Friday, December 14, 2012

Super Woman series part 3 for 3

Today I am talking about the Super Single Mum. I figured it would take forever if I listed ALL the super women I know and these 3 ladies have that in common. My first super single Mum friend was made so, after finding a cheating husband when she was pregnant with there second son!! Yes those scummy men do exist. Despite him and not a penny in child support, she raised her 2 boys to be fine young men now 20 and almost 23. One is away at University and the other about to be married. She is one of those gals who knows all about you and still loves you. The kind where you don't talk for a whole year and then it's like you are hanging out on the couch with a blanket. We were each others spouse in the days when I too was a single Mum, watching each others kids so the other could work and generally being a support. There were nights when I was so devastatingly lonely that I'd scoop my sleeping babies up in a quilt, throw them in the car and head to my friends. She'd open the door and without a word I would plop down in front of her TV with a boy under each arm pit snoozing and an hour or so later I would leave. She understood without words, why I was there. When I met Boyd and moved to the US I was most worried about my friend but she was over joyed for me and cheered me all the way. She spent the next 10 years alone but then met a man and is now married and happy.She is a caretaker to his adult kids and anyone else who needs it, she is really one of those friends who would literally give you here last grain of rice, I have seen it with my own eyes and through some very personal, sacred times I have seen Christs hands in hers. My second single Mum friend, isn't actually single at all but has a husband who works 12 hour shifts at strange times and often sleeps when they are awake. He also has some hobbies that take him away for hours on end and I admire this woman for various reasons. Being single, you at least get a little offer of support but if your not, only you are, you really really are on your own. I will say little more about her except that in my eyes she also is a super woman. She is bubbly, happy and creative with unwavering faith. She has 4 very successful kids, all involved and productive and who have had to really learn how to help out at home. My final single Mum friend has only become so officially after 20 plus years of marriage in which she was pretty much single. I admire her for so many reasons, she is a true super woman. She owns and runs a very successful business whilst being the hands on parent that is at every game, meet or performance. Her kids are over achievers and that is because of her. They are national level ranked in various things, traveling the country to compete. She has had to go back to school and get a degree for her work as well as all her other duties. The thing I like most about her is how fun she is, always planning a party or night out. She is a huge Disney fan and goes 2 or 3 times a year. I just love being around her. The reason I wanted to share about these super women is not to make anyone feel bad about themselves but they all have something in common.... They Like ME!!! It's funny that sometimes we get down and feeling like we don't have friends and then I realize, the ones I do have are amazing and like me for me. They do not have requirements or expectations of me or are jealous or intimidated. They don't need me to dress or act a certain way to fit with them. They have melt downs and crazy days and accept that I do too. We can go long periods without talking but when we do, we have a genuine interest and love for each other. They like me I think because they like themselves and because they can really have a good swear at me without me being shocked :-) I have learned a lot from the super women in my life, My list of them goes on and on. I aspire to be better because of them so I continue to surround my self with people who lift me up but mostly I find being around people who like themselves is just a great place to be. It makes it so I am able to reach out a hand and do the lifting for someone, not doing so well. I encourage you to see these super women as I do and instead of feeling bad about shortcomings , feel great that there are role models who can lead and guide us in areas we wish to improve. I mean I could also list all the areas these ladies suck ;-) lol but I choose to focus on the positive.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Super Women Series Part II

