2017, I’m not afraid of you…

In fact, I welcome you and all the craziness you bring with you. It’s the 3rd of January and as I do every year (or thereabouts) on this day, I start to frantically start to re-organize closets, cabinets, review the calendar and look to the months ahead to see “what’s next”.  Because we are celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas, and because we finally got a fake tree (Praise the Baby Jesus!) -it is still up and I’m not as worried about a million evergreen needles creating a rug in my living room.  All three kids and husband slept in until around 10 am yesterday…re-entry to reality was rough today but we did it.  We’ve had a good break from school and semi-breaks from work.  It was a good Christmas, and aside from all of the stuff going on in the world around us- we had a good year. We are all here, some healthier than others, but we are all here.  For that I am most thankful.

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions- never have been, just disappointing when by noon on January 1st I have failed drastically with my “no carb diet” or “no social media mornings”.  I feel like starting off with that kind of pressure at the beginning of the year is just really not the way to go happily into a new year.  It was a hard lesson to learn.  Then something happened.  Frank says it sounds similar to a New Year’s Resolution, but I am ignoring him.  I’m not taking the bait.

About a week ago I received an email advertising a great new planner- and per usual, I didn’t read all of the fine print and I ordered it.  Well, apparently this was not actually the kind of “planner” I was planning on receiving.  (Like what I did there?)  What I received was a GOAL PLANNER for the year.  You can not begin to imagine my devastation.  A goal planner?  I just needed a place to write down orthodontist appointments I would most likely forget not a place to write down goals for the year that would just cause stress and disappointment.  I felt like the universe was playing a sick joke on me.

So, I sat alone at the kitchen island and looked through my new book, texting my sister and sister-in-law my disappointment since I had been bragging about how wonderful my new planner was going to be.  Sure, it was colorful and well made- smooth to the touch, but this was not what I had expected.  I began to thumb through it, every few pages slamming it shut.  I was mad- this was NOT what I wanted.  I did not want to fill out the 20 page synopsis of my life with headings such as “Getting to Know Me”, “Letting Go”, and “Meet Your Fears”!  This was not my idea of a good time.  It was no where close to my idea of a good time.

But I have to confess…after 48 hours of thinking about it, I did something some might consider somewhat drastic, I accepted this freak gift from the universe and I welcomed the challenge to lay out my goals in the book.  Ok, so I’m just working on setting a few little minuscule goals each day.  I’ve not completely gone off the deep end.   The crazy thing is it was pretty freaking empowering!!   I’m telling you it was like walking around without a bra on —ALL. DAY. LONG.  I would have set some goals along time ago if I knew it was going to be this incredible- and heck, I don’t even know if I reached any today!  Quite frankly, I don’t care if I did because maybe one of my goals was just to use the book- and I did, so there!

Seriously, I’m trying hard- really hard.  The second part to the drastic action I took with the goal setting is I went to a FULL ELECTRONIC CALENDAR.  (Gasp!)  I know, it’s hard- I’m such a paper person.  The twitching stopped after 24 hours which I feel is a good sign that I can continue to move forward.  Frank is thrilled with this second development .  So far I haven’t missed any appointments- however nothing but laziness has happened since Jan. 1st so we are all in good shape.  I will keep you posted on how my move into using the web to keep up with my calendar goes.  I will or Russia will, whichever comes first.

I also went to the gym today and drank and gallon of water…so I’ll be up going to the bathroom all night and won’t be able to walk tomorrow.  Maybe I did accomplish all of my goals today!

In other news, our precious Julia Bean turns 15 tomorrow!!  This is truly not possible.  I still struggle daily with my kids growing up at light speed.  She’s tall, beautiful, smart, talented and she doesn’t believe any of it.  (Well, except the tall part because it’s kind of a given.)   Also, she has NO INTEREST IN DRIVING!  Can I get and AMEN!?!?  She marches to her own beat which is what I love most about her- that and her wicked awesome sense of humor.   I’m more excited about her birthday presents than I’m afraid she’ll be.  You see, one thing Julia and I have in common is our love of 80’s movies- like a deep passionate love for them.  Please don’t tell her, but I have her quite a collection of John Hughes and other classic 80’s movies wrapped up for her.  I hope she will ask me to have an 80’s movie marathon very soon-I’m sure she will.  She hasn’t seen St. Elmo’s fire and it’s my very favorite so we have to watch it together for the first time.  Bring on the BRAT PACK!  Thank you God for sending me a child who loves these movies as much as me!

So here we go, slowly into this new year.  I feel a little braver, clearly older and a smidge wiser than I did in 2016.  It’s amazing what 3 days can do for a gal.  I kinda feel like John Bender walking across that field at the end of the Breakfast Club-come on 2017, give me everything you’ve got!

