Wednesday, August 20, 2014

15 Years and Still Counting...

I am writing this on the eve of my 15th wedding anniversary.  This may just seem like an ordinary milestone but for me it is so much more.  15 years ago we were surrounded by so many people who thought we would never make it past the first year.  Many of our family and friends were pretty outspoken on all the reasons we shouldn't get married and all of the ways our marriage would fail.  We had haters before haters was even a word.

We had a lot of things going against us.  We were starting off our married life with a baby boy on the way.  We literally got married and became parents 22 days later.  Shawn was in school and worked full time.  I was in school and worked full time.  We had very little money and already had stupid, frivolous debt.  I had never lived on my own and knew nothing about paying bills or taking care of myself.  Shawn had lived on his own for the year we were dating but I can safely say that he was a work in progress.  We had nothing... except ferocious amounts of love, faith and courage.

15 years later I can still say that those 3 virtues continue to lead us.  We love unconditionally.  This has been tested through the years.  We have had to work on loving each other, even when it seemed so hard.  But, true love does not have an ending.  You have to work selflessly on loving someone, at times, even more than you love yourself.  You have to keep that promise to love each other... NO MATTER WHAT.  And, guess what I have learned in 15 years... it is hard.  It is soul aching, heart wrenching effort to do that on some days.  But you commit to it and you keep that promise.

You have to challenge yourself daily to reflect on the person you are walking life with.  How have they changed you?  How do they make you a better person?  By asking these questions, your love continues to grow.  Shawn has loved me more than he should with no regard for anything else
He has never given up on me or our marriage.  He is the hardest working man I know with no depths to his integrity and character.  It makes me stronger in my own character.  And most importantly, he is the best father that has ever walked this earth- he gives my children wings and confidence.  He has created in them a drive to make every one of their dreams come true.  He is their soft place to fall and motivates them to be better than they ever could have imagined being.  I know God gave me shawn to make me stronger, kinder and lighter.  He is the reason I get up and begin again every day.  Those reasons help me daily to love unconditionally.

We have continued to have faith in each other.  Again, this is a pretty tough thing.  For me- a stubborn, independent Buckley girl- I never realized how difficult having faith in someone other than myself could be.  I have learned that having faith in your partner, even in your toughest trials, will help you come out of the other end.  The struggles are a little less difficult when you have faith in the person you share your life with.  I know without a doubt that Shawn has my back.  He is my protector, my confidante and my backbone. 

Faith in each other is great but faith in God is even better.  There have been times in the last 15 years where we didn't know what our future would hold.  We had to put our faith in God that he would show us the way.  Through job changes, personal struggles, multiple kiddos, moves and an adoption you have to keep your eye on the prize.  The goal has always been for me, to get to heaven together.  That has meant making tough decisions and calling on God when times were hard.  I have reminded Shawn of that on his worst days and I know he has reminded me.  Those tests are what creates the strong foundation for your marriage.  It solidifies the rock in your relationship, and for me, it has been and always will be God.

Lastly, we have had to have courage.  In todays wonderful age of self promotion and the "numero uno" mentality, we have been surrounded by people who are vastly different than us.  We have had to walk together with courage that we are right and the rest of the world is wrong.  This started when we were married and continues, even today.  We have made some unpopular decisions that other families have judged us for.  Just look at the size of our beautiful family.  Don't think that we haven't had to have extraordinary amounts of courage to walk that path against the norm.  That courage we had 15 years ago still continues to help us walk the path regardless of who is following. 

I am a relatively big God person and don't find a lot of coincidences.  I believe most of my life has been guided by His loving hand.  Meeting Shawn was just another divine stop on my life adventure.  Shawn was the boy who I was meant to walk this earth with.  The one who was meant to be the father of my children.  The one with whom I was destined to change the world.  He is the exact balance to who I am.  He is the calm to my storm.  He is the safety belts to my roller coaster.  I am the architect and he is the builder of my dreams.    

After 15 years I know for sure that I could not have become the person I am with out him.  He has made me a better person.  It is my hope that after 15 years he can say the same.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sage Lake Reminiscing Part One

We have just arrived back from our annual trip to Sage Lake in Hale, Michigan.  I wanted to write all week and lose myself in storytelling but alas, that did not happen.  However, as we have settled back into the routine of daily life I have found myself feeling very melancholy about the blessing we have received.
My Uncle Dan and Aunt Bev purchased a small cottage in Hale Michigan about 20 years ago.  No one could ever have anticipated how that small little cottage would bring our families together.  After many renovations and lots of investment, the small cottage home became a massive house to hold all of our families.  Through the years my dads side of the family would gather every Labor Day and 4th of July to boat, swim, laugh and bond.  It was a place where we were able to gather and be thankful of the blessing of our extended family.  As families expanded, we slowly started losing the connection to the cottage.  For Shawn and I it was nearly impossible to come from Kentucky with little babies for a weekend of fun in the sun.  We missed all of these times and it made me feel really bad about having my children not experience that amazing family time that I grew up with and took for granted.
About 4 years ago, my Uncle Dan and Aunt Bev had an opportunity to sell their cottage and the burden that comes with upkeep from a cottage home used only a handful of times.  So many of the extended family had families of their own and it was really clear that the Bountiful Buckleys had outgrown coming together under one roof.  However, instead of selling their home, they made the incredibly, unbelievable decision to keep the house and divide the summer weeks for each Buckley family.  Each family had 2 weeks to enjoy the cottage and boat with their growing families.  To this day, I can not fathom the generosity of this gift.  I believe that my Uncle Dan and Aunt Bev will never understand the gift they gave to our family.
For starters, the cottage has provided my brothers and sisters to have a home to create memories for our children.  Let's be honest... where else could we find a home that could accommodate 6 families with 27 children between them?  We are spread throughout the United States and the lucklihood of us being able to get together annually would have been slim to none.  Getting our families together, gives us siblings time to get to know each other again.  For our spouses to get to know all of us better.  To have some uninterrupted adult time while the kids lose themselves in kick the can or swimming in the lake. 
Its not just the connection of my siblings and I, it is this moments of relationship building that happens with our children.  This summer I watched a true friendship blossom between Shawn and Emma.  It reminded me so much of the amazing relationship I had with my own big brother growing up {I went to prom with him Junior AND Senior year!}.  That relationship was one of the most important ones during my high school years.  It kept me out of trouble and safe while I was dabbling in trouble :) 
Kiley and her Dad developed a closer Dad/Daughter relationship.  They have always had a magic bond since birth but this year I got to see it, up close and personal.  The secret glances and quiet talks.  The little pick me ups that he can give and that change her whole outlook on life.  As I stood back and watched this, I thought of my Dad and I.  He is still my biggest cheerleader and the one person I go to in all times of trouble for wisdom, guidance and unconditional love. 
Dylan and Keegan were inseperable and this year I found myself laughing hysterically, as they came up with all sorts of ways to make the lake their own.  Hillbilly handfishing and trying to catch little minnows had me rolling!  Concocting games that involved throwing rocks, tying up toys and finding little treasures.  This reminded me of the games my sister and I would play growing up.  We were forever making up stories, games and activities that kept us busy for hours.
But, its not just our children.  It is the relationships that are forming between cousins, Aunts and Uncles.  Growing up I had the best relationships with my cousins- on my moms and dads side.  I would challenge ANYONE to tell me that you had it better.  The memories I have of connecting with my cousins are some of the best memories in my childhood.  There was a time I thought I had lost that for my children.   I really had a lot of guilt over that.  The cottage has given us all an opportunity to create a place for the cousins to play, get to know each other and create lifelong bonds.  These bonds will give them a confidence and security most kids are never privy to. 
The relationships they are building with their aunts and uncles are giving them countless cheerleaders and role models for their futures.  To this day, my Aunts and Uncles are my heroes... because I knew them and looked up to them.  I was provided countless opportunities to spend time in their prescence.  My uncles threatened every boyfriend I brought around and my Aunts showed me the value of true sisterhood.  I knew, and still know, I can count on any one of them to have my back any time, day or night.  Because of the "Cottage Gift" my kids are learning this as well.
For the next few days I intend to write on some of the highlights from our trip.  I am doing so with the hopes that some of these moments will explain the magnitude of such an amazing, undeserved gift of love that has been and will continue being life changing for my kiddos.  It is a blessing that I can only repay through the building of the family bonds that we are able to focus on for one magical week every summer in Hale Michigan.
One of their crazy made up games

Shawnie and Emma bonding at the Lake

Daddy and his little girl

Cowabunga dude!

