I’m Alive and I Have Goals

So, raise your hand if you thought I had fallen off the face of the earth?

Well, I didn’t.

The earth is round, silly!

I just got caught up in life.

Life that revolves around my family, my work, and a different blog.

No, I’m not cheating on you guys!

Really!

I’m publishing another blog just for the students and faculty in my departments at work. 

It’s a work thing.

I’ve composed some really great blog posts for you all in my head.

Usually while I’m driving to and from work.

So before I go into my goals for the coming year…

…I thought I would revisit my hopes from last January

I did get to spend time with my Sissy at Disneyland. My cousin joined us. We had a ball!

And, I did manage to prove to my husband that I could live without the joys of WalMart.

Of this I am especially proud. 

It isn’t easy to be a non-WalMart shopper!

Especially when you live somewhere like the Middle-of-Nowhere, TN!

We don’t have a lot of options!

Did I manage to not go to WalMart all year? 

No.

I think I counted a total of 3 visits, but they were all for or with other people.

The Ranger asked me to get him some new tires there in June (that was my first visit all year).

My Sissy had me stop there with her while we were in California.

Oh, I DID go in once of my own volition, but that was because I had ordered something online and ship to store was free. I didn’t stop and purchase anything else while I was in the store.

I have been there once or twice since I passed my year goal, but I tend to go there as a final resort. 

I’ve learned shopping without huge lines is rather relaxing.

Now on to my goals for this next year:

1. I would really like to go to PA for a visit.

We haven’t been “Up North” in several years, and, well, we miss our friends.

This is not to say that we don’t miss our WA friends, but I’m already planning a trip out there for Miss K’s graduation.

2. I would really like to have a visit with my Bubba…in person.

I miss him too.

Last year was a visit with Sissy, this year a visit with Bubba.

He’s planning to run at Disney World in Jan. 2015, so I think that I will make at least planning a visit with him a goal.

3. I would really like to have a healthy year, for me and my family.

It’s been a trying time health-wise for my family the last several years. I’m not going to go into details. They aren’t mine to share. Suffice it to say, we’ve earned some respite.

4. I would like to be an inspiration to my students, many of whom come from locations and backgrounds similar to me. I want them to see that your future is wide open and can be whatever you would like it to be! I would also like to not get giggle fits when they call me professor.

5. I would love, really LOVE to have my guest room filled with friends and family at least every other month.

It should be an interesting year!

I will let you know what happens!

In the meantime, I leave you with this…

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Because, no matter what the year brings, it will bring these two and fun!

What 41 Looks Like

I had no problem with turning 40 last year.
I embraced it.
I relished it.
Face it, I totally rocked 40!

Forty-one, however, has given me pause.

A few weeks ago I started to think about what 41 looks like.

It is different for everyone, but for me this is what 41 looks like.

Becky cropped

Forty-one is slightly overweight, but resigned to the fact that my 23 inch waist from high school is completely out of reach.

Forty-one has embraced being healthy over being a certain size.

Forty-one is stiff joints, and *gasp* bifocals!

Forty-one is being the embarrassing mom to a teenager instead of the cool mom of a pre-teen.

Forty-one is laugh lines, the occasional silver (I refuse gray) hair.

Forty-one is asking my husband, “Does this make me look old?” instead of “Does this make me look fat?”

(Ranger, if you are reading this, the only correct answer to this is “NO!”)

Forty-one is realizing that the music of my youth is now known as “the Greatest Hits of the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s!”

Forty-one is jamming to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in the student union and when the students look at me with wonder that I know this song, I look at them and say, “Dude, this is my generation! I lived through Grunge and mosh pits!” I think I am being invited to speak to their history classes.

Forty-one is accepting that while I enjoy Zumba, it is not something I should be seen doing in public.

(Forty-one is KNOWING I would end up in traction even trying to “twerk.”)

Forty-one sounds like, “Because I’m the Mom and when you are the mom then you will know too!”

Forty-one is recognizing that my mom isn’t hiding in my bathroom mirror and that it is really my own reflection.

Forty-one is going to the library everyday not to hang out or to study, but to work.

Forty-one is acknowledging the craft projects started 15 years ago will never get completed. Time to move on.

