Sunday, September 15, 2013

I Got This

It's amazing to me how you can be having a day, a moment, a minute, where you're world is happily right side up, where you recognize the very substance and purpose of why you are where you are. You won't forget this. They won't forget this. Near perfect. Precious things.

Then something happens--you can fill in the blanks from your own stuff right here--and you're jarred, right where you stand, grasping for something to hold on to. You can't look, but you know it's there--life continuing, right beside you. The sun, still shining, the sky, never more blue, everyone lightly walking, laughing, the music doesn't skip a know this. You can't understand how this can be when you can't even move, you are so stunned, blind-sided, brokenhearted, dulled and numbed. How dare you let your guard down.

I've been through this many times and it just never gets easier. I am counting on the place where I exhale, where experience comes in to play. We are resilient creatures.  We lift our heavy bodies, and push forward ever-searching for the other side. We calculate, make lists, flip pages, pray and ready ourselves for a battle of truth and clarity and balance and peace.

It will come.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

What I'm Writing About Today

Today I am blog challenged to write about my 10 Pet Hates, which I assume is the same thing as Pet Peeves, cuz who could name 10 pets they hate?  You gots the bad juju if you can, and you should work on that. I don't really want to focus on 10 things I hate, cuz it's Sunday, it's raining, it smells like breakfast and it feels like harmony in my house, so I'm gonna focus on 10 things I like...a lot. (p.s. this is an incredibly small list.)

Let's start here.  We use every single bit of our home.  This little cozy nook is sharing space in my laundry room.  I don't think this old bread table has ever been so happy.

My back yard. Totally, one of the best spots of my life.

I love when my kids are kids.

A dear friend of mine GAVE this dollhouse to me.  It's been a dream of mine since I was probably eight-years-old.  Thank you, Mrs. Joanne Weaver for that one. She had the most beautiful dollhouse I've ever seen. It was huge and took up half a ping pong table.  I would spend hours looking at and taking in the tiny rugs in their tiny wallpapered rooms, tiny chandeliers and lights throughout, that actually worked, tiny plates, goblets and silverware, tiny baby cradles...oh, it was so special.   I'm 40 and it still gives me the warm fuzzies remembering. I am in no hurry to finish up this one. It's something I can go to, to "get-a-way", make my own, share with my kids, and eventually pass down.  I hope it gives my children the warm fuzzies when they are 40.

Our dogs. Seriously two of my best friends.

Our kids. 4 plus 2. I don't think I've been more proud of anything in my life as I am of these ones.

May they always crave childhood.

I love my job.  You have no idea how fortunate I KNOW I am to say this.  This is what we did on Friday with all of my grandmas and grandpas.  CycleCars.  Really.  This is what I GET to do.

This guy.  Life is so full of surprises.

I could live in FALL forever.

For my Instagram Challenge I'm supposed to post something funny.  I think I've Instagramed the ever-livin' out of you today, so I will draw from my Pinterest files for this one.

How much does Google save your life?  I question whether my entire education was a trick, because every time the kids bring homework home and ask for help, I seriously feel like crying, cuz I.Know.Nothing. I'm a flipping idiot, apparently.  I paid thousands of dollars for what exactly?  Do you even knoooow how much I Google?  Yes, you do...cuz I'm pretty confident, you're right there with me.  Tell the truth.

Yesterday, one of the daughters asked me if you can get HIV from mosquitoes.  Alarming question, #1, as I had the little freak out as to WHY she was asking me such things.  And after further investigation into that one, and a conclusion that kids are curious and very random, I answered a confident, "no," and then, of course, immediately questioning myself.  I mean, I know that somewhere, buried in my brain, I have stored that answer, and then logic made an appearance, but I still felt like I had to back it up with, "Go ask your dad," and then a Google search. Before you go Google the answer yourself, let me assure you (insert laughter) everything is okay, everybody.  You cannot catch HIV from a mosquito.

And now this:

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Rinse & Repeat

Well, I made it to six days of blogging so far!  Or at least, writing sooooomething.  In college, one of the five things I took away from my major in English, was to write something every day. Even if it's just a word.  I don't know why I can't just do that.  I always feel like I need to have 546 words following that one word.  I need to explaaaaain the word. I need to keep you interested in the word.  Geez, I've been blocked for a couple years, for what *I think* has to do with all the shit I've been through and how idon'twannatalkaboutTHAT, when really, it probably would have helped me tremendously to write down the word, "SHIT", underline it, circle it five times, point arrows to it, cross it out, write it again, rip it up, tape it together, rinse and repeat. I think I really need to let it sink in that the ONE word is more for me than you.

