Archive for August, 2013


On my page yesterday I posted: “Apparently if I wanted to understand the internet today, I should have watched the VMA’s last night.” I swear every other FB post or yahoo article or tweet or even the Huffington Post was all ‘miley’ all the time. I couldn’t get away from it. I haven’t watched the VMA’s in years, probably not since MTV was actually showing videos. And, no, this doesn’t make me old, this makes me someone who values their time. But, my friend Megan commented on my post saying “I will raise my daughter to be the opposite of Miley Cyrus” and that got me thinking. Thanks for the inspiration MEG.

How do we make sure our daughters don’t end up like Miley?
How do we avoid them dry humping a foam finger in front of the whole world? (And, apparently dressed like a teddy bear???? I’m still piecing all of this together.)

The answer came to me almost immediately after the question. If we want to make sure our daughters don’t end up like Miley, we need to stop giving 2-shits about Miley! We need to stop concerning ourselves with her. And, I don’t mean to pick on Miley. For all I care you can throw them all in together: Kim Kardashian, Brittney Spears, Amanda Bynes, etc. They are all the same. And, by the same I mean moderately talented, over exposed, unimpressive in accomplishment, and lousy role-models for our girls. I don’t want to be mean…no talent ass-clowns…. They might be nice in real life. They might be decent human beings. But they are certainly not who I want my daughter to look up to. In fact, I don’t want my daughter to concern herself with them at all.

How do we make this happen?

Stop watching TMZ. Stop reading fricking US magazine. Stop watching reality television that is detrimental to society. Stop getting pleasure from gossip and train wrecks and celebrity non-sense. Stop promoting the idea that someone who is famous is any more special than you. Stop making stupid people famous for doing nothing.

Don’t waste time deciding whether Kanye and Kim’s baby name is stupid (of course it is).

Don’t waste your breathe on whether or not Lindsay Lohan has gained weight since rehab (that’s what happens when you eat food instead of heroin).

‘Celebrity’ is a business and we are throwing our money at it. What a waste of our time and money and attention. You like celebrities? You like Hollywood? Great! Eva Longoria, Matt Damon, George Clooney, and Ellen Degeneres are doing great things for a lot of people. Follow their stories.

But that is only part 1. There is a whole other side to making sure your daughter doesn’t buy into the cluster-f*@! that we call celebrity news. So what is the second part?

Set a good example. Simple right?

-Turn off the TV and read a book. And, actually read a good book. One that is well written, one that stimulates your mind, one that is written by a woman. It doesn’t all have to be 19th century classics of course, and it all doesn’t need to be women, but it can’t all be Twilight and 50 shades.

-Don’t judge her on her appearance- even if she IS gorgeous. It’s nice to be told you’re pretty, but it’s amazing to hear you’re smart and you’re strong and you’re healthy and you’re funny and you’re talented.

-Don’t judge yourself on your appearance. Don’t you dare call yourself fat or old or ugly in front of your daughter. Don’t you dare put yourself down while you are out shopping with her. Don’t you dare wish you were thinner, taller, younger…. She will pick up on that in a heart beat no matter what you are saying to her about her own appearance.

-Give her positive role models. This is tough because right now our society doesn’t value and recognize women for their accomplishments. But you can. Expose her to women scientists, judges, politicians, writers, artists, and business women. Expose her to women that are happy, and kind, and generous, and loving, and funny.

-Teach her that to be ‘valued’ she doesn’t need to bring down another woman’s ‘value’. Building yourself up by tearing down others will destroy your soul. The best leaders, the best role models, the best human beings, create win-win solutions for everyone.

-Preach kindness as the most important thing. Period. Beauty doesn’t bring peace. Brains don’t bring peace. Money doesn’t bring peace. Kindness does.

Our ‘society’ won’t change until we do. And, we NEED to change for our daughters (and sons of course).

If we stop buying, they will have to find something else to sell.

***Sharing=Love***

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My Relationship with Hats

008Today I wanted to take Will to get a last-minute-before-school-hair-cut, and I myself had a mess of a head. I had a lazy pony tail going, but not in a cute-messy-way, in a mom-who-has-given-up-kind-of-way. So I thought to myself, “Yay! An excuse to wear a hat.” I throw on the hat and do what I normally do after putting one on- stare at myself in the mirror for 10 minutes trying to decide if I can ‘pull it off’.

