Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Stepping back in….a bit.



My life has been a series of twists and turns.

I grew up with a typical upper middle class American upbringing.

And had tons of typical middle class American teenage fun… too much actually.

Solo much “fun” that when I came face to face with myself  at 21….I didn’t recognize WHO I WAS.

I had seen the inside of too many smoky rooms.

Been on the wrong side of too many decisions.

Had to sit and think to remember too many nights.

Lived too much for any girl.











I had the time of my life and then that life had no more time.

I was confronted by God….and had no choice but to change.


From outside to within…..everything about me changed.

I decided that my life basically needed to be devoted ONLY to my faith.

I had no more time for anything but TRUTH.

Because I had been lying.

I decided that everything in my life had to have a purpose….if it wasn’t completely TRUE and honest….I was not participating.


That was at 21. 

I spent most of the next year traveling in Costa Rica.  I loved it.  I was in love and was being true to myself and God.

But…my views were wound pretty tight.  Air tight actually.

Then we started having kids and held strong to our beliefs.  They never have had Santa come visit them, never gotten money from the “tooth fairy”, never gotten an Easter basket, and never participated in Halloween.

I know…..


Believe me…..they are not upset.

It has been their life.

They are used to it.

They never HAD IT….so they know NO DIFFERENCE.

I have spent the last 13 years teaching them what I know as TRUTH about holidays and the reasons behind them.


I realize that MOST PEOPLE celebrate these holidays with fun and love in their hearts.

But MY JOURNEY took me the long way around.  I felt like everything but TRUTH had to be stripped away from my life….

which left no room for fat men flying EVERYWHERE delivering presents in 1 night.

It left no room for cute bunnies who lay eggs or fairies delivering money.

It just didn’t….

So my children never experienced that.

They experienced things like Rastafari’s Birthday, and learning about the solstices, candy sales after Halloween, and the truth BEHIND the holidays.



Then over the past few years….

something started to happen.

I started to realize that they pretty much KNEW all the things that I wanted to teach them about the holidays.

I KNEW that they were not fooled and that they would not run and REVEAL the holiday secrets to any babies…i.e...Santa.

So….slowly we have started to add some of the holiday “stuff” back into our lives.

The last few years we have had dinner for Christmas with family


the kids have gotten Christmas gifts from Grandparents

they have gotten cards on all holidays from loving family….

But never have we had a “Christmas morning” experience.

Then we decided that we were comfortable with the whole thing…we were going to Texas for Christmas with my family.



Like…..they are STILL asking me if we are REALLY coming! LOL

And we are….I am finally comfortable with that.

I feel like the kids can handle it.  They know that their faith is different…and Christ probably wasn’t born in December.

And he DEFINITELY didn’t have a bunch of STUFF.

So…its cool now.

We can move on…

weird right?

Halloween was something that they never experienced either….BUT.. they have seen the “Truth about  Halloween”special on the History Channel every year they can remember.


After feeling my life unwind and loosen a bit….

Thursday night-

We are going trick-or-treating.

We are stepping out of our “Comfy Zone”…

We are stepping BACK IN …a little.

We are testing the waters.

I feel so brave and rebellious.

Just like the old days….

Monday, October 28, 2013

Cutting her Teeth and Standing Strong

She has begun doing this lately.....
putting her "'foot down".

For no reason really...I mean what does an 8 year old have to "put her foot down" about really?

Nothing...she just doesn't KNOW THAT YET.

She just wants to make a stand.

She wants to be heard.

She wants to stand her ground....even when her ground is shaky as SHIT.

Its something  IN HER.....
I can see the strength in her eyes.
She has a hard time backing down...in that moment.

The other day she was supposed to be cleaning her room....

But, you see,....she is the baby of the family.

For her WHOLE LIFE she has been given a little "leeway".

She has been picked up after, carried(literally), and "babied" her entire existence.

But...we have only done that because ....- she only hated INSIDE CHORES.
She would rather be on the roof helping jay, or raking, or hauling wood.
So....I folded her clothes and put up her laundry
I admit it..
I did it fore her.
I figured that she was a HARD WORKER...just not as domestic in the "laundry area".

But lately.....she has been just plain REFUSING to help her sister clean up their room.

She will lay around, look at a book, or SLOWLY walk around and act as if she has NO IDEA what needs to be done.

Like..."WHO ARE YOU?? And what have you done with my sweet daughter??" Infuriating.  UGH.

Which is what I was thinking when I walked into her room and ALL HER CLOTHES were still on the floor after Shasha had already cleaned up everything else ...just not HER SISTERS CLOTHES.
REALLY?  I asked her 15 times...at least.

