Sunday, November 23, 2014

On Rape

Bill Cosby's name is flying around the internet.

Sixteen women have now accused Bill Cosby of raping them. Some of the allegations happened many years ago, some not as long.  All of the women have relatively the same story to tell and the reactions to those women's allegations have been varied. Here's my reaction:

I don't know for sure if Bill Cosby raped those women, but what I do know for sure is that there are countless studies out there that prove that less than 8% of women lie about being raped. That means AT LEAST 92% of them are telling the truth.  Some studies say it's as few as 3%.

That means that somewhere between 92% and 97% of women are TELLING THE TRUTH about some man holding them down against their will and raping them. Most rapes are never reported at all.

US studies show that the majority of rapes go unreported because women are afraid that they will 1.) not be believed  2.) be forced to press charges and be subjected to a trial where they will have to tell the story of their assault publicly  3.) they knew their rapist and are afraid to press charges.(These statistics came from the Department of Justice. The CDC has unreported cases as much higher, but with no determining cause.)

What that boils down to is that women who have had a man force himself on them are afraid. IMAGINE THAT!

I had to go to therapy for anger and trust issues. Rape is one of those things that no amount of anger management is ever going to cure me of being nose bleed mad about. Men have no right to stick their penis in a woman who says NO.  The end. 

I don't care how she's dressed.  I don't care how she talks. I don't care how much she's had to drink. I don't care if the man knows her or if he doesn't.  I don't care if she bends down and twerks in the street, a man has no right to rape a woman if she says NO.A man has no right to drug a woman and give her no opportunity to say, "No."

We live in a culture that tells our daughters that women walking a catwalk in their panties on National TV is sexy and worthy of a moment of our time. We live in a society that subtly shows our daughters that beauty is an external quality to be applauded, showcased, coveted but that also mocks women who use their sexuality as a weapon or tool for monetary success. We live in a society that tells our daughters that they are ultimately little more than the caliber of husband they can catch.  

We live in a society where a man whose body is an athletic machine can beat down a woman in an elevator and a sports organization believes it is OK to cover it up. Some less researched people even thinks it's relevant that she swatted at him after he spit on her and try to equate that action with a professional athlete beating a woman into unconsciousness. 

We live in an era where we still must discuss that men have no right to place their hands on a woman unless she asks him to do so and vice-versa.

And it is PISSING ME OFF. I'm so mad. I'm angry that people are assuming that the SIXTEEN women who have come forward and said that ONE MAN raped them are lying. I'm angry that for years the allegations were ignored and that some unknown comedian's jokes are the only thing that brought their stories to the light of day. 

I'm angry that very few are mentioning that each of these women say they were raped at the height of this man's fame and fortune, where countless tales show us that he will be protected while she will be ridiculed and mocked if she dares to come forward (Bill Clinton and Roman Polanski, anyone?). I'm angry that the length of time they have remained silent is being questioned as though time is an indication or measurement of truth.

I have a friend who was raped many year ago. At that time, she told no one. She told no one because she was afraid. Afraid of the stares and the jeers and the mocking. Afraid that her parents may not believe her since she was afraid to tell them right away because they knew him and thought he was "a nice guy". 

Many years after she was raped, she shared the story with me and a few close friends and my heart broke for her. The part of me that is darker than I would like spent a few days after she shared her story with us trying to find him until my friend found out and begged me to back off.  So I did, but I was angry.

Angry that my friend, or any woman, would ever feel as though they should feel shame from a man who has to force someone weaker than him for sex to feel powerful.  I am angry that my friend still doesn't feel safe enough to scream her story from the rafters and know...KNOW...that she will be believed. I am angry.

Here's a note:  Any man who would rape a woman is not a man at all. They are pathetic and weak and deserve nothing more than the worst from those of us who are strong.

Any man who questions, even for a moment, if a woman "deserves" to be raped should be tied naked to a post and have that same woman shove a large stick up his ass until he rethinks his position. 

I imagine it wouldn't take long for him to rethink and I'd also imagine he'd be less than thrilled to have others know what happened to him. Think he'd want to stand up in court in front of his friends, his family, his co-workers and recant the story of having that woman hold him down and ram a stick up his butt while he begged her to stop? While he bled? 