Don't get me wrong, I am here to entertain you. I do think about you when I write.  I want to make you laugh.  Share my stuff, cuz when I share my stuff you share yours, and I'm like, "Oooooh, I am not the only one that feels this way, yells at my kids this way, loves this way, makes a fooool of myself this way, etcetera, etcetera..." You feel me? I DO want you to like me.  But dang, I've known for years and years that writing is MY best therapy.  Just like when I'm angry, or sad, or happy...I can't contain it.  It always comes out.  I express myself WAY better in writing than I do talking.  I've been in many conversations where I've felt like saying, "Ah crap, let me write what I just said down and get back to you."

What I'm trying to say (funny) is that most days you'll see the pretty, the fun (my life is a sitcom), but some days, you'll see a tattered, taped up post that says, "SHIT".  I'm really gonna let myself write "SHIT"...more.

Blog Challenge Today (it makes me write stuff):  Your Five Senses Right Now

I SEE our orchard.  It's beautifully arranged outside the window above my desk.  We have apple and pear trees dripping with fruit that fit in the palm of your hand.  Out there is a hand-me-down trampoline that my kids have always wanted, and now bond over, with flips and toe touches. There's a hammock that sits below a night-sky full, just full of stars that are just out of reach.  The orchard is an extension of our home.  It makes me feel rich.

I SMELL coffee brewing.  One of the most comforting scents of my life.

I TASTE my just-brewed coffee.  Two cups is my cue that the day has begun.

I HEAR quiet.  It's a rare sound in my house. It's the quiet sound of fans whirring, birds chirping. dogs dreaming... Three kids are making noise at friend's and cousin's homes (sleepovers).  Three teenagers are home, cocooned in blankets, taking advantage of a Saturday morning. One man is holding on to the last minutes of rest before another trip. I love this kind of quiet more than I ever have.  I love the chaos of my life, I do, I do.  I wouldn't change a thing.  That said, I absolutely relish the calm.

I TOUCH keys that bring my thoughts to life.  The keyboard is another comfort...this tool. Just like opening a book, turning pages, I never tire of the feel of the keys beneath my fingers. I love letters, real handwritten letters, but I absolutely choose typing, over writing.  There's room for mistakes.  Instant second chances with a "backspace".  I can actually keep up with my thoughts when I type.  I lose my patience with handwriting. Waste paper. Throw it away and walk away. Is it strange that I *feel* more like a writer when I type? I suspect so, but I just let it be strange.

Instagram Challenge:  Books

I absolutely love to read, but for the past year or so, I can't seem to focus long enough to get through anything. Magazines are even tough and that makes no sense to me.  I've been reading, Ask Questions, Get Sales since December.  That one makes sense to me. Let the snore fest begin, but it's like 10 pages (168), I need to get my *stuff* (i feel like i've said "shit" a lot in this post) together. Ridiculous.

I recently ordered Lone Wolf, by Jodi Picoult and Under The Mountain by Sophie Cooke.  Normally, as soon as I would rip them out of the Amazon box, my family would know not to talk or try to make eye contact with me for days.  But there they sit, anxiously waiting for me.

I think it probably has to do with where I am at the moment.  Full-time job, Full-time mom/momager, Full-time girlfriend. 108 residents + 6 kids + 1 boyfriend = MUCH.  I'm pretty sure I'm just exhausted.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Get Over It Already

Today, I'm supposed to share 10 songs I love right now.  I'm feeling pretty "eh" about that suggestion, as well as just feeling "eh" right now.  Let's just say it would be a lot of Pink or whatever song could bring on the good cry.  You know, pissed, followed with weepy.  That sort of scenario.

Pretty happy, eh?  So, you know...I won't do that.  I mean, who has the time?

I do love, love, love this song and will play it seriously like 10 times in a  And get over it.

Instagram Challenge:  Morning Sky.  This is my backyard this morn.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fear Not

My blog challenge today is: What Are You Afraid Of?

Oh, I've thought about this one a bit.  It's a question with a lot of answers for me. And they change all the time, the more experience I have behind me, the older my kids get. The list is long.

I really try not to focus on my fear, and especially on things that I have absolutely no control over.  It's mainly the things I do have some level of control over that keeps me up at night. Like teen pregnancy. Like loving these children, making them feel safe and grow confidently, so they are happy, kind, successful adults.  Like food on the table, and making sure bills are paid.   Like loving my partner and meeting his needs enough, that he won't leave me for someone else, eighteen years later. Those things.

My fears have by far graduated from spiders and things that go bump in the night to mainly my family.  I'm very selfish that way.  I fear one of my kids becoming addicted to drugs far more than I fear terrorism, war.  Call me ignorant, but I do feel that so much of "what's out there" starts at home, under your own roof.  I am raising what comes next. I am the example of a marriage, relationships, parenting,  faith, adulthood, love, responsibility, etcetera...that my children see first. I am in their face every day. It's an enormous responsibility.

