I’m more than ready for this, well, most of it.

340606_2681636767560_253894517_oOkay, so I’m a little behind in posting this, but better late than never! I got busy and forgot it was in my draft folder ready to go. Somedays I think if my head weren’t attached, I forget that too!

Five years ago, I sat on my bed with this brand new creature in my arms and I was freaking out. Big time. She was my second child, so I wasn’t freaking out about raising her, I was already screwing up the first one, the second time around it’s cake, but rather, how were we going to afford to raise her? Daycare for 2 kids is expensive and we didn’t make a lot, but got by. But having two in full-time care was going to be a hardship.


Well, with an amazing support system of friends and family, we did it. And now, finally, the day we’ve been waiting for is upon us. 

THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN!
For Crandall Kid 2, that is.

first day of kindergarten little hands on backpack strap

Every parent is different, so I mean no disrespect, but I am not one that cries when their kid goes to school. I’m happy! One, my bank account is a little happier and I can afford to finally pay some bills off, tw0, it’s part of life. They are getting bigger, although I told both of them that they need to slow down the growing up just a bit. Sigh… And three, this is their time. Their time to learn, make new friends, grow, explore and figure out who they are and it’s flat our fascinating to watch.

I have girls, which means emotions run really high at our house and I’m dreading the tween years big time, but hey, I’m stocking up on wine right now, so it’s all good. I’m dreading the drama (which if what I have experienced in the last fews months is any indication of what’s to come, I’m doomed.

Until then, happy parents unite! School has started, a new year has begun and it’s time to enjoy watching them explore and experience life.

Good luck to all!

 

I am unfinished.

via Daily Prompt: Unfinished

Unfinished. What a powerful word.

My life changed when I got married and I thought that my life was starting, and for a while it was. Fast forward 14 years, 2 cross country moves, 2 kids, 3 dogs, a cat, a dozen or so fish later, 3 jobs and 2 milestone birthdays and sadly, that chapter is closing. It is finished.

14051759_10209586107556942_1771309717155984154_n

 

It’s not awesome, but it’s not horrible either. Nobody truly likes to close a chapter and be done. We have kids, so that chapter in my life only remains unfinished in the sense that the marriage is over, but the parenting element is alive and well and if my girls are anything like me, they will make sure that my job as a mom is never finished. The chapter of him and I, however,  of hopes and dreams of a life together as a couple are finished and with that ending, I become someone new and far from finished, I’m alive and raw and hopeful and scared, responsible, irresponsible, caring, fair, and proud and excited of who I am becoming. I am unfinished.

 

 

 

Daily Prompt: Perplexed

via Daily Prompt: Perplexed

To be honest, I’m totally perplexed about what is going on in my life right now. Without going into a lot of detail let’s just say that I have entered into a chapter of change. I turned 40, I got a tattoo to celebrate, my youngest started kindergarten, I started another grad class at UVA and my personal life is weird. All of this happened within 2 weeks. I need wine. Lots of wine.

I’m all for adventure, but can we just chill the hell out for a few minutes so I can get my bearings? I’m cool with challenges, they make life interesting, but I’m totally perplexed as to how I got where I am today. Why didn’t I see the signs? Or did I and did I just choose to ignore them? Time will tell what will happen next, but I am more excited than ever to find out what comes next. Although a bit freaked out at the same time. Life is perplexing. Would we have it any other way? I didn’t think so.

You have your beliefs. I have mine. Can we agree to disagree? I guess not.

ed188db6b84896d9c1c6fbf583bdb1ee

Maybe I’m naive, but shouldn’t people just let people live as they wish? Okay, I’m naive. Or stubborn because I won’t give up this dream. Who knows. Either way, I’m beyond annoyed, I’m pissed.