Why do I need an excuse? Do I think I am going to run into someone I know and have an exchange like this:

Random acquaintance: Hey, Candy, is that you?
Me: Yeah, hi how are you?
Random acquaintance: I haven’t seen you since high school!
Me: Has it been that long?!?
Random acquaintance: Yep…what’s with the hat?
Me: My hair was really messy so I threw it on. I swear, I’m not trying to look cool.
(shame)

I can tell you that I have approximately 5 hats that I have worn for a total of four times. I don’t know what you look like at the boutiques- throat clear- Target, but I look like this: try on a hat and stare at myself, I turn my head to the side a couple times, freak out about whether I look like an idiot, tilt my head down/up, look at the price tag, put it in my cart, take it out of my cart, circle the store, and buy it compulsively. “I’ll take that receipt!”

The funny thing is is that I actually think I look okay in hats. I will totally rock a hat on vacation! I have no embarrassment. I think that the strangers just think I am some trendy lady who just knows what she likes. Unlike reality, where I worry about everything.

Is it possible to wear a hat and NOT look like a douche? Seriously, I want you to answer me!

I am fashionable enough to recognize when other people look adorable in hats, and to know which hats are “IN”, but I can’t judge myself.

But, do you know what is more embarrassing than getting caught looking like an idiot wearing a hat? Giving 2-shits about what other people think of me in my hat! If I like it, why do I care if you like it? Am I worried that you are going to talk to all your friends about how I looked stupid? Am I worried that some guy from high school is going to find me unattractive? So silly.

So, here we go, declaration time: If I like it, I am going to wear it! And so should you! Your style is your style is your style! Confidence is way sexier than trendiness anyway! πŸ™‚

It is decided.

035 Yesterday my sister and I went on a farm tour. Tempel Farms Organics does it every year. The people responsible for farming the land, take everyone on a FREE 2-hour tour of the land. They explain what they do, how they do it, and why they do it the way that they do. They are an organic farm, and spend a lot of time and energy growing things the ‘right’ way.

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Anyway, my sister invited me to do it with her: “you can take pictures and then blog about it.” I was all in. We even joked about what we would wear “casual, organic, chic” and Brooke laughed about how I should capture her “sun-kissed cheeks” on camera. Big nerds, I know.

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I knew I was going to enjoy it. What I did not expect was the lingering joy that this relatively simple tour has provided. I am still trying to get a handle on exactly why I feel this way. Maybe it is because I was outside, in nature, getting exercise (I could spend every minute of the summer outside and never get sick of it). Maybe it was because what they were saying about the food was reinforcing everything I have been saying about food lately. Maybe it was because I could feel their passion for what they do when they were talking. Or, maybe it was because I was out taking pictures and planning what I was going to write about. It was almost like I was a ‘real’ writer who was out on assignment.

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All day today, I have thinking about this experience and how much more enjoyable and healthy and productive it was than drinking too much, or laying around watching TV, or ___________(insert your unhealthy time waster here). It was like those 2 hours gave me a snap shot of the kind of life I wanted to live. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to quit my day job and start farming. I cannot imagine the physical demands of that job. These people work so hard, all day, every day.

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But, it was a good reminder of staying focused on what I want from my life, and how I want to spend my days. If we don’t stay conscious of what we are doing with our seconds, they disappear. We can’t get time back. I need to keep reminding myself of this fact. Not in a threatening kind of way like ‘enjoy every second or else…’, but in a way that keeps me on track. I am starting to figure out what I want for the first time in my life and it is TOO EASY to get side-tracked.

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Have you thought about this? What do you want? Have you figured it out yet? I find it fascinating when I meet someone who is so certain of the path that they are on and everything in their life moves them in the right direction. I am very far from that, but I take pride in the fact that I am getting closer. I don’t have all the answers and I don’t think you need to, but I think it is important ask yourself these questions, to live in wonder, to commit to learning, to seek peace and fulfillment, to ask yourself what you truly want from this one life. The soul searching continues…

(Here are some more pictures of their beautiful farm on a beautiful summer day)

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mad at your wifeWhen you are newly weds (and even before that) you get bombarded with advice. Everyone has ‘the secret to a happy marriage’ or ‘how to communicate with your husband’ advice. It is all well-intentioned and it is usually cliche. Possibly the most common (after ‘love like it’s never going to hurt’) is ‘never go to bed angry’.