Sassy Olders experiencing independence on the Lake

Daddy and his boys

Monday, July 21, 2014

Congratulations ... You Raised a Big Jerk

Dear Moms and Dads of the United States of America,

Congratulations on the destruction of the world.  You have finally done the unthinkable.  You have succeeded in changing the path of our future and you have steered this titanic right into the giant iceberg.  Let me explain...

It is totally bizarre to me as I continue working in the field of Early Childhood Education that not one person carrying their PhD's and pedigrees like mighty sabers, have put two and two together.  We are raising some of the most violent, uneducated, spoiled, weak, entitled brats that have ever walked the face of the world.  We are blaming this on video games, violent movies, the internet, too much self esteem, not enough self esteem, guns, overmedication, preservatives, sugar, overdiagnosis, pollution, not spanking, too much spanking, not enough pay at our jobs, single moms, dead beat dads... you name it, we blame it.  We have a reason for every bad thing that happens to our children.  Oddly, the reason is NEVER the parents.  Not one PhD, to my knowledge, has ever suggested that perhaps the parents are to blame.  

No, instead we protect the parents.  We do this for a million reasons.  If we blame the parents we have to start looking at who they are.  I think we would be stopped in our tracks as we slowly began to recognize ourselves.  We would be forced to look at the real issues that we have been too scared to take head on.  We would have to examine closely some of these issues I am going to take to task today. 

We hold teachers responsible for the fact that our children are dumb and are acting up.  We blame the school when our kids are misbehaving and they "can't do their job".  We can't come and get them when they misbehave or there needs to be a discussion on the fact that Bobby failed another geometry quiz or we may lose our job.  Our sweet precious job that doesn't benefit us as much as we are taught to see that it does. 

We could do without our jobs, if we really tried.  We could cut our family budgets and make it work.  We could drop our cable, cut off our cell phones, stop drinking those damn coffees.  We don't want to because we like things.  We like to get stupid drunk on materials.  We love our fancy phones where we can post about our crappy teachers on facebook while chatting with our girlfriends about the latest episode of Housewives as we drink a Venti Triple Soy Caramel Machiatto.  So, we don't pick up our kid that is chucking chairs in his classroom and failing math because "I have got a job and I can't afford to lose it!"  No, crazy person... you can't afford to lose your child in the chaos you are creating.

We make that choice to be complacent in our choices because we believe the teachers will have to figure it out.  Weird though, they don't care either.  They don't care because they have their own child acting out in preschool... biting their friends and kicking their teachers.  They don't have time to figure out your child because they are trying to eek out time for their own little patch of green grass.  Plus, you kind of taught them how to treat your child... with laziness, contempt and indifference.

Your kid makes it through the day after spending 6 hours sitting in a chair in a box like room, filling in dittos and waiting for that glorious 15 min recess.   They are then ushered into the afterschool room filled with kids desperately waiting for their parents to come and save them.  The afterschool teachers fill up your child's time with Level 0!  Homework Table!  Math Station!  Your child waits again for that glorious 15 min recess. 

All the while you are racing like a hamster on a neverending spinning wheel to finish up your last worthless email that you have convinced yourself will change the world.  In essence no change will occur... its just an email sent from a worker bee.  You will jump in your car and begin the race to the school.  You will check your email for other Earth shattering memos and maybe check out Facebook for validation.  You will do this as you drive because you don't have time to pull over and take 5 minutes to do this.  You will return phone calls and talk until you reach the school parking lot. 

When you pick up your "Gift from God" "Blessing From Above" you barely look at them.  You are focused on what you are making for dinner and if your lazy spouse remembered to pick up the milk like you asked him.  Your child will be begging for your attention.  Looking for any morsel of affection or loving touch.  You will rush them to the car and gruffly tell them to "Get In".  If you are in an exceptional mood you will grace your everything with a "How was your day?"  You will ask for some detail but your mind wanders back to dinner. 

By the time you get home, you are exhausted.  You have to make dinner, pay a bill, check homework, make sure baths are done, do the dishes, flip the laundry and then maybe, make it up to your childs bed for a sweet goodnight kiss and hug.  While you are busy doing your thang your child has been vegging in front of the boob tube or playing video games.  You will spend the rest of your evening catching up on reality TV and chastising yourself for how little time you spent with your child.  If you are like me you will make promises to yourself to be better tomorrow... that is the only thought that makes you feel better enough to be able to fall asleep.

Meanwhile, your child is a hot mess.  They have had very little physical contact from any loving adult in their life.  They have been ignored, judged, chastised and bored all day.  They have waited to hear some lovely things about who they are.  They are still waiting.  Your child has filled their precious brains with worthless nonsense from the TV and violent images from their video games.  They are going to bed trying to make themselves feel excited about doing it all over again tomorrow. 
Can you even imagine that reality?

And yet, we scratch our heads and ask ourselves how our children and young adults have become so violent.  We dare to ask how this could happen in a world that has so many "things".  We ignore the fact that since the dawn of ages, "Things" have never mattered.  It is the physical touch and presence of our mothers.  The encouragement and sage wisdom of our fathers.  The support and love from our extended family.  The loyalty and comraderie of our neighborhood.  These things take time to foster and nurture.  Time that we do not have.  Time that we are choosing to give to people, places and things that don't matter and never have.  We are so busy saving the world for others that our own little world is crumbling under the weight of our self placed responsibilities. 

Mothers work more than they ever have.  I am a full time working mom of 5 kids.  I am honest enough to say... something has to give.  You can't be everything to everyone and give 100% to it all.  It is impossible. The effort is there.  The hard work and drive is there.  It doesn't matter, something has to give.  Most of the time it is our children that suffer. 

The kids who crave parental attention so much that they destroy their classrooms.  The children who stay at day care even when they are sick and their moms are at home for a day of rest.  The kiddos who fail at school because they do not have help at home... she's too tired from working all day.  The child who is bouncing around the room and can't focus because they ate crap for breakfast and have been raised on video games that are changing scenes a mile per minute.  The child that is so full of anger at his situation but never goes outside to burn off the steam because its 6pm when they get home. 

And, we dare to ask ourselves... why are they so angry?  Why are they not passing their classes?  Why do they have no respect for adults?  Why are so many kids exhibiting signs of ADD/ADHD?  Why are kids detached and sensory deprived?  Why is autism on the rise?  Why are young adults shooting people?  Why are they so angry?

