Taking Note

I need to remember that I have a terrible memory. Of course, if I could do THAT then I probably wouldn’t have a terrible memory and then this entire post would be moot. I believe that those two sentences may be two of the stupidest sentences I have ever written on this blog. And that’s really saying something.

I have to write everything down. That’s one of the biggest reasons my to-do lists look like Volume 2 in War and Peace. If it’s not written down on the to-do list, there is a good chance I will NEVER remember to get it done. I’d like to think that all my important thoughts take up too much room in my brain, but really I’m probably using all that space for song lyrics or lines from my favorite movies and keeping track of all my various passwords. I also use that space to remember where the closest Starbucks is at all times. With all that occupied space, there just isn’t enough space to remember to work task lists and, you know, when my last tetanus shot was.

For this reason, I’m pretty disappointed in myself that I didn’t keep better journals growing up. Luckily, I have a Sarah who did. I rely on her to remember all the things from 2nd grade on. In return, I remember other things. Like, song lyrics, movie lines and where the nearest Starbucks is.

I read an article once that helped explain why “mom brain” is an actual thing. (No, of course I don’t remember where I read this article. Don’t be silly.) As women, and as mothers, we take it upon ourselves to remember birthdays and school events and what size shoe our kids wear. (Unless you’re me. I can remember my favorite hockey player’s birthday but I have no idea what size shoe my kids wear. ANYWAY.) There is so much for mom’s to remember, it is quite impossible to fit it all in our brains. It made me feel a little bit better about my “bad” memory, but I still have regrets about what I didn’t bother to write down.

I have no excuse. I’ve been blogging for many years. I should have more written down. I’ve even thought about (editing) and re-blogging posts from my former blog-life when I was a bit more anonymous. Not all stories could be retold, but it would be fun to revisit those that could.

There is so much I don’t want to forget.

Like how much parental pride I felt when my teen bought this shirt for herself. I mean, come ON.

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Or how I went to a crab feed, and for the first time in my history of crab feeds, I actually ate crab. (I usually don’t.) (Best crab feed I’ve ever been to.)

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I want to remember our Oscar Party. I mean, for crying out loud Amy made a peanut butter and jelly cake. CAKE.

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And how much my girls and I love Captain Hook from Once Upon a Time. (Um…maybe I won’t forget THAT one.)

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How I made Mickey Mouse pancakes for Beezus the morning she took the SAT’s.

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Running with these fine womens.

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Speaking of running…I never, ever want to forget the look on Ramona’s face when she finished one of her track events and realized I had been able to get there on time. (And it wasn’t easy getting there.)

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Will we always remember the ridiculous amount of love we have for this silly dog?

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I’m going to miss these moments when they’re gone. Yes, of course, there will be new moments to celebrate and enjoy, but I don’t want to forget. If I write it down, keep track of these moments a little better, I don’t have to.  There’s plenty of blank space here. I just need to make it happen.

life with all these girls

My husband doesn’t have any sisters – only a brother. So him growing up in a male majority household didn’t exactly prepare him for what life would be like with a wife and two daughters. Hell, even the dog is a girl. Or…was a girl. Whatever.

Sidenote: Here’s Paisley. It’s been awhile since she’s graced the pages of the blog.

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Adorable Muppet

ANYWAY.

When the girls were little, there were very few instances when being the only dude in the house was uncomfortable. Sure, there was a lot of pink and sparkles and Polly Pockets, but very rarely did he feel like the odd man out. Up until recently, it was pretty simple. Dare I say, he had it pretty damn easy. And really, he still does . NONE of us are prissy, drama attracted females. We’re pretty easy going.

Except when we’re not, of course. PMS is a tricky bitch.

Dealing with PMS-ing daughters and wife is hard enough. But I don’t think he was fully prepared to be quite so involved in ‘female’ conversations on a regular basis. Once Ramona joined the ranks of…well, the ranks of women who fight the monthly battle, he was doomed. Talk of feminine products and cramps and other such female maladies, my husband is now realizing what living with three women is about. If you’ve ever seen a sitcom that featured a dad and teenage daughters, you have a very good glimpse of what life is like for my husband. It’s difficult to see his little girls are grown up. And he really doesn’t know how to handle our frank conversations. He is severely outnumbered and is trying to find a way to rent out an apartment during certain times of the month.