My next super woman is a friend from high school. We didn't start out as friends but a trip to the Head Mistresses offices together, where I was accused of being racist and I clearly explained that my verbal abuse towards my now bestie was not because of her skin color but it's smell, left us as firm friends. You see my friend was raised in a different culture than me, where women are suppressed and with 5 brothers, so things like personal hygiene and the use of deodorant where not taught in the home. I suppose I became somewhat of a mentor for her and we had a mutual respect. This "incident" changed her and me, I got to see a little of how someone could live in your same country and yet be so very foreign. She was never allowed out and so I went to her house to visit, not being able to fathom the seclusion. People rushed around and waited on me as I sat in the front, fancy guest room. Boys were not allowed in the room where the girls were. I was brought food always and treats and they seemed honored to have this "white girl" in their home. I was later, a guest at her wedding where I helped prepare her for her groom. A five day affair with lots of wailing aunts. Very traditional for her and yet completely foreign to me.
My super woman friend went on to University and became a Barrister. Very highly respected in a London Court. I once implied how smart she is and she was clear that I was much more intelligent than her but she had nothing to do besides study and that was why she is where she is. Why is she a super woman to me? Well once she had fallen in love and was about to be married, she was informed that her husband to be was actually already married! Shocker, I know. He had an arranged married when he was just 15 years old to a 13 year old who lived back in Pakistan, basically a slave to his parents. He visited her 2 weeks each summer for then next 5 years out of duty and here he was now, in love and with a dilemma. To cut a long story short, they got married, It is allowed in there religion. So now there are 3 kids over in Pakistan with little education and 2 very successful in business, married people who are filled with compassion for this poor girl who's youth was taken and who's future is not so bright and her 3 children. They decide to bring them over to England and set up a situation, kind of how I envision polygamist, sister wives, at least the ones who look normal and not the prairie dress wearing ones, without the bedroom hopping. The hubby stays with my friend, every night and they 2 kids together. The other "wife" is more like a house keeper and takes care of all the domestics. (it is unspoken EVER if she has any kind of relationship with the husband) She is a lovely lady and lives with gratitude for her life and blessings. She treats me like a queen when I am there.
I love My friend and have so much respect for her. She is a practicing Muslim and represents her religion well. I have seen her fast for Ramadan on hot days where she almost passed out through lack of water and I have seen her always dressed modestly with a head scarf to boot. She emplifies the light of Christ holds no guile, I am drawn to her for that. It impresses me that she has maintained such tradition and respect for her fathers house and yet is making it as a big wig in a man's world. She is hands on with her kids, all home work and school responsibilities are on her and she travels with them all over the world to teach them history and culture and like a proper nerd she is all excited about ruins and just like our kids she is greeted with the same eye rolls and "Muuuum seriously?" Super Woman number 2.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Super Women Series

I have read a lot of articles lately that I expect were created to help us feel better about our short comings as women , wives or mothers. They make fun of things like, getting a healthy dinner on the table every night, hand making gifts or having a clean home, suggesting that if we do all the things required of us, we don't have a life and might just drop dead but I am here to proclaim, that this is not true and many women I know are going beyond the call of duty every single day. We just need to recognize that what we do do is an achievement. Some of the very most basic things can have lasting effect on those around us and make us feel quite accomplished. I personally know so many super women, who's daily behaviors inspire me to do better (they are all living in disguise, as regular ladies and they too have total meltdowns and days of despair)but I thought it might be fun to highlight some of those who had mean't a lot to me in my life. The thing is, we can learn a little from each of them, after all we are here to learn and improve ourselves. My Longest Friend My first Super woman is my longest friend. She moved in next door to me when she was 2 and I was 3 years old. We were besties, both little tom boys and inseparable, that was until her parents divorced and she went off to live with her Dad, sad day but her Mum chose the new boyfriend over kids. I would visit when I could, taking a bus the long hour ride. She grew up with 2 older brothers and a Dad who had to work around the clock so she was playing Mum at a very young age. Most domestic duties fell to her and at age 16 (When we finish high school in England) She was working full time. It was with her that I had my first, life changing experience. We were aged 17/18 and I was staying with her for a week whilst I did a work experience in a fancy health club. We were walking back to her home and less than half a mile away, just around the block when She was jumped from behind. A man with a stocking on his head, held a knife to her throat and told told me to do exactly as he said or she would be seriously hurt. This is where I found out if I was a fight or flight kind of girl. I went nuts, screaming and shouting and waving my arms, trying to flag down a car as he backed her towards some bushes. She was frozen but I wasn't going anywhere. Fortunately my crazy was a bit much for him as he threw her to the ground and ran off in the bushes, I don't know if I carried her limp body or dragged her but I got her home in record time and called the police. He was never found but I learned a lot from that experience, mostly "YES, It CAN happen to you" Sadly her Dad died quite young and I'm sure she dealt with some emotional baggage from all that went on in her youth but you would never know it. She has a cheerful countenance and always a kind word to say on a Facebook Post or similar. She is now 40 years old, has been married going on 20 years with two daughters. She worked the past several years in school, the hours work better than her corporate job. She has recently gone back to college to pursue a further education. Sometimes we have a rough hand dealt us but taking charge of our own destiny and working to achieve our dreams at any age is quite brave. I would say she is a real life super woman, dressed in regular woman clothes. I am excited to share my next superwoman with you.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Halloweenie