Yeah. I didn't think so, either. I'd imagine rape statistics would plummet if rapist reaped what they sowed.

That scenario might create a clearer picture of why a woman doesn't step forward, too.  

Rape is uncomfortable to talk about. Injustice is always uncomfortable because we must face the ugliness of our world. We are forced to face the horrors that human beings can inflict on one another and that is never easy. But, we can do the hard things. We can stand up and refuse to bend. 

We can purge the saying, "boys will be boys" from our vernacular. We can rid our young men of the thought, even for a moment, that they have no control over their bodies and their minds. We can raise our boys to be men of honor and respectability. We can expect it.

Here's to hoping the truth about Bill Cosby comes out. And if he didn't rape those women, then I'll apologize for siding with the 92% to 97% of women who do come forward that are telling the truth about men who forced sex on them against their will. For now, I'm gonna go with the stats. 

And to all you women out there (studies say it could be as high as 1 in 6 women) who didn't come forward:  I'm sorry that even for a moment you were ashamed of something that wasn't your fault. I'm sorry that some pathetic loser took something from you that you didn't want to give him. He's not really a man.

I'm sorry that you believed no one would hear you, believe you.  I'm sorry.  YOU are the victim and I'm sorry.

We are raising two girls who will one day be women and this is what we're teaching them in our home:

Women don't get their value from men. Women don't get their value from their children or their parents or their brothers or their church or anything else on this planet.  Women get their value because they are made in the image of God.  They get their value because they are breathing.  Period. 

It's time that we stand up and demand that the assaults on women stop.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Truth About Motherhood

I sent my eleven year old girl off to creative writing class this morning looking cute as a button. And then I remembered that I forgot to comb her hair or remind her to comb it. This is a true story. 

When I picked her up to run her over to art class where I would drop her off while also picking up her brother and sister to take them back to THEIR creative writing class, I noticed that my other daughter, age fourteen, had on dirty jeans.  Her hair was combed, though. 

For just a minute, I felt that feeling creep up on me that says, "You're a bad Mom. Seriously, who doesn't comb their kid's hair or notice that big ole stain on the front of their kid's jeans?! Did you even look at them this morning?!" 

But, I'm getting sassy in my 40's, so I answered myself back and said, "Yes. I did. I looked at them and hugged them and laughed with them on the way to their classes and I told them I loved them to the moon and back when I picked them up AND when I dropped them off. So kiss it, big mouth inside voice!". 

I think it's time Moms start telling the truth and stop pretending like we have it all together. I think we need to stop seeing Facebook posts and Pinterest as reality and start reminding one another that those are just snapshots of our best days, our most successful days. We need to tell each other the truth and have some grace for one another and stop...just STOP...with the Mommy wars.  So, here's my truth:

1.  I do not serve our meals on china. Ever. If we're lucky, I whip out the Corelle ware and feel like a champ. We buy pretty paper plates for holidays because I don't want to do the dishes for a crowd.

2.  I do not know, nor do I care to teach my kids, which fork is the salad fork or which glass is the water glass. Eating with their mouths closed is good enough for me. 

3.  I feed my kids sugar. Sometimes, I eat it with them. I also hide some sugar for myself and eat it after they go to bed because I don't want to share it. 

4.  When my kids were younger, Barney and Veggie Tales acted as the occasional baby sitter and I was grateful. So, to all you Moms of "littles": don't listen to the hype. You aren't going to warp your kids if you aren't sitting by their side reading from the classics or listening to Chopin every minute of every day.  Heck, some days I just needed to jam to Seven Nation Army and my kids loved it.

5.  My discipline isn't always, every time, forever consistent. There are times I tell my kids one thing and the next day I may contradict that completely.  I've learned that every circumstance is different and unique and not all discipline is for all the time. The end. I don't care what "the books" that people are trying to sell for money say. This is the real world.