To many that know me, it’s not a secret that I don’t believe in organized religion. It does nothing for me and I simply can’t comprehend leaving something up a God in a book. However, this does NOT mean that I don’t respect your belief in it. I have some really good friends who are very religious and it doesn’t bother me in the least. In fact, up to age 12 I was raised going to church, was married in a church and even tried going for a while. I met great people along the way. What I don’t respect, and never will respect, is you pushing your beliefs, knowing full well, what mine are, onto mt kids when I am not around. That is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. If you are bent on converting me to your way of thinking, go through me, not my children. It’s not acceptable behavior.

Why am I so upset? Why am I writing this? I feel I have to. I feel I have to, yet again, make it clear to so many, that I am Agnostic. I like to think there is something out there, but I don’t know what, but I simply don’t believe in organized religion. Why you ask? It’s a personal feeling. Religion has brought much more suffering than necessary to this world from the early ages on. Fast forward to present day and women’s rights are being ripped away, or fought against desperately, by those that do nothing but “quote” the bible, because it’s against their beliefs to allow women certain rights to their own body. How is that okay to any female out there? I mean seriously? That’s just one issue. I’m terrified for my girls. But that’s another blog. I find myself on the cusp of the bible belt where I live and it’s an interesting balancing act to not offend someone out here. This country wasn’t founded on religion. It gives freedom of it to us. We can worship as we see fit, without persecution. That’s the part that often gets forgotten. Without persecution.

So why am I here? Well, yesterday, I my child went over to play with her friend and she comes home with a bible. WTH? Who does this? Especially since I have talked to this mom about our wishes and she agreed to disagree and respect our wishes. It seems that is not the case as this isn’t the first offense.

It started off innocently enough, by my daughter coming home and saying that her friends mom said she should join them at church. That she could spend Saturday night and go with them on Sunday. While I was not amused that she would go through my kid instead of me, I let it slide. I brushed off the next issue, or rather, non-issue, since I knew they were going to a youth group night and I had no problem with the girls going because it was going to be a fun night out for them. And the mom asked me if it was okay first before going. Pizza, kids & fun and a little exposure. I’m okay with that. What I am not okay with is the mom then saying, you should come with us every Saturday or come with us to church. Can you ask your mom if you can come to church with us. Um… no.

Our daughter asked us the other day as we were driving if it was okay that she liked science because she was told liking science would make Jesus mad. WHAT? Sean and I were speechless. Who would say that? It was a different adult, different church, saying it through my daughters friend. My poor kid was so upset that she was making someone mad, someone that in our eyes, maybe not yours, but certainly ours, is not real. Why would you do this to someone, especially a child? Cause them distress? Makes me sick. It’s also one of the big reasons organized religion and myself do not get along.

To me, living a good life, being kind to others, letting others have their own beliefs, sexual orientations, or whatever they wish, and just going about my day, is what makes a good person. By learning new things, exploring, asking questions, challenging the status quo, finding your own way, that is what makes life exciting and worth the fight.

If finding your own way means that you’ve found a church community that makes you feel happy and fulfilled, I’m happy for you, I really, truly, am. If it means that because you found one, everyone should be there too and you feel you need to preach at me at every turn and/or recruit through my kids, shame on you. I’m not telling your child that she shouldn’t believe in God, I would NEVER do that, #1 not my place and #2 it’s just plain wrong. Those are my beliefs, not hers or her parents. By telling her she is wrong to believe such a thing is unethical and just plain cruel.

We get a lot of flack for our beliefs (or in many eyes, non-beliefs), but they are ours. Our kids are growing up to be kind, compassionate, hard working, open minded and smart members of society. They do not need Jesus, or the bible, to do this. I don’t go around to everyone telling them are crazy for believing in God and going to church and tithing. Why would I? Honestly, if it makes you happy, go for it. But please have the same respect for me and my family.

And for the sake of decency, STOP trying to use my kids to further your own agenda.

New Fans

Partners

Last Saturday we were able to see our first pro soccer game and watched as the local team beat the visiting team! Our youngest, was pretty bored and annoyed through it, but our oldest was having a blast just taking it all in. It probably didn’t hurt that they got soda, nachos and cotton candy, but hey, it was a different than usual Saturday night.

