Long live all the mountains we moved

The first college acceptance came in today. It’s not her first choice, but as she’s reading the letter she said, “I’m actually going to college, you guys!”

She was worried.

Me? Not so much. I knew. But I understand what she means.

I also understand what it means to ME.

She got in to college, you guys. How the hell are we here already?!!

How?

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I couldn’t keep myself from making promises

I don’t really want to talk about resolutions. I didn’t really make any. But what I AM trying to get better at is making long and short-term goals for myself and for my family. I want to learn how to focus on the small aspects of a much bigger picture. The baby steps toward a big dream instead of tripping over my own insecurities and life’s roadblocks.

During the Great Broken Blog of 2014 I let a lot of things go here. I don’t know that I needed the break, I think I had just made it way too hard. It was much easier to hide behind the brokenness. The fixing of all things broken reminded me how much I like it here.

So while I didn’t make any resolutions, I did make a promise to myself and how I wanted to keep track and remember this year. Some people keep jars that they fill up with memories or good times, I just now have my little space here. Again.

But if I was keeping a jar? This picture would be the second thing I put in there. (The first being the picture from yesterday.) And in some way, I would try to explain how much I love that she still loves taking pictures with me and being silly with me. Loving that she is one of my favorite humans and knowing that I just might be one of hers, too.

Me and Beezus NYE

Me and Beezus NYE

Please know that I might suck at this new way of doing things. But that’s not gonna stop me from trying. Not anymore. If it’s pictures, if it’s words…it doesn’t matter. There is just way too much I want to remember.

Hold on to That Feeling

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I don’t think I have ever looked out at a brand new year with such anticipation. As mysterious as the future 365 days can be at the turn of the new year, I’m all too aware of some of the things that this new year will bring. Some very important ends and some very ‘big deal’ beginnings. For all of us. Even if each of us are experiencing it all in different ways.

I guess you could say that I’m way more prepared than I was this time last year. But I am absolutely not READY by any stretch of the imagination.

However, ready or not…here it comes, right?

* * *

We had a wonderful time celebrating the New Year. It was low-key and wonderful and hilarious and silly. It was what we all needed, I think. (I can’t wait to tell you about Houdini lobsters.)

I had no intention of creating a year-end collage/video for us. I was pretty dang content with grabbing that family picture we took last night. (I mean, I kinda love it.) But this morning, as I’m scrolling through everyone’s pictures and favorite moments, I just started pulling pictures together of some of my favorite memories from this year. There were some definite rough spots throughout the year but I, thankfully, didn’t have many pictures to reminded me of those. (Except for the picture of me and the huge spoonful of mashed potatoes. That was a funny response to a pretty bad day/week.)

All of a sudden I had many, many pictures of some of my favorite moments from this past year. Some of the very best days with some of the very best people on the planet.

I can’t wait for the best days that are coming. Even though I know how hard some of these best days are going to be. This is a big year for us. I’m excited and terrified and everything in between. I apologize in advance for the emotional roller coaster I will surely be on. It’s gonna be a wild ride and, honestly, I can’t wait. It’s gonna be amazing.

Happy New Year, everyone. xoxo

On Anger and Shame

I spent years trying to hide how young I was. Whenever I would attempt to make friends with other moms at the preschool, I would try like mad to avoid the conversations about high school and college days and the year everyone got married. I’m not dumb (and neither were they) they knew I was younger. I just didn’t want to get into how much younger.

There is so much shame in teenage pregnancy. I’m not saying that it’s something to aspire to, but it’s been close to 18 years and the shame I felt all those years ago burns almost as hot even today. I am not ashamed of the beautiful family that I am blessed with, but when I read this article that Kelly shared last week it brought up some very real anger and some pretty intense shame that I didn’t know still hung around. It’s been four days, and I’m still stewing about it.

I was 18 years old when I got pregnant. As teenage pregnancy statistics go, I guess I was on the older side of things. I have always been grateful that I was, at least, out of high school but I hate admitting that I am a college dropout.

A lot of you know my story. I even stood on a stage last year and read a letter that I wrote to 19 year old me. I thought I exorcised some of those demons. Yet an article about teenage pregnancy shame has sent me into some pretty deep feels.

I’m still really fucking angry and I really hate that I am.

I have spent so much of my life worrying that I’m going to hurt someone’s feelings if I told the truth and said how I really feel. I have stopped myself from telling so many stories, because it might make someone feel bad. But at the end of the day, who made sure that my feelings weren’t hurt? Who made sure that I didn’t feel bad?

Not many.