I really hope people wake up.  I really hope those prissy PhD's will get this passed across their computer screens and think long enough to consider the possibility that the absence of mothers is hugely detrimental.  It is the iceberg to our Titanic.  If someone speaks up, perhaps we can steer the ship in a new direction. 

Today I Am Sad...

So, today my friend finished her abortion.  My friend is such a lovely person.  She is someone I respect, admire and love.  Still do.  But, today she completed an abortion and it hurts my heart. 

As a mommy of 5 kids, one of whom is adopted, I struggle knowing that abortion exists.  I struggle because so many women wait, for years, with the hope that one day they can become moms.  The coveted title revered for only the most fertile ladies of the land.  It's even more surprising that the number of people waiting patiently for a little one to love is the exact same number of abortions that occur every year.  Let that irony sink in. 

Abortion has followed me my whole life and has been one of those issues that I almost can't even discuss with humility, patience or kindness.  It literally boggles my mind why it exists and it hurts my soul to think of the millions of little people that are murdered every year out of necessity to continue a self centered existence that our society admires and sells us. 

Society is a great pimp.  One of the best.  It packages abortion as a shiny solution to that dead beat dad that disrespects your body and uses you like a toy.  It is gloriously convenient and anonymous.  Like ordering a stripper off the internet... no strings, a quick exchange of cash and a simple procedure with very little physical after effects.  It sells the efficiency of the sterile procedure while quietly pushing aside the true definition of what is happening. 

Society has given you glossy little doctors with paper diplomas to tell you on TV how easy it is to rid yourself of a life changing mistake.  Dr. Laura talks about sex as if it is a game with winners and losers.  She gives you pointers on how to use the morning after pill, completely eliminating the human aspect of this decision to end life.  IT IS A PILL THAT ENDS A LIFE THAT HAS JUST TAKEN ROOT.  Dr. Drew is a bit more fancy and uses bigger words and more condescension to help these poor souls with an inability to develop self control.  He has even wrapped up this mindless cluster &*%@ by giving you a convenient website to find places where you can get unprescribed, over the counter abortion pills to get rid of the one night mistake that one day could be a little world changer.  He absolves you from any responsibility and commends your decision to live your life.  He conveniently and intelligently dismisses your baby with medical, sterile terms so that you see this tiny peanut as a weird, ugly tadpole with no human features. 

The best bit of propaganda was given to my friend today and because I love her so much, I can't yet correct it.  But, I will for my readers today.  She was 6 1/2 weeks pregnant and went in for "the procedure" {God forbid we call it like it is}.  When she got there, the "doctors" made the decision that she would not have to have the "surgical procedure", instead she would be given a pill.  This pill would dislodge the baby, effectively removing all sustaining life from him/her.  She would then take another pill 48 hours later to create a "miscarriage".  Let's sit with that for a minute.  A "miscarriage".

It is a grievous insult to every woman who has suffered a miscarriage to label an ABORTION as a miscarriage.  At no point in the procedure is her body betraying her naturally.  At no point is she losing a child that was wanted and loved from the start.  At no point is her body destroying a non viable baby.  She is taking a pill to rid herself of a healthy baby that her body, with the help of a loser sperm donor, created.  This is CLEARLY not a miscarriage.  It is a voluntary termination of life.  It is a decision made by the mother and helped by prescription drug dealers to dissolve a life that was created.  This is NOT a miscarriage. 

I was shocked that society has again trumped intelligence and sold women this load of bull.  It is just one more way this pimp has desensitized us to our actions.  If we call it a zygote, its not a baby.  If we put an abortion in a pill, its not an abortion.  If we take the morning after pill, we are only destroying cells.  If we call it a miscarriage, it is not an abortion.  Abortion clinics and their medical "professionals" again and again treat women as dumb little whores who know no better.  We put up with it.  We stand behind their convenient slogan "My body, my choice" yet we are fed lies by the powers that be.  We slop it up so we can continue our selfish existence.... living only for ourselves with no true consequences for our actions and once again absolving every male of any accountability or responsibility.

I am opinionated because I have been there.  I have experienced the struggle.  My oldest son was conceived while I was 19 and dating my husband.  I am Irish Catholic.  I was always told not to come home if I was pregnant.  I had every reason to abort my son.  I was 19 and could sign my own consent.  I had a job and could easily pay the fee for the procedure.  No one would know.  My scarlet letter "mistake" would be easily erased...he was only a zygote they told me.   He had no face, no hands, no feet, no genitalae... he kind of looked like a creepy seahorse.  Society had me by the balls.  It kind of made sense.

But, I did not have an abortion.  I sucked it up, accepted responsibility and carried my little boy for 9 months.  I was ridiculed, treated badly by family and strangers.  I worked 40 plus hours while pregnant in preparation for his birth.  I was not given a baby shower by my mom.   I had to wait until he was born because the shame of it would have destroyed my parents.  My dad hated my fiancĂ© and could barely talk to me during this time.  I had family members counseling me on giving my baby up for adoption so my life wouldn't be ruined.  I was surrounded by haters.  I was married at 9 months pregnant and was as big as a house and hideous on the most anticipated day of my life. 

It wasn't easy.  But, 9 months later, I held my baby boy and knew I made the right choice.  I never regretted it.  The days I felt him move were little reminders of what I was choosing.  I won't lie, I had an amazing fiancĂ©/husband who reminded me daily that this was not a tragedy.  A man that took responsibility and worked overtime hours, found another job with better insurance and got us a little apartment.  That made it easier.  Although I felt alone, I had him and we were creating a life for ourselves. 

My journey with abortion does not end there.  My little boy, who we adopted 2 years ago, by all definitions, should have been an abortion.  He was conceived by an alleged date rape, his mom was only 16 and her life was definitely in upheaval.  Thank God she chose life.  Thank God she had the courage and did not listen to the worthless propaganda people give you regarding the decision to abort.  Thank God she chose to have her baby... our son.  Both of my boys are CONSTANT reminders why abortion is a disgusting lie sold to the highest bidder.  Abortions literally snatch the most glorious members of humanity off the face of the earth.... for convenience, for fear, for birth control, for ease.

So, today my friend finished her abortion.  My friend is such a lovely person.  She is someone I respect, admire and love.  Still do.  But, today she completed an abortion and it hurts my heart.  She was tricked by society, by her "friends", by her "family" and by "medical professionals".  She was duped and all I could do was  Her baby would have been beautiful.  She would have been an awesome mom.  They robbed that from her.  That makes me sad. 


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My Husband, The Superhero

I have had the privelege the last 15 years to be the wife to a great man.  He is quietly understated and rarely in my spotlight which is reserved for our 5 amazing children.  Like a typical wife I have the many war stories, complaints and woes of everyday married life that I wear like a badge of honor.  I love a good glass of red wine with a side of "whine" like every other married lady.  However, there are magical days that remind me again and again why I married this ol ball and chain.  Today has been one of those days...
My husband works, on average, 60 hours a week at a back breaking job that was far from his first choice of work.  While managing a grocery store has offered many perks {the insurance is simply the best and being the first to find out when steaks are getting discounted is most definitely a perk of a being a Grocery Store wife} it has also taken a lot physically and mentally on my sweet hubby.  He leaves before the sun comes up and doesn't return till the sun goes down.  Shawn has NEVER used that as an excuse when it comes to his kids.  He is the best dad and is the most important person in their lives.  They idolize him.  They have a hero in their lives and it is not a cheap action figure.
Besides managing a Grocery store, 5 kids and a whiny wife, Shawn made the decision 3 years ago to begin doing comedy.  He started by going to an open mic night and on his SECOND time on stage he performed at a local comedy competition.  He took second place and the judges were shocked by how good he was.  Funny thing was, I always knew it.  He has made comedy a huge part of his life and is finding ways to live a life full of passion and creativity. 
He kind of rocks at his time management because he has NEVER let his family suffer because of his comedy aspirations.  He makes a point of spending his late evenings {after the kiddos and I head to bed} to work into the wee hours crafting his comedy.  He has surrounded himself by comedians that support him as a family man.  He even has an amazing writing group that meets late on Mondays to ensure that his family time is not compromised.  All and all, I got lucky when I married a man that understood that family is first but that doesn't mean you can't live an extra ordinary life.   

