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I’m a church-crier and other embarrassing confessions from this weekend

29 Apr

I took out a five-year-old. At work on Friday, I was taking little Becca to a Spanish camp placement visit in Oak Park (a suburb very close to the city). I printed out directions (despite having lived in Oak Park for a full year) and followed them, which was my first mistake, because they took me through downtown which was miserable with traffic. I should have taken the freeway, but soon it was too late to switch routes and we were running LATE. I called the place and said we’d be there soon but I really, really hate being late, so I wanted to get there as soon as possible. After we’d parked and paid the meter, Becca and I crossed the street and I suggested we run. We rarely run, because running is stupid and Becca prefers to run at recess, not when being asked. But she knew we were late so she agreed. We started running and the stupid uneven sidewalk paired with my inherent klutzy-ness caused me to trip and fall to the ground taking poor Becca down with me! We were holding hands and there was no escaping our double-fall. She started to cry, and we examined our wounds while the homeless guy down at the corner shouted to us, “Are you OK?” I replied that yes, we were fine while attempting to soothe a teary-eyed Becca, getting her laugh it off and suggested that Nini had learned her lesson, no running in Oak Park!! We brushed ourselves off and got back to it, this time, walking briskly but not running. We passed the homeless guy who started to say, “Ma’am, would you—,” I cut him off saying “Sorry, we’re in a hurry Mister.” He says, “Yea you in hurry, that’s why you tripped.” Well played homeless man, well played.

lovely (older) photo of Becca and I

I pissed off my neighbor. In my condo building lives this sweet older woman across the hall. Her name is Fran. When she first saw me moving in back in 2009 she assumed I was another renter because the condo was getting renovated at the time. Nope, that was all me! I bought it! Fran was happy to learn this because she did not like having renters moving in and out year after year (the previous owner had used my junior one bedroom as a rental property.) Over the last three years, Fran and I have exchanged Christmas cookies and causal conversation. I’m kind of an excellent tenant, if I do say so myself. My idea of hosting a party is having girls over for wine and girl talk. The last few months I’ve barely been home because I’ve been nesting with the Scottish in our apartment on the other side of the city. Well, as the Scottish and I were clearing out my place yesterday we ran into Fran, still in her dressing gown at 2 PM I might add, and we started chatting with her. She asked what we were doing and I said I’m moving in with the Scottish because we got engaged! Yay! She was excited and happy for us! Then she asks, “So are you going to sell the place?” I say, “Nope, we’re going to get a renter in here sometime in August.” Cut to the most crestfallen woman I’ve ever seen. It was like she’d be told her dog died. A RENTER!?!??! HOW AWFUL!!! She recovered with, “Well, much happiness to you both, and then promptly shut the door. Awkward city. So I’m currently seeking really nice, super quiet and perhaps even boring, squeaky clean person who is hardly ever home to rent my condo and keep elderly neighbor happy at the same time… sigh.

AFTER

I cried in church. I’m a church-crier, it’s true. I feel like I’ve shared this little nugget on “Drama Happens” once before but I’ll share it again. I realize I’m quite the obnoxious over-sharer and but this specific confession really brings everyone’s judgy-eyes out. “You cry in church? But… why?!!?!?” It is weird. I tend to cry at about 90% of the sermons I hear and I don’t even know why! I guess it’s triggered by a sweet personal story, or a quote or phrase that makes me think, or when something reminds me of one the relationships in my life. Whatever the reason, if I feel intense emotion (good or bad) my eyes start to fill up. I’ve gotten quite good at blinking the tears away or letting them pool until I can get a good swipe of my hand up to my face to wipe them away all at once. Still, it gets tricky. And it’s just a very public place in a very quiet room and suddenly I feel like all eyes are on me and public display of emotion. If anything, it gives the Scottish more comedic material. Aren’t I the nicest?

Does anyone else do something really embarrassing that is kind of odd?

Quote: “But I learned that there’s a certain character that can be built from embarrassing yourself endlessly. If you can sit happy with embarrassment, there’s not much else that can really get to ya.” Christian Bale

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“We talk about your heart, bout your brains, and your smarts, and your medical charts, and when you start”

25 Jan

My favorite relationship of all is probably the one I have with myself. Probably. I love spending time with myself but I do find it to be frustrating at times. My brain is powerful and I’ve yet to find the off switch so it can be very exhausting to be me. I’m crazy, loud, unashamed, and intense. But overall I have to say I am a big fan of myself. Plus, I’m attractive. One of my favorite stories about my nanny kid Derek takes place while I was driving them home from school one day last year. I must have told Derek he was going to have to do something that he didn’t want to do because he playfully said that he did NOT have to listen to me because I wasn’t his mom or his dad. And I said something to the effect of, “Oh yes you do, I’m in charge right now.” To which Derek replied, “Well, but you are kind of pretty.” I have no clue how that made sense in his mind, but I’ll take it. And now it’s time to take stock of this pretty girl’s life. It’s time for an update to access how things are going. I normally do this in my head when I’m stressed out and trying to count my blessings, but in this case, it works as a blog post too.

