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Election 2016 , Guess What?

November 9, 2016

 

This has by far been the ugliest, most painful Presidential election that I have lived through. Neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton were worthy of my vote.

I have several friends who are diehard Trump supporters and plenty of others who are diehard Clinton supporters.

Guess what? Both sides vehemently agree that they are right. My Facebook feed is littered with notes, memes and harsh words criticizing both sides. Each of my friends swears that they are right and those who disagree are morons, disappointments, evil and/or hate mongers.

Guess what? They are all wrong! We are all born with free will. We live in a country that allows free speech and free thought. While that is awesome and wonderful, it is leading to some very ugly confrontations and friendships being lost.  We all need to take a step back and remember the bottom line,  no matter if we are democrat, republican, libertarian, independent or whatever, we are all people. We all matter. We are all concerned. We all want wants best for the Country.

Therein lies the problem, how do we decide what it best for our Country?

You’ve got folks saying that Donald Trump is a jackass who has made horrible comments about others based on their race, gender, class, etc. Guess what? We’ve all said stupid things. We’ve all made comments that we regret. Thankfully we are not surrounded by microphones and cameras waiting to immortalize our stupidest moments.

You’ve got folks saying that Hillary Clinton is a liar, a cheat, and someone who feels she is above the law.  Guess what? We’ve all lied about something. We’ve all tried to take the short cut or take something we didn’t deserve. We’ve all tried to break a rule here and there.

My point is that none of us is perfect. None of us is without sin. The problem with this election is we’ve all tried to justify that OUR candidates’ sins are less sinful or reproachable than the other candidates. Who are we to make those decisions?

Both Trump and Clinton have done terrible stuff. Guess what? They’ve both done a lot of good for others as well.

What’s done is done. The election is over. Trump wins. So instead of perpetuating the hate, instead of continuing to make personal attacks on people’s intellect, instead of thinking that our opinion reigns supreme over everyone else, we need to get back to the basics.

We need to live kindness.

We need to live love.

We need to live respect.

We need to live compassion.

We need to live together.

One of my favorite songs by Matthew West is called Do Something… Give it a listen and realize that you have more power over your own life, your own circle, your own community than the President does. You can be the changes that we all so long for. But you have to do something. You can’t sit around moaning and complaining. Do something for someone else.

YIKES! Be Nice!

August 24, 2016
pe clothes

Now I really try hard to not place judgement on people. We are all walking our own walk. We are all fighting our own fights. We all have days that we wish we could start over.

So today, I did not make a scene when I saw a mom being a bit rude. Instead I did my best to be extra nice to the poor woman who was on the receiving end of the rudeness from this other mom.

We were at the middle school where the Big One will start 6th grade next week (YIKES!). It was time to purchase PE uniforms. Now you don’t have to purchase the school-logo stuff but you can. It’s $22 for the shorts and T-shirt. The instructions from the school say that if you choose not to purchase the school ones, you can. You just need to purchase royal blue shorts and light grey T-shirt. No problem, right.

So we walk in the room. There is a mom approaching the register, when another mom came up and said, “Excuse me, can I ask you a quick question?” to the woman running the register. She replied sure and the woman asked if her son could try on the shorts somewhere to assure they fit. The woman running the register has clearly been doing this for a while, she replied, “Well, let me take a look at you.” She proceeded to tell the mom that the kid needed the large size shorts, and that he could slip them on over his current shorts to make sure.

While this was going on, the first mom who was approaching the register smirked at me and mumbled “That’s not a very quick question,” in a huff. I just smiled at her and shrugged my shoulders. It really was not taking that long at all.

The x-small clothes were right next to the register so that’s we were hanging out with my tiny child.

So the staff lady returned to her spot at the register where the other mom was clearly annoyed.

She was there with her three kids. As far as I could tell the three kids were fine. They were not whining. They were not complaining. They were just waiting. She snapped at the staff member asking if there was anything smaller than an x-small.  The staff lady replied no that was the smallest and that it would be fine because he could wear them for more than one year, thus saving some money. Or she could go to a store and buy something smaller if she needed to.

At this point, the mom asked where she would find a t-shirt that fit the bill. Apparently the shorts were fine size wise, but the T-shirt was unacceptable.

Now I am no rocket scientist, but finding a light grey T-shirt is not that hard. If nothing else, just go to T-shirt Mart where they sell every color under the rainbow for like $3.

But anyway, the staff lady kind of shrugged her shoulders this time and said she could purchase a light grey T-shirt just about anywhere.