Forty-one is trying not to relive my youth through my children. I can do this, I know it!

Forty-one is accepting that I have said teenager (see above) who will be starting high school, then college, then getting married, then having babies, then will be 41 herself!

Warrior Meg

This is where my age problem lies.

Dude! I’ve had a breakthrough!

I don’t have a problem with me turning 41, I a problem with Big turning 13.

So, really, if 40 is the new 30, then 41 is the new 31 right?

In that case, 41…
BRING IT ON!

I’ve got this!

It’s a Disneyland After All!

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So my Sissy and I did it. We went to Disneyland without our husbands or our children.

We only feel a leetle guilty.

We had a TON of fun!

We brought the kiddos home T-shirts.

Our cousin Kathy came too! She’s pretty darn cool!

We heard Sir Paul McCartney and Justin Timberlake perform. We saw Jay Leno filming live. We rode Radio Springs Racers in Carsland, Hollywood Tower of Terror, and Screaming.

Disney just won’t be the same without us.

Ten Truths

Ten Truths I know right this minute:

1. It’s been far too long since I got my blog on.

2. Teaching two classes while researching and working the reference desk while juggling kids, hubby, etc. was not my best idea.

3. I’m so excited to be going to ALA in Chicago this summer!

4. I’m going to “Mickey’s House” this fall … without my husband or my kids!!! 

5. I’m on the fence about letting Big Baby-sit for more than a few hours at a time. I have no doubt she can do it; I’m more on the fence whether or not Baby will allow Big to be “in charge.” Denny Crane.

6. I don’t miss my gallbladder.

7. My cat needs to diet. I’m not saying she’s fat; I’m saying she could make a great paperweight, in a high wind.

8. I would go through the whole gallbladder fiasco again if I could have an afternoon of lunch and shopping with my Sissy, Mama, Missy, Kathy, Laurel, Denise, Marsha, Julie, etc., etc., etc.

9. I’ve got far too many papers to grade before the end of the term.

10. Did I mention the whole Disney thing? Did I mention that I feel a little guilty about it? I do. 

That’s all.

You can go away now.

I’ll try to post again soon.

I’ll even try to get a picture or two in there!

 

 

Can you hear me now?

For several years Big has been begging for a phone, and for several years we’ve said, “Ummmm, no.”

The discussion goes back and forth.

Argument 

1. All my friends have them!

Rebuttal 

1. Good, then if you need to call me you should have no trouble finding a phone!

Argument

2. How am I supposed to call you to pick me up from Pep Band?

Rebuttal

2. Turn around and say, “Hey, Mom, can we go now?”

Argument

3.  But what if I want to call Grandma or Nana or Becky? 

This is where she tries playing the guilt trip – you moved me across the country from my grandmas and my BEST FRIEND!

Rebuttal

3. Tell me when and I’ll lend you my phone.

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There are two really huge things getting in the way of Big having her own phone, and one of them is known as the Ranger the other known as Mama (there really isn’t anything petite about me…seriously!).

Well, this was working fine for me, and then I saw it…

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It looked suspiciously like the Ranger’s old cell phone.

The one he never answered.

The one he used for playing video games.

The one he got rid of after he found out he’d be carrying two phones around, his personal phone and one for work. 

He really hates phones!

But now here was Big with this phone of her own?

“Sweetie?” I asked, “Where did you get that phone?”

“Oh,” she says, “Daddy gave it to me. He said I could have it.”

Really. 

There was no discussion over Big having a phone.

There was no sassy contract over the responsibilities of having her own phone.

There was no decision over how she was going to earn the money to pay for her phone.

It was just there.

I was SOOOOOOOOOOO not happy! (enough O’s to get my point across?)

Then she continued, “Yeah, it doesn’t work, but Dad said I could have it.”

Oh, okay then.

I was good with that.

Then I started noticing something.

Big was carrying this phone around…

And not just in the house.

She wanted to take it to school (Ummmmm, no).

She did sneak it to PRE (read CCD or Catechism).

I saw her showing it to someone.

I later asked her what she told people when it wouldn’t turn on -

“Oh, I just told them that it needed to be charged. I wasn’t lying, it does need to be charged”

No off position to the switch of genius on that child.

