Ask Away Friday The Halloween Edition

“Boys and girls of every age, wouldn’t you like to see something strange?”

This is Halloween, this is Halloween. For this lovely day of fun, sweets, and fright, I’ve teamed up with Christy from Uplifting Families for a holiday themed version of Ask Away Friday. So grab your favorite candy, kick up your witch’s boots, and read away!

AAFChristyCollage

1. Are you planning on doing anything for Halloween?

My fiance and I are going to curl up at home with movies and snacks. No kiddos to take out, and our little doggy doesn’t really like a lot of commotion, so we won’t be handing out candy either. Just us and a little Time Warp ;)

2. What is your favorite kind of Halloween candy?

Anything chocolate. Seriously. Probably the better question is what candy do I hate. The answer being Necco wafers. Those things are disgusting.

3. Have you visited a pumpkin patch or other fall themed party this year?

No! *sad panda* I had high hopes for a corn maze or something, but then I got the sinus infection that lasted nearly all month, and just as I was feeling well enough, the torrential rains started. It’s like October conspired against me.

4. What do you think will be the most popular costume this year for girls?

Probably Elsa from Frozen. I’ve already seen it all over my timeline this week. Which? I get it. She’s a strong Disney character for little girls to look up to, and I think many can relate to the morals/emotions behind the story line.

For boys?

Huh. I’m not sure what the big movies were this year. Maybe characters from Guardians of the Galaxy. My own kiddo is wearing a serial killer clown mask, a hoodie, and jeans. I sure hope he’s not planning on handing out candy, he’ll probably scar some little tyke.

5. What was your favorite Halloween costume growing up?

When I was four I got to be Rainbow Brite. It was one of those vinyl plasticy costumes with the masks you couldn’t breathe out of, but it was awesome. And now I want to be Rainbow Brite again.

6. Did you make any Pinteresting Halloween treats?

Sadly, no. Again with October working against me. Dinner tonight will probably be grilled cheese because that honestly sounds divine right now.

7. Do you plan on dressing up for Halloween? If so, what do your plan on
wearing?

No costume this year. So I’ll be rocking yoga pants and a cozy tee. But I am wearing orange socks with little black jack o’lanterns all over them, so that has to count, right?

8. Do you enjoy going to haunted houses?

I do NOT. I hate having things pop out at me. Funny story, I went to one when I was pregnant with my kiddo. One of the “actors” lunged out at me and I hit him. I was not-so-kindly asked to leave the attraction by on-site security. I guess it’s against the rules for people to touch the actors but not for them to touch us? I don’t know. My parting words were, “HE SHOULDN’T HAVE LUNGED OUT AT A VERY LARGE PREGNANT WOMAN!” I’m classy like that.

9. Pick one: Would you rather go through a haunted house or stick your
hand in a bucket of unknown goodies?

I can always wash my hand, so I choose option 2.

10. What is your favorite scary movie?

I’ve not liked any scary movie I’ve been forced to watch. I like suspense, but I hate gore and grime and maniacal screaming. My favorite movie to watch on Halloween? Young Frankenstein, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, or Nightmare Before Christmas.

 

Thank you for a great Halloween swap, Christy! I hope you all have a great holiday, and celebrate safely, however you choose to do it. Now pass the chocolate!

What If Your Pain Were Visible?

What if your invisible illness could be made visible?

What if you could wear something that brought attention to the pain you’re feeling, the pain no one can see?

What would that item look like? Would it look something like this?

Invisible---Girls2

This design is the brainchild of professional kettlebell athlete and fitness coach Megan Densmore, in conjunction with Labs* by One Squat Shop. The shirt is a custom print launched to support the production of Invisible, “a film challenging the way society treats and views chronic invisible illness.”

“Over my years of living with Fibromyalgia, I connected with others dealing with similar challenges and became interested in how these health issues showed up in our personal relationships and social lives.” -Megan

Though Megan is lucky enough to currently be living without symptoms, she says this has only reinforced her motivation for this project. She’s been able to experience the world both with and without symptoms, and seen the impact Fibro has had on hers, and others, lives and relationships.

