2019

 

Did I ever share my word for 2019?  It doesn’t seem as though I did.  2018 was hard.  My word back then was Wonder.  I found myself full of wonder but in none of the ways I imagined.  Mostly just WONDERing what to do.  WONDERing how I got to a place I didn’t intend to get to.  To be frank, WONDERing that the hell I was doing.

I was glad when 2018 was over.  Its a story for another post.  A story that will take courage to tell and one that must be told when littles (can I still call Clever, Dapper and Spicy littles when they are 10, 9 and breathing down 8’s neck??) are not underfoot with excitement for Christmas…  Its hard because as every writer knows, our stories are not our own.  They are intertwined and weaved with other’s lives and truths.  Our version is but one facet… Still, as writers also know, stories within us must come forth or they overcrowd and corrupt our minds leaving no room for new stories and beginnings.  So I will write my story and you will hear my story in due time.

As it is, 2019 came.  I anticipated it and welcomed a fresh new year.  Not to lose weight (tho I need to), not to quit smoking (did that almost 11 years ago- thank you very much)- no real resolutions were happening here.  I was just grateful to see a new year, pick a new word and begin again.

My word for 2019 was (and for the next 20 days still is) STRONG.

It was deceptive at first, I admit.  Its a bold word and claiming it as my word of the year was daring.  Especially given the fact I didn’t feel it.  I wasn’t sure I believed it.  Okay, I know I didn’t believe it.  But I made it my word and I thought about it every single day thus far in 2019.  I make decisions that will make me a strong person. I work to make my marriage strong.  I strive to be a strong role model for my littles .  I have strong friendships and learned to appreciate them and nurture them.  I was strong in the realization that other friendships weren’t.  This is okay, it makes the strong outshine.  I see them clearly.  I feel that this year – and last- let me see everyone clearly.  I still STRONGly wish everyone well.

I am spending the next several weeks thinking and praying for my next word.  Praying that Jesus just lets it come to me and gives me the purpose to slay all things with my word!

2020, I’m coming for you and I am so happy to keep on keeping on!

XOXO

Vision Board

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I did a thing this week.  I made a vision board to show what it is I wanted my life to look like.  I actually used a notebook that I always have with me so I could keep looking at it as often as I wanted.

I had heard of people making these before.  Targets and motivations to strive for and that emphasize the power of the mind.  The photo above was one of  the photos I chose.  I won’t share the rest here…yet.  Maybe never.  I am not sure.

What I do know is how happy I am to have used this photo and then realized that I am living this part of my vision board out loud; in present time. So many times I hear people tell me they wish they wrote, or they want to write, or they do write but they won’t put it out anywhere in the world.  I am proud that I do.  I am proud that in this vision, my writing is not just a vision.  Its not just a wish.  Its not a someday if I weren’t so busy.  I am a mother of 4 (3 of whom are completely dependent), I work part time at my children’s school, I work at my husband’s business, I have 2 children in travel sports that we have 5 days a week and 2 times each day of the weekend.  Our little Spicy is a swimmer so that is sucking up time.  I also run a part time online business plus I run a household….Can I get an Amen to that?  Bills, laundry, dinners, all lunches packed, groceries, cleaning, etc.  I get busy. Believe me!  Yet, I still find time to be what I believe God calls me to be.  A writer.  Who actually writes.

I encourage all of you to create your own vision board.  A tangible one is best. One you can craft and hold and see each day.  BUT, if you are even too busy for that, make one on Pinterest.  Start making a plan today for what you say you want.  Have your vision become reality.  It is empowering.  And don’t we all just want to feel a little stronger in our own skin?

XOXO

 

Reminder

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I am still here.  I write this as a reminder to myself even more than a notification to my readers.

I have been writing so much these last few months, just not blogging.  I have missed this.

I find myself thinking of this blog often.  I think,

“What do I want to write?”

“What is there to say?”

“Do people really want to hear a housewife’s take on kids and married life?”

“Do I really want to talk about kids and married life?”

