Just Say No

I feel like I periodically have this conversation with the internet, myself, my dog… and for a time things will improve but then sure as God made Little Green Apples – things every so slowly fall back into old habits and I find myself confused and stressed and…


Saying No is one of the hardest things for me.  It’s probably one of the hardest things for lots of people, I get that.  I can rationalize it (the “busy-ness”…) about seventy-six thousand ways and convince myself that it’s just the way it is.

But – that’s not acceptable.  Because my priority has to be me – my kids, my husband, my life, my health, my passions.  I am not passionate about cardboard fundraising boxes.  So NOT PASSIONATE about that.

There are 800 kids at my kids elementary school and about 10 consistent volunteers.  It’s similar at Matthew’s middle school.  It’s very easy to feel guilt and obligation when there are very few hands to help very Awesome People trying to do super amazing things for kids.

I am VP of fundraising at the Elementary school, and president of Boosters at the Middle school.  I also chair cultural arts for the Middle school and lead a small group with regard to communication processes.  I am treasurer for both kids club soccer teams. 

None of those things on their own are a really big deal.  Maybe one or two are more time intense – but honestly none of it is that overwhelming on it’s own. 

All of them though?  That sucks.  And it’s not like it was a plan I had in mind to go do all this stuff – it’s back doors and side conversations and BOOM – done.  It’s not intentional and I get no jollies on writing all that stuff above down – in fact it makes my stomach turn. 

The angel on one shoulder says that I am making a difference to so many kids – helping to drive programs and money that enrich their school life. 

The devil on the other shoulder is screaming WHO THE HELL CARES???  At WHAT COST?  You run around like a freak show, living in that stupid van for hours at a time!  For WHAT??!  You miss time with your own children in your own house making memories with THEM.  The ones that actually LOVE YOU.

“Angel” pipes back up YOU ARE DOING THIS because nobody else will, and it is great for your kids to see you involved and passionate and supporting your school!

And then I am stuck between these two places. 

I had a great catch up chat with one of my best friends this morning and as per usual she has the most amazing way of bringing clarity to my life.  Her wisdom and un-wavering support of any small move I make (like not going to Canada after Christmas so we can just relax as a family…???  Sorry Canada…. (why do I apologize??!) ) makes her do cartwheels – which builds my confidence level around being able to process and pull back on some of these things. 

See I think my not saying No is directly tied to my Needing You to Think I am Worthy of Whatever.  (ugh – playing therapist to myself is not fun.) 

Is it the oldest child thing?  Divorced parents thing?  What drives me into this corner so regularly?

And how to I trade the box for a bubble??!

Also – I just deleted all the signupgenius time slots I had stuck myself into for the rest of the year. 

And it feels good.


March 18, 2014…

Matthew had one of his every-4-month checkups at UNC yesterday for the peanuts and we were finally given a date for open challenge.

This is both insane and awesome at the same time.  Insane because this kid that was (is?) so allergic to peanuts from a teeny tiny age is now going to have to eat peanuts in a controlled environment while I watch.  Awesome because this kid that was (is?) allergic to peanuts from a teeny tiny age is now going to have to eat peanuts in a controlled environment while I watch!

He started the peanut desensitization in March of 2009 and I remember that day so clearly because we were at Duke (the study moved hospitals part way though) and I had 2 month old Amelia with me who was still at the refusing to nurse/sleep/do anything but lay on me point in her existence.  I was beyond exhausted and stressed but there was NO WAY we could say no to this opportunity to potentially rid Matthew of this stupid ass allergy he was diagnosed with.  We rolled in and they hooked him up to IV’s and monitors to watch and see what happened while they very gradually introduced 1/3000th (approx.) of a peanut to his system.

Nearly 4 years later, he eats 4000mg (about 13 peanuts) daily in a milkshake (that he hates) and has no problem with it in terms of allergic reaction.  We don’t worry about cross contamination or decontamination or any of that these days – it’s both liberating and freaky when we’ve come off years of having to be so, so careful.  It took over a year to get him up to the 4000mg dose level, and he’s been there ever since.  His CAPRast numbers shot up after the first 6 months (which is expected) and have gradually been coming down ever since.  Yesterday’s blood draw results should be ready in a few weeks, so we will see where he is at.  I am hoping for 30’s!  (at his maximum he was almost 1400!)

March 18th will be an interesting day – one we have longed for!  After the challenge he has NO DOSES for 30 days – and then we go back again for another challenge and see what happens.

I can see the light at the end of this – and it’s a beautiful sight!


Ummm… Hi?

It’s October. 
School routines are well established and everyone is grooving along.  Interims were great!   We are humming along.  I haven’t had much to write about it would seem – for a while.  Or maybe I do but finding the time to collect the thoughts and type them in is the issue…
I started guitar lessons – which have been on the “list” forever!  I am terrible but having fun!
We had a fantastic summer – so many memories!  Canada, Beach… easy days and mellow nights. 

New Garage doors (and lots of repaired siding)

BIG hair chop back in June.  It’s mostly grown in again…

Front page when Chicago beat Boston.  🙂



My niece!

Ken’s side (a few missing)

Favourite pic from the summer.  The kids had no idea this water was not yet 70 degrees!!!!  It was awesome. 

Cousins!  (my side…)

Friends!  Captain style!

Matt got used to the freezing water… 

Birthday present realized… Jays game, jersey and Independence Day rolled into one.
We are starting a new house project in 2 weeks – THAT I will blog about!  🙂

She’s Ten…

You know sometimes – sometimes I don’t feel like I deserve such an awesome daughter as the daughter I have in Ainsley. 

Every year I gush about the smiles and heart as big as the earth itself, her humble way of living even at such a young age.  Being the middle she does sometimes get lost in ways…

This past year has given her and I chances to be together one on one – soccer tournaments and (believe it or not…) some brief shopping times.  I see who she is becoming and quite honestly it sometimes makes me weepy.  Because she is NOT like me.  She’s so much better.  Kinder.  Softer.  Patient.  Loving.  Calm.  Funny and intelligent and so very beautiful.  Strong.  Confident.  Always gracious.

The hope I have as we celebrate her tenth birthday is for me to be more like her.  To learn from her, to just dial my own self down enough to be more like this daughter, this girl – that I love so very much.

Happy Birthday to my girl…

Love Mama  XOXO


Our weekend of National Indoor Championships – in pictures…
Half way, time to play.
Seriously – could not be more adorable – but tough as nails.


Very Little of this…
New shirt!!

Goody bags – it was like CHRISTMAS for these girls!  So much stuff – our parents really pulled together great treats! 

Dancing – like CRAZY dancing…

Candy factory visit!

Getting ready for kickoff…


Two wins later – time to pass out!

2 more wins – CHAMPS!  Medals…

The team. Go NLA!

Car-Buyers Anonomyous…

This happened. 
I know…  I know.  Seriously??  I know.


Last weekend was the most perfect February Sunday Weather we have had in a long time.  Somebody else’s disorganization (that I won’t go into here) resulted in my kid and another (few…) being left out of some fun – so we made our OWN fun.  (Am I still a bit bitter?  Yes.)
This is Amelia riding up our street.  She wants so badly to go with only two wheels – but still freaks out when she hears a car coming and heads for the ditch – so I don’t think we are anywhere close to her being actually ready for total control.

Cute though, eh??

Amelia and P adore each other.  This kid can RIDE.  He’s going to be a future cyclist!

It was a lot for them to get up this hill but they did it!


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