The other day, Ramona had already made her way to bed but Beezus and I were watching a Buzzfeed spoof on Frozen. There was mention of the songwriters, who also happened to write songs for The Book of Mormon musical. One song in particular was referenced and I busted out laughing. My husband was trying to ignore us both as he searched for something on the computer but my child was understandably curious what I found so funny. (The song-name is Swahili. Her confusion was understandable.)

As I began to try to (delicately) explain this particular song, she mentioned that she wanted to see it. And, being the mother that I am, told her that she should wait until she’s older.

“Mom. I’ve seen Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. I’m pretty sure I can handle it.”

“I know, I know…but just…”

“Mom. Please. I’m sure it’s not even as bad.”

At this point, my husband is trying desperately to ignore us both. I should also point out that while I am very protective of my kids, I am also pretty open with them. We have rules about bad words, but…we also talk about how they’re just words. However, even as a surprise to myself I found myself saying:

“Kid. That song? The lyrics are straight up saying ‘f*** you in the eye’” (Plus…other things.)

And I kid you not, without missing a beat or even caring that her dad was listening, my kid responds with:

 “Yeah. And Priscilla shoots ping pong balls out of her vag.”

The two of us look at each other and immediately start laughing so hard, I nearly fell off my chair. Beezus had to hold onto the counter for support.

My husband? Well, my husband died twice from the shock of what his wife and teenage daughter just said. He came back to life only to pretend to keep his cool and just shake his head.

We knew better.

Which only made Beezus and I laugh harder.

I’m pretty sure my husband would’ve recovered a lot more successfully if he could’ve caught a break. But the next night, Ramona gave the entire explanation about periods and cramps and also dealing with all the things that are periods and cramps. All right as we were getting ready to sit down to dinner.

I looked at my husband lovingly.

“You. Are so. Screwed.”

He knows.

Dance Parties, Walls and Finding Home

When my kids were little, living room dance parties was just something we did and a huge part of who we were. I can vividly remember the girls being so little and getting down and getting funky as only toddlers and preschoolers can. The Now and Then soundtrack was on constant rotation back in those days. Sugar, Sugar was our jam. (There is also sugar IN jam. So that sentence seems oddly appropriate.)

Life happens in strange ways sometimes, though. We found ourselves selling our house and, not long after, we moved in with my in-laws. My husband started a business and went back to school. Nothing was the same and everything was up in the air. Our routines were 100% disrupted. Traditions that we used to have went by the wayside. Being a parent in my own home became difficult.

Just being myself became difficult.

During that time, very rarely was I a “relaxed” mom that could have fun with my kids. I have a lot of regrets about the kind of mother I was back then, but my biggest regret was not being able to let my guard down. If ever I want to drive myself to the brink of insanity, I can try to imagine the mom I *could’ve been* if I could’ve been the mom that I started out to be. In fact, just typing that sentence caused an elephant come sit on my chest. Regret is an ugly, ugly reality.

A tragic casualty of not being able to be myself was the lack of dance parties in our family. It just wasn’t the same. *I* wasn’t the same. Letting go and letting loose wasn’t something I could do under the circumstances. I realize that you can still be a decent and wonderful human being without dance parties, but it was more than that. It was almost like we lost the ability to truly feel joy. In my opinion, dancing exemplifies joy. And when you are lost in life, you don’t always know what joy looks like. Even if you know that it used to look like dance parties, etc.

I was devastated the first time I realized that I had allowed this part of my girls’ childhood to be locked up. I remember times that I tried to get them to dance at a wedding or a party and it was like I was asking them to pull off their own toes. I already have plenty of guilt of being such a young mom and how hard it was to raise tiny humans. Now I found myself feeling guilty for so much more.

Years passed before the four of us found ourselves with a little more freedom to be ourselves. It was a breath of fresh air, but it would take quite some time before we could feel comfortable with letting our guard down. In fact, it would take years. There’s even a part of me that believes that a shift began to happen when Paisley joined our family. I know, I know…that sounds a little nuts. But that fuzzy little muppet thawed something inside all of us. Being completely goofy over a pet can help tear down some pretty strong barriers.