But that still doesn't explain the magic of this ordinary day.  Shawn has been working hard on making sure that his comedy has benefited those around him.  We have most definitely benefited from the extra income his shows bring in.  My trips to see my family has been paid in full by his comedy gigs. His comedian friends have benefitted by having a friend that champions them and celebrates their successes... this is rare in the comedy world.  He has even quietly done some pretty amazing things behind the scenes that most people will never know, but that I have the benefit of knowing and proudly carrying in my heart.  But, that still doesn't explain today. 
Today I was invited to his Event page on Facebook to promote his show this Sunday night.  This show is unlike any other.  He has arranged with the owner of Comedy Off Broadway to host a show for a local comedian named Darin whose infant daughter has been seriously sick.  He has found 4 comedians that have agreed and demanded to do the show for FREE.  Our headliner is nationally touring comedian Stewart Huff!  The tickets are only $8 which means that everyone can come for a cheap night of good comedy while still raising awareness and funds for Baby Carlin.  Shawn heard about Darin and immediately set to work on finding out how he could help.
Baby Carlin has been in and out of hospitals and her parents have really struggled.  The horror of having a sick child is one that we have never had to endure.  Our 5 healthy kids have never know a really seriously sick day in their lives.  I know his heart broke just like mine when we thought of this little girl.  The medical bills alone would swallow you whole.  The time off of work would be financially crushing.  Just putting food on the table would be a struggle... physically, mentally and financially.  Most people would hear this story and say some prayers.  Maybe add the family to a prayer chain at church.  If you were feeling really ambitious a fancy chicken casserole would do just the trick to heal this dilemma.  Most normal people are not Shawn.
The show Shawn has put together will be able to give 100% of the proceeds to Carlin's family to help with any expenses they are wracking up.  To their credit ALL of the comedians will be donating their services and they all demanded to do that.  How awesome is that???   Donations will be taken and lots of information will be given out to help continue supporting this family.  The best news?  This show is going to be a MONTHLY commitment that he is making to help other people in similar situations where finances are suffocating them.  Our world is a big one full of people who are waiting to make a difference.  I guess Shawn just got tired of waiting. 
He is doing this for NO other reason besides that he is a great man with amazingly creative ideas that he uses to benefit OTHERS... always putting himself last.  Even as I write this I know he will be mad that I am sharing these feelings with the world.  He will be worried that I didn't talk enough about all of the people who are helping him, the club, the family we are helping, the cause we are promoting.  But, today I need to talk about my pride as a wife to my best friend who pretty much rocks.  There is no greater character trait than the humility, kindness and empathy that this is promoting in others but more importantly in our families lives.  You do things to help others but most of the time you find that by helping others you are always helping yourself.   
As an old married couple with a few years under our belt, we have known struggles.  When you struggle you find yourself in very dark and lonely places.  You can feel beaten up and defeated.  You get the old Bible story of Job out and read it like it is your autobiography.  It has always amazed and inspired me that Shawn has always taken those struggles and turned it into something truly magical.  Something that will literally change someone's world.  My husband is my hero and he makes me want to be better person every day.  Today I am very grateful that I get to be his wife and walk with him through life.  Today I am loving every minute of it. 
If you are interested in purchasing tickets, please follow the link:
or call: {859} 271-5653.
For Donations to benefit the Hensley Family please go to:
Her Facebook page is "Caring for Carlin"
Recently Crowned Louisville's Funniest Dad of 2014

The Trophy of Honor!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Healthy Promises and Friggin' Vegetables

Getting older really is unfortunate.  In so many ways I have become a discouraged mama.  My body just isn't the same after having babies and abusing it for so many years.  I think I have turned that corner where eating funyuns, a 3 musketeers and a coke just doesn't cut it.  I talked to some good people and listened to their own struggles and so I made a decision. Today I am going to make some healthy promises to myself.

One, I am going to lose 40 lbs in a year.  I refuse to share my weight but let's just say that I have accumulated approximately 10 lbs with each new addition to our family.  I used to say that putting a number on it is not good.  Focusing on that number can be negative.  I still agree but i have to give myself a number so that each pound down will be a victory.

Two, I am going to bite the bullet and exercise.  For now that will mean getting back into running but I hope that means that I will add some gym time to my schedule.  My sister talks about this as a way to escape the kiddies and get some down time.  This will help me learn to be a bit more selfish.  The idea creeps me out but I also know I need this.  I have to give myself permission to be selfish.  I am happy to say this is VERY hard for me.

Three I am back to healthy eating.  This means I have to say farewell to my sweet, salty and white things.  I will have to devote love and attention to tasteless crap like cauliflower, celery and carrots.  This one I am very bitter about.  I love good food.  Well, let's be honest, not good food but delightful food.  I refuse to say goodbye but I will reluctantly say, see you later!  Tonight I will have one last splurge and have this decadent, beautiful cake ball.  I will savor it and allow my last few precious moments to be in complete adoration of its goodness.  I may even photograph it.  Who knows?

These health issues have affected me in lots of ways.  Physically i am tired, cranky and just old.  I want to run without huffing and puffing.  I want my skin to look better.  I want to fit in some hottie clothes. I want a cute do and be one of those "hipster" moms.  These things are important and have taken a huge backseat for me.

Emotionally I want my confidence back.  I want to not feel like the big girl that's pushed aside.  I want to feel more secure in who I am and how I look.  I want to be kinder to myself.  Men are jerks as we all know.  I have discovered with my chunkier self that men don't look you in the eye when you look or feel like crap.  They are less respectful and chivalrous.  Doors are not held open for you.  You are called m'am in a condescending way. Its a very different experience.  One that has truly shocked me.

 Psychologically, I really want to make a change.  I have some serious issues with trashing myself in my head.  Its kind of gross.  The negative talk we do as women is truly damaging.  We are harder on ourselves than any other person could be.  I need to change this not just for me but for my beautiful daughters.  They are developing their own inner voice.  I want it to be strong, clear and kind.  If mine is, there's will be too.

These are huge goals.  Goals that I can accomplish but they won't be easy.  I will fail.  If you know me in real judging.  Help me be kind to myself and be a cheerleader not a critic.  I am hopeful that this is the last time I say I am going to make a lifestyle change.  This is the time I want it for so many reasons.  I want to live to be an old lady and bug the living daylights out of my husband.  As much as I would love to do this fueled on funyuns and coke, I am very aware that is a pipe dream of a young un.  Not the wise knowledge of a woman.  So I will pack away my goodies and say hello to carrots.  I will do my best to carry on cheerfully but forgive my curse words in the next few months....I already have my favorites picked out.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

That Little Voice...