The mom was now even more annoyed. She literally folded her arms and tapped her foot on the ground and asked if the shirt the kid was currently wearing was acceptable.

Staff lady replied that no, it was not okay. The kid was wearing a dark grey polyester moisture-wicking type shirt with burgundy colored thread. The staff lady again said it needs to be a light grey cotton T-shirt.

At this point the mom was even more mad. “Well, he just won’t wear it! They are all too BIG. And he will not wear it!”

The staff lady was very nice and just said, well it’s your choice, but they will make him change at PE time if he is not wearing the right color shirt.

Then mom put her hands on the kids’ shoulder and said, “We’ll just have to see. He will not wear a baggy shirt!!”

Now my kid and I were having a similar challenge. The shirt is huge on her. She doesn’t like a wearing baggy stuff either. But my child and I talked about it. And by talked about it I basically said, “Suck it up buttercup, this is the smallest size they’ve got!” To which she shrugged her shoulders and said, “It’ll be fine.”

It’s not the staff person’s fault that my kid has issues (or any other kid has issues). There was no reason for this mom to get snotty and rude about her kid’s shirt-wearing challenges. She could have just said “thank you very much for the information” and walked away.

Why do people feel the need to be rude and nasty to others? The lady’s three kids were watching the whole encounter. What did they learn from mom’s attitude?  I can only imagine if that poor kid comes home with a less-than-stellar grade. I wonder who will be held accountable.

{Yes, I know she could have been having a bad day, we all do. But something in her demeanor led me to believe that this was not just a bad moment for her!}

And truth be told my child and I are not perfect in any way shape or form. Once we got home and she tried the PE uniform on, she was much less gracious about the size. But she will deal with it!

 

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This Is A Real Question…

July 13, 2016

There has been too much YUK! in the world recently, so I am taking it back to the burning questions in my life. YES! This IS  a real question…

Picture this you are at Costco in line for gas with about 50 of your closest friends at lunch time. It looks something like this.

 

costco gas

 

Say you are in Car C.  As you are sitting there waiting your turn, Car A finishes up, but Car B is still pumping.  Do you, pull into the center lane in front of Car B, back into the space and begin pumping gas? Or do you wait for Car B to finish up then you pull up into Car A’s spot, leaving room for Car D (not labeled) to occupy Car B’s spot?

Yes, there is a right answer to this question (well at least in the world where I am always right!) What are your thoughts on this burning question?

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How Did It Get So Bad?

July 8, 2016

For many years now, the Husband and I have watched the news together after the girls have gone to bed. And for many years, as we watched the events of the day unfold we’ve often looked at each other and said, “What is wrong with people?” Last night as we watched the news much later than it was originally broadcast and we were simultaneously receiving news alerts regarding the horrific intentional shooting of multiple Dallas police officers, we were both just stunned. The events that have happened this week go so far beyond the question of what is wrong with people. It’s truly incomprehensible what is happening daily around us.

How have we become so immune to violence? How have we come to care so little about other people? How is it possible that we’ve become so ego-centric that we think our life is the only one important enough to save?

It just hurts my head and my heart so much to try and make sense of any of it. I don’t want my girls to become aware of such terrible events, yet they need to know how to protect themselves if they are ever in a dangerous situation. When I was in elementary school, we learned about “stranger danger” and to “Say NO to drugs,” but we never had to practice lock-down drills. There was no such thing as a code-word for teachers to use when there was a potentially dangerous person or situation occurring on our near our school.

My girls have seen on the news or heard more stories about shootings, death, murder and other vicious attacks on others to last them a lifetime. So how do we stop this madness? How do we get back to caring about other people? How do we get back to loving ourselves enough that we are able to also respect those around us?

None of this hate is natural. Go to a park someday and watch toddlers play. They don’t care if you are a girl or a boy. They don’t care what color your skin is. They don’t care if you are wearing a dress or jeans. They only care if you take turns on the slide. They only care if you share your sand toys. They only care if you play fair.

We as adults have allowed and taught the younger generation how to hate. We as adults have allowed and taught the younger generation how to judge others. We as adults have allowed and taught the younger generation that what really matters is how far ahead you can get. It all needs to stop.

When I was younger, our church’s Pastor gave all of us kids a copy of Robert Fulghum’s “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”  As I try to make sense of our current state of affairs, I can’t help but think how different the world might be if the book was required reading for every single person. Like every single day they had to read it until they truly understood that not one of us is any better than the other. Not one of us deserves any more or any less than the others. Not one of us has the right to decide who gets to live or who dies.   All those decisions ultimately are left up to God. All that we are left to decide is how to live our lives here on Earth. Are we going to live to the glory of God or are we going to live to the glory of ourselves?