But it’s when we bought and moved into our new home last summer when I saw the biggest shift of all. Even with all the weirdness and orange walls, we somehow knew we were home from the beginning. To this day, several months later, I can’t explain how much I love coming home every day. When I turn on our street, I breathe a sigh of relief. The gratitude is immeasurable. Because everything I ever wanted for my family (and was never sure I would get) is in this home. For 16+ years, I dreamed of having this feeling. For 16+ years, I wished and prayed for this soft place to land.

I try really hard to not have regret. I do. I really do. I try to be present and be grateful for all that we have now. But there is a piece of my heart that is broken for all the years that we didn’t have this feeling of contentment and peace. I feel sadness for the years that our family was so uprooted and a little bit lost.

The past few months, the shifts and the changes that I’ve seen in my family have been something to behold. I hesitate to use a word like magical, but it just the word I want to use right now. Life isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination. It’s not supposed to be. But when you can visibly see walls that were built up start to crumble, you take notice. When you can see your children allow themselves to be a tiny bit more vulnerable and open, there’s this sense of relief that can’t be explained. And while the dance parties haven’t returned quite yet, singing at the top of our lungs has. It’s different than our loud music days in the car. It’s wearing your heart on your sleeve, pure joy in a song, belting out as loud as you can singing that only comes from being silly and the freedom if being ourselves. And being ourselves feels so damn good. I’ve really, really missed it.

Why You Should Never Use the Olympics to Keep Track of Time

My husband and I watched the closing ceremonies of the Olympics last night. I know that you are completely shocked by us watching anything Olympics, but sometimes we actually do watch TV together. (If this was an email or text, this would be the part where I’d put a winking smiley face.)

With the 2014 Winter Olympics now over, there were segments about the next (2018) Winter Olympics and, of course, the 2016 Summer Olympics.

You can’t help but think about where you’ll be in the next two or four years. (I have A LOT of Olympic watching to schedule into my life, folks.) How old will I be? How old will my kids be?

Sigh.

Yeah…THAT question.

For the 2016 Summer Olympics, Beezus will be home for the summer from her first year away at college. Ramona? Yeah Ramona will be getting ready to start her first year of high school. HIGH. SCHOOL.

The next time we see the Winter Olympics? Beezus will be 20. TWENTY. Ramona will (theoretically) be driving.

My head didn’t even have time to explode. It fell clean off.

This is why no one likes math. Once you learn to count, it’s all over. Counting things make you realize how awful it is to use the Olympics as a measurement of time. Or to track parenting years and milestones. It’s horrifying. I began to rethink my love for all things Olympics.

I couldn’t even help myself. When all these montages that felt like time machines floated across my TV, I looked at my husband and said “Beezus is going to be home from her first year of college when it’s time for the summer Olympics.”

He stared straight ahead at the TV for a bit and then said, “That is so sad.”

I sometimes forget how hard this is on the papas, too.

Maybe it’s good that the Olympics are over. We’ve been…obsessed. Our TV has been on so much, I think my brain is beginning to ooze out my ears. I’m also way too emotionally involved in all these athletes. And yes, Olympic math makes you realize just how fast time will fly. I don’t need any other reminders.

I can torture myself without any help, thank you.

Parenting on the Same Channel

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I know, I know…this picture is so old, but I love it.

There are times when I worry about how much I share about my children here. I know I don’t use their real names, but they know this website exists. I’m sure they’ll read it at some point. I don’t feel so much reservation about sharing the sweet stories. Those are special moments that I want them to know. But, as we all know, mothering isn’t always the sweet and sappy stuff. Sometimes being a mom is damn hard. Those stories are a little harder to tell. Well, they are a little harder to tell when you imagine one of your children reading it.

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I have wonderful children. I do. They are beautiful and loving and smart and amazing and they kick all kinds of ass. But my children are human. (No, really.) Being human means having bad days, testing the waters, break rules, making poor choices. You know, like ALL OF US.

My job as a parent means that I establish rules and boundaries that apply to our family. When those boundaries are challenged and when rules are broke, there are consequences. It is important to understand rules and boundaries and what happens when they’re not followed because this is practice for REAL LIFE in the world as an adult. Even though we all know plenty of adults that never learned this lesson, I’d rather my children not be counted among them. I hope they become good citizens of earth and all that.

I understand my job as a parent. But sometimes it just really sucks.