“Should I just post works here?  Try to get feedback?”

Lots of questions.  And with full disclosure, I didn’t come to any definitive conclusions.

With the exception of this:  I want to write and I want to write here.

I want to write about whatever I want.  This blog doesn’t need to fit under an umbrella that only touches on certain topics.  It can be all encompassing.   I have no control over who reads, who shares, who cares.  But that isn’t why writing has ever mattered to me.  Writing has been my lifeline since I was a child.  When I was 7 and used writing to help me grapple through my father’s death and throughout my life going through every other hardship and joy.  Writing is home.

So here it goes.  Continuing the act of saving myself.  Using my God-given talent to spend time with myself…and hopefully you all as well.

XOXO

Identity

Who are we really?  Do we even know?  Do I?

This blog calls me a housewife.  Is that all I am?  Will I be that forever?  When that changes, does the blog need to change its web address?  If that changes, am I enough on my own to even stand alone as a web address?

I write.  It ebbs and flows but is that all that is required to make me a writer?  Is it enough?  Does it still count?  Can I call myself a writer when sometimes weeks pass without writing a word?

How much of our identity is what OTHER people tell us we are?  Do we really know ourselves?  Isn’t it time to get acquainted?

I’m in a wondering mood….

 

 

Wonder Wednesday 02.28.18

I suspect most of the wonders I seek this year will be hidden.  Will be things that I need to take a second or third look to see and find.  That is part of their wonder, true?

Today, I found wonder in an obvious place.  Some would say easy even.  I don’t care.  My goal is to delight in wonder all year long, where ever I should find it.  Even when I don’t have to look far at all.

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Look at her.  My eldest child, Studious.  She is my wondrous find today.  I often marvel at how she has grown.  How she has navigated this life to find her own place in which to stand and grow.  She has faced adversities and she always and repeatedly rises.  I am so proud and so in absolute wonder that I had anything to do with this.

In this photo, we were on a recent trip to NYC – just the two of us.  It was such an amazing gift from my husband.  It was perfect for too many reasons to list here.  In this picture, she is standing on the top of the Empire State Building (which needs to Go Gold for Pediatric Cancer- seriously, their refusal infuriates me BUT that is for another time).  She is standing overlooking NYC and I am in awe of her.  The old adage of ‘The world is her oyster’ is so true and she is so lucky.  And what makes her so full of wonder?  She knows this.  She knows that she is a participant in this world and she was not just put here to pay bills and die.  She has goals and aspirations and she will leave a positive impact on this place.  She is so wonderful or rather WonderFULL.

When I look for things or moments this year to encapsulate wonder for me, I will look broad and far.  However, today, I recognize that when someone you have known their whole life, still takes your breath away- you call it what it is and you celebrate them.

I am so blessed to be on this journey.  I am so blessed to be a mother.  It is the greatest role in life.  I will stop to see it and I will do my absolute best to recognize and delight in it.

Thank you to Studious for constantly showing me wonder.  For 21+ years I have been in awe of you, your dedication and determination.  I love you.  XOXO

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to you.  Happy Birthday to you.  Happy Birthday, Dear BLOG, Happy Birthday to you!

Today is my blog’s very first birthday!  I can’t believe it!  This experience has been so amazing.  April 13, 2015, I began this little blog called The Memoirs of a Housewife.  Had you told me that in exactly one year I would be boarding a plane to go out West for a book tour for  a book I wrote and I published, I would have thought you were being overly optimistic.  Yet, here I am at 2:00 getting ready to head to the airport to do just that!

I am so thrilled I listened to my true core self about my desires and wants in this life instead of listening to my self-doubt and fears.  We only have this one life.  This isn’t a “practice life”.  We don’t get any do-overs.

I feel so amazed that it has been a year!  Many more to come as I continue to fall further in love with my husband and my Studious, Clever, Dapper and Spicy.  Much more self-discovery and self-enhancement is coming your way.  Life is happening here and it is a blessing.  I am thankful for it all.

