Tag Archives: Family

Thanksgiving Family Flight Drama

I thought they were going to fight. One row in front of me a woman sat with her SO not saying a word, phone out taking notes of the invectives as the woman in front of her hurled hateful words in her direction. Eff this, eff that, they’re my blood, love them, eff, eff, eff. The longer she ranted, the more slurred her speech became. After a few minutes, she passed out on her SO’s shoulder, and both men sighed and said “finally.”

The women were beautiful. I looked around to see if there were cameras because it played out like a Real Housewives scene.

Nope. Just Thanksgiving family flight drama.

At first when the screamer started, I thought she was just ranting about something going on in the airport, but after a minute it became apparent this was ugly and personal. The three others in the group didn’t respond much. They’d seen this before, I figure.

But WE hadn’t, and in those minutes while the scene played out, a million thoughts crossed my mind.

I had my noise canceling Bose. Should I put them on and try to ignore what was going on? Should I pass them forward to the woman being verbally skewered?

At first it wasn’t even obvious they were traveling together. I listened for a few seconds and wondered if we should intervene. Once it was obvious they were family, I wasn’t as worried.

But I did wonder what would I have done if they WEREN’T related? The news is filled with people going on awful rants while others look on in stunned silence. Every once in a while someone speaks up. I always thought I would be that person. The one who got involved. But being in the situation and living in that pause while we watched in stunned silence, I don’t know. That pause leads to questions, to should I-shouldn’t I-what should I do?

There’s not a one size fits all answer.

Fortunately, watching this situation, playing the part of stunned bystander worked out all right.

Me and We.

God uses my tough times to teach me who I am.

I need to remember that.

I’m re-learning who I am, finding me again. A me not tied up in the things I have or my job or the people who depend on me.

It’s different.

It’s honestly strange.

I’m not a blank canvas. My life experiences have made me me. My relationships have made me me.

All of that is good.

But it can be bad too.

This is a season of change, and not just because menopause sucks.

I didn’t realize how much my me was tied into the we that DH brings to my life. Again, not a bad thing. I’ve spent over half my life with Brian and he makes me a better me. That line “he completes me” is absolutely true.

However, life threw us a giant detour and suddenly we are not we. We are me and him in different places at different times FaceTiming and talking and together sometimes.

I didn’t realize how much I depended on Brian to help me be me until this year. Last year it felt like a temporary situation. This year it’s life, our new norm. And I need to deal.

But to do that, to deal, I need to be good with me as me. I need to be grateful for the times there’s a we, but I have to be okay when there’s not, and that’s not easy. I am selfish and whiny and not even a little bit grateful.

More than anything I’m afraid. Left to me I work and watch TV and that’s not living. That’s letting life happen. So it’s time to stop that. It’s time to actually do the things I want to do. To figure out me. To be courageous. To change my mindset and remember how I started this post: God uses my tough times to teach me.

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to the woman who taught me visits with Grandma were the best vacations, Young and the Restless is timeless, kissing on a bridge was not “making love,” there’s an art to walking in high heels, knowing if you’re a winter or a summer matters, the birds and the bees talk using the dust on the dashboard could be traumatic and hilarious, dance parties make everything better when you’re a little kid, shorts can be too short, sunscreen matters, koolaid and popsicles make hot summer days amazing, the best stories are the ones you make yourself, Writer’s Digest is a thing, Silhouette Romances are the best, kissing the man you love on the couch in front of your kids is a good thing, Mary Kay makeovers are the best, roses roses smells delicious but it’s brutal on those with allergies, matching Mother’s Day dresses can be a blessing and a curse, there’s a way to hold your mouth just so to get that perfect curling iron curl, the feathered hair haircut is perfectly achieved by putting hair in a ponytail and snip, great legs are genetic (wah!), great nails are too (yay!!!), chocolate fixes everything (wah!), fresh tomatoes-onion-cucumber does too (yay!), power through when you mess up singing, practice so the mess ups aren’t constant, it’s worth it to wake up early to see a royal wedding, reading is fundamental, recipes matter, “don’t make me stop this car” strikes fear in the heart of all kids even when they’re not in a car, and a whole bunch of other stuff. ❤️ Love you Mom.  MB

DGD Makes An Appearance

It happened. Actually it happened quite a while back now. I’m a grandma, and I finally understand all the talk about how amazing and wonderful that miraculous journey is.