6. I don't give them a bath or force them to bathe every single day. I try on this one, but I sometimes just flat out fail because the day was B.U.S.Y. and waiting until the next day isn't going to turn them into Pigpen and if it does...well, they can always scrub a little harder. God made dirt and a little dirt never hurt.

7.  Sometimes I raise my voice at my kids.  Really, really loudly. This used to make my heart weep when my kids were small, but then one day I had to realize that screaming is better than them pouring boiling water over their head because I wanted to be politically correct and "perfect calm parent" and not scream when my baby reached for the stove.  So, all you parents of still small kids out there:  Screaming isn't the worst thing you can do. Show yourself some grace. It happens. 

8. Sometimes I use the dryer as my iron. Sometimes, I do this multiple times a day and I'm thankful it works and other times I have to rewash the whole load because I forgot and the clothes got a little stinky.

9. When my kids were little, I LOVED nap time. I was thankful they were asleep because I needed a break. (I did a happy dance sometimes, y'all. For real.) Now that they're older when I need a break I either tell them to go in their room for a bit or I disappear into mine for a while. I also tell them unless someone is on fire or they have a bone poking out they are NOT to knock on my door...even if their sister IS breathing on them!

10. I have not mopped my floors in almost six weeks. (I swept them, though. That'll have to do.) We're busy right now and I'm choosing to look at it as an immune booster. 

11. Fruit salad and goldfish have been lunch before. All of lunch. 

12.  This list is merely the tip of the iceberg.  You should SEE my laundry room!!

Social media has motherhood...maybe parenthood...becoming a competition.  Its turned loving your child into a sport between moms. That doesn't feel like love to me. That feels like insecure women trying to prove themselves by how well they can pretend to be perfect parents and no one is better for the trade off. 

Kids need to SEE that parenting is tough business. They need to see that sometimes we fail because they learn how to deal with failure based on how well their parents deal with failure.  They learn empathy and sympathy from us, their moms and their dads.  They learn their priorities from US and I want my kid's priorities to be on loving Jesus and loving people, not on whether they have the right phone, the right outfit, the right toys or the Pinterest perfect birthday cake served on the correct platter.  I want them to nail loving themselves and others and the only way to teach them that is if I live that. 

So, here's to just being for real:  I'm an imperfect parent, but I love my kids more than anything in the world. To infinity and beyond. And you know what? I think they know it....even when they don't comb their hair or wear clean jeans to class. Maybe especially then.

And now, maybe I'll go wash a load of clothes (or restart that dryer). Or maybe I'll just let everyone wear dirty jeans because a trip to the library would be more fun.  Or take pictures of my oldest son, now 20, who just got back from his 5am job and is asleep on the couch with our Pug. They are CUTE and this oldest boy of mine is almost ready to fly from my nest and the laundry can just flat wait because very soon he will no longer be coming home to nap on my couch from a long day at work, but instead, his own...

Thursday, November 13, 2014

On Patience...

Patience is a virtue.  The patience of Job. (Ya'll, I have read Job and he was NOT that patient!) Just be patient.  I've heard the word patience all my life and I've lacked it equally as long. Or at least, I thought I did. The truth is, I didn't understand what patience meant until I decided to listen closer to what God had to say about it.

I always thought that patience was waiting for something. Just wait. I don't know what that something was or even what it looked like, but I was waiting. Waiting to be better, to be smarter, to be more successful, to be a better mother, a better friend, a better wife. Waiting to be...more. More of something. Anything. 

If I worked harder, longer, smarter, surely that something would come and so I did all those things, but something was always missing. And so I waited some more.

The problem was that while I was waiting I was looking ahead, as far as I could see anyway. I was planning, plotting, thinking, dreaming, hoping. And sometimes I was mad.

While I was looking ahead and being a little mad, I was missing the beauty, the meaning, of now. I was missing what patience really means and the lessons that being patient brings to the one who is waiting. I was missing that being patient doesn't mean that we always have longing or lack.  

I wasn't waiting patiently. I was just waiting. And in the waiting I missed the beauty, the present, the now. I was missing the gifts of the moment and the heart of what patience really means. I was missing that waiting produces fruit, but the kind of fruit it produces depends on the heart of the one doing the waiting.