I have been obsessed with the Bachelor... obsessed.  I am almost embarrassed to admit my love for this show but then I think of how adorable Juan Pablo is and I feel better with my obsession.  However, last night I think I may have broken up with Juan Pablo...although I am not sure.  I am very conflicted over my feelings for my secret boyfriend.  But, after last nights episode I know a few things for sure.

One, you never give the milk for free.  I used to hate this saying until I watched my poor Claire.  Claire gave the milk away for free and then was truly surprised that Juan Pablo had no respect for her.  She was shocked that he was only connected to her by their physical encounters.  She was appalled that he knew nothing about her and dared to give her a sexual comment about wanting her physically.  Has no one taught this girl this saying?  Or, is this just the first time she realized it was true?  In some ways....WARNING: ABOUT TO GET CONTROVERSIAL... I don't blame Juan Pablo.  He took the cues from a girl that showed up to his hotel room in the middle of the night to have some hanky panky in the ocean.  He is also a stupid boy.  He was taught by Claire to view her like a piece of meat.  He even tried to tell her that he thought they had made a mistake.  The world freaked out when he said it but I kind of respected my secret boyfriend for that.  He tried to tell her that he did not know anything about her and she was defensive.  I think it is because it made her feel like a dirty girl... which she was.

Two, if my family sold me up the river I would literally die.  So, it appears that Juan Pablo has some family issues.  I could not believe this guy had a family that was warning his girlfriends away from him...ON NATIONAL TV!!!  This says a lot about his support system.  I am so very thankful that I have such a supportive family and that Shawn comes from such a supportive family.  I definitely watched last night in disbelief as I saw a family crucify one of their own.  I always find it fascinating when families have a bad seed and they love to talk about the bad seed as if they have no idea how they came to be.  Listen friends, you have a bad seed because you created a bad seed.  Bad people don't happen magically overnight.  You create bad people.  So, while the world was shocked at how horrible my secret boyfriend is, I was caught up in how horrible his family is and feeling darn lucky that I have the awesome family I do. 

Three, I find it fascinating how all women are born with a tiny little voice that speaks to their hearts, minds and soul.  Throughout this season of the Bachelor I found it inspiring as woman by woman listened to this tiny voice that told them to back away.  It is my belief that part of the reason they listened is because Juan Pablo appeared to be such a great listener, as one by one they freaked out on him.   My favorite character trait of my secret boyfriend was how he would listen to them question themselves and never judge them.  He never tried to convince them to stay or that they were wrong.  Some people thought that was creepy, I loved it!

I teach my girls that you have a voice because you are a woman of God.  This voice speaks to you loudly, if you are listening, during your dating years.  The voice very clearly tells you if your boyfriend is the man you will marry.  During my hottie tottie years I dated a bunch of boys.  Within weeks it was always clear whether I would be happy marrying them.  For the first 2-3 weeks I always thought I would.  By the 4th week I would know.  It was just an instinctual feeling of wasting my time.  I never liked to waste my time, especially on a boy who was not worth it.  I never felt bad about walking away from these relationships.  I knew they were going nowhere.  They were fun.  They were exciting.  They were short lived.  I don't regret them because when I met Shawn I very clearly heard my little voice screaming...."This is the boy you will marry".  Because I cultivated this voice, I was able to listen.  Fascinating watching these girls choose to listen or ignore their little voice.  Call me crazy but, I loved showing this to my girls.  I wanted them to see their mama isn't crazy.... you do have the voice and the CHOICE to listen or ignore it.  

Four, physical connections are awesome but relationships can't be held up by this alone.  My Juan Pablo loved his "bessitos".  He loved them too much.  This much was clear... at the end of the season he didn't know any of the women well enough to propose to them.  I kind of dug that he recognized that and did not propose.  He maybe had a glimpse into a future where bessitos were not enough.  I have often said parenting sucks but you know what else sucks?  A real relationship.  There are highs and there are lows.  In a real relationship your sexuality also has peaks and valleys.  If you have nothing but a physical connection there is no way you can sustain a real relationship.  Sometimes you don't want bessitos.  Sometimes you just want someone to listen to you talk about your day with empathy.  Sometimes you just need a soft place to fall.  Sometimes you just need silence.  This is a healthy relationship.  I loved this season and how it highlighted without even recognizing it that a physical relationship is great but if that is all you have, you have a whole lot of nothing at the end of the day.

Women love the bachelor because it is sweet to watch two people fall in love.  If you are lucky enough to have love, reminiscing and remembering the beginning moments is always fun.  In the beginning everything was magical and just like a fairy tale.  It is so nice to see that happen with people because it makes you feel thankful for your own love story.  Women are not that complicated...we enjoy love stories and we love stories that are uncomplicated and sweet.  Unfortunately, sweet Juan Pablo could complicate a bowl of cereal.  So, we are left feeling uninspired and sad with the not-so-happy ending we received. 

However, I enjoyed watching this season and I loved taking these four lessons and teaching them to my daughters.  I found this season really interesting and I thank my secret boyfriend for taking the bullet to let us all learn them.  The world is seemingly against Juan Pablo who tried to keep making everything "OK" but I like him for all of the lessons he bumbled through.  Give the poor dude a break.  He did his best and although his best looked messy at least he tried.  So, in conclusion, for now, Juan Pablo and I are still secretly dating... and it's OK.  I will let you all know if we break up...

Monday, March 10, 2014

Lent Kind of Rocks

This Lent I have decided to start doing a Daily Devotional and The Love Dare for Parents.  I have never been good about following devotionals and quite frankly, my prayer life resembles mini chats with God that happen on the fly.  Often times it is on the fly and to ask for help.  Which, if you think about it, is kind of rude.

"Hello God it's me Katie... you know the girl that only talks to you when I need something?"

Yeah that's right, kind of like a spoiled teenager asking to borrow gas money after not completing any of my daily responsibilities.  I am a busy girl who loves God but definitely has a hard time showing God.  I just don't have the time or energy.  I put God at the bottom of my to do list.  He kind of falls after blogging but before folding laundry.  Ugh!

This Lent I have decided to try and remedy this.  I want to increase my spiritual life and FINALLY heed the advice of one of my all time favorite priests.  Here's the story... I was in confession and breaking it down but really honestly sharing how I just can't find a deeper connection with God.  Father told me the following... a really rich spiritual life comes the same way losing weight does.  To lose weight you have to eat right but you also have to exercise.  So, going to mass and practicing your faith is great, just like having a healthy diet.  But to really lose the weight and keep it off, you got to do the work.  You have to exercise your soul daily by cultivating a personal prayer life with God.

So, yeah... for those of you that know me, EXERCISE?!?!?!?!  Father couldn't have given me worse news.  I had to sit with that blow for a while and finally accepted that I would have to do the work.  It is now 4 years later and I am finally getting the message. 

My Daily Devotional is short and sweet.  It offers a reading and a brief thought for the day.  I am trying to do good about jotting down my thoughts on each day.  Today's entry was "Shine Anyway".  Really good and needed message for me.  Things don't always go the way I expect them to go.  I have been struggling for a long time but today's devotion reminded me that my speech and behavior need to be a positive witness always.  I kind of suck at this.  I like to complain, I like to freak the freak out, I enjoy that feeling of dumping my negativity and letting it all go.  But, that reaction doesn't help to heal me or give good example to those around me.  If I was Job I would have quit after the second trial.  I don't like hardship.  Never have, never will.  Today's devotion told me to suck it up and shine anyway. 