People have always told me nothing beats being a grandma. Now I know it’s true. For future reference on the blog this will be DGD (Darling grand daughter). You can see from the photos that we’re kind of in love with this sweetie.

Blink and They’re 24, Living in Ohio

katie 1stWay, way back when I first started writing, about the time this photo was taken of DD, I developed a writing schedule. Back then I never wrote before 9 p.m. when DD went to bed and I’d write until whenever.

When I was student teaching, my amazing cooperating teacher Jan Adams gave me some great advice. She said NEVER take your work home with you and to remember that teaching is a job not your life.

I don’t think it’s possible to truly leave your work at school if you’re a teacher. There’s just too much to do. But it is absolutely essential to remember teaching is a job, and teachers need lives outside of the classroom. If we don’t protect our time with our families and our time for ourselves, we’ll burn out. Burned out teachers are NOT good in the classroom. They can’t be. (This is all EASY, PEASY in the summertime!)

I have to believe my writing has helped keep me from burning out. I have friends who are artists, and I see the same thing there. When they practice their art, they are better teachers. When they cook or redecorate houses or play games or travel, they are better teachers.

I feel confident this is not just a teacher issue. Any job that consumes life is bad news. Writing kept my job from consuming my life. And it helped me remember family first.

Back in those days when DD was little, scheduling time to write was easy.

katie nowNow that she’s 24 and DH and I are empty nesters and DD lives 1300 miles away….

It’s a good thing I ingrained the writing schedule into my brain. Today, I still write more from 9 p.m. until whenever than I do the rest of the day.

I write more unless I’m intentionally taking time off. Time off like last week when DD came to visit. 🙂

*****

legs 1600by2400smallClick here to sign up for my author newsletter! Giveaways, free reads and more!

Angel Eyes, The Guardian Book 3 releases July 20!

Dead Girl Walking, The Guardian Book 1 releases in audio this month. More info soon! (I love, love, love the book in audio!!!! I can’t wait to share.)

 

 

 

The World Turns…

When I started this blog, I didn’t have Facebook or twitter or Pinterest. My daughter was in junior high. I’d lost a lot of weight on WW (and then gained and lost and gained and lost…). It was super bowl time and I talked about strawberries a lot. I wrote a lot. I read a lot. I posted crazy photos. I dreamed about traveling. I was a cat mom and never thought about owning a dog. I ate carbs all the time (thus the weight gain and loss, gain and loss). My grandparents were alive and I went to stay with them every once in a while, usually with my daughter. My grandma sang all the time. She and her best friend my Aunt Helen let me take their photo at family reunion, I belonged to a yahoo group called catarom and spent a god-awful amount of time reading emails. I hadn’t ever heard of education reform or the WFISD Leadership Cohort.

It’s crazy how much has changed.

Those changes are why I love this blog. It’s so amazing to walk back through life and see how I’ve grown. It’s also awesome to connect with readers and writers and just say hey.

Today I wrote 7k words. I still write a lot.

I’m up to chapter 7 in a Karen Templeton book. I still read a lot.

I deleted twenty emails and kept about 50 I need to read. I might get to 10 of them. I rarely read email now.

I checked in on facebook and twitter for what was supposed to be a second but that turned into an hour. Facebook and twitter consume time if I let them.

I was grumpy about some things and then a friend posted asking for prayers for a family member and it was like God smacked me with some perspective. I still learn a lot.

Happy reading and writing.

Hopefully I finish a book draft tomorrow before lesson plans.

 

The Best Kind of Phone Call

Dead Girl Walking

One of my Georgia nieces called last night. She made her yearbook staff, so I thought that’s why she was calling. Nope. She called to tell me she LOVED Dead Girl Walking. That it was worth the 23 hours she spent reading it. 🙂

She thought Sharlene was scary at first because she was dead and all, and she thought it was funny that Sharlene was such a bad guardian angel when she started. She LOVED Addison. She was super excited to hear that Addison will be back in book 4. And I sent her a sneak preview of book 2 that releases Aug. 25.