This moment shows the two of them, now that the youngest was hopped up on sugar and nachos, cheering on the team in unison, which so rarely happens, they are sisters after all and competition is high. I adore this photo. It’s happy, exciting, new and it’s showcasing a new experience in their young lives, one we hope we can emulate in the future many more times.IMG_3296

The power in being alone

Solitude

Solitude can be scary, it can be exhilarating. It can lift us up or drown us. I personally don’t mind being alone. I am comfortable there. Granted, I do like hanging out with friends, but I’m turning into a homebody and I’m cool with that. In a house with 2 kids, a husband and 2 dogs, life gets loud. Very loud. When it gets quiet, it’s very quiet, and I cherish those moments. It allows me to slow down and reconnect. To think about things, who I am, what I want and what I have. For me, solitude is a chance to regroup and recharge so I can deal with all the loud my life offers.

I just don’t understand.

I don’t understand how someone can be so hateful toward another just because of their race, gender or sexual identity. How does what someone else does or looks like affect you so much that you have to spew racial slurs or deny rights to someone just based on looks or beliefs? What makes you so much more “enlightened” than your neighbor? The best people I have ever met, have been those that have been through the most trials and tribulations. The ones that just seem to get it and treat others with respect no matter what. They were raised right and I’m proud to say that I was raised to see the good in others and to not judge. That all are equal. If you treat me like dirt, well then my judgement and corresponding treatment of you is justified but otherwise, why not just let people live their lives as they want as long as it doesn’t affect you? The intense disrespect our President gets from those in the House & Senate is disgusting. So you don’t like him personally? Fine. But treat the man with respect. One, he’s your boss. Two, he’s the leader of the country. It’s a no brainer. You respect the office and you respect the people who live in this country.  Seems simple enough. I just don’t understand.

I don’t understand organized religion. I’m a proud agnostic. I’m more spiritual than religious. Organized religion, in my observation, brings misery and death to so many. It breeds intolerance, not tolerance, which is ironic since if you do believe, Jesus was profoundly tolerant. Instead, those handing out the most injustice through the limitations of women’s rights, gay rights and well, any rights they don’t agree with, are the first to hide behind their “Christian” values. GOD did not give us the right to bear arms or stand with Liberty and Justice for all, a few old white guys in office decided to change the wording to fit their needs. If you want to practice organized religion, by all means, go for it. If it brings you peace or strength, I’m happy for you. It’s your life. I just ask that you don’t make me practice it or push it on me or try to tell me I’m going to hell because I don’t believe. That’s not right. Our lives are our lives to live as we wish. Aren’t they? I just don’t understand.

war-against-christianity

I don’t understand the attack on women in today’s society. How far back to the stone age do those in “power” want us to fall back? Are they threatened by us? Our brains, our strength, our courage? I will never, ever, ever understand Phyllis Schlafly and her utter disrespect for women and her destruction of the ERA. Feminism is more than GIRL POWER, it’s about equal pay, equal rights and just plain respect from others. Not all feminists hate men, and those that do, in my opinion, do more damage than good. In my mind, naive as it may be, feminism is about standing up for yourself and your rights. We are all equal. I don’t understand how a woman, in this day and age, can vote conservative, given their platform on women’s rights at the moment. I just don’t understand.

quote-Susan-B.-Anthony-men-their-rights-and-nothing-more-women-60800

I don’t understand how to explain to my daughters what is happening in this world and to their rights. I am grateful they are still so young, so hopefully a lot of this mindset will be dead and gone by the time they have to experience it. And no, I’m not simple enough to believe that it’ll go away, I just mean those in the house and senate that are trying to make these laws and continuously fight to take women’s rights away, will start to die out. What I wouldn’t give for term limits in the house/senate right now. I hope and wish that my girls grow up strong and wise and sure of themselves and I will do my best to provide them with that foundation, but it’s an uphill battle for sure that I wish they, all these years later after women fought for the right to vote and equal pay and abortion rights, that they have a chance and a say in their future. Why it’s still an issue is a mystery to me. I just don’t understand.

%d bloggers like this: