Monday, August 24, 2009


I am. In the sense of the source or cause of a problem. I’m too prideful to share the story. Let’s just say there are days when I look at myself and realize I suck. Not every day, but there are days…like when I can’t get through to my kid…or when things are out of my control even though I think they should be…or when I flip out and realize I’ve been had by every weakness and insecurity ever vested in me. Culprit. A.K.A. HUUUUGE slice of humble pie.

I consider myself a fairly logical girl. Girl implying the full range of emotional responses. I’ve got LOTS of sarcasm to cover all of the vulnerability…but occasionally it doesn’t conceal them…it whips off the cover like a tarp in the wind. Despite my logic, when it comes to my children or my love there are times when the strong logical approach will take a step down and allow the emotional method to give it a whirl…which ALWAYS ends with me feeling like the culprit (hence the title) and puffy eyes.

I have this really BAD habit of trying to rely on myself when it comes to things that really can’t be handled on my own. When I was on my mission I would so go through cycles where I would feel very sturdy and try to take things on. As I would weaken I would hand more and more over to the Lord, knowing full well that He was the only one who could really help me and show me how to deal. At times I would beg Him to take it all. And He did. Little by little as I grew stronger I would take things back until (brilliant) I was holding everything again, completely overwhelmed…and there He was…hands extended…allowing me to give back the things that I just couldn’t or didn’t know how to handle.

Wasn’t I supposed to grow out of that when I became an adult? Wasn’t I supposed to figure it all out and know how to handle love? And loss? And brattiness? And tantrums? And disappointment? And patience? Wasn’t I supposed to have this remarkable innate ability to keep my perspective and my cool because I was a grown up? I think my heart (figuratively speaking) is faulty. It’s altogether too impulsive (no pun intended). One thing that I DO know that works is my post-awareness. I need to move it to PRE-awareness. I need some extra pre-meta-cognition, if you please. To save me from putting my foot in my mouth or from letting my anger and frustration get the better of me…and then I need a REALLY GOOD eye cream.

Lovies and chums (and self), heed my advice. Beware of stupidity in sheep’s clothing. Beware of lame things that seem monumental and escalate at super sonic speed…unless, of course, you love humble pie…then we can eat it together. I guarantee I suck more than you. As long as you understand that and don’t try to dissuade me (which will annoy me and I’ll snap at you and then feel bad and then I’ll have to eat humble pie over you…please, spare me) we can sit at the same table happily and discuss the ins and outs of pie crust and filling.

All is well. I promise. I’m just unflatteringly human. And those days keep the experience real…painfully real. Someday I’ll get it. I’ll step back enough to see the process WHILE it’s happening AND keep my cool. I hope. I’m working on it. That’s the best I can do presently. At least I can kind of giggle about it…and hopefully make you do the same as you read and (not out rightly) admit that you may have felt similarly. All of this happens for a reason…which you may or may not know…which will mean a different thing on a different day…which will pull you and push you and make you laugh and cry…but the wisdom gleaned from said trials and living…make you amazing and miraculous…albeit weathered and scarred a bit. So the objective wasn’t to make it through this life without battle wounds and scars, nor will our success be about how much we can handle on our own…but to accumulate the lessons…to learn the fundamentals…and to learn how to rely and trust. It’s about keeping our perspective on the things that really matter, right?

It’ll be okay. I won’t write this stuff all the time. It’s sobering…well, sort of…take it with a grain of salt. My point in broadcasting is that we’re not alone.

Hand your stuff over. Lean a bit. It’s okay. Lean a LOT. It’s still oaky. Roll with it. Breathe. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Admit it when you’re less than your best. Get over it. Then be your best. Love the good and the bad. Just love. It’s not going to all go away when you grow up. As long as you’re someone’s child (in its many contexts) you still got growin’ to do.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Casatoreasca....I just like the way it sounds

Married. Just a little over a month. To a beautiful man, a true friend. I've been asked how married life is going...It's going very well, thanks. We're together only during the weekends due to his working on an island 70ish miles off of the coast. We talk all the time, but sharing space is limited. There's a longing...and a gratitude for the time we DO have together. There's no time for anything but handling these minutes with precious care.