Patience means that I stop white knuckling my way through this whole waiting thing and just relax. Trust God. Believe that He has my life, my beginning, my end.  He knows what He's doing and I can stop enduring the things in life that I don't do a happy dance over and embrace every moment as one that He has divinely allowed and let go. 

I am not in control, but instead, He is. I am not controlling anything and I don't have to be controlled by everything. I can let go. I can be patient. I can wait. I can wait with eyes fixed forward, but my heart in the now and still full of hope for the future.

Patience is not self-control and it's certainly not "other control".  It's not biting my tongue, or enduring attacks, holding back every desire or pretending humility in the waiting.  It's turning my life over to God and trusting...all the way trusting....that no matter what happens God is in control and He has got this. It's not judging every moment, every action, every thought. Patience is turning my life over to God Himself, no matter what happens, and being joyous in the release. 

I'm not there yet, but my knuckles aren't white anymore, either. I'm getting there...

Friday, November 7, 2014

Sopapilla Cheesecake

I occasionally get emails from the blog and I love it. When I get these kind of emails, I love it even more. When I was already going to share this on the blog AND I get an email, it kind of seems like providence. Plus, this recipe is totally butt kickin'.

Hi Kristi,

Would you share your cheesecake recipe that you mentioned you ate with your girlfriends last week?

Thanks, J. 

The reason I loved this email so much is because we didn't just have plain, old cheesecake. We had sopapilla cheesecake, y'all.  I have a great traditional cheesecake recipe but there is something awesome about a cheesecake desert that takes 10 minutes flat to prepare and only 30 minutes until it's ready to eat. Right?! Get ready for a taste bud happy dance, baby.

Creamy cream cheese center with crunchy, sugary topping. I hear a choir, people. 

OK...First, get these together. And honestly, something so simple just seems like it shouldn't be this good. But, it is.

Two packages of cream cheese, two tins of crescent rolls, one stick of butter (I use unsalted), 1 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and real vanilla extract.  If you only have "faux"-nilla, then use it but I'd suggest making a store run. This is all you need to make this dessert and words cannot describe it's fabulousness!

Preheat the oven to 350. Then, mix two softened packages of cream cheese with 1 cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon (or there about) of vanilla with your mixer on high. I don't measure my vanilla because I don't care if I get a little extra. Vanilla is one of my favorite things ever, but you do what works for you. Scrape the sides of your bowl and mix on high until the mixture is super smooth and creamy.

I left my mixture getting all creamy and yummy while I go do this:

Line a 9 x 13 glass dish with one tin of the crescent rolls. As you can see, you don't have to be super duper particular about every inch being covered. It'll puff up and cover the bottom of the dish really well.

Next, pour your cream cheese mixture over the top of the crescent rolls:

Then, place the second tin of crescent rolls over the cream cheese mixture.

Again, it doesn't have to be perfect.    

Melt 1/2 cup of butter and pour it over the entire thing! (Just pretend like the calories are soaking into the crescent roll or something)

Finally, mix 1/4 cup of sugar and a heaping tablespoon of cinnamon together and sprinkle liberally over the top of the butter.  (I usually sprinkle another dash or two of cinnamon over that just because I think it's pretty and I like cinnamon. You do whatever taste you like, though.)

Now, bake your Sopapilla Cheesecake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  NOTE: I always check it at around 18 minutes or so. My oven is a double oven and my smaller one cooks a little quicker, so mine is usually done in around 20 minutes. However, most ovens will tend toward 30 minutes, though each one is unique. Don't burn the crescent rolls!! They should be golden brown.

Let it cool to at least room temperature and then slice this baby and watch your eyes roll back in your head. This is a rich, cream cheesey (is that a word?) dessert with a crunchy, buttery topping that is spectacular.  It's the perfect thing with coffee or, if you're like my kids, a cold glass of milk. My girlfriend's and I enjoyed this so much and there's nothing better than visiting with people you love over a  decadent dessert.

Make this. Trust me, just make this. It's the best thing ever.