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#makeChristmasgreatagain

Dear Frank,

We need to have a conversation and I feel like any normal married couple these days the best way to do this is over the internet for everyone we know to read.  Also, this is really not a conversation but more like a declaration.  I’m not sending out Christmas cards this year.  To support my argument I would like to enter the following into evidence:

Exhibit A:  Thanksgiving is Thursday and this is generally the day/weekend when in the past I have worked tirelessly (30 minutes before taking picture) to pick the outfits that fit(unlikely), don’t have stains (crusty dried gravy from lunch is ok) and somewhat match (plaid and polka dots welcome) for our lovely little darlings to wear so I can capture that perfect most angelic moment where they are all smiling and looking at each other with those Brady Bunch eyes.  I’m done.  They hate, I hate it, we all hate it.  It’s affected my tryptophan hangover and no one wants to hear me screaming at the children.

Exhibit B:  I think the money and time spent on worrying over Christmas cards could be better spent elsewhere- like a week at the beach.   Which card to pick (is my neighbor or sister sending the same one? Minted? Hallmark? Tinyprints?)addressing Christmas cards (do we send one to the now ex- relative? what about the person who didn’t speak to me in line at Kroger last week that I’ve sent one to for 4 years?)  It’s all too much and we need to stop the insanity.

Exhibit C:  Haven’t we already posted the most wonderful and endearing pictures of our family all over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc…  EVERYDAY is a virtual Christmas card for many people I know on various social media.  You and I both know that I am guilty of this from time to time (often daily)- I promise you here and now to limit these “my family is perfect” photos to a minimum of 1 x week and stick strictly to humorous and possibly inappropriate posts that will likely offend 50% of our friends/family.

Exhibit D:  Addresses-people are too damn transient these days…or they are dead.  I have a very old (10 years old atleast) address book.  (A what?!!? – AN. ADDRESS. BOOK.  It’s an often small bound book with alphabatized tabs where you WRITE with a writing utensil of your choice the home addresses of those you may want to one day send a LETTER, NOTE, INVITATION or CHRISTMAS CARD)  Every year I sit down with my book and start addressing invitations (except for the last time I threatened not to do Christmas cards and you did them).  It’s marked up by folks who have moved, divorced and died.  It’s like a journal of our relationships with other people .  Some of these people I am not even friends with on Facebook, so are we really even friends??  These are the things I question which is disturbing on many levels and as my husband you should be worried.  If we are true friends (not social media friends)and you are reading this it is really your obligation as my friend to sit down and have a conversation with me about this and declare our true, undying, sans social media friendship.  If you don’t I am cutting you out of my life forever!  (Just kidding:)- I LOVE MY SOCIAL MEDIA FRIENDS!!!  Exhibit D1: I just found a stack of 25 (stamped) cards from last year that had incomplete addresses (because the book wasn’t updated for reasons above) that NEVER GOT MAILED.  They’ve now gone to the Christmas card heaven in the sky (local landfill).  I’m not going to do the math, but I’m pretty sure those forgotten, incompletely addressed cards equal to a few glasses of my favorite pinot noir.

Exhibit E:  What do most folks do with the Christmas cards they have received on Dec. 31st?  Think very long and hard before you answer this question…

Frank, I hope you will understand and accept my argument and rule in my favor.  If not, my address book is on my desk in the living room.

Your loving wife,

Loy

PS- (to those three people actually reading this)  Look, I love- no, I ADORE getting Christmas cards so please don’t let this tiny Christmas revolution in my heart stop you (or others reading this) from sending.  (Message me for my address.)  They are truly one of the things I count on to make my Christmas merry and bright.  I love seeing how little Johnny has grown and what your husband killed on his last hunting trip in Alabama, but I can’t reciprocate this year.   Maybe it’s a phase I am in that will pass and I’ll be back on the CC band wagon again this time next year.  Maybe I will send this and Hallmark will sue me for taking down the entire Christmas card industry and they’ll make a move about me starring Tina Fey.   The possibilities are endless!

Because I am one to carry a little guilt around I am sharing a few of my favorite places to get Christmas cards (when I was into that kinda thing) and there are a few coupons- but act fast!

http://photo.walgreens.com/walgreens/welcome?ext=gooPhoto_Brand_General_Exact_Brand_Photo_General_Coupon_Exact_walgreens_photo_coupon&sst=4c24e403-13ed-3ac9-ca86-000046325eee&gclid=Cj0KEQiA08rBBRDUn4qproqwzYMBEiQAqpzns6j75qCFpkj03b3YfjzkhZVyZ2-TNjwT8_O5ifMz2D8aAnWc8P8HAQ

http://www.minted.com

www.tinyprints.com

PSS – Last minute evidence was just brought forth!  Frank pointed out the Easter decorations that were left out in the living room and the pilgrims that didn’t make it out of the cabinet this year.   Just keeping it real.

New Driver

If you have been within a 10 mile radius of me over the past three months you will know the anxiety, stress, excitement, etc. I have had about the day our first-born daughter turns sixteen.    To say the least it has been quite the emotional roller coaster in the Turner house and God bless my sweet husband for attempting to keep me sane and constantly reminding me that it is all going to be OK.  I’m just not ready for this.  It’s all happening way to fast and I only see things accelerating.    In 2.5 years she’ll be in college.  I was just in college wasn’t I?

So, with all of this stress and anxiety of the babies growing up I’ve turned to God…a lot.  The down on my knees begging for help turning to God.  I have always felt pretty comfortable in my faith, however I still struggle with trying to handle everything myself as opposed to turning to God.  The whole “Jesus Take the Wheel” concept and I don’t always see eye to eye unfortunately.  I have definitely found myself on somewhat of a different path lately, clinging to a variety of daily devotional books, my Bible, and Book of Common Prayer (BCP for you fellow Episcopalians) like they are security blankets.  Each day hoping the devotional/prayer will bring me some golden nugget of how to survive this ride.  There have been days where I even bring my “security blankets” to work just to sit in a chair in my office.  Spiritual osmosis you might say.

The day after our little girl passed her driving test she was to take her and her sister to school 20+ miles away from home.  You see, the driving has been the worst.  I can handle dating, eye rolling, and even the talk of what colleges she wants to look at… but the driving-no, I was not going to go willingly into this one.  But here I was looking at it head on without even my first cup of coffee and there was nothing I could do about it.  Except the following…

There I was in my flannel Santa lounge pants (in October because they are just that well-worn), my faded “living on island time” t-shirt (which is ironic in itself because to know me, you know that I’m never laid back enough to be on “island time”), and my big fluffy “mom robe” in the driveway.  I circled the car and then I went and laid hands on it as if I was an ordained priest.   I prayed to God to keep my oldest baby and my second oldest baby safe and to please just carry that car in His hands all the way to school.  Then I asked Lula (the car) to please take care of my babies.  I know He heard me and I hope she did.   I went back in, it was almost time for them to go.

“Go get your dad up and tell him you are leaving,” I said.

I think at this point I may go throw up but I keep it together.  She is so excited and so happy.  She has reached a new milestone and as much as I want her to  turn and beg me to just keep being her chauffeur I know that this will not happened.  It is the first of many moments as a mom where I will have to stand still, keep my mouth shut and watch her move a little further away from needing me.  If you haven’t had one of these moments yet I’m not going to lie, it really bites and yet it’s amazing all at the same time.  It’s all very confusing.  A friend reminded me the other day that we are raising them to leave us.  (Like a knife to the heart-ugh.)  As much as this mom doesn’t want to believe that at this particular moment on the “mom journey”-my friend is right.  Driving is one of the many steps in this direction.

She grabs her keys with her black fuzz ball key chain and they head out the door.  We both hugged them longer than usual before they get in the car, the driver and her co-pilot.  “Put your seat belts on, do not even think about touching your phone, please watch out for other the other cars on the road, and please pray before you leave, ” I plead and they comply.    They pull out of the driveway and it’s still a little dark outside.  We watched the headlights fade into the trees and I am crying- the not able to catch your breath crying.  How will I do this every morning?

It’s been over a week now and each day is a little easier.  We are all easing into this new phase in life.  In general, with raising kids, every day brings new big ideas and new questions needing answers (some easier to answer than others).  I’m learning that having control over every aspect of my life and theirs is clearly impossible.  This is the hardest lesson of all, but I get it God.  I understand now what You have been trying to tell me all along.  Maybe my friend was more right than I thought.  I’ve been given these three gifts and it’s my job to love them, care for them, and eventually send them out into the world to do good things.  We are raising them to leave us.   When you are in the throes of raising kids whether they are babies up with night feedings, hauling toddlers to play groups,  or  running them to and from various activities – time seems to move so slow it’s almost going backwards.  You get tired, you might start complaining, and you think this phase will never end.  Then one day it does end and you are on to the next phase.  It happens so fast at first you may not have even noticed.  So now as part of the daily devotional/search for golden nugget I am asking God not only to keep my daughter safe in this new phase of taking on the roads, but to help me appreciate every day-even the hard ones when I’m crying in the driveway.