 

I better get busy on book 3’s edits. She’s ready to read it now!

Coolest phone call ever. 🙂

 

 

 

It’s Not You, It’s Me

I did’t plan on breaking up with Facebook. I knew I was going to limit my time on the site because I was spending WAY too much of it there. But then I started reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Brenè Brown (OMG, soooooooo good! Go watch her TED Talks!), and I read her words about–paraphrasing here–spending time in fulfilling activity and how vegging in front of the computer for hours after work often leaves people feeling empty. I realized that’s exactly what I was doing. Vegging. For hours. Worse, I was “connected” with people from school, but because of that “connection” I’d quit actually seeking them out. Facebook was an addiction. And it was taking away from who I am instead of making me a stronger, wiser, happier person.

I don’t think that’s the same for everyone. But for me, Facebook without boundaries is worse than Pinterest.

So, I’m on a Facebook hiatus. When (if) I get back on, I’m setting a strict time limit.

Family, I love you! Text me. Email me. Tweet me. Or better yet, come see me! 

Friends, the same thing applies.

Facebook friends: We’ll meet again. I just need to Facebook detox. I’ll be back after Easter.

A Look Back

This is supposed to be my resolution post. My beginning of the year ode to “doing better.” I’m going to break with tradition. Today is prompted by my trip to Walmart yesterday.

As I approached the checkout lane I spied this little treasure:

ImageBack in the olden days, the January Cosmo was a must have. Judge all you want. My friends from the time can attest to the fact. We ALL bought it.

Today I’m far more likely to buy:

Imageor People or maybe a Weight Watchers magazine.

Times sure have changed. I’m thankful for the past and the memories of days gone by and the advice of the Cosmo Astrologer and the millions of laughs and fun times I shared with those friends from high school and college.

It’s a new year and I can’t wait to see what it brings!

A look back on 2012:

I lost 60 pounds! Loving the low carb life.

ON moved in and we survived! (No more empty nest)

We started building our house!!!!!!!! ❤

My blog went viral and continues to garner huge numbers when I post about education and/or writing.

I self-published several books successfully including Letting Go, which spent a day as the #1 christian romance on Amazon Kindle.

I became a doggy mom to a rescue.

I saw my 9th (and best!) RUSH concert with DH.

Overall, I’d say 2012 was an amazing year.  I can’t wait to see what 2013 brings.

(HOPEFULLY hockey! Definitely more books.)

Sometimes a Hug is the Best Answer

1st Watermelon

I thought I’d spend this week sharing stories about my new inspirational romance, Letting Go. I thought maybe I’d talk about forgiveness and how it’s not for the other person, it’s for you. I thought I’d talk about people who’d been involved in abusive relationships or who’d been abandoned or who had never learned about love, but all that changed this week when I had to take a deep breath and be Mom.
When your kid’s 5, you can give them a hug and make most things better. When they’re 10, that pretty much stays the same. Maybe you add a movie to it. When they’re teenagers you can tell them what you think they should do, and often, they follow your advice. Well, not often, but sometimes. Every once in a while.
When they’re 20+ it takes everything in you NOT to tell them what to do.
ON (oldest niece) actually gave me some great advice this week. She said “Auntie, you just shake your head and don’t say anything. Let her talk. Listen. That’s how you handle this.”
Funny. It took a 17 yr old to help me help DD.
I want to go Hallmark and say our troubles make us stronger and God won’t give you more than you can handle. Or all superior and say “look chickadoodle. I’ve walked this road, and let me tell you how to do it.” Or all manipulative and say “look, you do this and I’ll do this and…”
But none of those are the right answers. The right answer is what I’ve tried to do. Listen and love and let her know I trust you to learn from this. And even though it’s Hallmark, you can’t go over, under or around. You’ve got to go through it. And always: No matter what, God’s got you in His arms. When we’re too tired, He’s there. When we’re too hurt, He’s there. When we’re too confused. He’s there. When we’re too unsure, He’s there.
And I’m there too. With unlimited hugs and unconditional love. Just like when she was five and things were easy. ###

1000 degrees outside!