I am reminded of these smart words from Karen Lamb that I thought to myself one year ago today when I was nervous and hesitant to hit the “Publish” button on this blog for the first time.  “A year from now you will wish you had started today.”

Well, I hit “Publish” and now a year later, I am so grateful to have no regrets or wasted time.  Get on with your getting on, people.  Life is happening here.  It is a blessing for sure!

I’ll check in from the Wild West Book Tour!  XOXO

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I feel so vulnerable today!!

I think most of you are aware that I recently published a book called, No Cheese Please.  It is an adorable children’s book that I am extremely proud of.

I am proud of the content.  I am proud of the final copy.  I am proud of the audaciousness I had to muster to let it go out into the world.  And here we are….

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It is almost here.  Or there- in the real world where you all are.  It is available on Amazon and the presale has been tremendously successful.  Thank you all you out there who have already bought a copy or two, or 5 or 7… you know who you are!

Why do I feel most vulnerable today?  Today I began the arduous tasks of actually stepping out of my creativity (a place I am SUPER comfortable in) and into the world of “selling/promoting”.  This is a place where I am not at ease.  Please don’t misunderstand me, I BELIEVE in this project and I am CONFIDENT in what I am sharing, it just is HARD, you guys, when you ask others to come along with you and sip some of your Kool Aid! And to buy into it, literally.

So today I created the invitation to my Book Launch Celebration where I am inviting my friends and family to come and help us celebrate this really cool thing.  I am so excited but I have to be honest, when I hit ‘Send Evite’, I had heart palpitations.  All these negative thoughts crept in my head.  Or rather, if I am going to be honest, they didn’t sneak in- I was the one saying them.

“What if no one comes but you, you husband and your kids?”

“What if people presume you have no talent and don’t want to buy anything you made?”

“You have some nerve making something and then thinking anyone would PAY for it!”

The list of self-doubt and self-hate questions kept going.  I was so nervous.  I am still.

And then I got to thinking… Do I want these books to sell?  Absolutely!  I think that will be amazing and exciting and I will be honored that anyone would invest their hard-earned money into something I created and released into this crazy world.  BUT, I am not doing it for that.  I didn’t make the decision to focus on my writing for the accolades.  I decided to do this for ME!   The positive reviews and the excellent reception thus far is the cherry on top for me.

Will some people out there have negative thoughts about me?  Or about my audacity to do this thing?  I sadly presume so.  I can’t change them.  I learned from experience that people make up their minds about you typically with or without any action or evidence from you.   And those people, aren’t people you want around anyway.

Getting back to this party- I am still nervous.  I am still wanting everything to be a huge success and I want everyone to leave feeling empowered to do whatever  it is they want to do.  But I am doing this thing.  And the feeling I get from THAT…from the actual DOING supersedes any negativity I can spew at myself.

Thank you for letting me share my vulnerability here.  This community has come to be place I feel safe and free.  Kudos to you all for that.

XOXO

 

What a Wonderful World???

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Do you ever read people’s Facebook posts, Instagram feeds, blog posts and tweets and wonder- where are these gloriously happy, got it all figured out, perfect in every way souls?  I mean these people are pretty amazing, right?  They not only have it all together, but their kids, their careers- hell even their DOGS are perfection.

Maybe you are not one who wonders where they are because you are one of them.  Lucky.  Funny thing is, I see these snapshots of these amazing lives online, hardly in reality.  When I am shopping, most time people look frustrated and a majority of the time, they look hurried and pissed off.  Drive on the road with these deliriously joyful souls and realize you are getting cut off, being sanctioned to the merge lane cause your ass isn’t getting in and on some super special occasion, you may even get the bird shot at you.  True story- it still happens.  It happened to me about a month ago.  Some guy driving a muscle car (for description purposes not an opinion on muscle car owners) was driving and my mother (white hair, obviously well-vetted) pulled out into the road.  He had plenty of space, but he had decided she should have waited.  He passed us and proceeded to look in the car which was occupied  by a white-haired grandmother, myself and my little 4 year old Spicy girl.  He accessed the situation (3 generations of women- one his elder, another a baby) and decided to give us the finger.  Classy.   I wonder if he posted that nugget of maturity on his social media sites.  Also makes me wonder who would have had to be in the car for him NOT to show the white trash card.