I think the word "weenie" or "weener" is just wrong, I realize I have spelled them incorrectly, but I wanted to be sure they are pronounced as intended. I know I'm a little late on this post but I just wanted to share what our Halloween looked like.
Well after the parade full of boys dressed as girls, we got to enjoy the warmest Oct 31st in history and so we decided an evening spent on the front porch giving out treats was a must. It's not like you can do much, besides sit at the door opening it every 30 seconds for the next pillowcase holding child. We always like to be different in what we hand out. Something warm or something to balance out the sugar rush. This year was no exception. It was to be Hot dogs, or "weeners" fresh off the grill.
We thought it was pretty funny, a weener eating a weener. I just like saying weener now that I'm over it.
Ronan went out with his buddies trick or treating. Some people have a problem with this but these kids put quite an effort into their costumes so I say, give em a sweet.
and in case you think Ronan, didn't put an effort in, he doesn't usually look like this, I promise. Weener!!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

10 year, Deja Vu

November 2002 Curtis, November 2012 Ronan
These boys are so much alike.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thank You Notes

I thought I'd show a little gratitude Jimmy Fallon Style ( or is it Jimmy Kimmel?, well the younger, better looking, funny Jimmy) Que, melodic thought provoking music... Thank You: Presidential decision, for giving me that anxious, hopeless gut sick feeling I got when I thought my house was going to burn down. Thank You: Paper plates, for allowing me to use you everyday and not just on special occasions. Thank You: bathroom, for allowing me to be your sole care giver. Thank You: Over achiever new neighbor, for saying yes you will do it, so I don't have to. Thank You: Facebook sidebar, for profiling me and then tempting me daily with cute shoes made for 20 somethings. Thank You: Google designers: for the cute little cartoon logo each day reminding me that today there is nothing to celebrate. Thank You: Marriane, for being my only regular reader/commenter ;-) Hope you all are thankful for something today.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

So Simple.

Halloween costumes stopped being fun for me after the third year in a row that everyone was a ninja. I thought having a little girl might revamp my excitement as the vision of dancing fairies and Cindy Loo Who's became a possibility but alas the only girlie picture I have is from a gift that I forced a photo of and then it was buried in the "dress ups" box for other girls to play in.
We quickly became an ALL Ninja crowd.
I must have been quite uninspired because I have very few halloween photos. Anyway, these days, Asha tells me all year what she's going to be for halloween, it changes every single time. I say, that's cool and then we wait until it's really close to commit and then it's done. This year, she is obsessed with the face covered hoodies so it was a no brainer to add legs and be a skeleton. So simple.
It glows in the dark. I used walmarts $4 sweatpants, the basis of many Halloween costumes because they are baggy enough you can layer clothes underneath just in case it snows LOL, plus cheap enough you can chuck them out or use them as Pj's. I freehand cut some bones from felt and hot glued it on.
Add a little glow in the dark paint and a pair of gloves.
Voila, 20 minute costume and very happy tick or treater.

Monday, October 22, 2012

My big girl pants.