I am still angry that the religious institution that I put so much faith in abandoned me and made me feel like such a fuck-up. I am angry that I lost so many friends because I all of a sudden became the example of what not to do. I am angry that people tried to get me to put my baby up for adoption. I am angry that all the anger and judgment and shame gets placed on the teenage mom. I am angry that I have no happy memories of my wedding day because almost every single person in attendance was against us getting married. I am angry that I still feel the need to joke that “we did things backwards” even today as I meet new people because there is still so much shame in being a teenage mom – even though I’m not a teenager anymore. I’m mad that I can’t read an article on teenage pregnancy without feeling like I want to throw up.

I’ve buried my anger deep inside of me for many, many years. I have this beautiful family. I know how lucky I am. But I’ve spent so many years believing that I’m not allowed to be angry because my life has been so blessed.

That’s bullshit.

Instead of dealing with my anger, I’ve let it fester into a horrible wound that has never healed. As cathartic as it was to tell my story, I censored all the anger because I had built too many walls and it would’ve been too much work to break them down. And, of course, I put everyone else’s feelings before my own.

But you know what? I can be angry and grateful at the same time. I can sit here and let some of those demons fly knowing full well that I would do it all over again because my family is worth it. They are amazing and wonderful but it’s okay if I tell you how hard I’ve worked or how much I have sacrificed to make that happen. There has not been one bit of this that has been easy.

But I’ve given way too much power to the shame of it all. I wasn’t promiscuous. I’m not tarnished goods. And if you would like to talk about the “problem child” I’ve brought into this world be prepared for me to tell you about her straight A’s and Stanford dreams and her kickass little sister that rocks our world. I’m not sorry for any of that.

I shouldn’t be.

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Jury Duty

There must be something about me or my information that just BEGS to be summoned for jury duty. My personal data must be like the civic duty kick me sign that I unwittingly wear so proudly for all court clerks to see. Don’t be jealous, but I am summoned for jury duty, like clockwork, every two years. Sometimes even 18 months when those court clerk computers are feeling especially kicky.

I’ve only served on two trials, but that’s two more than most people I know.

Surely I’ve just jinxed myself. I’m sitting in a stairwell as they call potential jurors. If I erase that sentence will I be dismissed without question?

Side Note: I just saw a woman carrying The Goldfinch. Excellent choice for a long day of waiting.

* * *

It’s been 12 hours since I wrote the beginning of this post. I’m a ginormous idiot. Yes of course I was chosen AT THE VERY LAST MINUTE to be an alternate on a 3-ish week case. YOU KNEW THAT WAS COMING.

I’m trying to look at the silver lining but I just spent a Thursday stuck in a courtroom AND THEN the radiator in my car busted. ::sob:: (I can’t make this shit up, folks.)

But  my super-hero husband fixed the radiator and I’m trying to rearrange my life to accommodate jury duty, etc.

(He wins, though. I mean FIXED RADIATOR YOU GUYS.)

At least the courthouse is lovely

At least the courthouse is lovely

My goal for tomorrow is to not fall asleep during opening arguments and to not inflict bodily harm to anyone that is being an idiot. (That’s frowned upon in a courtroom…even if they deserve it.)

I’m also going to try and find a better attitude before walking into the super ancient courthouse. I’m not entirely sure this will happen, but it makes me feel good about myself that I’m even trying. Everything. Will. Be. Okay

Happy Friday everyone…wish me luck!

Some of my favorite things…

Well, I told you I wouldn’t be perfect at this. I’m still pretty annoyed that I missed yesterday’s post.

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Yesterday I got to hang out with one of my favorite people. (And no, I’m not going to tell you how many shots of espresso are in that. Besides. You can see for yourself.)

Today? Different folks with even more of my favorite people.

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I sorta can’t believe I just put that on the blog.

Anyway. This week has kicked my ass so way glad to be celebrating Thursday. Again.

Happy (almost) Friday everyone!

The Post That Won’t Post

For some reason these wouldn't post. Sorry for any duplicates and annoying behavior. MAYBE I'm sorry.

Well, I told you I wouldn’t be perfect at this. I’m still pretty annoyed that I missed yesterday’s post.  Mostly because yesterday I got to hang out with one of my favorite people. (And no, I’m not going to tell you how many shots of espresso are in that. Besides. You can see for yourself.)

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Today? Different folks with even more of my favorite people.  I sorta can’t believe I just put that on the blog.

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Anyway. This week has kicked my ass so way glad to be celebrating Thursday. Again. Happy (almost) Friday everyone!