That said, I wouldn't change this enormous responsibility for anything.  What a gift all of it is, in the end. The reward hugely outweighs the fear.  And I don't live in a constant state of fear.  Worry.  That equals stress and I avoid stress. Downplay it. Pray. Lie to myself if I have to, to make it smaller.  It creates cancer.  Cold sores. It's just when the question is asked of what are you afraid of, it does make you sit and break it down. And I will say, that no matter what I'm afraid of, I will always take that step into the darkness, the unknown. It won't paralyze me.  I have things to do.

The Instagram Challenge is:  Leaves

Fall--the most wonderful time of the year!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Smile If It Kills You

Today I'm told to write about my favorite quote.  As with books, music, food, etc...I can't pick just one favorite anything.  But I love, love the quote above. Kindness.  It's huge to me. Something that was instilled in me from childhood, by example, by discipline, by my stuck.

I've talked about my mom before.  She passed away from complications of Diabetes when I was 12.  I think God, knowing I was going to lose her so young, gave me the gift of remembering.  I remember her so well.  I would recognize her laugh if I heard it today.  I work in a senior living community and one of my residents smells like my mom used to smell. It's a lotion from Avon. It was my mom's scent. I've told my resident this and she lets me hug her anytime I want. My girls tell me I have a scent too.  When Addy was a toddler, I remember her running across the room to me, smelling my arm, and then running back to whatever she was doing.  She just needed a "fix".  I catch her doing this at random times now.  She's 10.  I hope she does it when she's 30.

What I most remember about my mom was her faith (HUGE) and her kindness.  I would hope the two go together.  She had the huge love for everyone.  Easy.  What is so fascinating to me is that she was completely blind.  I wonder if that was a bit of an advantage for her, compared to those of us with full sight.  How easy we interpret things...judge, by sight alone.  I think she went strictly by how someone treated her.  And even then...she loved.  I can't remember her ever having anything bad to say about anything, anyone.  Even in the worst of her times.  She could somehow find the good.  The reason.  And accept it.  Of course, I'm remembering her through the rose-colored glasses of a 12-year-old.  I know she was flawed.  I know she must've thrown fists in the air at times.  Let her anger out.  I'm her daughter. Half her. But it's what I remember of her.  It's what she left me. Be kind.  Be love.

I work with seniors.  People that have been around for 100 years (give or take).  I learn a lot from them.  They have been through things I will hopefully never know. Real hard times. Real sadness.  Not that I don't experience that, but when I compare my hard times next to theirs, it seems like night and day.  I am a child next to them.  But I look at them every day.  The long lives they have behind them. I see how they light up when I make eye contact.  When I smile at them. When I touch their hand.  Still. I hope they see what they do for me.

One of my residents used to say through her own, wide smile, every time I saw her, "Smile if it kills you."  And I try.  It's the goal every time.

If you let it, kindness can trump the worst. How lucky are we that we can remember a smile, a touch, a word from 30-plus years ago?  I know that it stays with you. It's as good as love.  It's as good as a memory. And I hope that when I'm gone, it's something that I leave behind, that carries forward.  I'm flawed.  I throw fists in the air. I let the anger out.  My goal every day,  is that my kindness, my good,  is bigger.

My Instagram Challenge today is:  Happiness.

I love this picture.  It is a pivotal moment in my life (the calm before the storm), and somehow it was captured.  I was truly happy.  It's a reminder for me that even when your world completely falls out from under will smile again.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

You Know Me

Instagram challenge:  SMILE. Once a girl.  Always a girl.

(p.s. i'll do better posting my own pics, i just didn't want to get hung up looking for The Perfect Picture, which was totally happening.)

As far as the blog challenge, something's happening writing-wise for me.  I'm looking forward to writing again. I almost didn't want to type that out loud. I even blogged TWICE yesterday and made myself waaaait to post. It's like Christmas! It's like my birthday!  It's like when I get you a gift!  I can't wait, I can't wait!!! I haven't felt like that in a long time.  It's good.

So, here's my blog challenge tah-day!

20 Facts About Me

(really?  i get to do this?  just talk about myself?)  As a fellow blogger once put so very well:

I'm An Attention Seeking Poodle.

Well, she is.  But I'm stealing it.

Number One:

I have six kids.  Well, I didn't BIRTH six kids.  I  birthed two, but I *have* six kids now.  As of May 2012. The Boyfriend has four and I have two. We all live together in a shoe.  And I am telling you, these kids are just amazing, given what they've all been through. I am proud of them. Even when I've reached my limit. Even when the drama is Code Red.  Even when I don't know what to say, to do. I am proud of them.  I am proud of us. Sometimes I think I'm a mo' better mom/momager of six than I was of two. That said, I'm not good at this. I'm proud of this.