Last time someone told me to pull my big girl pants up, I almost did the opposite and "mooned" them. Fortunately, since I spotted the two men wandering up the gravel path way, I had time to change my plans. It was 2am and my group of girls were out in the woods playing some weird game, where you spin and stare up at the stars, then when you get super dizzy, you stop, stare into a flash light and drop like a rock! Good times. Well this is the only time I camp. Girls camp. It's proper dirt in the nails, don't wash for a week, drop your load in a bucket kind of camping and I am not a fan. Not one bit! I have, however heard of this other type of luxury camping and it sounded intriguing to me, so for the sake of my kids having a well rounded upbringing that doesn't include "aww MUUUM, do we have to go to England? can't we just go on a cruise?" (QUOTE)I thought I'd give camping a go.
It started with the rental of a hotel on wheels, except in this one, you make your own bed. Actually you bring your own bed, along with pots and pans for food that you will be bringing and cooking yourself as well as dish soap for the dishes you will be washing yourself. Oh I know it sounds exciting doesn't it? Throw in some clothes and get a special hitch for your vehicle and your off. The accommodations themselves are quite comfy if you are ok with sleeping on a 2 inch foam pad and turning the shower hose on and off between soapings, which I'm not but the part I actually enjoyed the most, was being able to prepare and cook food in a small space, either to stay and eat or to take with us. It actually made my idea of downtown, loft living, quite desirable again. Plus, you can't get a good cheese and pickle sandwich from a drive through.
we parked it at camp sites that had hook ups to electricity and cable TV but other than that, the sites were just a stopping point. We had all we needed inside. The place itself, Moab & Goblin Valley, is another, awesome story but I really just wanted to share my camp trailer experience in case anyone else is considering it.
Renting works out for us, since we don't plan to do it regularly enough to warrant the purchase, storage and maintenance of a big rig like this, as well as the cost of a big enough, reliable car/truck to tow distances. Loading and getting ready was fairly straight forward since there are tons of lists available and we have used this kind of resource before. Unloading was also super quick and we didn't have camp fire smell to deal with since we had used BBQ and stove tops to cook. The trailer itself set up super quick, maybe 20- 30 minutes and taking it down was about the same. Bless my mans heart for having to flush and detach the black hose ;-) yes some jobs are absolutely man jobs. Along with scaring you wife whilst driving your SUV along the road reserved for razors and jeeps(don't roll your eyes at me Honey) Just saying.
It Cost: $515 plus tax and insurance, to rent the trailer plus $35 for the extra towing stabilizer. It cost $150 to park 3 nights plus $7 to get into a state park. We spent $240 in Gas plus a few snacks at the gas station then what ever I spent on food for the trip which I figured was the same as I would've spent at home. A total of over a thousand bucks for 3 nights out in Moab plus the cost of food. So what do you think? Is it worth it? If I told you all 4 of us could've gone on a 4 night cruise, food included for that, would it still be worth it?
Oh I know if we "owned" a trailer that would be cut in half but seriously, even a used trailer with room for 6 is gonna cost a few $$$ so I still don't see the appeal. Fortunately there are many who think it's a great idea and then get a reality check, so you can pick up a trailer on KSL.com for a fraction of what it cost to buy new. I also discovered a great little camp ground in town that had cabins you could rent for $67 a night, they sleep 6 have a TV, AC, a heater and a pool that was still open which was also within walking distance of lots of eateries.
I can't see me camping too much in my future but I did it and now I will go back to my little girl pants with days of the week on the front. Today being Monday,which means I now have to do all the laundry and grocery shop etc etc after my awesome weekend of camping.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Not just a Pin.

All this pinning has got me inspired. I have been having a crafty period. This happens from time to time, usually after seeing something at quilted bear for a ridiculous cost and thinking "I could make that" (you know you do it too!) well I actually do, so I thought I'd share a few things I've made this month. 15 of these ($29 each at QB, $5 to make)
70 of these. (All stamped)
Just one of these (saw on pinterest)
for this earlier creation that turned 11 today.( I got the cheaper, tom boy model;-)
Whom herself created this
Then I made each of these
(This was $40 quilted bear inspiration, made for $7)
(Pinterest copies)
a few of these (to go with my other 38 albums full)
and finally this (my favorite, made for $13 with half a roll of ribbon left over)
which no longer has a home, because we also did this
and I LOVE IT!!! So while others are sipping hot chocolate and watching junk TV, I am in my own happy place, getting high on a whole drawer full of different adhesive. Have you made anything based on a pin or craft show find?