 

 

 

 

 

#Sistersrule

 

unnamedWhen Ivy was six months old we found out we were having another baby.  The first 5-6 years were a blur.  Who am I kidding, the past 16 years has been a blur.  Having two in diapers and two in baby beds- and yet on completely different schedules was nuts.   I was nuts.  I am probably still nuts to a certain degree.  Right now they are at the top of these stairs in Ivy’s room discussing their day.  The door is shut and they are in deep conversation.  I know this because I went up there wanting to join in like every cool mom does…ahem….and of course they totally want to share EVERY detail of their day with me, right?

Immediately as I  came through the door they changed the conversation (and not too smoothly I might add- I will need to text them and tell them to work on that)  I’m no dummy, whatever they were talking about was serious like boys or friends or perhaps how cool I am.  I slowly back out (because I just know they are going to beg me to come back so they can invite me into the inner sanctum) and get about three steps away before I hear them dive right back into their conversation- no call back.  (I also need to text them and tell them they need to check outside before continuing conversation if they don’t want me to hear- amateurs.)  The stalker mom in me thought about lingering outside to see if I could get any scoop, but alas I heard that voice in my head that said “keep moving big mama”.  A slight pause and grasping of my chest-ugh, this is hard.  The whole growing up scene where they are going to have conversations with each other that do NOT in anyway include me (insert frowny face emoji).  Man, I would love to go back and change one dirty diaper or find one more week old milk sippy cup in the back of the car-that’s how desperate it gets some days people.  It’s like watching a movie while holding down the fast forward button.  I wish I could DVR my kids.

IMG_0909 However, as hard as the “growing up” thing is-it’s pretty cool seeing the relationship these two have and knowing they will be there for each other.

IMG_0239They do love each other and I couldn’t ask for more than that.

#sistersrule

(#momsofsistersruletoo-Using # is also a thing the really cool moms do-just saying.)

Lunchbox Surprise

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That is a sock that came home in Trippe’s lunch box today.  What about his lunchbox screams- “Put a dirty sock in me!”  What possess one to store their used sock in their lunch box?  What’s wrong with putting said used sock in the book bag?  And furthermore, where is the other sock?  Is it lost in the cubbies at school?

The most positive thing I can say here is that it is actually HIS sock.  The second most positive thing I can say is that is actually homemade ranch salad dressing in that one small container to the far left. (Thank you Pioneer Woman:)).  Contrary to Frank’s comments, I actually do cook in our kitchen and I’m not having an affair with the Dominos delivery guy.) The third and final most positive thing I can say is that I actually managed to clean out the lunch box tonight as opposed to tomorrow morning.  Listen folks, there is only so much I can do in one night and I’m trying to catch up on Grey’s Anatomy and Vampire Diaries.

Side note…Trippe just told me he did NOT put the sock in his lunch box.  Further investigation will be needed.

Capturing Sunsets

Sunday afternoon I was reminded of the importance of stopping to capture sunsets.  I didn’t see the sunset but this one did and she stopped, grabbed her camera, and went and captured it. Julia is the middle one, but towers above her older sister in height and will catch her father soon.  Julia is special.  Sometimes I feel Julia has lived a whole other life before coming into ours.   Like Jane Austen walking the English moors  waiting for Mr. Darcy to ride up living in another life.   She appreciates things- things most kids her age don’t, but that’s a whole other entry.  Keep capturing sunsets Bean.

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She didn’t see me yet…I’m way too slow at grabbing MY camera these days but trying to get better.

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Ooops…busted.

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“MOM!  Please stop taking pictures!” (And seriously, do NOT put them on the  internet!  Hee! Hee!)  Can we stop here for a minute and look at those legs?  They go for miles I tell ya!

Peace out from the kitchen island…again, a whole other entry for later.

 

 

My most recent laugh out loud moment…

I recently started a new job…(no, that’s not the laugh out loud moment). I’ve been at said job for two weeks (still in training somewhat), but feel like I’m getting my sea-legs and have even been let loose on a few tasks that I feel confident to handle.

There is no need to go over in detail my “work history”, but briefly let’s review- soda jerk, retail clerk, teacher, mom, mom, mom , social media guru (and I use the term “guru” loosely), and administrative assistant….never once did I ever get an email like I got today asking this question and I have no idea how to respond….

Late this afternoon as I was finishing up a task in said new job when I received and email from HR  This is what it said: “Please advise how you would like your information i.e. name, credentials to be listed on your business cards.”

–insert laugh–

Credentials on my what?

First, I have some questions for HR…how big are these cards? Do they come in different shapes?  I like hearts.  A little heart shaped box to keep them in would be fun.

Seriously, next to being a mom- I think getting my own business cards could be one of my proudest moments.  (That sounded a lot better in my head.)

So I found this one…I like it.  What do you think?

obi