In progress.

I’ve found that it’s easiest to be frustrated with change when it’s disappointing.

 

I had, like everyone does, a picture of what I expected from my life at whatever point. This point. Three years from now.

 

I wouldn’t be upset if, say, I were a millionaire this time next year. That’s not in my plan, but I think I could handle it.

 

(On a completely separate note, I’m watching the State of the Union and DAMN MY PRESIDENT HAS BALLS. Just saying.)

 

It’s when things go wrong that I don’t handle things well. 

 

When there’s less money than I need.

When a little girl looks at me to make it feel better and I can’t.

When I’m presented with a fourth grade math problem and I have no clue ho to begin it.

When the house looks like a cotillion of hobos took it over the night before.

 

I know I sound like a whiny brat. A pampered little simp. I suppose I am, but that doesn’t change the fact that sometimes I am totally at a loss. A loss of drive and fervor, a loss of confidence and security.

 

I suppose I need to buck up. Have a backbone.

 

I’m working on it.

#Sendus to #BlogHer

 

 

A few weeks ago when I was eating some meal with that man I married, we were talking about my blog and what it has accomplished and what it hasn’t. 

 

I have never harbored any illusion that I would be some Dooce-ish success story or that some obscure agent would happen upon my blog and proceed to offer me millions of dollars for what they know will be a NYT bestseller.

 

I’ve never thought any of that. Although, you know, it would be nice.

 

I’m happy with the state of things. I never would have imagined, in 2006, that I would still have this blog and that it would mean quite as much to me as it does.

 

Back to the dinner. 

 

So Josh and I were eating dinner and he said something to the effect of, “We really need to get you to a conference or something.”

 

Music to my ears. Have you ever wanted something desperately but you refrained from mentioning it because you didn’t want to be a nag or a bother?

 

Me, either. But the fact remains that I had never mentioned (in any sort of seriousness) attending a blog conference.

 

Because what would that mean, really? It would mean airfare, conference passes, hotel rooms, time away. It would mean a family vacation that was pretty much just for me. And I may be a lot of things, but I like to think I’m not that selfish. 

 

So I have pretty much given up any hope of attending a BlogHer conference (because that’s kind of the caviar of blog conferences) unless it came to Memphis or something. Which may happen, one day. But not this year.

 

Except yesterday on Twitter, my friend Ashley responded to an off-the-cuff tweet I’d made regarding someone  sugardaddying me to this year’s BlogHer conference. Which is in New York. I die.

 

Anyway Ashley and I tweetively decided that we should start a “Send Us to BlogHer” campaign. With complete acknowledgement that likely nothing will come of it, we are sending our desire out into the world.

 

The Secret says that if you speak affirmations, they will come to fruition.

 

In light of this assertion, I am putting my positives out into the void.

 

I will attend BlogHer 2012 in New York City, because someone will believe in the awesome I possess. I will learn and grow, and I will make many friends and connections. I will finally have a purpose for those business cards. I will be forever grateful.


Now, Rhonda Byrne, we’re putting this to the test. Let’s let this shit get real.

 

Tweet your support of our cause using the hashtags #sendus #blogher.

 

Random Ramble

Today is Friday the 13th. 

 

That’s bad luck, right? I’ve never really had much experience with good or bad luck on Friday the 13th, although I do remember that when I was young my dad signed his final hiring papers for a job on such a day –  a job that would end up being pretty much the worst thing ever.

But I think that was just the result of general universal shittiness, not really bad luck or anything.

I used to hear stories about people who stayed in their houses or beds all day on Friday the 13th. My opinion is that it would be a good excuse. Maybe I’ll use it someday.

The Steens are embarking on a journey this weekend. We’re heading over to Tuscaloosa, since I’ve never been there and as a student at the University of Alabama I feel I should at least know what it looks like. Then we’ll either geocache our hearts out or head down to Jackson, to laugh at everyone we escaped.

I hope everyone’s year is starting out well. Mine is – I think this could qualify as the best beginning of a year I’ve had in recent memory.

Oh and guess what, my therapist reads my blog (hi, Angela!). While initially I thought that might squick me out a bit, I’ve found it really doesn’t make a difference.

I suppose it’s true that misery breeds creativity – because honestly, I haven’t had much to write about lately. I’ve just been too damned happy. That sounds contrived – but I swear it’s true.

I vow to take lots of pictures this weekend. I have a kickass camera on my phone and I need to use it more often.

So, I leave you with this:

We MAY have convinced Max that butter was a delicious treat. It didn’t last long. 

 

We entertain ourselves the best we know how.

Happy weekend. I’ll be back in full rambley force next week. 