Each of us have times when we are not are best. I feel like I am a terrible person for the entire month of September most years. (I hate back to school. I don’t even want to talk about it.) But just because I’m having a bad month, I still have to follow the normal life rules.

Which is what I need to remember as I’m parenting my children.

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Ramona and I are not speaking the same language lately. We are just…well, we’re a little off kilter. I vaguely remember a similar situation when Beezus started middle school. It’s not an easy time for them. There were a lot of changes for both of them at this age. (New schools and areas where they didn’t really know anyone.) Middle school is hard. It’s a lot more work. Socially, there is a lot to navigate and learn. I get it. I do. But getting used to all of the change isn’t a free pass to whatever they want. I still have to be the parent that enforces our household rules and boundaries that have been set. Even if it means that I feel like I’m going insane. And right now I really feel like I’m going insane.

The hard part is admitting that I am part of the problem. I let her push so many of my buttons, I lose my patience early on in the game. There many evenings after work where I became so frustrated that the things I asked her to do weren’t getting done. Or there was so much attitude directed RIGHT at The Dude and I, we almost didn’t fit in the same room together. But since I lost my patience so quick, we never fully resolved the situation.

So she lost most ‘screen time’ of any kind. Even though it started as a punishment, it ended up freeing up her mind for other things. Things like focusing more on homework and reading and getting her chores done. We also created a different structure for her for after school. Believe it or not, so far it’s helping. It’s not perfect, but it’s helping.

You know those old CB or walkie talkie radios? You had to be on the same channel so you could hear your buddy on the other end? And sometimes one of you was one channel off. You could still hear them talking, but there was so much garbled noise and static, you couldn’t really understand what they were saying. So you work together and switch the channels up or down and then all of a sudden, they come in loud and clear and you’re all BREAKER BREAKER DUDE I HEAR WHAT YOU ARE SAYING, 1040. Or whatever was your favorite thing to say on walkie talkies.

That’s what it’s like parenting Ramona. I’ve been a parent to that amazing kid for 11 years, and she never ceases to amaze me. But she also challenges me in surprising and unexpected ways. Just when I think we’re on to something, we have to alter the course. She keeps me on my toes. My parenting style has to change. Our communication needs to be adjusted. There are times I feel like a complete parenting failure until I realize that we need to step back, regroup…and make some changes on our walkie talkie channel so that we can understand each other again. It’s not a bad thing. It just is. I need to remember it when I find myself at my wits end and feeling like I’m at the end of my rope. I don’t need a complicated equation…I just need to switch that channel and listen for her. Inevitably, she’s coming in loud and clear.

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thumbs up, baby

Motherhood, Dreams…and Everything in Between

We’ve become Olympic junkies.

It’s no secret that we love the Olympics, but even with the horrible prime time delay, we find ourselves completely hooked at all hours of the day and night. I may be ridiculously excited about Team USA hockey, and our favorite player being on the team, but I have watched every event they put in front of me. (We’ve even searched On-Demand for the ones that aren’t in prime time at all.) I usually can’t avoid any of the spoilers (I’d have to stay off the internet entirely) and I’m still tense watching the amazing flip, or wipe-out or jump or goal. There have even been times where I look FOR spoilers because my heart and my stress level just can’t take it anymore. (I’m looking at you, hockey.) But I have cheered and loved every minute of it.

As much as I’ve loved all things Olympics all the time, I wasn’t expecting to be so emotionally involved in the women’s skeleton events.

I had heard of Noelle Pikus-Pace long before the opening ceremonies. I vaguely remembered her name because of other Olympics or competitions. But she lives somewhat near a certain sibling of mine, so I heard a little more about her this time around. Plus, have you seen my favorite commercial???


Last Friday, I knew all the spoilers. I had been watching AND keeping up with the news of a few different athletes or teams. I knew what was coming. My family had gone from softball practice to lessons to running a couple of errands so I had a rare evening home alone. So of course I was watching the Olympics and reading and finishing up some work.

I knew what was coming! I knew that she medaled. I knew that she won silver. I knew these things! But I watched her last run. I saw her cross that finish line, craning her neck to see the first numbers to make sure that she had won. I saw her leap up and hug her coach. But even more, I saw her climb over fencing and barriers and scale the bleachers to reach and celebrate with her family. I heard her say over and over “we did it!” as she hugged and kissed her husband. And then she reached for her children and parents and all the family that was there supporting her.