Besides the Devotional, I am trying to do a Daily Veggietales Devotional with my kids.  This is not a pressure thing.  For those kiddos that want to join, they are welcome.  But, there is no demanding of participation.  I like the feeling of praying together especially during Lent.  I like how the little boys look at the pictures and hear those words.  Even if they get bored, that special closeness is awesome!  I am going to attempt to fit in some Rosary saying, too.  But, no promises. 

Lastly, I am rocking out the Parents Love Dare.  3 days down and feeling inspired to be a better parent and more demonstrative with my love.  We shall see.  I decided to do this Love Dare because I know the greatest occupation I have on this earth and the one that gives me purpose, is being a parent.  I have been abundantly blessed to be a parent of 5 kids!  Some people don't even get one.  I have 5.  Now, while there are days I wish I could run away to Timbuktu, most days I am completely over the moon in love with my kids.  The craziness of our daily lives do not always allow me to show them.  This Love Dare is going to help me do that more during Lent.

Doesn't Lent rock???  I know we are preparing for Good Friday and it is a time that remembers Jesus' suffering but it also reminds me that I have a responsibility to live up to my purpose.  To cultivate a great spiritual life.  To dig deeper and be more faithful.  Lent is my time to delve in and become a better version of me.  This is what I intend to do.... I suppose I will also have to eat Fish on Fridays.  I will, but I don't have to like it. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

KY Bill HB 575... Womens Right to be Educated

Most of you have probably assumed, due to the huge family we are blessed with, that I am one of those crazy Pro Life Catholics.  And, you would be right.  I am a proud Pro Life woman and a proud Shiite Catholic {this means extremely strict and rigid}.  If you are pro choice knowing this probably makes you hold the following judgments: I am against womens rights, I am a crazy religious fanatic and I am Republican. 
One, I am Republican but I also am very libertarian and very Democrat.  I have to say I am Republican because this is the ONLY party that values, respects and protects ALL human life.  The democrats work their whole lives to protect the lives of endangered species, trees and the ozone layer.  Libertarians work their whole lives to ensure that all people can do whatever they choose to do with little to no interference from the government.  And, if this means killing a be it.  While both the libertarians and Democrats have unbelievably amazing records for protecting and providing for the least of His people, they both also have forgotten the very LEAST of His people.  For these reasons alone I am tied into being a Republican.  I will never vote with any party that does not put Human Life first.  Thus, you are right....a flaming Republican by default.
You may think I am a crazy religious fanatic and to that I say wrong-o.  I am quietly Catholic and believe evangelization comes from the life you lead, not by holding membership parties.  I am a Real Catholic, meaning that I have committed to 100% of my Church teaching.  I am part of a religion that has a hierarchy that has stood the test of time and has NEVER faltered on the issue of human life.  I accept that and wholeheartedly endorse Her teaching.  I am not an Easter/Christmas Catholic, I practice my faith everyday.  In PRACTICING my faith, I fail daily.  This means I do not judge others who fail for fear that judgment will follow my own inadequacies.  So yes, I am a Shiite Catholic but no... I am far from a crazy Christian.
Lastly, and by far my most favorite opinion that us Pro Life women endure... I am obviously all about stifling women and taking away their power to choose the life they want to live.  I am obviously all about burdening women to stay at home and care for the children they are sadled with.  To this I say, loudly and strongly...if you are Pro Choice you are the one who is Anti Women.  You are the ones who stifle women issues.  You are the ones who allow men, sexism and society to hold down a group of humans so powerful it frightens the living daylights out of men everywhere.  And, let me do the honor of explaining why.
Let's first examine Planned Parenthood, the mothership for all Pro Choice women in this country.  This organization is the number one location of abortions in the United States and arguably has one of the worst anti- women records in human history.  The very organization was founded by a woman, so ate up with racism and socialism you can't find a quote by her on the internet without some of those amazingly unflattering ideals to seep in.  Margaret Sanger founded the organization with the full intent to diminish the African American population and in doing so, made these women slaves to the government by providing alternatives that enabled men to step back from their responsibilities and lay full burden on the WOMAN.  Margaret Sanger began this plot strategically and the figures today clearly show her winning record.  And, yet Planned Parenthood is hailed as the Pro Woman hub of the world.  This is laughable at best.
Planned Parenthood, continues to this date to be associated with the number one reason for African American deaths in this country.  Planned Parenthood offices are conveniently located in primarily African American/lower income cities.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Does no one question this strange and consistent behavior?  Does no one find this racist, sexist and devoid of protection for women?  If they were a "WOMEN" organization, would they not counsel more women about the gift of adoption and sisters helping one another out?  Would they not offer financial resources supporting birth mothers before, during and after labor?  
Planned Parenthood has helped to spearhead the distribution of cancer causing birth control and dangerous alternatives to countless WOMEN DAILY.  Look up the staggering statistics on the birth control pill- one of the biggest birth control options that is being given out like candy at every Planned Parenthood, is linked to infertility and cancer. Mirena has been linked to serious life threatening conditions in women.  Mirena is advertised like it is the newest and best pair of shoes you can own.  These birth control options have been created by MEN and for MEN.  Men are the ones that pressure women to "protect themselves" by filling their bodies with chemicals that are proven to alter a women's fertility and health.  Meanwhile, they could be educating women on how to NATURALLY prevent pregnancy by knowing their body better than any MAN could.    
Lastly,  Planned Parenthood, is the pristine organization that hides behind "Womens Preventative Cancer Care" while doing nothing more than screening and referrals.  Basically, sending women to someone else to give them care.  These preventative services account for an inadequate percentage of their caseloads and yet, they hide behind this rhetoric. Pro choice women everywhere continue to hail this organization as pro women.  Give me one fact to support that.
Pro Choice women talk about a Women's Right to Choose.  Right to Choose the life or death of an infant.  What about the future women they are choosing to take that choice from?  Can you even imagine how many Superwomen have been taken off the face of the Earth for the sake of the right to choose?  Abortions have far more lasting consequences emotionally than physically.  Woman suffer daily from their "Right to Choose".  They suffer in silence because Pro Choice women do not want to hear or face their regret and Pro Life women stand back in prideful arrogance... not willing to let their hearts feel empathy for a woman that has made that horrendous choice.   How many Pro Choice women are even aware the plantiff, Norma McCorvey in Roe Vs. Wade has become one of the chief women leading the charge on overturning this unimaginable ruling? 

