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Dave and I sat here reading this article and nodding all the way through. I had to share with all of you who might have fallen down the hole with us!

Liquorstore Bear

My parents think I don’t understand them (at least I think they think that). So today I’m making an effort to get into their brains. [Full disclosure: MY PARENTS ARE TOTALLY BORING. FEEL FREE TO SKIP TODAY’S POST.]

 ♦  ♦  ♦

After seven years of parenting, my mum and dad aren’t doing so well in the social department. While they were never so outgoing that they had to fend off friends, prior to this millennium they at least hung out with people, phoned people, and found themselves in mingling situations more than once every two years.

Parenthood changes the way you make friends—profoundly. No longer do you make connections casually, gradually, or naturally. The intense first year with a newborn, during which you get an immediate burst of attention and then withdraw into diapers and mush, effectively destroys whatever spontaneity you once had. At first friends call…barbecues, dinner parties, golf games, poker…

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Our Laundry Fairy Was Kidnapped

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I hope she’s ok.  But’s she’s definitely been kidnapped.  Our laundry fairy…  She’s GONE!

How do I know she’s been kidnapped?  I have a few pieces of evidence:

1.  There are piles of clean laundry to be folded on the living room chairs.  Big piles.

2.  A load of wash was left in the washing machine for more than a day.

3.  The lint trap had lint in it.

4.  I found the boys’ socks in their beds, in between sofa cushions and on the floor.

5.  There’s dirty laundry on the bathroom floor.

I hope our laundry fairy is okay and being taken care of.  If you see her, please tell her I’ll rescue her as soon as possible.

Are We in the 47 Percent?

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I normally ignore politics.  I followed the Obama campaign four years ago because I thought he would be good for America, but ever since then, my following has been just about non-existant.  Well, until the last couple weeks that is.

Dave and I have been working on a couple (BIG) projects and in effort to get our name out I’ve been working on developing a presence in social media.  Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, we’re on them all.  Twitter has been my primary concentration, however, because I’m realizing that in order to build a presence over there, you have to be consistently active.  As such, Twitter has become my news source.

Although not always the most reliable source for the latest news story, I was looking through the posts of those I follow when the video of Romney and his 47 Percent leaked.  Having just come back from laughing my butt off when hearing his interpretation of “middle class” income, my jaw dropped.  I HAD to watch the video.

In case you missed it, you can either click above or read what he said:

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.

Again, my jaw dropped.

When I left my ex-husband, I was unemployed.  Feeling it was necessary to get my sons and I into a safer environment, I looked to the state for public assistance.  Did I expect help?  No.  But I was EXTREMELY appreciative when I received it.

In order to qualify for Ohio’s Cash Assistance program, I needed to be actively looking for a job or be employed.  Let me preface this by saying that it was not my choice to be unemployed.  I am a college graduate with my bachelor’s in interior architecture.  I am an artist, or at least I would like to believe I am.  Two years prior to leaving my ex I lost my job.  While I tried to secure another job in the industry, finding an interior design job in the midwest was, and still is, like finding a needle in a haystack.  I applied at gas stations, fast food restaurants and local stores.  For TWO years I applied to all of these places just so I could contribute to my household.  The response I got was always somewhere along the line of, “You’re overqualified,” or “We don’t want to put time into training you when you’re just going to move on to something better.”

Finding a job after moving out turned out to be a whole lot of luck.  I was in the right place at the right time with the right person, when I secured my first job in more than two years.  But I didn’t get a job because somebody was telling me to.  I was doing it because that’s what I needed to do for the boys and I.  I didn’t believe anybody owed my a job.  I simply hoped somebody would give me a chance.