Yea, I am not sure where some of these happy, well-together people are located.

I had a friend not too long ago who was constantly blogging and facebook posting about her fabulous husband and their fabulous marriage.  Always posting pictures of this Norman Rockwell life and how fabulous everything was.  Mind you, this was one of my closest friends.   The other day she informs me she is getting a divorce.  She said they haven’t been happy for a super long time.  Really?  Could have fooled me!  You had rainbows and cupids coming out of your A$$ online.

Look, there is a point to this and I promise it will all come around so just stay with me….

We can all agree that no one leads perfect lives.  Social media seems to provide an outlet for each of us to communicate and that is a glorious thing.  Glorious when it is generative and helpful.  It could be so much more than what we have all made it.  Rather than it be an extension of ‘keeping up with the Jone’s’ and ‘Wow, who can be happier?’, what if it was real?

I am not condoning airing dirty laundry by any means.  While I am no longer a practicing Catholic, that much was ingrained to my core.  I am talking about being honest and allowing our real selves to shine through.  If you are struggling, it is okay to admit to struggling.  Someone may be reading who can identify, lend and ear, listen.  Someone may be able to help.  If you are happy, by all means, share that as well.  Need help with projects, prayers, good thoughts, bring it!

I had a man I admired a great deal tell me a story once of his church.  He was deeply involved in his church and its several committees, etc.  He told me one day why he up and left that church in search for another.  He said there was a man in his congregation that he knew had just lost his job.  He was aware this man and his family were suffering true and severe difficulties and hardships.  He went up to this gentleman at church one Sunday and asked him how he was and how things were going?  The man looked him in the eye and told him he was “Fine, things are great.”  He told me he knew he wanted a different church THAT moment because this had become the “norm” there, everyone putting on errs instead of participating in a community.

These networking sites can leave us feeling pretty defeated, unhappy, fat, unpopular, unsuccessful, etc. when we get into the dangerous game of comparisons.  And if the game must be played, which I believe it will continue to be, at least realize you are competing with only the outer most layer of someone’s life.  The part they want you to see.

It is curious to me that while online networking brings everyone together in one place, never have we as a society been more disconnected with our family, friends and fellow man (in my opinion).  You can go to a restaurant and see a whole family seated together and watch as they each play on their own cell phones to see my point.  Yes I am friends online with people from my past, but what do they know and care about my life?  Have I been seeking to know and care about theirs?  Why not?  They should.  I should.

I think we would  ALL benefit from a social network that was actually used to network authenticity.  And then to step outside of that world wide web into action in the real world.

This is my plan and thought for 2016 as I IMMERSE (word of the year- read previous post) myself into a new writing project that I believe will prove to be very interesting and hopefully very generative of good cheer and delighting in my fellow mankind.

Be well and be real!

XOXO

 

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Marlin in the House…Literally…

Marlin has been low-key this year.  Well, at least low-key in comparison to how he usually rolls.  I am not sure if it is the fact that he is getting older or if it is the fact that he is gearing up for some wild times during this crunch time before Christmas!  I sincerely hope it is the latter!  I love this elf and the true magic he brings!

One day, Dapper touched him (and you know this means potential magic loss) and then Marlin stayed in the same spot for 3 days (key doom music- DUM DUM DUMMMMM).  We were concerned for his well being and were paranoid that it was the end of Marlin.  Luckily, he has since recovered and is back on the move!  Whew!  I know Dapper is happy and I see a huge sense of relief in Spicy’s eyes so I am pretty sure she also made contact with Marlin.

 

Throwback to Marlin Flying a Commercial Airliner last year…It happened.  We landed safe!

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