To this I say, who is controlling the strings of these women puppets?  Is it not strange that drug companies are primarily ran by men and the drugs they give women to control their fertility have a history of side effects to include and not limited to: weight gain, bloating, moodiness, deadly infections, infertility, ovarian and breast cancer?  Is it not strange that the strongest proponents to Pro Choice powerhouse Planned Parenthood, also happen to be men?  Has no one stopped to consider the odd ally Pro Choice women find in men that want to control- financially, emotionally and physically- women's fertility and pregnancies?  I am shocked that through all these years of Feminism, not one feminist has stood and said to the world, I WILL NOT allow a MAN to be behind any chemical or physical alterations of my precious body.  A body, by the way, that is capable of growing a HUMAN inside of it.
Pro Choice women talk about the Right to Choose but do NOT support the right for ALL women to be educated on the health dangers from abortions and the effects on the fetus during the process of abortion.  In fact, Pro Choice women stand in front of ALL women, forbidding them the RIGHT to be educated on health issues.  They do so, to protect the RIGHT to choose.  All while preventing them the choice to be informed women. 
So, no, I am far from being Anti-women.  In fact I would say that I am the biggest feminist you could meet.  I challenge you to consider how your "Pro Choice" stance makes you a feminist, while there is so clearly so many reasons to prove that abortion has damaged women since its inception.  I would challenge you to take to task the men who are creating your birth control.  I would challenge you to dig into the history of companies that sell their "Feminist" agendas.  I would challenge you to examine the facts and statistics of abortion and for once, step back and allow WOMEN, at the very least, the RIGHT to be informed on the dangers associated with abortions.  Then, and only then can you stand arm in arm with me, a true Feminist.
If you live in Kentucky I urge you to contact your local representatives regarding Bill HB575.   I have included the information for you to discern whether you can use your voice to help!
1. Call 1 800 372 7181
2. When you call, give your zip code and get the name of your representative
3. Leave the following message:   "please assign HB 575 to the House Judiciary Committee to insure it gets a fair hearing. We know your decision to send it elsewhere is simply a way to kill the bill."
If your Rep. is not already a cosponsor; ask him/her to do so.
AN ACT relating to full disclosure in public safety.
Create new sections of KRS 311.710 to 311.820 to require an ultrasound prior to an abortion and to allow a civil suit for medical malpractice if not performed; amend KRS 311.990 to provide a criminal penalty; amend KRS 311.725 to require the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to provide various pregnancy-related materials and information in print from and on a stable Internet Web site.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Bullies and How They Will Go Down

One thing no one prepares you for in parenting is how to deal when your child is being treated badly by peers.  I have been able to deal with every parenting issue fairly well but, this one is a rough one.  You see, I am a Buckley.  I have always defined this as a sassy, strong, independent chick with a big ol mouth who is not afraid to fight for what I believe to be right.   I have learned that in parenting I have to stifle this part of who I am in order to encourage that trait in my children.

This last week this has been really hard to have faith that they are developing this trait.  I struggle when I see them struggle.  I really struggle when I see other little jerks make them struggle.  I find myself wanting to jump that child and make sure they are never able to pick on my child again.  I find myself coming up with ways to make sure that they will not get away with it.  I dream of calling up their parents and threatening to meet them out back for a good ol Detroit sized butt kicking.  But, alas... I can not.  Law dictates that I don't.  More importantly life dictates that I can not create this safe environment for them.  They must create for themselves.  I must have faith that they will acquire this trait that will help them get through their life. 

You acquire this trait by developing it on your own using a foundation of what your parents taught you.  For example, when I was about 5 years old I can remember planning an attack on our paper boy.  He had dared to drink out of our sprinkler while delivering papers.  At the time, we were only focused on the fact that he walked on our lawn and took something that didn't belong to him.  Looking back I know the poor kid was probably just thirsty on a hot day.  No matter.  We took 2 important lessons from my parents {not stealing and not being disrespectful of others property} and we used this as our reason to enact sweet revenge.  There were 4 of us at the time.... Regis-7, Me- 5  Mary-4 and Brian- 2.  The 3 oldest hid behind my parents car and waited for the criminal.  As he approached we grabbed handful of rocks and began pelting him, yelling at him to stay off our lawn and keep his filthy mouth off the sprinkler.  The kid took off and in that moment, we became little conquerers on the side of righteousness. 

You acquire this trait by observing your family members, who, even as adults, exhibited this crazy need to protect each other viciously.  When I was 17, my parents took me out to the Gaelic League in Detroit to hear a great Irish Punk Band.  This was a pretty rough area and some definite Irish hooligans roamed the dark hallways of this bar.  We met up with my Uncles and proceeded to listen to the band.  I started dancing and this old, drunk Irish dude came up, grabbed me and started dancing.  Like a typical 17 year old girl, I started laughing and having fun...for about 5 minutes.  Then I felt creeped out.  I looked over to my family and there was my Dad with his arms crossed and my Uncle behind him, on top of a chair, watching.  ON TOP OF A CHAIR.  The song ended and I went to walk away.  Old dude didn't like that and grabbed me for a dance.  My Uncle hopped down and with my dad, told him to let me go.  The guy did, with some choice words.  It didn't end there.  There needs to be some justice.  The bouncers, who knew my Uncle, had the dude tossed out and roughed up.  I can honestly say this feeling of being protected was awesome!

You acquire this trait by loving your family so much that no one can ever say anything to hurt them...or else.  In high school my sister was getting bullied by a snotty cheerleader and her older sister.  Every day she was coming home, intimidated and feeling bad.  I knew how much these jerks were hurting her.  At the time, my sister and I did not get along.  This did not matter...she was my sister.  So, I carefully concocted a plan to meet this chick in the halls.  I came up to her and started talking so nicely to her.  I did this until she bought it.  Then I leaned in real close and said to her "If you ever touch my sister again or say another bad thing to her I will &%^* you up and kick your &%$$^.  Do you hear me * ((%$ # &*%&&!"  And, I would have, if she said another word to my sister.
Which she did not.

So, now you get a small sense of who I am and now you know how tough it is for me to take this on the chin.  This is why I have such a hard time letting my children fight their own battle.  It goes against the very nature of who I grew up to be.  But alas, as they get older and the middle school high jinks begin I am only allowed to sit back and observe.  I can not open my mouth and threaten the crap out of the mean cheerleaders.  I can not stand on a chair and have my personal bouncers take out the idiots.  I can not hide behind a car with a handful of rocks, waiting to take out the brats.  I have to sit and wait for my babies to grow their own bit o' Buckley. 

I know they will because they will be surrounded by the same values I was.  They are protected by family that loves and honors them.  They fiercely love each other.  There are signs of the Buckley fight.  I caught them the other day planning some shenanigans on our neighbors who let their dog poop on our lawn {The nerve!}.  I heard them say, "they didn't even pick it up!"  "They just let him poop all over our yard!"  So, I know it is growing.  But, in the meantime I have to hold down my emotions, give lots of love and hugs and pray.  I may pray like Evan Jaron on that song "Pray For You" but I will pray nonetheless.   I will hold my tongue and let them learn to fight their own battles.  It will kill me but it is what I must do....right after I stare them down, while punching my hands together and giving them the Ol Buckley look.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Open Letter to the Great Woody Allen

***Disclaimer: Woody Allen is innocent until proven guilty.  Unfortunately a lot of rich guilty "innocent" people roam our beautiful world.  In the court of public opinion, we are allowed to voice our opinions of said guilty "innocent" people.  But, again, for the record, Woody Allen is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Dear Woody Allen,

You, my friend, are a pervert.  You are a pervert who makes really annoying movies with vague themes and weird story lines.  You are freak that married a girl that you raised as your child.  You are a pedophile that used our court systems to hide from abuse allegations from your daughter.  You are a coward who hides behind the gates of Hollywood keeping justice at bay. You're gross and weird.  But, Hollywood still loves you.

I don't get it.  Hollywood revers you.  They honor you with fancy awards and even have your female actors sing great accolades about you.  They make shrines of you and every strange movie you put out is like the second coming of the Messiah.  You sit back with your intellectual, quietness observing your worshipping little fools and soak that shit up.  Its creepy.  Its universally wrong and luckily I think people are starting to figure this and you, out.

