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.