I used to believe this.

To back up a little, my husband and I don’t fight much. If we do, we usually get over it pretty quickly. There is something to be said for knowing you’re ‘stuck’ with this other person and there is no point in arguing. I mean that in the most romantic way possible of course. πŸ™‚

When the fights do happen though, I always tried to beat them to death. I was desperate to prove how ‘right’ I was and get my husband to say ‘I’m sorry’. It was almost an obsession. And, rightly so- my husband is a master of the fake apology. You know, the ‘I’m sorry you feel that way’ and the ‘I’m sorry you took what I said that way’ and the ‘I’m sorry you’re so ridiculously sensitive’. I may have made up that last one, but that is what I was hearing.

Well, on Saturday night, he made me angry. It is not important what it was about, but I wasn’t getting the appreciation or recognition that I wanted. I, naturally, picked a fight. We went back and forth for about 15 minutes. That is officially my husband’s time limit on arguments. At that point, he’ll throw his hands up and declare he’s done.

He went to bed.

I stewed.

Eventually, I went to bed. Angry.

When I woke up in the morning, I just went on with my day. Got my coffee, got the kids going, etc. I remembered being ‘mad’ at my husband, but the details were a little fuzzy. I remembered all of the things I said, but was struggling to remember what the trigger was. He woke up 30 mins. after me and didn’t even acknowledge what took place the night before. He was 100% over it. Not ‘over it’ in the sense that he was hoping I wouldn’t bring it up, but over it like ‘I literally don’t give 2 shits about the fight last night’. I found myself studying him for a minute and marveling at the man-brain. I was like a discovery channel zoologist. “You see the male brain moves on as if nothing has transpired.” So simple.

This is only half insult. The other half is me being jealous of the simplicity. Men typically will tell you what they think. They typically mean what they say. They tend not to over think in the way that women do. This is good for their own sanity, but gets them in trouble with us, often. We want them to solve the mystery that is the female brain. We want them to know what to say and when to say it. We have oddly high expectations for their simplistic male minds.

All I needed to do was to explain to my husband that I was feeling a little under-appreciated and ask him for some words of affirmation. He would have likely obliged. Sure, you could argue that I shouldn’t have to ask for it, but who are we kidding?

So, back to going to bed angry… I went to bed mad, woke up slightly irritated, and then over it by the time I finished my coffee. This may not work for your bigger problems, recurring themes, or unresolved issues, but for the little things it could be just what the doctor ordered. Nothing seems as bad after you sleep on it. When you force an argument to keep going, you start reaching, projecting, compounding…. A fight about putting laundry away turns into ‘you never appreciate me’, to ‘you don’t spend enough time with my family’, to ‘you’ve never really loved me!’

We have all seen this happen. We have all been a part of a fight where we couldn’t remember why it started. All we know is- we are pissed! This is our ego. This is the voice in the back of our head that says, “me being ‘right’ is more important than having peace”. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather be at peace and be happy and be in love than be ‘right’.

So, the next time you find yourself fighting, sleep on it. See how important it still is in the morning.

Anyways, that is my advice for the week… Take what you will. Consider reading the 5 Love Languages. It is awesome. Good read for you and your hubby (If you can get him to join you! But, I’ll save that for another post….)

I think, after 5 1/2 years, I have found my sweet-spot of motherhood.

I had an amazing son 5 1/2 years ago and my delightful daughter 2 years ago. I have loved them with every ounce of my being since then, but, if I am being honest, I didn’t enjoy every moment.

If you’re a mother, you know you can’t take 3 steps without a stranger telling you to enjoy every second when they are young. And, half of these women follow that up with some kind of passive-agressive threat like ‘soon he won’t hold your hand like that’ or ‘tomorrow she’ll be a high-maintenance teenager’ or ‘eventually he’ll stop returning your calls and you’ll be all alone’. Yikes! I could have done without that last one. But, they didn’t enjoy every minute and either do I.

When we first brought my son home I was terrified, I struggled nursing, and I couldn’t sit down for 3 weeks. Didn’t enjoy that.