Monday, November 3, 2014

God's Plans vs Man's Plans

I read a Twitter post the other day that made me think. Really think. I love when that happens. This was the post:

"We should remind ourselves daily, because we are so prone to forget, that the power of God so often looks like weakness, like folly."

Not long ago, I saw this on Pinterest:

"We must be willing to let go of the life we had planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us."

Both of these quotes rang true for me. I think we humans tend to plan our lives according to what we believe a "successful" life should look like and then we fully expect that plan to happen. I know I did! We make plans, dang it. We have lists! We have expectations and goals and dreams! 

And then there's the real plan. The one God has for you. In my experience, my plan and God's plan look absolutely nothing alike. (I'm pretty sure God laughed at my plan, but he was hugging me while he was chuckling.) They are the antithesis of one another, usually. 

Very often, God's plan is SCARY.  It's not normal, for Pete's sake!  It's craziness. I mean, just look at what he's asking me to do! What He is asking me to give up! There is no way I can make MY plan happen if I follow this madness. I'm gonna be broke on that plan,too, God.  People are gonna think I'm crazy, Lord. Did you look at this carefully, God?  It's impossible.

"But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."  Mathew 19:26

So, I started reading the Bible and looking for proof that man's plans look good, while God's plans look crazy.  I knocked on God's door and He opened it wide for me. (I love when He does that.)

God told Abraham to leave his home and go to a place that God didn't even bother to name. God told Abraham that he'd give him this unnamed land and he'd have more descendents than stars.  Abraham was married to Sarah, but they were old and childless. The Bible doesn't tell us how Sarah reacted, but she went with Abraham. (I think she thought he was probably a little crazy, but was up for a little adventure in her old age. And still...she went.) Abraham fathered a nation and God gave him a new country to call his own.  How much you wanna bet that wasn't what Abraham had on his to-do list and lots of people thought he was a little cray-cray?

King David's Daddy, Jessie, didn't even bother to call him in from the fields when Samuel showed up looking for the person God told him would be the King of Israel.  David's own DADDY thought his youngest son didn't have what it took, so he just left him out in the fields while he brought all his other boys in to be looked over by Samuel.  Don't you know he thought it was pure foolishness for Samuel to pick his baby boy?  God's plan looked like folly to Jessie and maybe David's brothers, too.  King David kind of rocked the socks off being King, even though he was a hot mess like the rest of us. And the real kicker is that David loved the Lord with his whole heart. God even called David a "man after My own heart."  Not so foolish now, huh, Dad?

Paul was a rabbi and if you've ever done five seconds of studying Jewish history on rabbinical training, you know it wasn't a cush childhood. The parents of the would be rabbis had plans for them, people! The trade off for all that training and working and learning and studying was that rabbi's were given all kinds of mad respect and they got to make lots of rules that other people had to follow. I'd imagine once the hard core training was over, it felt pretty good being a rabbi. 

Paul was just a person and I don't know a single human who doesn't like a little power in their lives. We're just wired up that way. And then, Paul met Jesus. And he was changed and people in his sphere of influence (and some outside of it) thought Paul had lost his mind. Some probably even thought he was weak and had lost his way. They thought he was foolish. But, God had a different plan for Paul that only LOOKED like folly to human eyes. 

Human's have bad spiritual vision. People have a basic need to be liked and thought well of by others and we naturally want life to be easy, planned. God's plans foil even the best laid human plans, though. God's plans make us look weak and nobody really likes that feeling, do they?  Following God's plan is hard because it means we have to lay down OUR plans and that's just not fun times. We human beings like fun times and easy sailing.  

Ask Abraham or Moses or Paul or David or Stephen or even Jesus if God's plans are easy sailing. Jesus had to walk away from people to keep going about His Father's business and His Father's plans.  He had to walk away from family and friends and even had a cousin that he loved beheaded because that cousin was following God's plans. God's plans stressed him so much he was sweating blood as he asked His Father to re-think the plans that had been laid before the foundation of the world.  

"Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done."


If we're to succeed according to God and not man, then we have to admit to ourselves that we may want other people's approval and we may want other people to agree with God's plans for us, but that may not happen. It more than likely WON'T happen. And that's OK. We just have to remember that God works differently than we do.  He thinks differently than we do because He can see the whole picture, the big picture. He can see the beginning and the end before the beginning or the end even happens. (There is comfort there, people!! He already knows!)

 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD." Isaiah 55:8

I want to say that I'm not suggesting that us human beings never set out to do God's will, thinking we're REALLY doing His will, and we're not even close to the ballpark, much less in the game.  What I'm saying is that when we know that we know that we know that we are doing what God has placed before us, when we must lay down our plans and our will and our lives to do what He has asked us to do, don't expect a lot of applause or agreement from other humans. It's probably not going to happen. What WILL happen is a relationship with God that will blow your mind.  What will happen are all the things that you never thought of or dreamed of or believed was even possible. 

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."  1Corinthians 2:9

No matter what plans we make, they will never, ever trump God's plans for those that love him. Man may not applaud you or agree with you as you walk out your salvation with fear and trembling, but the relationship you gain with God, and even the new relationships you build as you walk your new path, trusting God to show you the way, will blow your mind. When we are weak, He is strong. When we humble ourselves, God's hand will move. And there is zero foolishness in that scenario.

"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."  2 Corinthians 12:9

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Cheesecake with Friends and a Letter to my Kids

I had some of my closest girlfriends over this past Saturday for lunch.  We ate cheesecake first, then had some salad. Yep. In that order. That's how we roll. (I hope you have friends like that.)  The conversation inevitably moved around to our kids because that's how we roll, too. 

We have sixteen kids between the four of us and we all home educate, so we have lots and lots to talk about when our kids come up, but one of the things that almost always arises from me is that I hope (pray fervently!) that I don't screw my kids up too much.  As parents, we know it's gonna happen a little bit, but please, please, please God don't let me pass on all of my crazy to my kids. 

I had some pretty critical people involved in my childhood and so my inner voice is a little like nails on a chalkboard when she reminds me how awful I am and that voice sometimes comes out of my mouth.  I'm a little afraid of mostly everything, even though I try really hard to hide it and can sometimes do dumb stuff in my efforts to NOT be afraid of everything. 

I don't want my kids to be afraid of anything. I want them to be fearless and know they can do anything they set their mind to. (Except be Batman. I want someone else to be Batman because he is ALWAYS in trouble and he seems kind of dark.)

So anyway, here's my letter to my kids with all the things I wish I could say really well but I can't because I tend to write my heart better than I speak it:

Dear Most Beautiful Four People I Have Ever Met in my Whole Life,

Words are your Mom's love language. I know you can attest to this because you hear so many words from me all the time.  It's important for me to make sure I've said the right words to you, though. Words without my mouth moving but instead, my pen, because I think I'm most honest with my words on paper. 

I had a conversation with my girlfriends the other day and I admitted to them that I am scared half to death that I'll screw up this whole parenthood thing.  I'm scared that I will forget to tell you every single day that you humble me and make me a better human being.  I'm scared that sometimes when you do something small, and I scream about something that doesn't even matter, you will remember that instead of the french toast and bacon we shared that morning and my heart sang when you smiled through your maple syrup because you loved it. 

Frankly, sometimes you scare the fun right out of me, though, and I know it seems like I'm Mom-zilla.  When that happens, I hope you'll remember this letter and most of all remember that I love you. I love you just like you are and I think that you may be the coolest four people to ever grace the planet in the history of ever and I pray Every. Single. Day. that I will get better and better at being your Mom. 

Here's the thing:  You need to know that screwing up is entirely possible on my part. It is well within my capacity to completely mess up sometimes. And still, I love you to the moon and back, to infinity and beyond. I pray the Grace that we talk about so often is sticking to your heart like glue and I'm amazed by you all the time. 

 You make me laugh, too, and that alone is worth more than gold to me because laughing is sometimes hard for me. Thank you for that.

I think you four are Fabulous. Mesmerizing. Special. Unique. Generous. All the great things and all the words that are used so rarely because so few things live up to their meaning...that's what you guys are to me. You remind me what Love looks like.