Invisible is a documentary featuring woman who are under 40, who look healthy but are managing serious health problems with daily symptoms. These woman will be sharing about how, since their symptoms can’t be seen with the naked eye, they struggle to maintain relationships, to be social, and continue working in the face of doubt and judgement from others.

The t-shirt/tank design was inspired by the invisibility of conditions like Fibromyalgia, RA, and Lupus. The design is an answer to the question: “What if we could show everyone how we feel? What if they could see inside?” If you’re a movie buff, you might also notice the design is inspired by Nigel Tufnel’s green skeleton shirt in This is Spinal Tap.

So how can you get one of these awesome shirts?

Both the t-shirt and tank are pre-order and must have 15 orders to print. They are $25 USD plus $4.99 S/H. All the proceeds from the sales will go directly to the production of Invisible. We have to hurry, though, as the sale ends tomorrow, October 31, 2014 at midnight.

Below I’ve included a preview of the film. They are still looking for women to share their stories, so if you’d like to be involved please contact them at invisiblefilmteam@gmail.com and tell them I sent you.

I do hope you’ll join me in supporting the production of this film. It’s time we made our voices heard, and time we brought awareness and visibility to the pain we struggle with each day. I’ll be wearing my new tank soon, will you?

 

**Full Disclosure: I was approached by Labs* to check out this project, and lend it my voice if I was so inclined. I was not compensated in any way for writing this post. Clicking on the above affiliate links will enter me into a contest to win a free t-shirt or tank, as well as one to giveaway here. I fully believe this project is a worthy cause, and something that could benefit my readers. I would not share it here otherwise.

I Found Framily On A Mountaintop

On the Wednesday before Halloween five years ago, a new friend and I headed off for a little road trip. Little did we know our trip would involve a flat tire and being stuck on the side of a mountaintop road for the better part of six hours. Overnight.

Nubs

I met Nolan the same way I met Scotty, in a local internet chat room. Though, to be honest, Nolan and I didn’t chat much. When I finally met Nolan in person, it was in this weird period of time where we were both visiting our significant others and contemplating whether or not to move to be with them.

Since Nolan’s girlfriend and Scotty both worked, he and I often spent our days chatting while looking into relocating. We talked about everything under the sun, though much of our conversations often centered around food. Nolan is a great cook, and I was just starting to consider myself as more than just an “okay” cook. We shared recipes, talked about our favorite chefs, and day dreamed of one day opening a restaurant and writing our own cookbooks.

So on this Wednesday before Halloween, Nolan and I decided to take a road trip together to pick up a few things from our respective home towns to facilitate our moves to this new city. This trip took us damn near all over our great state and just as we were nearing the homestretch, we got a flat tire. On the top of a mountain. In the snow. In the middle of the night.

The car was borrowed, the tools didn’t fit the wheels, we were both dressed for valley weather, and not the snow. I had no cell reception and his battery was dead. We sat huddled outside an abandoned mountain resort office, using the outdoor outlet to plug in his phone so we could call for help. Our help was coming from nearly 3 1/2 hours away, and so we huddled in our respective front seats, occasionally turning on the car for heat. To keep ourselves from going crazy, or possibly giving way to hypothermia, we munched on junk food and talked. Somewhere around 4:00 am, we fell into hysterics. We joked and laughed about things which made no sense. We crafted the nicknames “Nubs and Stubs.”

Most of all, we kept each other sane. And somewhere between our toes going numb and all the Mountain Dew and Redvines, I realized that this guy had worked his way into my heart. I knew no matter what happened, he would always be my best friend.

Help arrived and we got the tire changed. We drove the rest of the way back to our new city, arriving nearly exactly 24 hours after we had left. We were cold, tired, crashing from a sugar overload, and more than a little angry at circumstances. But we had a new friend in each other, and memories to bind us.

Five years later Nolan (aka Nubs) is still my best friend, my adopted brother. We still laugh about that night stuck on the side of the mountain road, though others don’t seem to see the humor we do. Guess you had to be there.

Nolan is family. He will be the one who officiates mine and Scotty’s wedding next summer, and he’s the one I turn to always. There are many who don’t understand our relationship. Many who think men and women can’t be friends without some sort of romantic ish. There are many who swear we’re leading some sort of secret affair behind Scotty’s back. Those people? I feel sorry for them. How sad it must be to not have friends you count as family, no matter their gender. And how horrible it must be to be so mistrusting of those around you. Scotty is more than fine with mine and Nolan’s friendship, he also considers Nolan family. Nolan’s girlfriend, Court (NOT the one from five years ago), is also more than okay with our relationship. She is family. I call her my sister-in-law, and know I can turn to her for anything.

