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Leave This Question to Yourself

I am not one to be shy. I do not play coy. And I certainly will not lie.
I lack boundaries. There are times more often than not when I know I should be embarrassed, ashamed, guilty, or offended but am not than when I am.
I survived the awkward teenage years. I gained that freshman 50. (Yes, it was closer to 50 for me and I blame my parents for getting me the largest meal plan the campus had to offer. I’d also like to thank my parents for that blessing of calories.) I stumbled through weird dates, first kisses, and bad impressions. To top it off, I’ve been pregnant and given birth. Twice. You don’t come back from giving birth.
If you haven’t gotten the picture yet, my point is that I rarely feel humiliated, offended, or violated. I have experienced too many situations that have hardened me against these feelings. I am who I am, and if you ask me a question about that I will tell you straight-forward and without being offended. Except, something has changed.
Due to recent health co…

Princesses Don't Wear Glasses

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This is a hard society to grow up in. For some, it is simply a hard society to live in.
Hate, intolerance, racism, sexism, ableism, prejudice… these things litter our headlines and news feeds daily. And, if you’re not watching or reading about some tragedy, hate crime, or any number of other heinous acts or deplorable beliefs, you may be able to catch all of the skinny, beautiful, flawless skinned men and women gracing absurd magazine covers, ridiculous commercials, or scantily clad billboards.
This world is hard place to fit in. I say this as a white, cisgender, heterosexual female with not a whole lot going against me. I’m overweight and a hot-mess mom, but I am lucky enough to not give a flying you-know-what in regards to how society views me.
So, imagine this world through your children’s eyes. Where do they fit in? What messages are we giving them— subconsciously, subliminally, and directly-- when it comes to image?
I grew up on Disney princesses. Think Snow White, Cinderella, …

An Open Letter to the Other Partner

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Let me first say that this one is going out to my husband, Derek. However, I realize that there are so many more figures in a child's life than just a mom and a dad. So, this is an open letter to the other partner-- whether that be a grandpa, husband, adopted dad, uncle, another mom... to all of you who help us moms get through this crazy, wild ride of motherhood. It doesn't matter if you're the biological father or not. Whatever your circumstance or situation, if you're hands on and attentive to raising a child and helping the mother, you need to be thanked, regardless of your label.

To the Other Partners of the World-

Thank you. From a person who has been a stay at home mom, a full-time working mom, a full-time graduate student while stay at home mom, a part-time working/full-time student/stay at home mom, let me be the first to admit that being a mother is the hardest job I have ever had the privilege of working. I have been a teacher, a substitute teacher, a pharma…

Ten Years Later: Still Not Forgotten

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There are many things associated with April. Overall, I would bet most would have a cheery outlook of the month: there’s April Fools, a quarter of the year is past, spring is truly taking root, the resurrection of Jesus is celebrated, as is the arrival of the Easter Bunny, and, in my family, there are at least three different birthdays. For many, April is the month of spring showers in hopes of May flowers and a week long beach vacation for spring break. April is the light at the end of a cold, winter’s tunnel. A beacon of hope, a siren calling you into warmer, lazy days.
Ten years ago this outlook of April was shattered for me and my Hokie family. In his poem “The Wasteland,” T.S. Eliot began with, “April is the cruelest of months.” This has now become what April symbolizes for me—a cruel reminder of a senseless tragedy that took so many good, kind, smart, and promising lives from this world entirely too soon. Every single day in April I mourn. It does not matter where I am or what …

A Rite of Passage for the Stay-at-Home-Mom

There are so many changes that happen when it comes to becoming a mother. There are the obvious: your body changes, your family dynamic changes, your financial status changes... Your day to day changes, and as you transition into motherhood, you may find yourself not wanting to go back to work if you had previously. Many mothers find themselves choosing to stay at home, changing their career path, and finding a new normal on the domestic side of the spectrum.

This path seems pretty straight forward: you stay home with the baby, enjoy all the coos, giggles, mountains of diapers, and navigate this uncharted territory. This was the path that I chose. I dove exhausted, weary, and overjoyed into this new life of mine. I figured out how to change a diaper before being forced a golden shower, how to sneak out of the nursery like I used to do my parent's house when I was a teenager, and how to bathe this 10 pound potato that had no head control but no less than four neck rolls.

However, I…

It's Been 84 Years: A Grocery Store Attack

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I... I don't know how I made it out alive.

As I sit here, with my glass of *much* needed and well deserved wine, I feel like the old lady from the Titanic. I went into that grocery store at a mere 28 years young. Sadly, I drove away at an alarming 84 years old.

My last memory is that I was in the check out line. The kids were fighting over who got to put what food on the conveyor belt. I have a vivid memory of sweat starting to bead on my upper lip as I tried to demurely redirect their behavior because, after all, I am in public. And then I thought, "Damn it, guys... I actually showered today. Do not make me sweat." And then it happened.

Tucker put the pink strawberry applesauce on the belt.

I've been told, or have read somewhere, that before a WWII bomb would hit you could hear it whistling. My own daughter-- my flesh and blood, whom I carried for nine months and fed from my own body for over 14 months-- didn't even have enough decorum or decency to at least whi…

Theory of Mom-Time

Einstein proved that time is relative. It passes differently in different circumstances; there is no absolute when it comes to time. Yet, we as humans have to try and control it. We try to tame it as if it were a wild beast, assigning it arbitrary names whenever an arbitrary increment of time passes. Why is a minute 60 seconds? An hour 60 minutes? A year on Earth is a lot shorter than one on Pluto. In fact, had I been born a Plutonian, I would be just over a tenth of an Earth year old-- just over a month.

Time is crazy. It's something I am currently obsessing over because it is 3:15 AM and I have yet to sleep. Watching the hours slowly pass by is torture, and I can't help being mad that some human tried to make sense of this concept, created the concept of an hour, and then another human declared that 8 of these units is the appropriate and most beneficial amount of sleep to ensure maximum restoration. And at night, no less. (That sentence makes complete sense in my sleep-depr…