You remind me to have Faith and not be so scared of screwing you up with my junk because I see what awesome people you're turning out to be. I see you learning from your mistakes and how you're still brave enough to take chances and be willing to make more mistakes and figure this whole life thing out and that makes me feel brave, too.

And so you give me Hope.  And Hope is no small thing.  I think it may be the easiest thing to lose when I'm scared, but then there the four of you are. You blind me sometimes with your ability to forgive and love. And my Hope grows and I thank God that He choose me to be your Mom.  You humble me and I'm grateful. 

But greater, by far, than even Faith or Hope is the Love I feel for you.  I want only the best things and the good things for you.  I know Life will throw you curve balls and right hooks sometimes and that scares me, too.  (I want to punch Life in the face a little bit thinking about all the things you'll have to face one day as you grow to be who God means for you to be.)  

But, I want you to know...KNOW...that I have always got your back. (I will make Michonne and Daryl and Batman look like kittens if somebody messes with you, baby!).  I'm here for you, no matter what (even if you decide to be Batman).  

I want you to know that Life is hard but you can do hard things. I've seen you do them already. 

I want you to know that I have seen you be brave and kind and generous and compassionate and you can do the hard things and make it through them as stronger, smarter, more humble people. 

Enjoy your gifts and never, ever be afraid to share them. Be kind, be loving. Those are sometimes the hardest things to be but I know you can because I've already seen each of you be those things and I pray that God will show me how to cultivate those gifts in you and not squish them in my (wrong) desire to be super parent. 

One day, you'll be grown and, God-willing, I'll be able to write you another letter to tell you what awesome adults you are, too. I'm praying for you every single day. Life is always tough but there are some pretty fabulous things heading your way, too. What I want you to know is that you are four of the very best, most fabulous things that has ever happened to me and I love you so much that my heart is bigger and better because of you. 

Thank you for being four of my most favorite people ever. You are so precious to me.

All the Love, 


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Pursuit of Trivia

We are a plethora of useless trivia at our house. I can't even describe the nonsensical stuff we know a lot about over here.  But, I'm gonna try to explain some of it. (this is barely scraping the surface, though)

Conversation the other night:

David:  Did you know FF #48 was the first appearance of Silver Surfer?

Me: Uh...yeah. But only because I'm the one that bought you that comic book.

David: Oh. Right. (total dejection on his face)

Me: (trying to remove the dejection)  But, you totally have other numbers on comic books I know nothing about. Most of them actually!

David:  (happy face and pulling out another handful of books from that cardboard thing he keeps the comics in for maximum protection)  Have you seen this one?

Me: ...blink...blink...  No.

David: You're not interested in this at all, are you?

Me: (dejection my be his only option with this line of conversation)  Well, I'd say it's right up there with your enthusiasm when I was reading Benazir Bhutto's autobiography. I mean Pakistan is interesting.

David:  (look of horror...then inspiration)  OMGosh!  That reminds me! I bought us a 90's trivial pursuit game!!!

Me: (look of equal happiness! Because it's about to be on like Donkey Kong around here!) I have no idea how Benazir reminded you of Trivial Pursuit but I'm in, babe.

And then we opened the box and y'all, 90's Trivial Pursuit is hard . And funny. At least it's funny when we play it.  Here's some of our cards for your viewing pleasure:

Because that last question, y'all.  There are so many answers that are completely inappropriate for that question. And the VWG category. Shaglantic Airways. The end. (Yeah, baby!)

The first question's answer is Friday the 13th. Who makes up those names?! I want that job, y'all.

That first question is too much. We didn't want to talk about Hasselhoff's boobs, so we skipped it. But then, we reached the TRD question.  The answer?  Teenie Beanies.  I'm kind of in love and I might want a Happy Meal with a Teenie Beanie in it now. (but not the burger because ewwwww...)

There were a LOT of beanie baby questions and I started to wonder if maybe I missed out on the whole Beanie Baby thing but then David reminded me that we both graduated high school in the 80's so I must have been too old for Beanie Baby mania by then, which kind of bummed me out so we went and got chocolate. It was a great night and my life was pretty complete that day.