Every Friday morning, recipients of the cash assistance program were required (I’m not receiving the assistance anymore so I don’t know if it’s still the same) to attend an open interview session at our local job office.  Upon hearing about this I was excited.  I thought it would be my chance to get a job.  I was wrong.  Walking into the office, I was visably one of the very few attendees who cared about getting a job and getting off the program.  First, I had bathed.  My hair and teeth were brushed.  And I had worn a suit.  Looking around, I was surrounded by unkempt people wearing pajamas and sweat pants who looked as though they hadn’t showered all week.  I was flabbergasted.

But it got worse.  The employers, knowing this is how people were approaching the mandatory open interviews, had stopped attending.  There was ONE employer there, a gas station, and they were looking for somebody to work third shift.  As badly as I needed a job, I couldn’t work third shift with the boys.

I’m digressing, so I’ll get back to my point…

I work full-time now and Dave is in college full-time.  The cash assistance and food stamps are long expired, and yes, we struggle.  But no, we don’t believe the government “owes” us.  I don’t EXPECT them to give me housing, healthcare and education.  I didn’t even apply for housing assistance when I left my ex.  What I do expect, however, is that all Americans be given the same opportunities for equal care.

I have been employed by the same company for the last 17 months and have been a great employee.  I get my job done and don’t create drama at the office.  I get paid every week and pay for health insurance out of my paycheck.  I repeat, I pay for health insurance.  With that said, paying for health insurance doesn’t provide me with the same benefits as somebody receiving public assistance.  Example: Dave and I found out we miscarried earlier this year and I had a D&C shortly thereafter.  A month later the bill came in the mail.  We owed $8500.  Out of the $9000 bill, our insurance had covered approximately $500.  Does this sound right to you?

When I had the boys 7 and 10 years ago, the entire pre- and post- natal bills for each boy equaled $500.  This included monthly-turned-weekly check-ups as well as delivery and the hospital stay.  For the youngest, it also included an extra week in the hospital for me when he tried to come two months early.

Following our miscarriage earlier this year, Dave and I had two more (miscarriages).  During the third pregnancy, I found out that women who met specific (low) income guidelines could apply for pregnancy health care through the state.  While I didn’t want to apply, I did.  With a bill of $8500 from an out-patient procedure, it scared us to think what the labor and delivery would cost.  Would we be shelling out the cost of a full-year college tuition to welcome this miracle into our life?  Bah!  When I started miscarrying the third time, however, the fear of cost played into my health decisions.  I went through three days of excrutiating pain and dizziness before finally going to the ER.  That bill has yet to come, and I’m sure it’s not going to be pretty.

I can’t say who I’m going to vote for, however I can say that I don’t like being generalized.  Dave and I DO take personal accountability and responsibility for our lives.  Can we always pay the bills we have?  No.  But we’re not applying for assistance we don’t need.

School Age Kids and Saturday Mornings

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The last two years has been a bit of an adjustment for me.  Even outside of how my life changed marriage wise (separated, divorced and then re-married), and career wise, I didn’t expect so many other changes and adjustments.  Most specifically, I’m talking about Saturday mornings.

When I had my boys, I quickly realized that sleeping in was a thing of the past.  Six a.m. breast feeding sessions turned into 7 a.m. rattlings on the crib, and later one or both of them climbing into bed with me.  As they got older, they learned to get up and turn on the T.V. and fix themself a bowl of cereal.  With the hope of one of Dave’s all-star breakfasts, however, it’s hit-or-miss as to whether or not they will take the cereal or knock on our door until we wake up, in hopes of french toast or omelettes.  Yea, our Breakfasts with the Beatles are THAT good.

In the past year we have had the biggest change to our Saturday mornings.  This one is probably the hardest to adjust to…  Sports.  While waking up and stumbling to the kitchen to get coffee and relax on a Saturday morning is one thing, having to set the alarm to make sure we’re at the field early enough is an entirely different playing field.

Our Saturday mornings have turned into another workday morning.