NubsandCourt

Nubs and Court have helped us move three separate times. They come to see Scotty play, and celebrate birthdays with us. We celebrate each others’ kiddos and life moments. They live about an hour away, and sometimes we don’t see each other for months, but it doesn’t change that we are all the very best of framily.

And to think, it all started on the side of a mountaintop with a flat tire.

I’m Grateful For You

It’s a chilly morning here in the PACNW and I couldn’t be happier. Fall is swirling outside my windows with the howling wind and occasional downpours. I’m bundled up in cozy jammies, slippers, and a fuzzy blanket. My days are now filled with cups of hot tea and apple cider. And gratitude. Always gratitude.

GratefulMondays

 

*I’m grateful Scotty has an understanding and emphatic employer. It’s rare these days to find someone who understands that while work is important, family comes first.

*I’m grateful for framily who visits with a gorgeous, air purifying plant to decorate my home and help me breathe better. A fellow spoonie who constantly goes out of her way to make my life better.

*I’m grateful for blogger friends who help me navigate this world as I continue to expand my horizons. Friends who answer texts, even while out celebrating. Friends who answer the call of “HALP! I don’t know what I’m doing!” with a laugh of understanding.

*I’m grateful for a partner who does the little things. The ones he thinks don’t matter, but they all add up to make my days so much smoother and easier. He makes the role of caregiver look easy, though we all know it is not.

*I’m grateful for a kiddo who is honest and upfront with us, even when he’s broken something he knows we can’t afford to replace. He is not in trouble because he came to us and told us what happened instead of trying to hide it, and he is already working on a solution.

*I’m grateful for a doctor who understands my life in pain, and never doubts me. He helps me manage those pain levels without judgement. He never questions me when I tell him I hurt, he just works with me to find me the best comfort available. His staff are all equally caring, and it makes it easy to turn to them for help.

*I’m grateful for framily who send me tools to help me on this journey with chronic illness. And chocolate, because obviously. For cookbooks and letters that make me smile. For notes and lists of treatment options. For a little something that touches the heart and lets me know you thought of me while you were continents away.

*I’m grateful for gift cards and the little I earn from various rewards sites that allows us to keep our heads above water.

*I’m grateful for understanding friends who don’t hold things against me, even when I hold them against myself. Especially then. For friends who know I haven’t forgotten about them, even if it appears I’ve fallen off the map.

*I’m grateful for all of you. All who read my words and offer encouragement and support. All who pass my words on to others. Each of you gives me the purpose to get up each morning and pour my heart out for the world. You give me strength to reach a little further, and share my words among other avenues.

Living Better: Parenting Through Pain

My gal Echo has graciously agreed to open up about parenting through pain with me and you all. She usually spends her days trying to hold on to what’s left of her sanity while raising and homeschooling two kiddos.

She can be found writing about her life on her blog The Domain of the Mad Mommy

 

When you are a parent, there are daily struggles.
When you are a parent, there are daily triumphs.
When you are a parent in pain, there is daily chaos.

Parenting is a hard enough job on it’s own. So much to do, so much to learn, so many sacrifices to make, so many benefits to reap. Add some pain into the mix and it can throw everything into turmoil!

Pain comes in different forms. There is physical pain, like the pain that I am experiencing with my mouth and multiple dental surgeries.

There is also mental and emotional pain. The pain that can’t always be seen, but is always there.

The emotional and mental pain, I believe, is more easily managed. Counseling, coping skills, natural remedies, medication, therapy. It takes a while to get into the “groove” of things, but it can happen.