I sat on my couch so very many miles away and I sobbed. Like, ugly crying. The kind of crying you’re glad NO ONE is witnessing. Yeah…I cried like THAT.

After they had moved on to the next event, I was still a wreck. I rolled my eyes at myself. “You don’t even know her” was a thought that crossed my mind.

It wasn’t until I was trying to explain to one of my brothers why I did care so much that I got it.

I do know her. No, not personally. But I know something about her that connects us in a very small way.

She’s a mom. She was an Olympic athlete before she was a mom, but she’s a mom. A bad-ass, hard working mom who has sacrificed A LOT to live and work toward her dreams.

I’m not saying I’m anything CLOSE to an Olympic athlete (I trip over my own feet) but I do know a little bit about being a working mom.

All moms work, and work hard, but there are some special challenges when you work outside the home. Whether that be in an office or even on a skeleton track, it’s not easy. I can’t even tell you how difficult it is to miss field trips and special classroom events because you can’t get the time off of work. (Or, you know, you’re out of the country training.) The guilt and the sadness aren’t things you get over. Not really. I can somewhat understand how hard this was on her.

But, amazingly, I also was completely inspired by her. She’s a mom, yes…but she’s also Noelle. She’s a person besides mommy. She’s living her dreams. She’s kicking ass and taking names. She’s winning Olympic medals, dammit.

I always thought that I had to give up my dreams because I came into motherhood a little unplanned and a LOT early. I (we) sacrificed a lot to make sure our little family survived. (And some of those sacrifices really sucked.) But it’s important to remember that I’m still Jill. Yes, I’m a mom and a wife and a sister-daughter-friend-cousin-whatever. But also, Jill.

I’m not saying I’m training for any Olympic events (remember, trips over own feet) but I am saying that it’s okay if I have dreams of  my own. No matter how big or how small, it’s okay to take a turn and try them on for size. If nothing else, I want to show those daughters of mine that their dreams are important, even after they become moms. Even if becoming a mom is the best dream ever realized.

Cooking: a time and a place

I made a batch of apple butter this weekend. No one is more surprised than I am that I pulled it off but I have honestly been stepping outside my kitchen comfort zone. Okay, I stepped outside of it TWICE in the past month, but still. APPLE BUTTER WAS MADE.

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I know that, for some of you, this doesn’t sound like a huge deal. But for me? Well, at some point in the past 10 years, I’ve convinced myself that I’m a terrible cook. I’m not saying I’m chef material, but it was a pretty harsh statement when in reality, I’m just really effing busy. I think that when I added “mother of two” to the list of jobs that I possessed, cooking became a really big chore. I just simply didn’t have time for it. By the time I got home from work…well, cooking loses all it’s fun when you don’t even have time to go to the bathroom by yourself.

Life just got busier and busier. And my time and patience for cooking fell further away. I still had a few things that I could cook well, but that wasn’t very exciting. And then, by fault of me caring too much about what other people thought, I felt very self-conscious about my cooking. I had gone from She Who Doesn’t Have Time to She Who Cannot Boil Water.

(Note: my husband and children have always been very sweet about my cooking. As such, their opinions still matter. Some.)

At some point in the past year, I have found that I enjoy cooking. Not all the time. (I’m still effing busy.) But I have found that I love finding that creative side of me when cooking something up in the kitchen. I have tried to make things that I’ve had in restaurants even if I don’t have a recipe. (I maybe try this more often with adult beverages, but whatever IT’S PRACTICE.) I find a recipe I want to try, but I always tweak it to my taste. And when I started to panic (again) that my grandmother won’t live forever and I still hadn’t figured out how to make her apple butter, well…I finally did it. No, it’s not as good as hers (how could it be) and I didn’t make it like she does, but dammit. I made it. For whatever reason, that’s a taste of my childhood and it was super important to me to know how to make it when it comes time for my gram to…retire her apple butter making skills.

I know. It’s just apple butter. But it represents what can happen when I stop thinking the worst of myself and I get out of my own way. In doing so, I have this special (delicious) memory that I can continue and pass on. It’s a step in the right direction.