It started out slowly but really came to a boil during the Golden Globes.  You blamed your crazy ex lover for her innocent tweets because you are condescending enough to believe that we can't see you.  You are not transparent, fool.  We see you and have for awhile.  That night was a coming of age for many people.  It was ok for the average joe to quietly and invisibly see your movies but he could never admit that.  Mothers everywhere would admonish average joe and tell him all about who you were.  But, you let Hollywood make a huge mistake.  You let them come out of the Woody Allen closet with a hot pink unitard and tiara.  Big mistake.  People liked you in the closet.  The closet kept you safe.  Now you are out and so are all your dirty little skeletons.     

I can't wait for the day that Hollywood turns on you.  They will.  They always do, most especially when loudmouths like me and others, tirelessly work to bring you down and use the same media you do to put out your crappy films.  Some big time producer will find a little known writer to create a script of your pathetic life.  He will find some young, up and coming actor to play the creeper role of you and will tell the story of your injustices.  The funniest part is they will make this guy look pathetic and will try to condescendingly explain how your marriage was not true incest.  They may even try to give you a mental disorder to help explain away your sexual predator nature.  What a full circle day that will be when Johnny No Name wins an Oscar for portraying the sick Woody Allen!

I wonder how you feel sitting in your kitchen at night, chewing antacids and drinking warm milk {that's what creepers do} while reading the latest information to be splashed all over the entertainment websites.  The tide is changing my friend.  The tide is most certainly changing.  Does it make you worried?  Or, are you so arrogant to be above it all?  Do you discuss this with your wife?  Do you hear her cry at night worried about your children and what they must go through at school?  Oddly, this must be very similar to what your little Dylan went through at her school.  Don't you find it funny how karma works things out?

I know you probably think it is weird that a 30 something mom is sitting on her computer blogging about your life.  But, you do realize all moms across the land are gunning for you, right?  Mama bears don't mind if they have to stand up for someone else's child.  Our club is much bigger and can do much more damage than the Hollywood machine that churns out people like you.  We don't need gangsters to do our dirty work.  We got blogs, social media and the power of the people.  We got this.  We don't stop till justice comes to our children.  And, my friend justice is currently hunting you down.  And, I am sitting here with my box of popcorn and oversized drink waiting for that day.  It's like being at a Woody Allen film... you got to sit through it but you know eventually it has to end.    Here's hoping the credits roll soon....I will be there with a standing ovation for the great Woody Allen.

Moms Around the World

Parenting...We Are Friends, Kind Of

So, here's the thing, I have been a parent for the past 15 years and during this time I have learned many things.  Tonight some of those lessons are heavy on my heart.  My sister and sister in law wrote blogs that talked about parenting which made me think...a lot.   Then a great girl I worked with said some wise words to me today.  Wise words about being a good mother.  Really wise words.  Before I go to bed I would like to share my thoughts.

One, before I became a parent I was chock full of public service announcements on how to raise my sweet, perfect angels.  I was full of them until the day they flew out of my womb in all their glory.  That day was a game changer to say the least.  I learned very quickly that everyone will have a million opinions on how wrong you are doing it.  How much you should learn from them.  These opinions were amped up even more by the fact I was a Catholic girl that got married while pregnant.  Can you imagine the scandal?  Can you imagine the judgment?  Most of the time the opinions are unsolicited and totally negative.  They deflate you as a parent and they hurt even more when you find out they are shared openly and with others.  It has taken me 15 years to know that these opinions DO NOT matter.  My parenting is done with my husband.  We are a team that only consults with each other {and maybe one or two other special friends}.  Our parenting also comes with loads of prayers.  I mean... dump trucks of prayers.

Which brings me to my second lesson on parenting...I have had almost no pride when it comes to parenting.  Only in the sacredness of my shower {true story} do I let myself feel a small sense of pride or accomplishment.  Don't get me wrong, as a person I am the most prideful, arrogant human being but when it comes to my parenting my insecurities are huge.  I spend most of my time talking with family and friends about my struggles and asking in complete humility and truth to pray for us and them.  I will never, ever agree that my children are the bomb dot com because that is damaging for them and, most importantly, for us.  I give kudos where needed but let the chips fall where they may.  As a side note from lesson #2, I will caution you to be selective about your prayer warriors.  Some of my friendly Christians are not always so Christian like in your confessions.  My mama bear needs to come out more when discussing my concerns about my children.  My hope is that I am surrounded by people who truly want the best for us and them.

Thirdly, USE YOUR PARENTS!  For those of us lucky enough to have incredible parents, be grateful and humble enough to take their lessons and adopt them as your own.  We are lucky that we both have incredible parents.  Shawn was an outstanding kid.  He is a hard worker, treats people better than himself and has limitless integrity.  Those are the only things that matter.  Those things came from his parents.  I am a selfless mother with a huge heart and maybe known to be pretty fun.  These are the things that matter... I got them from my parents.  If my kids only walk away with these traits then, boom!  I win this parenting gig with flying colors.  Sure, I want them to be millionaires, to be heroes, to be professionally successful or profoundly religious but more important I want them to be good people that make other people into good people.  Like our parents did.

Last lesson, after 15 years, 5 amazing children, 1 adoption and a million problems from the start to now... I know this to be true.  No aspect of your life or the lives of your children are prepared or planned for.  There are unforeseen pitfalls everywhere.  You can't avoid them.  You need to learn how to have faith and trust in your ability to parent through them.  So that one day, when you are not around, your kid parents themselves.  It is my greatest hope that the lessons I have instilled in my children, due to the love we conducted them with, not necessarily the wisdom or pride, will guide them all the days of their lives.  They won't live with me forever.  I can not be there every step of the way.  I have to trust in their abilities and have faith in their strong wills and independent spirits. 

Finally... parenting sucks.  There are no magic handbooks, secret passwords or fantastical gurus to tell you how to do it.   Parenting will break your heart, steal your soul, drain your brain and leave you penniless.  But, if done right parenting will teach you more about yourself than you ever dreamed possible and it will make you a better person than when you started.  It will also make you more gentle and empathetic to other parenting soldiers who are in the trenches.  You can't save them but you can make sure they know they are not alone.  We are all in this battle together and the best thing we can do to help each other is to be kind.  Be Kind.  Be Loving.  Be Less Judgemental.  Be Prayerful.  Be Considerate.  Be Humble.  Parenting is not your friend, but if chosen correctly, other parents can be your friends.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Holy Crap! I Am A Recognized Writer!

My sister, Mary, just informed me that I have been nominated for most under-rated blog of the year.  This means that one, I am in competition with her (this in itself is freaking hillarious) and two, I am a real writer with readers.

Here's why this matters to me.  I started writing this blog to document moments in our lives.  Moments that we can never get back and, maybe, one day, moments my kids can look back on and smile.  It became a place to reflect.  It also became a place to rant .

As I wrote, it became more clear that I have opinions.  Not just a few, but a whole slew of opinions.  I like having a platform to express these.  I do so, knowing that one day, my kids may also read these.  When they read them I hope they get a tiny glimpse into who i really am.  These have become my rants.

I also have had an opportunity to share my ravings.  These are things that I love to do.  What I enjoy most is sharing my favorite things with the people I love most in the children.  So, many of my ravings are things I do with my children.  They are easy things but also very creative.  They bond us together and make us a very different breed of family.

I am truly amazed that some one read my blog and thought enough to add it to this list.  I always wanted to be a validated writer and tonight I feel like one.  More importantly, I love that this little place of memories have touched another person.  I am inspired to write more this year.

I hope those that read my blog will vote for me.  But, if not, no biggie.  It has been enough to be nominated....but, for clarity sake, I would love to beat my sister!  So, follow the link and give me a vote, k?