Some of the coping skills I use to parent through my depression are:

*Blogging – Yes, blogging. I come online, I type shit out and I piss and moan to all of the people on the Internet that will read it. Does it help? It helps me. It helps me vent. It helps me process. It helps me laugh.
*Humor – They say that laughter is the best medicine and I happen to agree. I love taking the daily chaos and turmoil in my life and turning it into something that can make myself and someone else laugh!
*Drugs – Caffeine is my number one drug of choice! I need it, I love it, I wouldn’t be able to parent without it. I was on Prozac and Ambien for depression and insomnia, but I have weaned myself off of those and seem to be doing pretty good!
*Cooking/Eating – I love to go shopping, buy fancy ingredients, cook a fancy ass meal and then rub it in my extended family’s face! Like ha, see, see what I can do. Fuck you.

I also yell, swear, take a hot shower, take naps (when I can), eat ice cream, eat Taco Bell and cry. Yes, I cry. Sometimes, you just have to cry!

Physical pain is harder to navigate. When you are in physical pain, everything is amplified x100. Your kid’s whining sounds like a thousand babies crying. The chocolate that just stained your carpet, didn’t “just” stain the carpet, it stained your very soul! You feel like you haven’t slept in days and no one, no one is going to help you!

I’m a parent…
It’s never just one LEGO!
It’s like this:

It’s like this all the time!
It fucking hurts!

Here are some of the ways that I parent through physical pain:

*Let it go – Seriously, I tend to let a lot more slide because I am in pain. I don’t want to get up. I don’t want to move. I don’t want to get all worked up about the ALL of the toys being in the living-room.
*Sleep – I try to sleep when I can, where I can. Anytime, anywhere. If my kids are quiet and safe, I will sleep. Why? My body needs it to heal and I am less likely to bite someone’s head off when I am sleeping.

*Remedy – I try to remedy the pain in anyway possible! Seriously, I just want to stop hurting and when the doctors stop providing you with pain relief, you take things into your own hands!

It’s really about doing what you have to do for your kids and yourself. You have to parent through the pain because you have to be there for your kids. I know it sucks. Believe me. I deal with this shit everyday and although it sucks, royally, it is manageable. Give it time, make a plan and make sure that you have a strong support system. I’m not sure how I would cope if I didn’t have my husband supporting me and the support of the FABULOUS bloggers (my friends) that I have met online.

Don’t be afraid to reach out. Find a group. Online, offline, it doesn’t matter. Find someone you can talk to and not feel judged.

Write it down. Start a blog, write a journal. It really helps to get it out. To vent it. You don’t want to keep it bottled up.

Don’t be afraid to get help. Help for the emotional/mental pain and help for the physical pain. You do not need to deal with it alone!

Ask Away Friday The Birthday Edition!

Today is the lovely Miss Echo’s birthday!

HappyBDayEcho

To celebrate, Echo and I decided we’d do a birthday version of #AskAwayFriday. So here are ten questions (my five and her five, teamwork baby!) about birthdays, celebrations, and parties. See what I had to say, then run over to Echo’s site, The Domain of the Mad Mommy, to read her awesome answers and wish her the very best of birthdays!

My five-

1. What is the best birthday gift you’ve ever received? What is the best gift you’ve ever given?

The best birthday gift I’ve received was when my fiance searched out and bought the entire Outlander series for my 30th birthday. It was such a surprise that he’d not only remembered they were my favorite books, but was able to order them and have them shipped without my finding out. (I’m sneaky and hate the suspense of surprises.)

2. Do you like surprise parties, or do you prefer to be the party planner?

I love being the party planner, mostly because I have some control issues and I love to be crafty. But I’ve always secretly wished someone would throw me a surprise party.

3. What is your favorite party theme? (Whether you’ve actually done it or not)

I would love, love, LOVE to have a Mad Hatter Tea Party theme. So much so that some elements will be making an appearance at our wedding next year.

4. Are you a cupcake, sheet cake, or cheesecake kinda gal? And what’s your favorite flavor?

I’m sorry, did you say cake? If it has cake in the name, Ima eat it. Except carrot cake. Ew.

5. What would be your birthday wish this year?

Since my birthday just passed in August, I’ll say my wish for next year (the big 3-3 yo!) would be to be able to afford a great honeymoon, since our wedding is two days before my birthday next summer :)

Her five-

1. If you could have any celebrity chef cook you a birthday meal, who would it be and why?

Mario Batali. That man knows his way around pasta and cheese, which are two of my favorite food groups. Also, he loves good music, so I kinda feel like he’d be cool to have dinner with.