Or outside the kitchen comfort zone.

Type – A Resolving

The other day, I read an article listing 16 signs that you might be a Type A personality. I thought I would see a lot of things on that list that I wasn’t. Instead, I found myself seeing so many things on that list that I so, totally am. To be honest, I was a little bit shocked.

I realize that I have my…THINGS. I know I have a perfectionism disease. And a people-pleasing disease. I always have to be doing something. (Even if it’s just reading a book or on social media…or writing) But when I hear people being described as a Type A personality…well, I’m not like those people. Am I? I always pictured Type A personalities brimming with confidence and bad-ass/can-do attitudes. I don’t really describe myself in those ways.

But as I’m reading this list, holy crap.

I’m not all of those things. But I’m most of those things. In some way or another or partly that way or another. (Except for the intolerance and career before relationships. And sometimes I really can be good at relaxing.)

On New Year’s Eve, I started to get nervous that I didn’t have a list of goals or resolutions I was going to make for 2014. I mean, making resolutions is just what I do. It is Type A list-making at its finest! Sure, I have big plans for my life with the family or work or Cap City Moms. I know there are things that I want to do. But I had one of those “ah-ha!” moments where I felt like if I defined what those goals were, I was limiting myself.

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About 20 minutes before midnight, I couldn’t take it anymore and I had to make some sort of list. (Why I’ve never thought myself to be Type A, I’ll never know.) I had a couple of running events that I wanted to do, so I wrote those down. I put the College Bucket list on there because we need to keep crossing things off. But then I just wrote: BE BADASS.

And then I let it go.

I. Let. It. Go.

I didn’t make a list of resolutions that included how much weight I wanted to lose. Or how many miles I wanted to run. I didn’t make a list of all those things that would “make me a better person” in this New Year. For the first time in recent memory, I started this year feeling a lot more hopeful and, really, a lot better about myself than I ever had.

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I like who I am. Right now. Without losing weight. Without running. Without whatever it is that I always seem to write on those damn lists.

It’s amazing how freeing acceptance is. It’s also helpful to, maybe, realize a few things about yourself that you didn’t know before. (Hello, closet Type A Jill.) With that acceptance and those realizations, I’ve come to see (again) how much I get in my own way. I am my own worst critic and my own obstacle standing between me and some of my biggest goals and dreams.

I’m not 100% sure how to get OUT of my own way, I will probably always have a wicked hatred for long lines, and a pretty to-do list will make me the happiest nerd on the planet. But knowing all this sure makes it a tiny bit easier to navigate around the crazy that I create for myself. It’s a start.

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Turn the Beat (Year) Around

I’ve had writer’s block for almost two weeks. I can’t decide if it’s because I don’t know what to say, or I don’t know how to say what I want. I have things that I want to talk about…to write about…to hash out and try and make sense of things that don’t always make sense. I want to start conversations and get the ball rolling. I want to be creative and wake up that side of my brain that seems to be sleeping away the rest of 2013.

We had a wonderful Christmas. We enjoyed spending time with family. We surprised the hell out of my mother in-law on Christmas Eve with visiting family from Mexico. I still get verklepmt when I think about how excited she was (and still is.) My sister came to town a few days ago, so we’ve been spending time with her and her family, too. We’ve gone to a hockey game, we’ve gone to Apple Hill…we’ve tried new things around town that we’ve never tried before. I’ve spent time with friends. I’ve enjoyed my family.

So maybe it’s not that I have true writer’s block. Maybe my energy has just been spent on being present and enjoying my loved ones.

Maybe sometimes you just need to realize that you’re where you need to be.

I’ve taken some time to think back on 2013. To say it’s been a big and busy year is a tremendous understatement.

I started Life of Jill.
I chopped off all my hair. Because of course.
Sarah and I ran the Tinkerbell Half Marathon.
Ramona turned 11.
I was a cast member of Listen to Your Mother – Sacramento.
Beezus went to prom.
I went to a couple of amazing conferences.
Campfire Wednesday was the best thing to happen to summer.
We bought a house.
A Giants game where they lost, but we had a blast.
We met some amazing people and had some amazing experiences along the way.
Beezus turned 16.
Ramona started middle school.
My brother got married.
Paisley turned 1.
Cap City Moms became a (softly launched) reality.
Celebrated 16 years of marriage.
College Visits? Ooph.
I enjoyed the hell out of my family and friends.

