Saturday, May 7, 2016

what we remember-to my mama

The cards were stacked against her. Fifteen. Unwed. Pregnant. Therefore, the cards were also stacked against me.

She straightened up her act in a hurry. I was born. She finished high school, in spite of many obstacles placed in her way by an administration that thought new moms had no place in their high school. She and my dad got  married. She and I moved out of my grandparents house. My mom, dad, and I moved a few times. My favorite game was standing on our brown and yellow couch, jumping high in the air, and landing on my knees on the hardwood floor. My brother was born. She had an in-home daycare so she could be home with us, but still earn money. As we got older and went to school, I remember her working at a chiropractor's office. My parents divorced. We moved a few more times. My mom got a job at United Way in St. Cloud, then at the College of St. Benedict. She started working on her degree when I was around middle-school age. She graduated from college while raising two kids and working full time.
the kids obviously get their good looks from yours truly

awww. Sending love to my dad and mom

Christmas love

a new baby brother and neither of us look too sure about the whole thing

Happy Halloween from the clown

I liked perms

a lot
My brother and I grew up and graduated from high school and college and got married and had babies. My mom moved, both geographically and up the employment ladder. Today's she's Vice Chancellor of Gift Planning at a prestigious university.

Apparently my mom doesn't give one crap about how the cards are stacked. She's going to reshuffle. She's going to come to a dead end and make her own road, a closed door and pull out her axe to bust it open. But she's going to do it with humor, killer music, flawless hair (although she loves to be reminded of her mullet days), raucous laughter, generosity, pasta, wine, bread, okay, carbs in general, and love.
the laugh, including the knee slap, the face we make, and the disbelief that others might
not find us as hilarious as we find ourselves are identical

rocking modern, black furniture since way before it was cool
I'm sugar coating it, obviously. There were fights and hurts, tears and bitter misunderstandings. I had classic teenage moments. There was depression. To this day, in the ways we are alike, we are identical, and in the ways we differ, we are polar opposites. I have made and continue to make many decisions that disappoint her, and she's done things that make me shake my head in disbelief.

But at the end of the day, when all is said and done, there is love, acceptance, and support. No matter how deep my hole is, my mom will lean over, extend an arm, and help me start the climb back up.

I didn't understand the depth of love, the depth of pain felt on someone else's behalf, the depth of awe at another person's accomplishments until I held Isaac, then Audrey, then Elliot, then Asher. I cannot begin to express how fortunate I am to have had Kellie as my mom, how fortunate my kids are that she is my mama role model, even with the cards stacked against her and against me, too.
since having these four, I get it.

please let them remember these moments

please let these moments outnumber the angry, poorly handled moments
What will they remember of me? There are certainly millions of mistakes, but I hope that at the end of the day, when all is said and done, they will remember love, acceptance, and support. I certainly do.
Mom, Cory, and I in my post-birthing Asher stupor. It's a good look on me, right?

Celebrating my mom's birthday, December 2014.
Our sense of style is clearly not identical!
From me to you:

Friday, May 6, 2016


A friend posted this on her facebook page. It's hilarious, right? Ridiculous. A funny poke at the silly things celebrities do that some people actually care about. While it looks harmless and silly, it brought up a few questions to my overly analytical brain.

1) How did these people become celebrities? What makes their comings and goings and outfits and boyfriends so much more interesting than the rest of the world's daily lives? Is a sex tape, being related to someone with sex tape, or dating someone with a previous sex tape our best bet for fame these days?

2) How long does it take to create that one picture to post on those social media outlets to get shared around the world to get you free stuff?

3) Aren't they hungry?

4) Isn't living with a constant wedgie just grueling? I mean, add constant wedgie to constant hunger pains and I would be the most unreasonable, insane person on the planet.

Some of these questions are obviously tongue in cheek and others are absolutely serious. When did we become a culture looking to these people for fashion, dating, life advice? What are we missing in our lives that we want to shop where they shop and look like they look and distort our faces to match their faces?

I'm raising humans here. I'm trying to grow myself. At this point, as I knock on the big 4-0, I'll be one of the very few un-botoxed, un-collagened, un-augmented or reduced people my age.

These pictures aren't real. The time and effort that go into taking one of these highly processed, highly photoshopped pictures is ridiculous. Yes, they are beautiful humans. No, they are not perfect.

Maybe that's why I struggle so much. It is impossible for me to feign perfection. My clothes are about as out of style as they come. My house has holes in the basement and kitchen ceiling, not to mention popcorn ceilings, which, according to our realtor, are about as bad as things can get in a home. My kids aren't the best at everything and they argue sometimes and they still choose mismatched clothes and balk at taking showers and I lose my temper sometimes, too. I'm just here in real life. I'm a reasonably intelligent human being, buying in to the lies that my real life is eight billion degrees removed from the real life of my friends. That's dangerous. And silly. And stupid. Therefore I can't even begin to compare my life to that of celebrities.

I guess I'm just reminding myself that we're all doing the best we can. And we're all craving connection and acceptance and love. And if I start looking for that in the world, I lose. Every time, I lose.