I’m not all that worried about her running up a huge phone bill though…

Did I mention that Big really hates talking on the phone?

She always has.

You see, for Big it’s all about being able to show her friends that she’s cool, that she has a phone too, that she fits in. Apparently the rule book only says you have to own a phone, not that it has to work.

The thing is we are going to have to seriously consider getting Big a phone of her own soon. She’s starting to go on school and church trips without us, and she wants to babysit her sister this summer and we don’t own a home phone.

Decisions are going to have to be made and rules outlined.

Until then I’m going to pick my battles and let her pack around the Ranger’s old phone.

 

 

 

 

What, Sissy, No Wally?

So, last year I made some sort of “Goals.”

Two to be exact.

Goal 1: More self reliant children

Goal 2: Save money with M’ah coupons!

I bet you’ve just been DYING to know what happened! 

Right?

Well, Goal 1 with the kids was something that was a forced action.

The Ranger injured his back in May, and spent the entire summer in bed.

Isn’t this the sweetest photo! (Dear, Ranger,I hope you don’t divorce me for sharing it!)

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We are still traveling the road to recovery. It has been bumpy, but we are persevering!

However, over the summer, the girls took on a lot of responsibility.

They fetched and carried for their Daddy. 

They fixed their own breakfast and lunch while I was at work.

They tried NOT to kill each other.

Baby is now the gourmet toast maker in the family.

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She cooks it gangsta style!

Her specialty is cinnamon and sugar toast, macaroni and cheese and Spaghettio’s.

Big is a hot dog, microwave pancake, and frozen pretzel connoisseur. 

They both have shown the ability to clean and tidy.

Although, I’ve noticed that them knowing how to do it and doing it are two different things!

Baby is rarely tidy, she takes after me. 

Big is a bit more tidy, however, she HAS to leave a book on the dining room table at all times! Apparently one cannot eat without reading at the same time!

Goal 2 took on a life of it’s own.

My three ring binder and I probably have wanted signs in the stores all over town!

I don’t have an exact figure for my savings for the year, but I saved around $600 at Kroger’s alone. I also have a habit of price matching between WalMart and Kroger’s and then adding my coupons. However, WalMart is not helpful enough to show me my savings and pulling out the calculator got pretty boring. BUT, I estimate that I saved pretty close to $1,000 this year in sales, coupons and bonus points.

My personal Goals for this year are a bit different than last year:

Goal 1: No WalMart.

As most of you know, this is easier said than done! Especially in Middle-of-Nowhere, TN! But the challenge was made by the Ranger.

“I bet you can’t go without shopping at WalMart,” He said.

Game. On.

We had been talking about how we didn’t know where all our salaries had gone. We make decent money, especially since I’m working now. We’re not vacationing in Hawaii (Sorry, Bitty), but we have a house, groceries, food, vehicles, etc. which is more than most. I’m not complaining about what we have. I’m complaining about the fact that I KNOW we make enough to put more into savings than we are. 

His response was that it went to WalMart. Their marketers are great! I mean really, how many of us run in for just one or two things and leave an hour later after spending a hundred bucks?

Just me?

Doubtful.

I’m on a mission to A.) prove my dear, sweet husband wrong, and B.) save money while doing it!

So, we’re halfway through January and I haven’t been to WalMart. It calls for more planning on my part, but I’ve stopped thinking, “I’m just going to run into WalMart for this one thing!”

Now Goal 2 is purely selfish. 

I admit it.

Goal 2 involves something I rarely get to do in person.

NO! It is NOT exercise! I exercise plenty! 

It is to spend time in the same physical location as my Sissy.

I miss my Sissy.

Darn, I’m crying.

My Sissy came for a week last Summer.

We went to WalMart. 

We went to lunch.

We went to the Container Store. (we LOVE the Container Store!)

She explained to Big about bratty Baby Sissy’s.

We giggled, we guffawed, we gabbed.

It was all good.

Then she went home, and I miss her.

So, my goals are for me this year and not necessarily for the whole family – 1. prove the Ranger wrong and 2. go see my Sissy. Pretty simple-ish. Maybe.