 

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That’s not even all of it. Not even a little bit!

Yeah, there were stressful and hard times and sad times mixed in. But when I think about 2013, there were some pretty badass things that I’ll be celebrating tonight.

And maybe that’s where I get stuck.

I focus so much on the past. I am celebrating a fantastic year coming to an end. I think about all the good that happened. I am thinking about all the fun that was had and all the love that was shared. But for some reason, I get stuck on how great things were, and I have difficulty looking ahead. I prepare myself for disappointment in 2014 because 2013 was so rad? That’s a pretty piss-poor way to do things if you ask me.

AND YET.

I basically have about 15 hours to celebrate and enjoy the end of a very awesome 2013 and snap myself into realizing that 2014 could be even more. More fun. More family time. More awesome. IT COULD HAPPEN.

Instead of sitting here worrying about what could go wrong. I should focus on all that is so totally right.

Life is what happens when you’re too busy making plans, right? Well, sometimes you can’t even make plans because you’re stuck looking back at the past and trying to walk into the new year backwards.

So yes…I have 15 hours to celebrate an awesome year. But I also have 15 hours to turn myself around and start walking face forward and get ready for what an amazing year 2014 will be.

Happy New Year, everyone.

Life Without Pinterest is Like a Night…Without Pinterest. (Or Blogging.)

Last night, I admitted to Sarah that I hadn’t been on Pinterest in weeks. She was understandably shocked. Quite honestly, I didn’t know that my Pinterest Vacation had lasted so long. But when you’re spending every spare moment on a new adventure? Well, I guess time just flies. With, or without, Pinterest.

This, maybe, applies to this right here blog of mine.

And so here we are.

To catch up? I had a really amazing Thanksgiving, thankyouverymuch. We started the day with Run to Feed the Hungry. I don’t know why we had such a great run, but we had a freaking blast. Maybe it’s because we’re so cute.

family

Thanksgiving dinner was spent with most of my siblings, my cute family and my inlaws. And you know what? It was pretty gosh darn fantastic. And wonderful. And I loved every minute of it. Even if I didn’t get a chance to shower after the race. (Good news is that I showered BEFORE. That was lucky. And a lot planned.)

The next day, we set out to find the biggest Christmas tree ever. Okay, not ever…but the only thing I asked for Christmas was a huge tree. So we made our way up to Apple Hill…along with a million other people…and braved the weather. And by “weather” I mean it was, like 9 million degrees. Which, if you think about it, is pretty odd weather for picking out a Christmas Tree. But we were on a mission and powered through! We would not be sidetracked! Even if we were wearing WAY too many clothes and probably suffered from heat stroke at one point or another. The hugest Christmas tree needed to be found!

However…the tree farm we settled on, didn’t have the huge trees we were thinking we would find. By that time, we had searched for quite some time. So I settled on what I thought was a nine foot tree. Maybe the family would just have to buy me an actual present, too, since the tree wasn’t GINORMOUS. But as it turns out? It was actually a little more than ten feet. And turned out to be the perfect size for our front room windows. The star perfectly looking out the top windows.

family - tree

Also, did you KNOW you had to stand on ladders to decorate ten feet trees? I may have had some nervousness tackling the top of the tree with lights. Okay, I may have had sweaty palms and shaky legs as I leaned from the ladder to those top boughs.

Ten feet is a wicked good start to my tall tree obsession.

family - front room

Also, remind me to tell you how weepy it can get when you start hanging all the “Baby’s 1st Ornaments” and realize just how long ago that was. Time, you’re an asshole.

family - ornament

Speaking of time…it is now December 12th. I haven’t purchased one Christmas present and I’m pretty fine with that. Maybe I shouldn’t be, but I know it will get done. I know there will (eventually) be presents under our tree. And I’m even pretty sure that my cute family will like what will be wrapped and ready for them. You know, when I actually find time to go shopping.

It’ll happen. It will.

In the meantime, I’m really enjoying the NOT shopping. It’s good for my soul.

Also, this book has nothing to do with anything. Except it’s it DOES. Because who wouldn’t want to read THIS?

family - book

Have a great (almost) weekend, everyone.