2. If you got free plane tickets to anywhere to use on your birthday, where would you go?

Since it’d be summer and my kiddo would be with me, the three of us would go to Orlando. Where I’d get to love on Tracie and her family, and then have them show us around Disneyworld.

3. What is the one thing that you always do for yourself on your birthday?

Um wow. I think I’ve just realized that I don’t really do anything for myself for my birthday…

4. Google what celebrities share your birthday, share a couple!

PicMonkey Collage
Photos from: here and here respectively

I don’t even have to Google it. I share a birthday with James Hetfield of Metallica. Which is pretty epic. But I did Google it, and here are a few others: Tom Brady (Ew), Ryan Lochte, Martha Stewart (Eh), and Tony Bennett. I’ll take James Hetfield and Tony Bennett to mean I was born to love music <3

5. What is one gift that you have ALWAYS wanted, but haven’t yet gotten?

A makeover. I’ve always dreamed of being surprised with a new hairdo, makeup, and wardrobe ala What Not To Wear on TLC. Even if it was on a much smaller scale, I would love the opportunity to be dolled up and pampered.

I really enjoyed talking birthdays with you, Echo! I hope you have a stellar day and weekend <3

**If you would like to join in the Ask Away Friday fun, email me personally, or check out their Facebook page for more info. 

Tuesday Ten: My Advice For Our Teens

I had a lovely chat with one of my favorite ladies this morning, and we were talking about kiddos and how fast they grow up, and how we moms just aren’t ready for the teen years. And I was inspired.

So here are the ten things I would tell my teenage son, and all my adopted kiddos.

*You are going to have crushes. You’re going to “date” and you’re going to break hearts…and yes, you’ll have your heart broken. You’re going to care about someone and you’re going to get hurt. It may feel like your life is over, but it will really just be beginning.

*It is true what they say, as much as is possible, treat people how you want to be treated. Put all the good karma you can into the world and you shall be handsomely rewarded.

*You will be bullied. When the time comes and you’re the one doing the bullying, remember how it felt when you were in their shoes.

*You will have many “best” friends. When a friendship goes sour, try to leave it on the best terms possible and with your dignity intact. God knows how hard it will be, but always, ALWAYS try to be the better person. You will be glad you did.

*Take pride in yourself and the values you hold dear, but be willing to accept you won’t always be right. Open yourself up to learning new things and revising what you’ve been taught. There isn’t always one right answer. Find what you hold true and stand up for what you believe in.

*There are consequences to each and every action, some good, some bad, and some may not surface immediately. I can’t tell you what choices to make, but please weigh the outcomes beforehand. Even just one minute of thought can save you a lifetime of hurt.

*Dream. Dream loud and dream often. Chase those dreams and dream new ones. Hold onto that wonderful imagination for as long as you can and use it to dream and accomplish the impossible.

*I know it won’t always be popular to make the “right” decision, but please remember that popularity can and will fade and when it does, your virtue will be all that you can hold on to.

*You will get warnings, people will tell you all of the horrible consequences for many of the decisions you will find yourself faced with…and you will tell yourself they won’t happen to you. Please remember, they can ALWAYS happen to ANYONE. Protect yourself and be smart. Naivety and ignorance will only bring you pain.

*Most importantly, don’t forget to smile, laugh, and LIVE. You are only young with minimal cares for this short period of time. Enjoy every last second; I can promise you, you will be glad you did.

What advice would you give to teenagers?

**This post is adapted from a post I wrote in 2012 for The Band Back Together Project. I certify that I am the sole author of both posts, though they are written under different names. I retain all rights to these words, in both posts.

Ask Away Friday Vol. 14

What a glorious day! Fall is here in full swing. There is a windy, rainy storm outside my windows, I’m bundled under my throw blanket, and I’m sipping hot apple cider while I type this. Life, it’s all about these little moments of great happiness.

FallSky
My stormy Oregon skyline

Another reason it’s a great day, it’s Friday! And that means it’s time for a round of #AskAwayFriday!