Instead of asking, “Do you have your shoes, homework and lunch?” I find myself repeatedly asking, “Where are your shinguards, uniform and cleats?”  It’s exhausting!  While I appreciate the fact that our Saturdays are ours after the games are over, I know I’m not alone once we get to the field.  Sitting in our lawn chairs, we’re surrounded by parents who look beat up.  Our massive thermoses filled with coffee should have an IV into our bloodstream, and as our kids sweat it out on the field, we struggle to stay warm on the sidelines.  With our pale faces and bags under our eyes, we look like a sad group that’s been up all night drinking rather than a segment of the population that could just use a nap.  Or a vacation.

So here I am at 9:03 Saturday morning.  My coffee is next to me on the desk and the air is cold thanks to a night of rain and thunderstorms.  But the game is still on.  And I’ll be on the soccer field sidelines in less than an hour, cheering Thing 2 on and hoping for a win.  However when the game is finished, the day belongs to the parents (she says with a sinister laugh).  There’s laundry to be done, a sink full of dishes and trash to take out.  Well…  OK.  Maybe Saturday afternoons don’t belong to the parents either.  Maybe they belong to all the chores and tasks that weren’t done during the week.

Here’s hope for Sunday.

Making Happiness Your Reality

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It’s a beautiful morning.  The sun is shining, and the birds are driving our cats crazy by perching themselves on the sunflowers right outside our front window.  But despite the thumps I keep hearing on the window as the cats try to earn an extra breakfast, all I can do is smile.

Life is good.

We’ve had our ups and downs.  We’ve had our “worse”, “poorer” and “sickness.”  But through everything, I’m in a place in my life where I don’t need to change a thing to be happy.  I AM.

Are you?

I find it interesting and discouraging when I speak to people who seem to want to be unhappy.  Even when things aren’t going our way, we answer “Great!” when asked, “How are you?”

How do you answer that question?  If you’re more of a half-empty person, I ask you to consider this…  When your day starts off bad, does it usually get worse?  If so, have you ever evaluated how much time you spend focusing on your problems, rather than focusing on what’s going good in your life?  Believe it or not, there IS good in your life.  Consider this: If you’re able to read my blog, you are able to read.  You have a computer or electronic device that allows you to connect to the internet.  You are alive.

If you are a more-than-half-full person, I’m proud of you.  Keep smiling.  Brighten somebody else’s day by saying “Good morning!” or by simply smiling at them as they pass you.  Believe it or not, that smile really could be the ticket to making their day just a little bit better.

Sitting at work a few months back, I realized there was a man in my office who I had never seen smile.  I decided right then that I WAS going to get a smile out of him, and I started greeting him with a smile and a “Hi!” every time we passed.  You know what?!  It worked!  Every time we pass now, I not only get a smile, but I receive a “Hi Kim!”  And my heart glows.  I didn’t give up.

If you struggle with maintaining a positive attitude, I encourage you to look up the following websites:

Abraham-Hicks

The Secret

It doesn’t matter what your religion or belief system is.  You can be happy.  But rather than waiting for somebody else or a particular situation to make you happy, you have the responsibility to make yourself happy.

So do it.  And remember:

You are a creator of thoughtways on your unique path of joy.  ~Abraham-Hicks

Flowers from My Husband

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I’m a very lucky woman.  At least once  a month, if not more, my husband sends me flowers.  They are always beautiful, get to me speedy fast, and are in all ways, PRICELESS.  That’s right, priceless.  They mean more to me than he knows, and they are absolutely free.

How am I so lucky?

Because I’m married to awesomeness, and when he sees beauty he sends it to me via text message.

Here are some of my favorite “A flower for you” messages I have received in the past year…

 

To my male readers…  Be warned.  You have no excuse for not sending your lady flowers.  The next time you see a pretty one, do as my husband does…  Take out your cell phone (I know you have one) and snap a picture.  You’ll be off the hook in both the flower and sweet text message for at least a day, and you’ll have sent her a flower that her cat won’t be able to mangle when you’re not looking.