Number Two:

I love old people.

Number Three:

I think I might be a closet introvert. How does one live 40 years and just figure this out? Okay, semi-introvert. I like people.  I suspect this has a lot to do with my GINORMOUS family and how I never get one single second to myself.  I'm just saying, I can totally hang with my self, like 24/7.

Number Four:

I haven't been camping in yeeeeears.  And I could cry right now, just typing that out.

Number Five:

My birthday is Cinco de Mayo, and I seriously love presents.  You should start planning now.

Number Six:

I love to drive.

Number Seven:

My big toe looks like a turtle head and my little toes look like turtle legs. Every time. I can't not see turtles.

Number Eight:

When I hear hip hop and pop, I am automatically choreographing routines in my head.

Number Nine:

I am far too nice, when I NEED TO GET PISSED.  Like, so much.

Number Ten:

I love looking at the lines on my palms.  I'm so curious and need to know more.

Number Eleven:

I love beards.  I didn't even know.

Number Twelve (this one is for my 14-yr-old):

I have no daughters that look like trashcans trying to look human. The end!

Number Thirteen:

I'm a little psychic.

Number Fourteen:

I can still do toe touches on the trampoline.

Number Fifteen:

I get addicted to things.

Number Sixteen:

I am highly impressionable.  For instance, if someone says they had sushi for lunch.  I will probably have to have sushi.  Like, right now.

Number Seventeen:

I'm a clincher and sleep with a mouth guard.  It's super sexy.

Number Eighteen:

I want to go on a date SO BAD, that I'm about to take myself.

Number Nineteen:

I *choose* to get up at 5:00 every day.  Silence is precious. And the coffee is so much better.

Number Twenty:

I think these kids (mine and his). are my best friends.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Challenge Accepted

I'm starting this new blog challenge to light a fire under these lazy fingers! Apparently I need someone to tell me *exactly* what to do. I'm a follower not a leader. I'm fine with this.

I'm working off of a 30-Day Instagram Challenge (prompts to post a new pic every day) and a 31-Day Blog Challenge (prompts to blog posts every day). See links below:

Instagram Challenge:

Blog Challenge:

For the Instagram Challenge I am supposed to put a pic of my favorite food. This favorite food stuff is ever-changing, as I am a major foodie.  So here's what it is right now.  Today:

Pico de Gallo, specifically with these:

I will eat the entire bag. And plucking a chip out of the bag *covered* in all the lime spices makes me squeal in happiness. Really. Every time. Whatever.  It's a meal.

For the blog challenge I'm supposed to do an introduction and recent pic.

See that pic up there?  It's of me the other day right before an event we did at work, called "Keep The Spirit of '45 Alive".  I get to be the marketing director (fancy) for Solterra Senior Living at White Mountains.  It's a wonderful place, of which I will talk about a lot on here, because it is a very good chunk of my life.  I love my old people.

Spirit of '45, celebrates the "ordinary" heroes of The Greatest Generation--some of these people that lived through this time are my best friends.  It was a joy to celebrate them, and that we did this past Friday.  We partied like it was 1945, complete with classic car show, The Helldorado Girls (a group of women that circulate parades, charities, etc...basically raise morale everywhere they go, specifically dressed in vintage attire--in this case--military pinup), and a DJ that played all the good stuff from the 40's. We made 100 Shirley Temples and served Spam (with toothpicks!) and other delicious thiiiings from that time (we Googled).  It was a blasty blast, and made our residents very happy. We raided the Helldorado Girls closet and I got to wear this fun getup.  I totally felt pretty.  And I don't always feel pretty.  So there you go.

And now for the intro:

For those of you that don't know me, I'm Sunshine, and I've been through a lot of changes over the last couple of years, which you will totally notice if you go back and read my previous posts and then compare them to now.  I feel you may question whether or not this is the same person.  Well, 'tis.  I promise.

To sum it up:  World Crashed Down. Divorced. Fell in love with my childhood friend.  Moved from Oregon to Arizona. Went from The Three Of Us, to The Eight Of Us. Went from Stay-At-Home-Momma to Full-Time-Working-Momma/Momager.  We all live in a sweet, tiny, crowded house, on an orchard, in the tiny mountain town I (and the fella I fell in love with) grew up in. We are happy. Sad. Imperfect. Beautiful. Mending. Superheroes. Fragile. Loud. Silent. Creative. Good. Crazy. Clever. Real. So Much More. But most of all, we are          figuring         it              out.

See you tomorrow!  Really.