If you’re a new reader, AAF is where I swap ten questions with a fellow blogger, and we all get to know each other a little better. This week I had the lovely pleasure of swapping with Bernadyn from B is 4…

AAFBernadynCollage

Bernadyn, or B (as she likes to be called) is a married mom of two adorable little munchkins. She reminds me a bit of myself, as she has many passions- writing, photography, cooking, baking, crafting… She has her finger in a lot of different pies, and unlike me, she seems to pull it all off effortlessly. I’m gonna have to get her to share her secret with me. And all this while chasing around her kiddos! Be sure to hop on over to her site today to see what I asked her, and how she answered. And poke around a bit, her recipes and pictures are phenomenal!

1. What movies and books do you look forward to reading and watching in the next couple months?

Oh goodness! I really need to get back to reading. Maybe these stormy fall days will inspire me to update my reading list and make a sizable dent in it. Do you have any suggestions for me? As for movies- I’d kinda like to see Big Hero Six, the previews are cute. My fiance and I are also going to have a movie night on Halloween. We’ll be watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Young Frankenstein, two of our all time favorites :)

2. I’ve gotten better with it but for me, balancing my time is the hardest challenge to maintain my blog regularly. What is the biggest challenge you may have with blogging?

Mine is also time. I can’t just sit down and crank out a post in minutes, it usually takes me at least a few hours. Then editing, promoting, etc… There just aren’t enough hours in the day!

3. What is your favorite activity to do with your son?

I love movie nights. It sounds so silly, but they’re wonderful. He’ll pick out a movie and we’ll all curl up in our jammies with snacks and blankets and watch together. He’s getting too old for a lot of things, but he still loves movie nights. And so they are my favorite.

4. I love your “Just One…But So Much More” post! I like how you share your character and who you are. What would you say is your best quality? What would you say others think is your best quality?

Thank you so very much! I’m so blessed that post has gotten so much attention, as I wrote it for Invisible Illness Awareness Week. My best quality? I would have to say I value my intelligence. Growing up it wasn’t cool to be the smart girl, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to embrace it. I’m not a genius, but I can hold my own at Scrabble, and that’s no small feat ;) My fiance says my passion, and my ability to put that passion into the things I believe in. (Aw! Thanks honey!)

5. What is your favorite fall activity?

Being cozy! LOL I love being able to bundle up and listen to the storm rage outside. I love the smell of rain. I love hot tea and watching a movie, or reading a book. I love everything about this time of year, all those cozy feelings.

6. Where is a local place (restaurant, store, event, museum, etc.) that you have never been to but would like to visit?

Restaurant: The Old Spaghetti Factory

Store: There are a few new thrift stores that have popped up that I would love to putter through.

Event: About 30 mins away is an Octoberfest every fall. We’ve missed each it each year so far, but I have hopes we’ll be able to go next year.

Museum: I actually haven’t been to any of the local museums since moving here five years ago, so I should probably get on it!

7. What is something on your bucket list that you’d like to accomplish in the next five years?

Well this might be a cop-out, but my bucket list says To Marry The Man Of My Dreams, and we’ll be taking those vows next August. It’s a big deal, for both of us. I’ll take it further by saying I hope to be able to actually walk down the aisle to my groom. When I was first diagnosed, they told me I wouldn’t be able to. I can still walk today, and hope to keep that up, at least through the wedding.

8. Do you keep your phone, computer, tablets or any other electronic devices by you at all times? Does it ever get turned off?

My iPhone is nearly always by my side. Both because I’m addicted to it, and in case of emergencies. The laptop stays nearby during the days, but my phone is the main thing. It stays on my bedside stand at night, but does get put on silent. It rarely, if ever, gets turned completely off.

9. Who is someone who had a big influence on you while you were growing up and why? What’s the most memorable thing about that person?

My grandmother, my mom’s mother. She had such a big heart. My mother and her didn’t get along, but from age 10 to 15, I got to spend nearly every weekend visiting her. Grandma was disabled, diabetes had taken both feet and she was wheelchair bound. She also battled depression, but she didn’t let any of that stop her from making wonderful memories with me. She died from complications of diabetes when I was 15, and I am still heartbroken for her loss. She taught me so many things, but the most memorable was how to be okay with my own company.

10. If you had a magic lamp to make three wishes with but they could not be wishes to directly benefit you, what wishes would you make and for who? (They could be for the same person or for three different people.)