It's an interesting place to love from a distance. This is the first time that I can say I'm in a long distance relationship. Ha...and it's not like I could fly or boat out to see him...unless I had clearance.

There is something in being able to consider the things that you appreciate and adore in an individual when they're not present. There's a comfort in remembering the way his hand feels in mine...and all of the sensory recalls that come alive when he the way his shirt smells when I'm close to him...or the feel of his hair in my fingers...Or the serenity that is invoked with just a few words...yeah, married life is well. Very well, thank you.

Life in general is very good. Busy and perhaps a tad insane, but good. I frequently intermingle the word insane with the thought of stretching. Work with me. You know? Those weeks when there's just NO END to the many things that have to happen...and you're responsible for the coordination and the execution of every plan...stretching. Stretch yourself. Stretch your patience. Stretch your limits...not always for good, not always for bad...but out of duty. It's nuts to consider all of the stuff...but we totally do it and then later think nothing of it. Eh, I'm fine. There's a lot to do...there's ALWAYS a lot to do, so it makes the stretch a little less gargantuan. What's a centimeter more, right? :)

Kids are doing well. Often the root of my stretch (I don't know what I would do without my Mom who cares for them during the day.), they are also the root of my duty. They grow at a speed that is much to my chagrin. Somebody, PLEASE invent something that will freeze time (and rid me forever of my split ends...get rid of my flat iron? what? oh right...that would do the trick) and make them NOT grow so quickly. Keep them small where they won't ever tire of cuddles and tickles. The other day Justus was right in step with my humor and sarcasm. He was witty and funny...I enjoyed it, but was snapped back to the many days when he would look at me blankly and change the subject to thomas the tank engine or the wiggles. Now he's super stoked on books he's found in my collection...and is manifesting these pearls of personality that are both breathtaking and overwhelming.

It happens in a blink, no? And I know you understand because it happens to you, too. In our own ways.

Strive. Stretch. Catch the moments. Enjoy.
Love to you all,

Sunday, April 12, 2009

To Remember

The last few weeks have brought back some poignant memories. Flowers and tree trunks painted white. Amaryllis and paper whites growing in lush parks...spring green held in by meandering cement walkways. Piatas full of spring berries and flowers...and then the tears come. Involuntarily. Regardless, they come. Tears for things and people that I miss...tears for things and people I love...tears for a time...a beautiful, harsh, glorious time...I can remember the sound of my shoes on the streets. I can remember dogs and cars and gypsies...the smell of bread...the smell of dirt and sweat. Companions. Neighbors. Investigators. Members. How they laughed when things were new. How they cried for things that had happened to them...the Opera plaza full of cards and trinkets for zuia fameilor...How I found my son's name one early morning during individual study in my little bed in Timisoara...How I discovered so much in a place so far away...and how far it seems to me right now.

There's no Easter Bunny in Romania. Eggs are dyed red or with symbols of spring in observance of new life. The daily greetings change from the regular "good day" to "Christ was Resurrected." And the one receiving the greeting replies with, "True, He Lives Again." Their Easter celebration is about light. Climbing up to a high tower in Timisoara, the view from the window brought an almost endless sea in the Opera plaza of the town citizens all with illuminated candles. The light of Christ they symbolically carried. Beautiful.

I am grateful for a time every year to consider what this light means to me. To hold a love for traditions I grew up with as a child, but to include these newly acquired perspectives to my observances makes it deeper for me now. I can make my own efforts daily to nourish my light and encourage it in others, regardless of their own beliefs. Light is light. We each have it...and it's difficult for any man, with all of the things we go through, to keep it burning brightly.

I come away with two things and gratitude. That will do it. Small steps. These two elements make all the difference to me...and serve as a powerful motivator in considering how I want to develop in every aspect. But to succeed, both elements must be shared to I offer what I love to gratitude for all you've been and done for me.

Hristos a inviat.
Adevarat, a inviat.

Happy Easter, friends.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I've realized that my limitations and humanity are scary clear when I'm hungry or tired. I'm amongst friends, so I can openly write about my many elephants in the middle of the room. I can be patient and fairly storybook mom-ish from time to time. I know what to say and do when things happen. I understand the nuances of my kids' personalities, their various strengths and weaknesses, how to deflect them, nourish them, encourage and challenge them...BUT (ooh, that's big) you get me on a day when I'm tired...or hungry...and I'm a brat. All former "progressive parenting" styles are OUT THE WINDOW. It's survival of the fittest. 3 of them and 1 of me and I have to be last man standing - no other options.

This thing called sleep is one of my greatest allies...but I'm so longing for it most of the time. Seriously, I'm like...NAP ADDICTED. I had to get my fix in today because I was TOTALLY falling asleep at my desk. Not good when the CFO's panoramic view includes a bird's eye view directly at me. Oh, hi, powerful upper-management man! Thought I'd catch a few zzz's this afternoon. You don't mind, right? Ooh...a pink slip? It was either fry my computer with my forehead to the keys, or steal 12 minutes in the car. Car won. I hit the snooze twice. Good as new. Now it's 9 and I'm a pumpkin. Sleep. So much to do, but I love my cozy, warm sleeping haven. Love it.

Shortage of zzz's equal a relative increase in grrrr's. Inevitable. Even at work. I'm much more sarcastic and punchy. Oh, it's possible, really, I do it every day and the more I do it, the better and more effective I become at being bratty. No, I don't plan on changing it. I plan on going right on with my bratty self. Complaining and moaning...well, not exactly. I'll go on with my snooze button and my whole-hearted snoring when the occasion calls for it.

The point is this: listen to yourself. Bratty = probably not the best you that could be. We won't argue that, BUT (Oooh, big!!) we never feel GREAT after bratty session. Listen. Forgive. Give yourself what you need. Breathe deeply. Start over again. Everything becomes better with practice, but practice the good, worthwhile things...I shouldn't be so proud of my bratty sarcasm...but right now I'm tired, so deal with it.

Love, love, grouchy love,

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Updates

Justus - Has started baseball up again. He had opening day and his first game yesterday. Up to bat twice, he hit and ran and came home both times. A very exciting feat. It's like he waiting and watched all last season. This is his year. He's managed to figure out the mechanics and technicalities of the game and is flourishing. Focused. Enthusiastic. but beautifully humble and engaged. I love this side of him.

Emry - Hit a bit of a snag. A very artistic girl, she wouldn't stop drawing when asked by the teacher. Simply, she wasn't finished and it just posed problematic. When 29 other students are waiting to get on with the curriculum for the day, it's an issue. A listening issue. Thinking it over, I thought perhaps the best way was to practice with her and give her a secondary outlet for her energy and a direct application to listening. We've given TaeKwonDo a try. She really likes it and gets a kick out of the fact that she can yell and run around. It's helpful for her listening skills, and for her to have some idea of how to protect herself. Since the tryout, she's been doing really well. It's an incentive for her and an all-around good time. I'm glad it's something she's enjoying. I just have to watch closely that it's not used on her brothers.

Winter - Is coming into his own with a fierce independent phase. He's trying to get the hang of explaining what he's angry about. At this point he just says a bunch of grouchy things. He'll get it. He had his first day of primary without rolling all over the floor today! No, it's a really big deal. He's doing things on his own and figuring out why it's important to be nice to people. This growing up gig can be a lot to handle. He's doing great.

Jasmine - loves naps. In fact, I'll forsake lunch on any given day to go siesta in my car for 50 minutes. Heck yeah. Blanket and pillow - I'm down. I can gauge the intensity of my day by how badly I want to sleep come 1:30. Work is fine. It's difficult to see people being laid off...there's always a gathering by an upper managment member to let us know that the lay offs don't effect us/me...i'm relieved, but sick at the same time. Like they don't effect us...yet. I can see the faces of those people...their children...and I know so much about what they're dealing have this come along and to look into the eyes of a terminated employee as one awkward. What to even say to begin...It's touched so many.