I for one choose love. I for one choose kindness. I for one choose compassion. I for one choose God.

kindergarten

 

Mediocrity at Its Best

June 15, 2016

I will start off by saying that yes I probably am a terrible mother for saying this, but here goes. Why on earth do we celebrate kids being proficient at school? This goes along with the whole participation trophy syndrome that we as a society encourage.

I hate to say it but life isn’t fair. Just because you try your hardest, do your best, show up every day and express great enthusiasm, you will NOT always win. Often the jerkiest people who rarely show up are the ones who win. But guess what? That’s life. It is what it is. I am not saying that you should stop trying. I am not saying to give up before even attempting. I am not saying go crawl in a hole and cry until it’s over. I am just saying that not everyone is going to win. Not everyone can be the best. Not everyone deserves to be recognized for just showing up. And that is okay. Life can still be wonderful. Life can still be celebrated. Life can still be lived even if you don’t always win.

At the girls’ school’s end of the year awards ceremony I was a bit perplexed why kids were being called up and presented certificates for being “proficient” in reading? Isn’t that why we all went to school? Isn’t the goal at the end of the year to be, at the very least, proficient and move on to the next level? Why do we celebrate kids doing what they are supposed to be doing?  Learning, growing, reading, understanding math, appreciating the history of this great country – these are all things that I expect my kids to complete at school. They don’t need to be recognized for doing their job.

Yes, as kids, their job is to go to school. It’s what life is about. School is meant to set the framework for their adult lives. It’s about problem solving, learning responsibility, taking care of yourself and others. They should be figuring out how to make a budget, complete a project, work with others, be creative, treat people with respect and take care of the earth.

They should not be recognized for barely passing. They should not be recognized for meeting the minimum requirements. Those should be a given. I am not an evil monger, I know that there are kids who might never meet those minimum requirements and there should be programs in place to help them. But there are plenty of kids who have figured out that the bare minimum gets them an award. It gets them showered with praise and celebrated. This mentality is making them lazy. It’s definitely contributes to the entitlement attitude.

Some of these kids are really smart kids, yet they will never amount to much because they don’t have to. We have lowered our expectations of them, and as such they will never have to work hard for anything because we keep handing them whatever they want. By celebrating them for showing up and meeting the bare minimums we are doing them a terrible disservice. We need to be challenging them. We need to raise the expectations. We need to teach them to reach for the stars. We need to encourage them think way outside the boxes.

These kids will be in charge of our world someday. We need their ideas. We need their creativity. We need their medical cures and compassion, we need their technological breakthroughs but we will never get that from them if we continue celebrating them for just showing up. We need to challenge them to rise up and be their absolute best because they truly are the future.

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This Kid…

April 7, 2016

IMG_0754As moms, we all think our kid is the coolest kid around. We find our own children to be funny, charming, caring, considerate, loving, empathetic, etc, etc, etc. But as moms who spend time with other kids, we also know that lots of kids can be jerks. They can be mean, rude, inconsiderate and obnoxious. I mean really, who do those kids belong to?

 

Anyway, back on track this is not about “those” kids. Today I am going to brag on my kid. I don’t normally do stuff like this. My kids are cool, funny, charming, caring, considerate, loving, empathetic, etc, etc, etc. But they can also be rude, mean, jerks too. But today the Little One falls into the “good” category. Actually most days, the Little One is in the good stuff category. She will literally give someone the shirt off her back. If she overhears you need a couple bucks, she will go to her piggy bank and hand over all that she has. When her school or church youth groups is collecting coins for different causes, she has no hesitation at all about giving all that she has away.

 

So today is her birthday. YAY! She is 9 years old today. As is typical, she wanted to bring treats into school to share with her entire class. Over the years, we’ve done it all. We’ve brought in cookies, donuts, cupcakes, pizza and brownies. Whatever she has been in the mood for we made happen.

 

Well this year, she has a kiddo in her class who is gluten-free. I should add that my niece is also gluten-free. So the Little One has tried some GF items before and not been a fan (most especially the gluten-free Toffeetastic Girl Scout cookies, they are gross). The Little One is well aware that gluten-free does not taste the same as gluten-full stuff!