Ooh! Well I’d love to wish for a nice windfall to ease the financial strains on my fiance, but I suppose that would still benefit me, so I’ll play by the rules. :p I’d wish for a windfall for Tracie and her family, to ease their struggles so that they can enjoy life a little bit more. I’d wish for a way to ease the pain of those I love, all my spoonie framily who are battling each and every day. I’d wish for the perfect care home for my future father in law. To date, we’ve only been able to find temporary solutions. I’d like to be able to give him a permanent home that meets all of this medical needs, while still giving him some independence and providing a happy environment.

 

Whoa! Bernadyn sure had some deep-thinker questions for me! Thank you B for such a great swap :) Y’all be sure to head over to her site to see her answers and check out all of her awesomeness. Happy weekend everybody!

 

Vitriol

vitriol (noun) :

harsh and angry words

1. a sulfate of any various metals (as copper, iron, or zinc); especially : a glassy hydrate of such a sulfate

2. something felt to resemble vitriol especially in caustic quality; especially : virulence of feeling or speech

(source Miriam-Webster Dictionary)

I once read a story in one of my favorite books about a girl who threw oil of vitriol on another girl because she was jealous of her beauty. Though the story is simply a side note in a much bigger story, it has always stuck with me. Yesterday, my gal Joules’ post had me thinking of that story again.

I often feel like the words and attitudes of people are like throwing oil of vitriol into each others faces.

Think about it-

For every look that judges when I use the motorized scooters while shopping, for every angry word yelled while driving, for every time we call one another fat, skinny, obese, ugly, fake, plastic, lazy, {insert derogatory phrase here}…

It costs us nothing to sling this vileness from our lips, but the damage it causes others is much like an acidic burn, though we can’t see the scars it leaves. And we each carry our own scars, yet still…the burns fly from our mouths with little to no thought.

I’m just as guilty as the next, though being continuously judged these last few years has had its impact on me. Still I catch myself casting a sideways glance, and hear the unsavory thoughts that pass through my mind. I’ve often said I don’t judge based on appearances, I judge on actions. But who am I to pass judgement? I don’t know another’s story until they share it with me, and even then, who am I to pass judgement?

I firmly believe we must be the change we wish to see in the world. It’s why I started Spoons 4 Spoonies, and why I agreed to be a contributing writer for RheumatoidArthritis.com. How can I complain about the world without doing my part to change what I don’t like?

And so, I am challenging myself to be the change, to be the good I wish to see in others. I’m challenging myself to carry kindness in my heart. I want to be the kind of person who leads with compassion and understanding. I want to be an example for my son, to show him that it’s okay to be a gentle adult in what can be a harsh world.

And maybe, just maybe our kindness will soften the world, even if it’s just a little bit.

What change would you like to be? I challenge you to go after it. BE THAT CHANGE. I’m giving you the power, you can do it.

It’s Monday And I’m Grateful

GratefulMondays

*I’m grateful for five years of love, compassion, support, encouragement, and honesty. I’m grateful for a partner who is my perfect half, the yin to my yang, the balance to my chaos, the arms that hold me up when I want to fall.

*I’m grateful for medical staff who are caring, who listen, who show the appropriate amount of concern for a potentially urgent problem.

*I’m grateful his heart is healthy.

*I’m grateful for friends who can talk to me about our doggies, our crappy over-achieving immune systems, and how to balance treatment options with managing a life.

*I’m grateful for new antibiotics that seem to finally be kicking this massive sinus infection’s wicked booty.

*I’m grateful for insurance that covers the spendier antibiotics required.

*I’m grateful he is strong enough to worry about me. It gives me strength when it’s my turn to worry about him.

*I’m grateful for memories that still ache my heart. They remind me I haven’t become so callous in what is an increasingly negative world.

*I’m grateful for gin rummy, popcorn and chocolate, football on our tv kinda afternoons that help to ease my grief.

*I’m grateful for a son who remembers to text his mama. For a son who still tells me he loves me.

*I’m grateful that I have my son, even while I mourn my daughter.

*I’m grateful for Cathy. I’m grateful for her generosity, her understanding, and for her adopting me into her family.

*I’m grateful for love, in all its many forms, and all the ways it has manifested in my life, especially in the last week or so.