I AM thankful...thankful to HAVE a job...thankful for a healthy family that's pretty well bound together. It's not perfect, but it's really good. I am thankful for these amazing little people that are mine...something solid in which I can rely. They are my motivation.

May you all be blessed. Have faith. Believe.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Random Oddities

- I think the lady who cooks on the lunch truck is trying to poison me. She keeps sneaking meat into my breakfast burritos. I keep giving them back. I think she's trying to convince me that it's really good. But it's really not to me.

- I've seen Twilight...a lot. Not because it's the most earth-shattering movie ever, but because it's a visual of a story i've greatly enjoyed...and because i wish that there was a human embodiment of Edward and that I could be his Bella.

- I need new music. I've been too budget conscious for the last few months. Going through my playlist I realized that all my stuff is has-been.

- I'm poor, but when I get my state tax return, I'm buying a digital SLR. I keep borrowing other people's cameras. I'd like to have my own.

- I want a house. And a dog.

- I've forgotten to wear earrings for the last 2 weeks. My ear holes may close up. Oh well.

- Wanted: Sugar Daddy. I need a treadmill, lots of Monavie, plastic surgery (after I lose many pounds), and a credit card with no ceiling to the Bare Essentuals Store/counter. No questions asked. Oh, house and dog also required.

- This week is crappy at work. These are the weeks I deeply dislike working in HR.


Stay warm, dry and happy.
xo, j.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Happy February

February used to be a weird month for me. I think almost every girl waits with some anticipation in the hopes that some amazingly beautiful, kind and fiercely (and sweetly) focused boy will ask her to be his valentine. Whatever, I know. Unrealistic, I know. A fantasy, definitely, I know. But still...I'm being honest that this place...this wish, if you will, existed for me. Point and laugh all you want, I'm over it.

A few years ago, almost 4 to be exact, this wish came true for me. An amazingly beautiful boy for whom I had anxiously waited, entered my life...and February has never been the same.

Four years old. Big. Independent. Crazy stubborn. I can't imagine where he gets it from. He's my forever valentine. It's pretty cool. I suppose you have to be careful what you wish for, you know? Even the wishes that seem far off can be held in the palms of your hands...when the timing is right.

Happy Valentines Day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I love working with big insurance carriers. I love it even more that I'm supposed to work with one go-between-type-giggy-firm, and I can never quite tell when a circumstance requires the broker or the carrier...I'm sometimes a little fuzzy on the difference between the two, also. Additionally, it helps not that I work for a company owned by a parent corporation in Sweden, with US headquarters in Connecticut that employs THOUSANDS (well, presently) of people within the country...and that sometimes the carriers...go-betweens...whatever, get confused about who we are, who I am, and what the love is supposed to happen with our particular program. Add OLD insurance issues to the mix, beat wildly, bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes in a building adjacent to a huge field on day when the fertilizer smell is overwhelming until the shell is completely burnt, hardended and beyond salvage, and voila, a perfectly frustrating day!

There's the old addage, "Things are not always as they seem." I realize first hand that simple questions to one individual may not alway be so easy to another. For instance, how do I remove a terminated employee from a particular plan? A plan where the ins and outs have not been fully disclosed. A plan where, believe it or not, all those who enrolled for it last year stayed on it and none of them were went beautifully like clock-work. It was magic. This year, after lay-offs, etc. we face new challenges with individuals being forced to walk away from said plan...well, the removal process...not so magic. I asked the carrier apparently using addresses of people who were no longer with them...I was a hair shy of sending a mass email to company with the disclaimer that I was looking for THE ONE, you know? The ONE who would know. The ONE who would understand me. The ONE who could answer my very detailed, intricate question. HOW THE BLOODY LOVE DO I REMOVE THIS PERSON?!!? Please, my kingdom for this employee to GET OFF MY PLAN!!! No one can tell me. Now, mind you, the last few days have offered a comprehensive education in how to convert the employee from one kind of plan to another, but I NEVER ASKED HOW TO CONVERT THE EMPLOYEE!!!! So, clearly, simply...asking how to perform a task like removing someone is not as clear, not as simple as I perceive...I'm guessing that if it were as simple as I thought it would be, I would know how to pull it off right now as I write. But alas, I don't. Lucky me, I have a few more days to threaten, mock, complain and eye-roll over the situation.