She looked at me with a blank look...kinda like a deer in headlights.

"You have to clean this up.  You have to stay IN HERE till you have every bit cleaned up.  By yourself."  I said, very calmly.

And then she looked at me calmly with determination seeping from her tiny pores and said, "I guess I'll be in her the rest of my LIFE."

It was in that moment I didn't know whether to shake her or hug her.

She was so brave and disobedient.
I know I'm not supposed to love that ....

I love it because I know that this girl is a fighter....one day she will stand her ground...

She has will and determination ...and a pretty smile.
Who are we kidding?
There is no stopping her...no matter..

Maybe if I guide her in the right direction and teach her to love the truth...
Maybe if I mold her to love GOD with all her heart....
Maybe if I can teach her to shine her light brightly on injustice....
Maybe if I can show her that love is stronger than hate....
Maybe...all the time I spent letting her "practice" will be worth it.

Praying that one day....
she will stand for something worthwhile.

Until then...I will laugh and let her "cut her teeth" on things like laundry and schoolwork, all the while thinking, "Stand strong baby girl ...Stand Strong.  One day you will change the world."

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Life Lessons…with Katy Perry.



When you become a parent you can convince yourself of ANYTHING ….I believe it is self preservation.

I always “saw” myself (in my mind) as this easy going, lackadaisical, non confrontational parent.

I had visions of me TOTALLY  relaxed, school everyday at the beach, never spanking…and NEVER, EVER raising my voice or yelling.

Because…..I would be under control, patient, loving, kind, and CALM at all times.




Life is hilarious.

I guess in my mind I always thought that with children those traits would naturally APPEAR in me.


Who was I kidding?

If I have learned 1,754,420 things since starting to lose my mind having kids…it is this.


I never know where life lessons will come from.

After being pregnant 4 times, nursing for 8 years, changing countless diapers,refereeing unthought-of of arguments, dealing with sibling rivalry, homeschooling for 8 years, dealing with a teenager, a preteen, a tween, and an 8 year old who thinks she is a preteen(like her sister)and 2 “sex talks”(so far…YIKES!!!)….

I STILL only know SLIGHTLY more than nothing.

Because …Now I KNOW that I know nothing.

This all came to me very clearly the other day during school.

During the morning…while they are doing their journaling or drawing…we listen to music.

Generally we alternate and everyone picks a song.

It always brings in the perfect amount of fun to the morning.  Although to the neighbors …I'm SURE that our schoolroom seems completely bi-polar.

We go from…

The doors


Red Hot Chili Peppers




Gwen Stefani


Bob Marley


Imagine Dragons


Countless other POP singers that I cant remember.

It is always a lesson for me in ACCEPTANCE.

It takes everything I have to ACCEPT that they like POP MUSIC more than REGGAE.

GASP! (Yet another thing I never saw coming.)

As they have gotten older…..I have actually embraced this as an opportunity to get to know them better.  I feel like if I listen to what they like WITH THEM…maybe they will listen to ME more.ILLOGICAL…I know.  I try to really listen to songs with them. We break them down word for word sometimes, we analyze the meanings of the lines….which they LOVE. Not.

Imagine me deciphering “Royals” by Lorde for them…

They LOVE it…LOL.

I'm sure they think it takes all the “fun” out of it.


I think that the words matter.

I think that music should SAY something.

Sometimes today…POP MUSIC doesn’t SAY anything.

ESPECIALLY for girls.

Most of the time it is all about GIVING yourself away, talking bad about someone else, or wanting something you cant have.

In the end….making you feel inadequate.

BUT…every once in a while I come across a song that I TRULY LOVE. 

A song that SEEPS with encouragement, INSPIRATION, and energy. A song that LIFTS you up with words.

THAT SONG right now is “ROAR” by Katy Perry.

I know.

Katy Perry.

She is pretty amazing though….if you can see past the boob cupcakes she has worn before.

As we watched the video the other day I talked to Shasha and Sheba about how she is so pretty…but being FUNNY makes her even PRETTIER.

We talked about how she has pretty hair, and clothes, and make up…but the prettiest asset she has…

is the ability to laugh at herself.

THAT is where her TRUE beauty lies.

That is where the REAL DIAMONDS are….gleaming thru in her sense of humor.

I tried to tell them that when you can laugh at yourself and be funny…..your TRUE  beauty shines thru.

And then it hit me once again….

You NEVER know.

You never know WHO or WHAT or in WHAT form your life lessons will come.

Sometimes they come in the form of Katy Perry….in the jungle, roaring at a tiger, brushing an elephants teeth.