House(s)– Apt: Feels like home after months of moving in items slowly, so much so that I have now reached the point of having to pack a bag to go BACK to my condo. It’s clean, the laundry is done, there’s food in the fridge, but I still feel like there’s a million things left to get done.
Condo: Feels empty but clean. I go back once or twice a week to check the mail, fetch things I need, or to relax and watch cable. Looking forward to the day when it will be an income property.

Job– Really good right now. I love my new schedule of working 4 ten-hour days. My mid-week day off allows me time to make appointments, clean the house, blog, work-out, and so much more. It leaves me feeling refreshed and ready to be a good nanny. Relationship with boss and kids are good, everyone’s doing well.

Boyfriend– Awwww, I love seeing him all the time. Just being in his presence calms me. We may fight (I know you’ve all read the last blog) sometimes, but I’m disgustingly happy with my Scottish.

Family– I.have.the.best.family.in.the.whole.world. I don’t even know how I got so lucky. Immediate and extended, it’s all goooooood. I have no reason to complain…ever. It’s good to remind myself of this.

Friends– I have a lot of friends. Sometimes it makes me feel like I’m spread very thin, but in the end, I just try to give as much as I can in that moment. I have an awesome best friend who I rarely see in MN, she knows the most about me of anyone, but I miss all the fun we used to have when we lived closer. I have a wonderful friend who’s planning a wedding and I’m very excited and focused on my Maid of Honor responsibilities right now. I can’t wait to celebrate her big day! I have two really lovely and special friends in New York that I can’t wait to go visit and submerge myself into their lives once again even if for a short time. I have my Sister Wives who are my local girls that make city living so amazing and fun. I don’t know where I’d be without them. And then I have artistic friends, childhood friends, old and new friends, each a unique relationship and each a blessing.

Car– HAHAHAHAHAHA. It’s an old Hyundai Elantra from 2004. I call her my silver baby, and I’m gonna drive her as long as I can. She has seen me through college and has been witness to many of my Chicago driving mistakes, but I wouldn’t want anything flashy. She’s perfect just the way she is, and she’s paid off.

Money– Oops, should have saved the laughter for this one!! 🙂 Money is and will be a struggle for a while, but I’d spend my last dime on someone who I care about, and one day I hope to not have to worry about it as much as I do now.

Blog– Going well for the most part. Some weeks are better than others, and I’m very excited to see how it grows.

Acting– Auditioning and that’s all I can do.

Weight Watchers– Lost 6 pounds in total so far. It’s one of the toughest things I’ve done in my life and also pretty easy at the same time if that makes any sense. It’s well worth the slimming rewards but I’ll never give up my love of food. I rewarded myself with a candy bar last week and to quote Rapunzel in the movie, Tangled, “BEST DAY EVER!”

God– How could I forget this one until last? Maybe that says a lot about where my head has been… My mom would say your favorite relationship should be the one you have with God.

Quote: Do you know the Toby Keith song called, “I Wanna Talk About Me?” Sometimes I picture the Scottish singing this to me even though he doesn’t like country music and he would never sing this song. It’s just the words that crack me up.

“I wanna talk about me
Wanna talk about I
Wanna talk about number one
Oh my me my
What I think, what I like, What I know, what I want, what I see
I like talking about you you you you, usually, but occasionally
I wanna talk about meeeeeee”

“happy wife, happy life” times 4

30 Nov

Ahhhhh, polygamy. I’m very seriously fascinated with the whole idea of it. That doesn’t mean I’m interested in practicing polygamy myself (don’t worry Scottish). It’s just that I am a connoisseur of relationships and I love learning about unique and beyond-the-normal-person’s-comfort-zone relationships, and that includes polygamy. Polygamy is the practice of one man being married to more than one wife at one time. It’s a practice derived from a very conservative sect of the LDS (Mormon) church known as the Fundamentalist Mormons. I do not believe in their same faith so it makes sense that I don’t believe in polygamy, but man, do I respect it? Yes.

