Read it! Now!

It pains me.  PAINS me to think there are Moms out there who don’t read this blog.  I love this woman.  I LOVE HER.  If you don’t love her, please never speak of it to me.

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With friends like this

How could I go wrong?  This girl is covered in awesome.

 

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It’s gonna be a weird year.

In my defense, I was in a deep after-Christmas haze.

I knew it was New Year’s Eve, I knew I had a bag of black eyed peas from last year I didn’t use and I was under the impression I had a kielbasa sort of thing of unknown vintage in the freezer.  Good enough.  I did like a good Southerner does, and put my beans on to soak.

Next day.  New Year’s Day.  I start to actually think about what I’m making for dinner.  I have no onions.  I have no bell pepper, I have no garlic.  I have no celery.  I have no Tony’s.  I have nothing of use but some sad reindeer carrots and one bay leaf.  To make matters worse, I cannot locate the sausage I swore was in the freezer.  Mere mortals would have moved on to greener meals at this point.

But.  Mama needs a new pair of shoes.  I WOULD be eating black eyed peas on New Year’s Day.  

I diced up those carrots and put, you know, like, a dash of everything in the beans.  I also located a tube of turkey sausage.  

And here’s where things might have gone awry.  

I made turkey sausage meatballs for my black eyed peas.  It really sounded like a good idea at the time.  I might have patted myself on the back for the sheer genius of the idea.

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That’s right.  I was proud of this concoction for about an hour as I readied to make the cornbread.  AAAAAAND I was out of eggs.  Fine.  I added a couple of tablespoons of ground flaxseed plus 6 tablespoons of water.  Who’s baaaad?  Jessica is.  She knows how to substitute for missing eggs!  Now, I seemed to also be out of milk (you might be gathering that I wore pajamas for then entire week after Christmas, never leaving the house).  I did however, locate some vanilla almond milk.  At this point, even I was willing to forgo the cornbread.  I mean, gross.  But, Randy said “just do it!”, so I made those cornbread muffins.

I actually served this meal to my family.  And they ATE IT. 

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That’s love.  Because no one wants to see a turkey meatball in their bowl of beans.  Nor do they savor vanilla-scented corn rocks stained red by their festive wrappers.  I reflected on that as I was left to eat the leftovers, all alone.  For a week.  I had another tupperware-full of beans and two more muffins to go on a Saturday as I was yelling at everyone for not HELPING ME OUT WITH THE DAMNED BEANS!  but I finally accepted defeat and threw it out.  

If you knew how my crazy comes out at the thought of food wastage you would be gasping in horror right now.

I hope New Year’s meals aren’t foretelling.  Otherwise, it’s gonna be a really weird year.

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Didn’t Make the Cut

As usual, I tried for a month straight to get a picture “good enough” to send to our loved ones via a Christmas card.  A picture to convey how beautiful, happy, and content we are.

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Generally, we come to no good end.  I’ve come to like that about us, and I think Randy and I are feeling guilty about our ‘posed’ Christmas photo (see above gorgeous photo).

I thought you might like to see what the really went down.  The Christmas photos that didn’t make the cut, 2011:

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We couldn’t get a good shot of us with the tree because our tree is so holy enormous, it’s the only thing that fits in the living room.  Soooooo, we set the camera up on the ledge outside of our house and opened the window to try to get a shot that way.
Randy was taking the picture with the timer, then running inside to be in the picture.  This wouldn’t have been so bad had we not let the children eat queso while my batteries recharged on my camera.  Regardless, it all went to pot from there.

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So, what does that make ME?

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be Miss America.  I had no higher aspirations, I just really, really, wanted to be Miss America.

But that little girl grew up.  And she started paying attention to the world around her.  And she conformed.

I mean, my Mom worked, and she didn’t need a man to help HER.  I certainly would never be beholden to anyone.  I would earn my own ticket, I would change the world, I would be WONDER woman.

I’m sitting at my desk, I’m 16, AP English.  The Principal is talking to us about something or another and he lets loose that his wife is a stay-at-home Mom, and how that’s an important thing for his family.  If looks could kill he would be dead from the daggers shooting from my eyes.  PIG!

Oh.  If 16-year-old me could see 36-year-old me.

I was a scrappy one.  I worked my way through college, graduating in three years with honors.  I practically forced my interviewer to let me into his top-tier Business School after my prerequisite 2 years of “real world” experience.

$50,000 later, I graduate.  And I meet a man.

I certainly didn’t go out looking for it, that’s for sure.  But I met him.  I met “the one”, and we fell madly in love and got married.  I quit my job and moved to the middle of nowhere and I took a less-prestigious job, but we were in LOVE.  Then he got transferred overseas, I had trouble finding work at all let alone work that was ‘good enough’ for someone of my caliber.  Then I got pregnant, and I haven’t seen the inside of an office since.

That’s just life.  It doesn’t generally turn out the way we think or hope it will.

Thank God.

So, this brilliant girl who had brilliant aspirations, who has fancy degrees from lovely Universities, spends her days sweeping the halls and washing the sheets and cooking the meals.  It ain’t glamorous work.  Any Mom can tell you that.

It’s down-right degrading.

Isn’t it?

Should I be embarrassed that I made the choices I did?  I didn’t become an Astronaut or the President of the United States.

I tried, I really did, and I failed.  My husband and I couldn’t both have careers.  He travels too much, someone had to stay at home to be the rock, to hold down the fort.

But this means that, GASP!  I mop my own floors.  It’s true.  And my daughter should be ashamed.  Because instead of buying her a “Doctor Barbie”, I’ve obviously purchased her one of  “the worst toys for girls”.

So, you see the source of my rant.

BY THE WAY.  Children mimic us.  They like to.  I sweep, my daughter wants to help.

I don’t know who these super-powered women who do it all are.  The ones who have a happy family, happy husband, high-powered career.  I don’t particularly want to know her if she exists, though I’m PRETTY SURE SHE DOESN’T.  All of my friends who have careers spend their days riddled with guilt that they don’t spend enough time with their familes.  The other gals spend their days riddled with remorse that they just couldn’t do it all.

And they are bent over vacumming up goldfish all day long.

And their daughters are ‘helping’ and they are learning.

Is it so wrong?  Why can’t it be good enough to aspire to be a wife and a Mother?

Because I think all I and my female contemporaries feel like, is shit.

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Road Trip!

Is there something you MUST eat when on a road trip?

It seems to be the only time I eat beef jerky.  Why do I crave beef jerky on the road?

My Mother eats Cheetos.  My Dad would buy those long skinny packages of peanuts.

My husband wouldn’t pass through West, Texas without stopping for a Kolache.

I’m coming to my point now.

I live in Europe, and we travel a lot.  By the way, gas stations in Europe don’t carry beef jerky, cheetos or kolaches.

We’ve come up with new road trip traditions, however, my favorite being wierd chips.  The wierder the better.

We recently took a trip to the South of France.  Ahhhh, France is like Mecca of wierd chips.

mmmm… kebap-flavored chips.  These indeed taste kebapy, but they weren’t so ODD-tasting if you know what I mean.

Cheeseburger-flavored chips.  These chips will totally freak you out.  Every chip shocked you again, like, “HOW DID THEY DO THAT????!!!”.  Randy and I just kept eating them and looking at each other is surprise.  They taste just like McDonalds cheeseburgers.  The meat, the ketchup, the cheese, the pickles.  It’s all in there.

These beauties are Swiss.  Beggin’ strips for people.

My all-time favorite flavoured chips are Lay’s “Poulet Rôti et Thym”, or roasted chicken with thyme.  I don’t have a picture of them, but if you see them in a gas station, BUY THEM!  They are oddly delicious!

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Getting around to it.

I would like to begin with the only excuse I have:

1)  I became deathly ill with food poisoning and was sick for a full 4 weeks.
 
Ack!  That’s not good enough, though, true.  I hate that my biggest character flaws are so obvious.  I mean, why can’t I just have a compulsive need to alphabetize canned goods in the comfort of my own home like “normal” people?

BECAUSE, I missed something important.  I just got around to reading some posts on my favorite blog, Seriously Because.  My dear, lovely, friend Lori, paid me a huge compliment.  She listed me in her top five blogs and wrote my name in the same sentence as David Sedaris’s;

Hurricane Tankersley – When I say her posts are few and far between, I mean that you’re lucky to get a handful each year. But when Jessica writes, she wins my heart. I’m telling you, she could write a book one day. And I’m thinking that book will be a David Sedaris-style collection of short stories.
 

Last week, I forgot to meet someone for coffee.  If you know me at all, this won’t surprise you.  I am incredibly flighty.  I forget Doctor’s appointments, I forget to pay my mortgage, I forget things that I’d rather not share, because it’s shameful, it’s embarrassing, and I have been like that since the day I came into this world.

Well, this new friend didn’t take too kindly to my antics, but frankly, I’m not that kind of friend.  She needs a RELIABLE friend.  One who is punctual, remembers dates, and returns phone calls and emails the second she gets them.

I do try to do better.

I put things in my calendar (if I could just remember to LOOK at it), I set my phone alarm so I don’t forget my son at the bus stop (must remember to keep said phone on person), I write endless notes to myself (where are these notes?).

I try not to get caught up being “busy” with things that are really inconsequential,  though I constantly find myself right where I started, sticking my fingers into things I don’t need to involve myself in…

But I am who I am.  A work in progress.  And I absolutely feel undeserving of the unconditional love and encouragement my dear, dear friends and family give me.

WEEKS LATER!  I am reading this post, and I am flattered, my friend, and I know you still love me despite myself.  The words of encouragement do not fall on deaf ears.  I mean, look!  You got a  blog post out of me!

And I’ll dedicate that book to you.

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