When my daughter was young I felt trapped in my house because getting everyone out the door and ready felt like too much work. Didn’t enjoy that.

When I was on maternity leave, I would sit and pray for the time to move faster and hope my husband would come home just a little early today. Didn’t enjoy that.

I wasn’t good at bonding with babies. I was bored. They don’t talk, they don’t have personalities, I don’t know what they want…. You see, I am not one of those moms who can just stare contentedly at her baby in her arms for hours. I am not the kind of girl that goes, “awe…let me hold your baby”. I like to enjoy babies from across the room, or better yet- through photographs. It’s not that I don’t like your baby, I just don’t want to take care of it. I know some of you are thinking- That’s the best part! I get it. In Will’s terms, it’s just not my favorite.

Does that sound horrible? Am I the only one? I’m not all evil though, I swear. Keep reading…

So, back to the sweet-spot. The other morning I was home with the kids and it was LITERALLY perfect. My daughter wasn’t being a terrible two year old, my son was as sweet and affectionate as ever, no one was rushed, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping, yada yada yada. It was everything you think motherhood will be before you have children. I was helping Will work on some kindergarten prep work, sipping coffee, Ellie was dancing happily to her magnetic fridge toy and prancing around the house, I had made a healthy breakfast that no one complained about, I think you are getting the picture.

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This time, I was looking at the clock and wishing it would slow down. I knew my work day was coming and I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to interupt the magic of the moment.

Later in the day, when I had a chance to reflect, it all kind of made sense. This is my sweet-spot. My children say funny things. They have little personalities. They play with me and each other. They are also independent enough so that I can have one G-D moment to myself now and then. Every day I think of new cool things we can all do together: tennis, foods, games, back yard camp outs (more to come on this after the weekend). It’s fun! It doesn’t seem like work any more.

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I don’t know what to expect next. I don’t know if I’ll keep finding new sweet-spots along the way; I’m guessing yes. I do know that I won’t enjoy every moment, but I will try not to feel guilty about that and I’ll be grateful for the time, and continue to love these kids with every ounce of my being.

I don’t know how ‘aware’ of your age you are, but I feel like lately the universe has been trying to remind me. Like, every-day-remind-me! Does anyone else still think of themselves as 24? I’m stuck there. In reality, people that are 24 probably look at me with my 2 kids at target and guess I’m 37. (my actual age is less than that AND none of your business). You see, I’ve been feeling pretty good about myself lately. Pretty, pretty, pretty, good. (high five yourself for getting the reference). I lost about 15 pounds, been eating right, I’m on a path to enlightenment, and feeling a little smug about all of it. Well, in order to ground myself, here is some information I thought I would share.

Do the things on this list if you would like to be knocked down a peg or two:

1. Go and try on some clothes at Target. Use the big dressing room so you can catch your reflection in 360 degrees of over-head fluorescent light brilliance. I promise you, you’ll want to throw up. Wrinkles, bags under your eyes, cellulite you’ve never seen before, and humiliation in one big-box-affordable package! (remember abs?)abs

2. When is the last time you did a cartwheel? Go ahead, I’ll wait…. How’s your groin? (unless of course you are my sister who does cartwheels with ease)brooke

3. I forgot all math. When Will gets to 3rd grade I’m going to have to hire someone. When Ellis gets to 3rd grade I’ll be drooling in a cup. What is 7,345 divided by 364? Long hand, no phone. What is the square root of anything?

4. Has anyone else been playing at the park with your kids and thought ‘it would be fun’ to do the monkey bars? Ha. Not fun. Not easy. I typically try not to cry in front of my kids, but….

5. Do you remember anything from high school? Honestly, I just had to have the spell check correct me because I thought high school was 1 word. Isn’t there a hyphen? Shit. Name the 50 states. (without the fifty nifty song). Name 15 presidents. Tell me anything about the Louisiana Purchase.

6. Guys- try to touch the rim. Girls- try to touch the bottom of the net. Report back on how it went. (***note, this is 10 foot height. No froggy fresh 7.5 feet tourneys, poor Justin)justin

Well if that didn’t ruin your day, I don’t know what would. But, it is important to stay grounded. Also, it’s probably not best to look at your pictures from prom or homecoming. You were way too skinny back then. That’s probably not even healthy. πŸ™‚ dance