 

So I asked her what she wanted to bring in to class for her birthday. She announced, “BROWNIES!” without hesitation. Then she paused and said, “Can you make them gluten-free so that Ian doesn’t feel left out?”

 

IMG_0752I asked for clarification. I assumed she wanted “regular” brownies for everyone else and a gluten-free one for Ian. But nope she said this:

 

“Mom, he always has to have something different than everyone else. He can never just eat what people bring in. I just don’t want him to be left out this time.”

 

Oh, my heart. This kid. She is a rockstar. So thank you Betty Crocker for having a gluten-free brownie mix that “wasn’t really that bad,” according to the Little One.  And thank you Little One for just being you.

How to Talk to Girl Scout Cookie Sellers

February 18, 2016
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We truly understand that people sometimes feel inundated during Girl Scout cookie season. So we offer the following tips on how to talk to Girl Scouts to help you avoid awkward, uncomfortable and sometimes inappropriate conversations with young girls. (Yes, these are all real. We cannot make this stuff up.)

 

Adorable Girl Scout: Hi! Would you like to buy some Girl Scout Cookies?

Potential Customer: Do I look like I eat cookies?

A better response from Potential Customer: No thank you.

 

Adorable Girl Scout: Hi! Would you like to buy some Girl Scout Cookies?

Potential Customer: No I don’t need cookies.

Adorable Girl Scout: Would you like to donate to Operation Thin Mint? We send cookies to deployed troops.

Potential Customer: I tithe at church, I don’t need to give anything more.

A better response from Potential Customer: No thank you.

 

 

Adorable Girl Scout: Hi! Would you like to buy some Girl Scout Cookies?

Potential Customer: I don’t have any cash.

Adorable Girl Scout: We take credit cards

Potential Customer: NO YOU DON’T!

Adorable Girl Scout: Yes we really do!

Potential Customer: NO YOU DON’T. DON’T SAY THAT!

Adorable Girl Scout’s Mom: Yes, actually we do. You have a great day!

A better response from Potential Customer: No thank you.

 

 

Adorable Girl Scout: Hi! Would you like to buy some Girl Scout Cookies?

Potential Customer: UGH! You guys got me last week.

A better response from Potential Customer: No thank you.

 

Adorable Girl Scout: Hi! Would you like to buy some Girl Scout Cookies?

Potential Customer: NO! I don’t support Planned Parenthood

A better response from Potential Customer: No thank you.

 

Adorable Girl Scout: Hi! Would you like to buy some Girl Scout Cookies?

Potential Customer: I don’t speak English

Adorable Girl Scout: What?

Potential Customer: (laughing) I don’t understand.

A better response from Potential Customer: No thank you.

 

Adorable Girl Scout: Hi! Would you like to buy some Girl Scout Cookies?

Potential Customer: No, I don’t have any cash.

Adorable Girl Scout: That’s okay, we take credit cards.

Potential Customer: What? You do?

Adorable Girl Scout: Yes we do.

Potential Customer: Well, ummm I’m gluten free.

Adorable Girl Scout: Well, we have gluten free cookies!

Potential Customer: Ummm well, I bought a bunch at work.

Adorable Girl Scout: Okay. Thank you for supporting Girl Scouts.

A better response from Potential Customer: No thank you.

 

Girl Scout cookie sales are not  really about the cookies themselves. The girls are learning 5 essential business skills that will serve them the rest of their lives.
5 cookie skills

 

You as a grown up can teach the girls so much more if you could just take a few seconds to acknowledge them by saying “No thank you,” and offering a polite smile. Those three little words teach the girls volumes about being respectful, friendly and compassionate, not to mention how to be a decent human being. It really doesn’t take much to say those magical words. Try it with me. Say it out loud, “No thank you.” See it’s really not that difficult, say it again, “No thank you.” Easy peasy.  There is no need to be rude. There is no need to be nasty. There is no need to lie. There is no need to make Girl Scout cookies political. The girls appreciate the support, but they would be even happier if you could just say, “No thank you” if you are not interested.

 

And for those of you who buy cookies every time you are asked, God bless you.  For those of you who share your stories of being a Girl Scout, God bless you. For those of you who support your daughters, granddaughters, nieces, grand nieces, etc, God bless you.  For those of you who truly do not eat cookies, don’t have the extra money, really did buy 20 boxes at work last week, or like me have 500 boxes in your living room God bless you too!  I guarantee that despite having 500 boxes in my house, I still donate when I leave the store and get accosted by those adorable Girl Scouts. I still buy cookies when they knock on my door not because I am cooler than you are, but because I get it.