So my point is this, even when you think things are easy, don't be surprised if the simple things get snagged because it's too convoluted to understand...likewise, don't be surprised if the quantum mechanics go on without a hitch. Apparently, everyone involved in the complex details speak the same language.


Sunday, January 11, 2009


Things that make me January of 2009:
- people who can't/don't/won't keep their word
- people who ram their ideology (welcome or not) down your throat
- funky people who totally burp and then ask if that was you
- people who steal my enchiladas
- people who hem and haw over not REMOTELY dramatic things that then BECOME dramatic just by the air they are expelling...please.
- manipulators
- selfish, bratty people


Things that make me more sane in the face of lame things:
- cuddling with sleeping my sleeping babies
- friends who laugh with me because they've done it
- twilight (admitting I am a junkie)
- yoga
- prayer
- hugs
- the BOM
- touching the softest cheeks ever of a baby of mine...does it for me.

In the face of inevitable stupidity, there's always something that will counter the offense.
The world is well as we make it.

xo, j.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Beginning

My poor neglected blog...good thing it's not a pet or something alive for which I am would be dead. I'm glad there aren't any blog-rights activists at this point. I would so be fined...arrested...convicted and guilt-laden for my skinny, dieing blog. I'd like to say that my resolution is to be better at this whole deal, but it's not. My resolution is to do bikram yoga 5 times a week. Sorry blog. Add that to my fine list. Seriously, this 2009 thing has given me clarity about one thing: Priority. The other night as I was doing my heaping laundry while simultaneously running a list of things I needed to do through my head to get 2 kids ready to start their school tracks again, my boss prepared for a business trip with the big wigs in Orlando, and keep my other little business nurtured, there came this greatly welcomed but typically ignored voice of reason...and the voice said, "Pick."

My reality is that I have two hands...and despite their very impressive production levels (to most extents) there is (inevitably) more that is left undone. 24 hours in a day, 2 hands versus 3 kids, job, love, extra can laugh now, it won't hurt my feelings. It was the laughing at my self with the bigger picture goggles on the other day that snapped me back into this whole "Who are you kidding?" space. Even if I had extra hands, extra hours in the day, WHATEVER I think I need to make everything happen...there would still be more to do...and not enough to do it. So, surrender to it (I love the yoga frame of mind)...I washed several loads and put them all away properly...but there are more loads out there sitting patiently by the washer. (Good thing there's not a neglected laundry patrol...again, arrested, convicted, etc.) The other loads will still be there when I get to them on another day this week. I made dinner...and put everything away, but there are dishes. I admit it...which dropped in priority when kids needed help with baths. Clean plates or a potential drown scene...pick. Um hmmm. The dishes will need to wait, too. The good news is that my chilies are bathed, lotioned, tooth brushed, flossed, with clean ears, clothes and scriptures read and prayers said along with kisses, hugs and tuck ins...and I'm tired. So there we have it. I can either stay up until the crack and be worthless tomorrow...or I can crash (addtionally because it's a Sunday and I went without a nap) and be prepared for a productive tomorrow. And be in a fairly good mood about it. Pick.

So, I pick rest. I pick a good frame of mind. I pick preparation. I pick a healthier, more well rounded girl...figuratively, remember? LOTS more yoga this year.

Kids are doing well. Chomping at the bit to start school again. They're all amazing, healthy and beautiful. Things are good.

Happy New Year, all.