Morning Ponders: My mini me.

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Last night I let my kids stay up past bedtime to watch a movie. I told them both they would have to shower in the morning, no complaints. So, 6am I woke them both up, and got them in the shower. (My older one helps my little one.) I was sitting on the couch drinking coffee and listening to my oldest boss my youngest around. She had no patience, and she was getting frustrated, and even yelling at her a little bit. I started to get up to go yell at her for being kind of nasty, and I suddenly realized…my 10 year old sounded EXACTLY like me. She was talking like me. She got frustrated like me. She was a little clone of me.

For a couple years I have always felt like it was harder for me to love her then it was for me to love my littlest. This feeling is awful if any of you parents have ever felt the same. It’s not because Claire is smaller, or easier, or even better behaved, it’s that Ella is me. My twin. Identical to me in every single shape, personality, and manner.

They say that sometimes it’s harder to get along with someone you are very much similar to. Well, amen. I clash with my 10 year old because she is a living, walking, breathing small version of myself. I’m hard on myself, and I am hard on her. She will do something that frustrates me, then I will do the same thing 10 minutes later. I will do something, then a day later she will do it, and I will try to punish her for it, and she is right there to tell me, “oh really mom, you do or say the same thing.” Oh snap. She’s absolutely right.

My youngest is nothing like me. I am pretty sure her dad had an affair and her real mother is still out there somewhere. Ha! It’s so easy dealing with her. Effortless. Why? I should be one step ahead of Ella at all times because we are so alike. But honestly, I don’t have a flipping clue what to do with her. And I’m harder on her. Maybe it’s because I see so much of myself in her, and that scares me. I don’t want her to be like me. I want her to be so much more then me, so maybe that’s what makes it harder? Maybe I am trying to subconsciously correct things I don’t like about myself through her? Maybe I will never know.

A lot of the time I will think back on our arguments and mentally punish myself for not doing things differently. The worst nights are when I look at her while she is sleeping and just see this little girl laying there. Nothing more. No attitude. No mouth. No evil mom clone, even though an hour prior we were yelling at each other like sisters rather than a mother and daughter. Some of the times I cry because I know I’m doing it all wrong with her. I alway reassure her that I love her more than life. But a mother shouldn’t have to reassure their child that they love them. I do love her. I can’t even explain how much I love her, so why the hell can’t I figure out what to do with her?

I knew parenting wasn’t going to be easy, but man….I think they sugar coated that a little bit. Not easy is an understatement. It’s amazing mothers make it out alive.

Oh well. I love her, and I know she’s knows I love her. I am positive her and I will someday be perfectly fine. Our relationship may not be perfect, and it may sometimes suck the life out of both of us, but I guess we just have to keep working together until we figure it out. And I’m extremely confident that we will.

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When I’m all grown up.

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What do you want to be when you grow up? I’m not talking about a career choice here, I mean what do you REALLY want to be when you grow up? I am talking about when you are 90 years old and you look in the mirror, what do you want to see looking back at you?

I know what I want to see.

I want to see a glimpse of a kind hearted child, without a care in the world. I want her to be laughing and running wild. I want her to be happy. I want her to be dirty with fun and adventure smeared all over her clothes and face. I want her to not have a question or concern in her eyes anywhere about the future before her.

I want to see a hopeful teenager. With a craving for independence and an excitement in her bones for the unknown world before her. I want to see her and feel the rush of all things new again. I want her to remember how everything was exciting and everything meant something, and everything in life still lies ahead. I want her to feel like there is still so much time to do everything. That there will always be enough time for everything.

I want to see a strong, confident, intelligent woman. I want to look at her and know that even after all the trials of her life, and the hardships…she is still kind. I want her to be comfortable in her skin. I want her to be proud of who she is, and content with what she has become. I want her to be able to say, “I made myself who I am today, and I wouldn’t change that for the world.”

When I am 90 years old and I look into that mirror, I want to see a tired old woman who has lived her life to the absolute fullest. I want to see her life. Good life. Memories, laughter, comfort, and most importantly….love. I want her to smile and remember every single hard, and sad, and happy, and mad memory ever made. I want to see someone who is okay with leaving the world, because she used it to its full potential. She lived LIFE to its full potential. I want to see a woman…..with absolutely no regrets.

So let me ask you one more time. What to you want to be when you grow up?

 

Elixir: My Cooking. not a magical potion in any shape or form.

imagevia Daily Prompt: Elixir

I had no idea what that word was. So I googled it. Magic potions. Okay? Well, I get called a witch doctor all the time because I use essential oils, does that count for magic potions? No? Ha! They work. I swear it. I’m still here and so are both of my kids. So they must. So anyways…

I love cooking. I am HORRIBLE at cooking. Things are always asking for recipes and measurements and stuff. Wellllll, I just don’t like being told to what to do. I’m always messing up dinner, which is unfortunate because I have to cook for 3 other human beings. My 7 year old has been a vegetarian for 4 years and I am pretty sure it’s all my fault. It’s like I’m a witch with a huge cauldron and my family watches me with disgust as I toss things like troll fingers and weasel eyes in. It kind of really hurts my feelings.

I try. I really do, but somehow it’s always a disaster. I just don’t get it.

I have really bad luck in the kitchen also. One time I burnt Ramen Noodles. No joke. I put the noodles in a bowl and put them in the microwave and they started on fire. Forgot the water. That was in highschool. One time I learnt the hard way that you can’t put metal in the microwave. That was also in highschool for those of you judging me. It seems it’s always something. Like yesterday my boyfriend told me I couldn’t fry potatoes in ranch dressing. Don’t tell me what to brew in my kettle bro. I know you’d eat dog poop if I fried it with some jalapeños and covered it in pepper.

I guess this post is more of a rant. I needed a good rant today, so I’m glad I had no idea what Elixir meant. This post is also pretty pointless now that I look back on it. Welcome to my blog, haha. You’ll see a lot of pointless shit.

Oh, and my boyfriend ate like a truck load of the spaghetti I made with the weird salami I found in the back of the fridge. I was too lazy to thaw out any hamburger. Just goes to show, if you brew it, they will eat it.

Adventure Awaits.

imageIt’s spring. Early spring, but Spring just the same. (I live in Northern, WI so spring is half way frozen lakes, 30 degree days, and an occasional flurry of snow from time to time.) It’s the time of year where you look out your window and the sun is shining, the grass is fully showing, and you still need boots and a parka.

I love it, and I hate it. I love it because summertime adventures await, but it’s sad because it’ll be months before the wintertime adventures begin again. Bittersweet maybe? Maybe I’m just feeling bipolar like this weather? Who knows. Either way, I am pretty pumped about this summer. My kiddos are 7 and 10 now, and I am going to introduce them to hiking. And I am not talking about a quaint stroll through a local park, I am taking about seriously huffing it down some intense trails. I’ll start small, I’m not a monster, but by the end of summer, I will have them ready to do the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) with me. Just kidding. But the Superior trail with them is on my bucket list someday, and it is about 310 miles.

Anyways, if any of you have ever walked anywhere with your child for more than 5 minutes, you know it can be hell. My biggest fear with smallerish children these days is not having a sitter and having to brave hiking the grocery store with two children that want everything from candy to the uncooked lobsters to keep as a pet. It’s rough. I get it.

So when you venture out for a long day of hiking with your kiddos the first thing you need to pack is….your patience. You may enjoy endless walking into the silent and peaceful miles of nothing, but that will get boring for your child after about 5 minutes. Also, bring them things to do. I don’t mean iPads and gaming devices either, I mean stuff to help them really just focus on being in nature. Stuff to help them soak it all in. Pack them a camera. Make a list of things they need to find. Make it a scavenger hunt. Make it a fun challenge so that they actually WANT to be outside. It seems like so many kiddos these days have no desire to play outside anymore. When I was young back before there was technology, I would spend hours and days outside using my imagination. Help your kids find their imagination again. Bring extra socks. Actually, I’ll just make a little list of things you should pack in your pack for them. (I would seriously recommend you carrying a big pack with their stuff, and not packing them each anything but a light little pack, or you’ll end up carrying three bags 30 minutes in.)

– Extra clothes. This is a must. Socks and underwear for sure. Wet feet are no fun, and neither is a wet tush if an accident happens. And I gauruntee an accident will happen. A little FirstAid kit, biodegradable wipes, lunch/snacks (keep it simple, make some high protein snack wraps, beef jerkey, nuts, whole fruit, etc.) Water.

Actually this is ridiculous making a list. Make sure your kid doesn’t get sunburnt or dehydrated, and bring something to stop the bleeding if they face plant into the dirt. This also WILL happen. It’ll be a test of your patience and stressful at times, and you may want to launch your child over a tiny little cliff after a mile, but do it anyways. The important thing is that you at least try.  Get outside and teach your kids to do the same. Enjoy each other. Have adventures. Make memories. Keep them active. Chase butterflies, and search for waterfalls. Take pictures. It’s a beautiful world out there folks, get out there and take advantage of it! Teach your kiddos how to really appreciate what our great world has to offer. I promise you that all the hard work will be worth it, AND the super easy bedtime to follow. Adventure awaits you!

 

Never again ordinary.

imagevia Daily Prompt: Ordinary

I used to be so ordinary. Stay at home mom, husband who worked his bum off, two kids, dog, cat, home in a cozy little neighborhood, in a cozy little town, and a routine I followed…every single day. This was so comfortable, absolutely not going to lie. But this was also ordinary hell for a not so ordinary me. I don’t even remember when I lost my extraordinary.

I get restless after about 5 minutes of sitting still. No joke. I’m severely ADHD right down to my core. I need to be moving, doing, thinking, learning, pushing myself, and here I was, doing laundry and my deepest thought during the day was, “how can I cook these chicken breasts differently then I did last week for dinner.” I used to have such a love for living. Adventure. I fed off that shit. I loved the feeling of the unknown. I loved excitement. I had lost it completely.

Now, I followed this comfortable routine for 8 years of my life, and everyday I felt a tiny bit of my extraordinary self die. It wasn’t fair to anyone. My husband was miserable, my kids thought a normal conversation between a mommy and a daddy was constant shouting, my dog couldn’t understand why I just didn’t feel like walking him anymore, and I had a permanent imprint on my lap from my cat.

This is was not cutting it.

One day dad finally had had enough also. He said what we had both been thinking for months. “I can’t do this anymore.”

I felt freedom instantly. (Well, not instantly, I was a stay at home mom, with no money, no house, no idea where to work, and not even a car in my name to get me there. I was scared. It was about 3 months later when freedom set in…..)

I found a tiny cabin on a beautiful river far enough away from the endless questions and nosiness of the world, but still close enough to meet the bus on the school district border. It was rough at first, but it was amazing. I started doing things I loved. I got a job. I spent all my time I could with my kids actually doing things. Not things like Disney and expensive arcades like we were used to because we had no money whatsoever, but things that honestly made us happier than that. Walking through the woods. Having picnics. Camping. Fishing.  Exploring. Adventuring. Laughing again. It was beautiful. I could feel myself coming back to life.

I had done it. (In a lot longer story than this, but you get my point.)  As hard as it was to leave ordinary…..financially, emotionally, and physically, I had done it and I had survived it. I am still surviving it. Is ordinary easy? You bet your ass it is, but why settle for ordinary, when you were born to be extraordinary?

 

No day like today.

I watched the movie Rent again today for like the 20th time. It’s just one of those movies that really makes you think. It mixes all your emotions together and releases them everywhere. It makes you smile, and it makes you cry. It is just an amazing message. So basically, Rent is a one year story about a group of friends struggling to survive life, “while battling love, loss, and aids.” It’s a musical. It’s hard to watch if it’s not your thing, but it’s something I highly recommend. It WILL change your way of thinking, and at the very least, temporarily make you appreciate even the smallest things you have in life.

So, my favorite quote from the movie is, “There is no future, there is no past. I live this moment as my last. There’s only us, there’s only this. Forget regret, or life is yours to miss. No other road, no other way. No day but today.”

“There is no future, there is no past.”

How true is this? No matter what your past holds, it doesn’t matter today. It doesn’t matter tomorrow. It doesn’t ever have to matter again. It no longer exists. And there is absolutely no telling what our futures hold, so why fear it? Why stress about something that cannot possibly be predicted? It can basically be anything you make it.

“I live this moment as my last.”

What an amazing way to live. Everyday to its fullest. Imagine if you watched the sun rise, and you looked at it like it would be your last time seeing it. Imagine how much more beautiful it would be. Or if you hugged your child like it was the last time you would feel their arms around you? Or treated people like it was going to be your last impression on them. Sunrises warm your soul, hugs from your child is the best feeling in this entire world, and good impressions last even after a lifetime.

“There’s only us, there’s only this.”

When we stop focusing on the could haves and the should haves, I believe that only then can we appreciate what is right in front of us. Things we already have. Our inner strengths. Our friends. Our families. Our health. Our blessings. “Only this” IS enough.

“Forget regret, or life is yours to miss.”

Story of my life. Maybe the story of life in general. This is such a colossal statement that can be applied to basically, everything. My advice? Life is short. Always forgive. Never be afraid of love. Care for others. Believe in yourself. And try your hardest with everything you do.

“No other road, no other way.”

Life is happening. There is no way around it. There is no way to avoid it. No way to hide from it. It is unavoidable. It’s sad. It’s mad. It’s happy. It’s silly. It’s crabby. It’s mean. It’s unfair. It’s sensitive. It’s beautiful. Life is a big whirlwind of all kinds of shit, and there is no avoiding its path.

“No day like today.”

This is my favorite part. There is no day like today. Today is the only day you have to live for. Today is the only day that matters. Yesterday means nothing, and tomorrow doesn’t matter yet. It’s a beautiful reassuring truth. Live today like it’s your very last day. If it doesn’t quite work out like you planned it, guess what? Tomorrow will eventually be…..today. A clean slate. A fresh start. A brand new, “no day like today.” ❤️❤️