seriously. Brunch with some of the loveliest people on the planet??! It was a birthday morning that dreams are made of.

groupbrunch

And then all of a sudden, I was hit by a Facebook/Instagram post that…blew me away and brought tears to my eyes. I just love this kid.

proudmama

I honestly don’t know how to explain how much happy filled my day. And I also don’t think I can explain how my funny little posts leading up to my birthday just made it all the more wonderful. It just…set the tone. If that makes any sense at all. And maybe one of the biggest happiness lessons I’ve ever learned.

I’ve seen and loved this quote for years…

what you focus on, you get more of.

Those words have never meant more to me. I focused on happiness…and it just keeps spilling out of me. (Oops, my happiness is showing.)

I’m not mad about it.

In fact…

I’m pretty damn happy about it.

for my birthday, I wish us all to be happy

425photo

Today is my birthday.

Actually, I’m writing this on Tuesday so that is a total lie, but when you READ this, it will be my birthday.

Why am I writing my birthday happiness post on Tuesday? Mostly because I can. But also because I’ll be spending the day outside and away from computers. I suppose this could all wait, but I have something I wanted to say. And I kinda wanted it to be on time.

You see…one of the most important lessons that I hope my kids learn from me is that happiness is a choice.

HAPPINESS. IS. A. CHOICE.

My life is not rainbows and unicorns. In fact, I must admit that my life is lacking in all things unicorns. I have bad days. Lots of ‘em. I even have some pretty dark hours in those days. But I try really hard to not let those days define me. I try to actively search for those things that remind me of my happiness. That improve my happiness. Or help me find my happiness when I’ve lost my way. And even if we have to “fake it ‘til we make it” I will always choose to be happy.

It’s not easy.

But it is important.

And it is absolutely my responsibility and my choice.

The week isn’t over, and I still have some happy to share, but I’m grateful for this week of happy. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to usher in my birthday with a little silliness, joy and happiness. Life isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination…but choosing to be happy sure makes it all worthwhile.