Did you know there is a term for one woman marrying multiple husbands? Cause I didn’t until now! It’s call polyandry. Apparently it was more common in Indian cultures back in the day. But if you ask a Fundamentalist they will tell you they do not believe in polyandry. Speaking awkwardly on behalf of the people who practice polygamy, I would say the biggest misconception is that polygamy is about a man’s need for sex. Hahaha. Ask any married man and he’ll tell you that having a wife does NOT necessarily mean you will be having tons of sex all the time. Marriage is a choice, a commitment, and a lot of work, so why would a guy choose extra nagging, oops, I mean more work! 🙂 If you want more sex, find a mistress. (please don’t do that though)

So, I’ve always been interested in this way of life but ever since the TLC show, “Sister Wives,” began airing in 2010, my fascination has grown in a positive way after seeing a family live this lifestyle up close and personal. The Browns are a pretty normal, conservative Utah family, now relocated to Las Vegas, except for the fact that the dad, Kody, is married to four different wives. These four wives call each other, “sister wives,” because as you can imagine, they develop really close bonds, bordering those of a sister. Personally, I love the concept of a sister wife, which is essentially a woman with whom you share your time, your life, your children, and most importantly, your husband. It is bizarre and it is different, but from what I’ve observed, they can be really loving and supportive relationships. I actually enjoyed the term so much that I encouraged one of my groups of girlfriends to take on the term as a nickname. Because why not? We all support each other through good times and bad, we celebrate big events and holidays together, and we share similar values. In my opinion, it’s the best part of being a sister wife. The worst part being, you share one man… which is obviously not the case between me and my friends.

Now I know it’s illegal to have more than one wife, and there is a ton of criticism surrounding polygamy due to child-brides and/or abusive husbands, which is definitely NOT OK, but those are select cases and not everyone in the demographic is doing that. The two biggest moral questions are, “What about the children?” and “Don’t the wives get super jealous?” Yes, what about the kids, how does it affect them, and also, how do the wives handle the intense feelings that come along with sharing the person you have the most intimate relationship with? Well, I can’t answer those questions, but I do think about them as well.

The whole reason I wanted to write about this topic is because I wanted to share part of this season’s finale of “Sister Wives.” Robyn (wife #4) just delivered her first baby with dad Kody. Everyone is over at her house to congratulate and rejoice in the happy news when Robyn asks to be alone with Meri (wife #1). Now you need some back story here, Meri has only one child with Kody while her other sister wives have multiple children with him. She has struggled with miscarriages over the years and at one point Kody asked her if she wanted to try IVF but she said no. Anyway, we’re back at Robyn’s bedside, moments after her home birth and Robyn tells Meri that she would like to be her surrogate. Mainly, she would be willing to carry and give birth to the child of Kody and Meri. What.a.gift.

Think of someone you know struggling to get pregnant, it’s very heart-wrenching isn’t it? Good things can come out of any thing, any person, and any situation. And even out of polygamy. Just… felt the need to share that.

Quote: “I never tell one client that I cannot attend his sales convention because I have a previous engagement with another client, successful polygamy depends upon pretending to each spouse that she is the only pebble on your beach.”

You know, big picture stuff…

20 Nov

What does God look like?

Is he male like people have thought for years because of the fatherly attributes associated with him? Is God a spirit with no gender? Is God a black woman because we want her to represent those in minority or those who are under-appreciated? Some of us believe that Jesus walked on earth as a human, but does God look human or is he just a presence?

I find this equally as fascinating as the question, “Does religion even exist?” I surround myself with believers and non-believers alike. I know people on both ends of the spectrum and I know that I fall somewhere in between. I do believe that there is something that exists that is greater than all of us and I believe it to be omnipotent and omnipresent. But what is it? Scientists say the world started with the big bang and religious faithfuls say the earth was created in seven days. Can there be a happy middle ground? Wouldn’t that be great if there was a place called “middle ground?” I bet it’s quite gray there, and I bet it’s a simple place where nothing really bad happens and nothing really good happens. But then I could believe in both sides of every story. I wouldn’t have to make decisions, and I could trust in…
democracy AND communism
fate AND freewill
evolution AND creation
Christianity AND Judaism
taxes AND tax breaks
pro-life AND pro-choice
Ashton Kutcher AND Demi Moore.

I don’t always know which side I believe in on what day, and I think there are so few things in life that are black and white. But for now, it’s enough for me to believe in God, but still have questions.

So, what does God look like? Well, God looks like everything. And I mean that, literally. God is the wind (the damn Chicago wind), he’s the sidewalk, the laughing child, the uptight old man, she’s the spilled smoothie, the googly-eyed couple walking down the street, it’s the couch you sit on, your dog you love, he’s the tall buildings and the beautiful plants, she’s the homeless veteran, the angry and alone single-mom, she’s your best friend, and your favorite pair of shoes. God is in books, on billboards, on TV, in stores, in your family and everywhere you look. For me, God is in all aspects of life and energy. Wherever you see love, God is there, wherever you see hate, God is there. Life isn’t always good, right? We all have bad days, really really bad days. Days that make you question everything in your life, but God is present during all of it. I don’t know if God is female or male or what God looks like, but I just know that I see God. I see God all the time.

Quote: “God is in the sadness and the laughter, in the bitter and the sweet. There is a divine purpose behind everything- and therefore a divine presence in everything.” Neale Donald Walsch

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