My first two-part series. Thanks, Netflix

This has been a weekend full of eating. It’s a good thing I didn’t make any resolutions to eat less or lose weight, because I would pretty much have already sabotaged myself.
We’ve been doing a good bit of Netflix-watching over the past couple of weeks. Saturday night we went to see our friends Marty and Erin in Tennessee, because Josh has this kickass beef that he’s started making and they had yet to eat any. So we went.

Whenever we go to Adamsville for dinner, Josh and Marty wait until we arrive to buy any of the preparations. We get there, we unload into the house, and the boys immediately leave to go get groceries for the meal.

And go to GameStop. And Taco Bell. And buy pies at the nearby gas station.

So Saturday night while the guys were gone, Erin and I decided to watch a movie (much to Lucy’s chagrin – she would be happy to watch the Birthday episode of Yo Gabba Gabba for the rest of her life).

Erin chose a documentary called Dive! which, in a nutshell, is about a bunch of people (and their families) in California who live primarily off the food they retrieve from dumpsters behind grocery stores.

I know, right? I think Erin chose it because she thought they were going to talk about dumpster diving for furniture or clothes or whatever – I know that’s what I thought.

But yea and verily, I was wrong. It was TOTALLY about food.

Initially I was grossed out. But then they showed the food they were retrieving…bread, meat, produce. All tossed out because of a cracked egg or a looming sell-by date. Stuff that was top-of-the-line shit…and perfectly fine. It just happened to have come out of the store by the back door, instead of a reusable shopping bag.

My snobbery started to wane when I realized that these people were eating organic, free-range, antibiotic free meats and veggies and most of the time I don’t even look at that stuff because it’s so expensive.

Then they started talking about the amount of waste the US produces and I felt like a greedy asshole.

Did you know that the US wastes 96 billion pounds of food a year? One year of our waste could feed the entire population of Haiti for like five years.

Yet, because we don’t share, and because everyone is so focused on profit, we still have hungry people in our country. That’s so bizarrely wrong on so many levels.

It’s sobering to be told things like that. Stuff we all know in the back of our mind and don’t really think about.

So while I won’t be scaling the dumpsters behind Kroger anytime soon (I totally would, by the way – but Josh said it was too close to the sheriff’s department and so he refuses to drive the getaway car), I am now actively searching for ways I can help do my part and reduce this terrible deficit between what we have and what we use – and what we need.

You can sign the online petition to Trader Joe’s here. It’s a start.

Tomorrow, I’m talking about catfish…kind of.

For 2011

Since this is probably the last post I’ll write this year, there are some things I need to say.

 

As (what I loosely term) a writer, thank you for reading what I have to say. Even when it’s rambley and pointless, and even when I fail miserably at being entertaining. 

 

As a mother, thank you for the advice. For looking at pictures of my kids, reading about issues, and enduring things I think are hilarious or great just because I happen to be a mom.

 

As a student, thank you for your encouragement. 2011 has been a year of decisions, and the decision to go back to school is one I’m particularly proud of. If it hadn’t been for the cheerleading I’ve gotten I don’t know if I’d have made it.

 

As a potentially crazy person, thank you for making me realize that no matter how strange or off I feel, I can be honest about it and I’ll still have someone(s) on my side.

Because I’m not a Christmas Card sender

I’ve tried before, a couple of years I even got the cards out in time.

I felt very accomplished those years. But it’s been a long time.

So in light of the fact that I’m not organized or competent enough to send out individual paper cards, here:

Also, in the tradition of those lovely people who do a family update letter every year at Christmas, I will do this.

2011.

The year started out like they all tend to do.

Resolutions were pretty much abandoned by week 2.

I turned 31.

The institution of marriage was defined by people in all different ways.

Ava lost her first tooth. Max lost several of his.

Lucy turned one.

Josh and I decided to go back to school, and we had our 5 year anniversary.

Josh was in many plays. I was in none.

Max and Ava and Dan were also in plays.

I started going to a for real shrink.

My sister got married.

Osama Bin Laden was killed.

Occupy Wall Street began.

Josh said goodbye to his grandfather.

I registered my domain name and began to blog with fervor.

Josh and I finished our first semester of school online.

And oddly enough, that seems to be all of note I can really remember.

I am giving myself this week of mostly leisure, so you may not hear from me for a while.

I love you.

Friday night glam

Josh and I have said countless times how we were going to go to high school football games.

The weather’s perfect, football’s great, lalala.

We have maybe gone to one high school football game (aside from when we lived in Jackson and we were ALWAYS at those damn private school games).

Last night we intended to go, and then we went to eat and Lucy would have none of anything but coming home and going to sleep.

So that’s what we did. Josh worked on a website and I knitted, and after we were finished wringing the dregs of life from our Friday night, we went to bed.

Sometimes I think we’ve turned into such duds.

I mean, where’s the zing? The romance? The spark?

Is there a female alive who would turn away a little bit of corny sap from the person they love? No. However, I happen to be married to Ray Barrone and his mind apparently doesn’t work that way.

And then I realize that twenty years from now the kids will (maybe) all be gone and perhaps we won’t still live with Dan, and we’ll have all the time in the world for zings and sparking.

So for now, I think it’s okay. I’m saving up to buy stock in blue pills and bathtubs to put out in the forest and on the beach.

White lies are better than moldy skidmarked truth

I don’t think I know much about my kids.

Wait, that’s not accurate. I know everything about Lucy.

But that won’t last long. The clock is ticking on that one.

My other two are complete mysteries, and I kind of hate it.

My hate has nothing to do with them – I suppose it’s actually all me.

Growing up, I never told my mom all that much about my life. I was always really afraid she’d flip out and tell me I was going to hell or make me go to some special church class or something. I actually did get punished that way once – my mom found out that I’d skipped school, and I had to spend every afternoon for like a month sitting in my room writing bible verses. I was a senior in high school.

So yeah, Mom and I never had girl talks. We talk more openly now, I’m older and she’s older and we can both admit I’ve had sex since I have three kids.

But I’ve always wanted to be a friend to my kids. To answer their questions and be honest with them, and be able to have a relationship with them that ensures that, in the future, they’ll come to me for advice. A ride when everyone is drunk. Clarity when their hearts are broken.

And I do try.

But I fail. For lots of reasons.

Max is just so…awkward. I love him dearly, to bits and pieces. Truly. But talking to him is like talking to a miniature Michael Scott. It’s painfully uncomfortable at times, even though I realize his mind is very different than mine. I need to work on understanding him more. I’m sure it’s fascinating to go through life as Max.

Ava is, I think, a lot like I was when I was little.

And that. Terrifies. Me.

I was sneaky. I was dishonest. I had terrible judgement. I had such a hard time.

I want to make it easier for her, but I don’t have any clue how. So I think I subconsciously pull away. Which is the very opposite, I know, of what I should be doing.

Wow. Writing all this stuff and seeing it in the light of reality makes it sound….awful. Which I guess it is.

I ache to be good at being a mom, especially since I legit suspect that I love my kids way more than is normal. I’m just terrible at showing it. I mean really, awful.

Maybe I should take some sort of class. My child psychology class came with a virtual child (yes, it did. So not only to I get to suck at raising three kids with a pulse, I get to have another one to go all A.I. Haley Joel Osment). Think that’ll help?

What do you do with a BA in English?

Lately, perhaps spurred by rewatching season one of Teen Mom (Gary and Amber could make anyone feel better about their relationship) and seeing all the online classes they withdrew from, I’ve been severely jonesing to further my education.

I never finished my degree. High school, yes. Further education…nah.

It embarrasses me that I don’t have a degree.

Everyone else was hitting the books, and I had babies.

I like my babies more than a BA, no doubt. But a part of me feels like kind of a loser. Less of a person.

I’ve been looking into degree programs and online classes. I filed my FAFSA today (even though actually applying to school takes money that I’m not sure we have) and it felt kind of surreal. Still does.

I don’t know what I want to pursue. I could focus on English and have a worthless degree that got stage time in Avenue Q, or I could do Psychology and have a degree that is useless without even more degrees. I could be sensible and do something like Business Administration or Paralegal.

Perhaps this is why I was no good at college – because I get overwhelmed by all the choices. I know it’s why I’m no good at any sort of design or styling…because I LIKE IT ALL.

I feel like I’m standing on the edge looking forward at a life I could have, but I’m really nervous to take it. I mean, I can’t fail at college a third time.

Oh yeah – I went back to school after Max was born. I didn’t last a semester. Probably because my dumb ass was majoring in Theatre.

Seriously, what the hell was I thinking?

I just really want to stop feeling subpar. At the risk of sounding cocky, I know I’m not dumb. I know I could do great things if I had the drive. And there, that? See? The drive? I sound like an ass. Since when is it okay to laze around and not pursue goals just because I don’t feel “driven?”

Not that I laze around. I didn’t mean it like that.

Hi, I’m Emily. Have I mentioned my kids? Lazing is not part of the drill.

I’m tired of being embarrassed of how little I’ve accomplished. Yeah I know, my kids are accomplishments and I’m not denying that – my kids are the greatest thing I’ve ever done. It’s just that I want to be proud of me and not just them.

Does that make sense?



Day 27 of 30 day challenge

day 27- Your definition of the meaning of life.

I have no clue what life means or why we live it. I don’t know if I subscribe to the theory that God watches us and waits for us to say and do the right things (which he knows the ultimate outcome and all) or the one where we’re all floating around in a cloud of maybe and wait and see.

I don’t know and I don’t think there is any way to know.

I think the best thing anyone can do is be a good person. Do unto others, you know? Live your life so that people are sorry when you’re gone.