Sunday, October 26, 2014

Taboo Halloween

It is no secret to you, my readers
to my family
to my friends
or to anyone I know
that I am a Christian woman
My faith in God is what defines my life

There are some people, however, who know this
then find out that I celebrate Halloween
and they do a double take while slowly backing away
You see, they just can't understand how a woman
who professes to be Christian
could celebrate what most think is an evil holiday



(not even observed as an actual holiday by the government)
^^ yes, someone actually said this to me ^^

And this is how I look at it
Day in and day out we are faced with evil and temptation
and we, alone, choose how we handle each and every situation
Sure, Halloween is a holiday for some to worship Satan
or to do hideous and horrific things to animals
or to scare the living day lights out of as many people as possible
it is about fear and death and darkness


But for ME
it is just another opportunity to praise God

Halloween always comes in October, without fail


October 31st 
(which is my birthday in reverse)
I love October and how the leaves change
the air grows colder
the smells in the air and in our homes become warm and inviting
We (as a family) decorate
with cutesy Halloween garland and wall hangings




We (as a family and sometimes as a school) take trips to pumpkin patches
where we are able to pick from an amazing assortment of God's harvest



We (as a family) go out to buy a costume that we will wear on Halloween

I do not allow grotesque, horrific or blatantly violent costumes
nor would my two very sweet girls ever even consider wanting to be something
that was considered grotesque, horrific or violent
(ok, maybe Breezy would lean toward the violence, but still)

This year Sassy will be the same thing 
as most other little girls across the USA
Elsa
And Breezy will be Mavis
From the movie Hotel Transylvania
Yes, Mavis is a vampire
No, she is not the blood thirsty, human draining/killing, undead kind of vampire
She is more interested in getting along with humans
And she's totally cute
Don't you think?


Anyway, after the house is decorated
the pumpkins are picked 
and costumes are chosen
comes the week of Halloween
there is carving to be done


Family unity
Togetherness
We do not discuss macabre things or events
we discuss the holidays and the carving itself
and we laugh and we enjoy what God has given to us;
A family full of love and unity and togetherness

The school my girls attend does not celebrate Halloween in any way
So, instead of having a Halloween party
we have an Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing party
where we pack and then send thousands of shoeboxes
filled with toys and life's essentials to children in third world countries
who otherwise, wouldn't get much if anything for Christmas
This shoebox packing party is always held on Halloween
And it is a wonderfully unifying event

Then later that night my little chickies dress up in their fun costumes


(from last year: Gypsy and Princess Tiana)
and we go door to door in our neighborhood
Which is generally pretty safe in terms of 'scare factor'

(from last year)

There have been instances, though
where people from other places have come to trick-or-treat
in awful and hideous costumes
They obviously didn't get the memo 
(A silent neighborhood memo that is more understood than actually sent)

that we don't do disgusting or horrific costumes here
And so I had to hide my girls' eyes and hurry past 
or turn and walk in the opposite direction

I will be honest
a couple of these costumes I had to close my own eyes
and pray as I walked away
not only to erase the horrible image from my mind
but that the person might realize how frightening his costume was
also that we wouldn't cross paths again
and that the person might be suddenly called to trick-or-treat somewhere else
because they were THAT scary
but again, whatever draws me closer to God

Then after trick-or-treating we have a family tradition 
of homemade chilli with cornbread
hot apple cider
and handing out candy to the rest of the nutty trick-or-treaters
who always come in droves until close to 11:00 PM

It is a day completely devoted to family togetherness
Completely devoted to God
Completely devoted to turning an ugly holiday 
into a day where we celebrate freedom
love for God
for each other
and the happiness of small children
because for a short amount of time
they can pretend they are a princess
or a cowboy
or the animal of their choice
for just a short amount of time there is a tangible magic
a light in their eyes as they watch candy being dropped into their buckets
that I know does not come from evil
that I know comes from God

Untainted little lights in this dark and ugly world
Little souls still shining with God's glow

Like these little lights of mine




Friday, October 24, 2014

Get it all Out

*Warning - this may initially seem like another depressing post. 
It's not. 
Just in case you skimmed and groaned haha

Through the summer I followed blog prompts 
and my posts remained for the most part, light and carefree 
Then started the school year 
my body refused (and still refuses) to get better 
things started happening in the world 
that caused me fear and anxiety 
and THEN I turned 30

I haven't blogged in approximately 13 days
And there is so much I could blog about
so much I wish I had the energy to get off my chest
and out of my mind
The unnecessary death of a Canadian man
The unnecessary violent act on a New York Policeman
Ebola
And the crazy panic that all social media and news media
seems to be trying to provoke

I could write about how I have had extreme stomach pain
from the extra acid my gut produces when I am stressed
I could write about the low-grade migraines that have plagued me
when I think too long and too hard about the horror 
I could write about the tears I have cried
or the sleepless nights
The dreams when I do sleep
and waking up only to be haunted by those dreams
through the entire day
But I won't talk about all that because I realized something today

My mind was so cram packed full of this garbage that
it just kind of imploded and disappeared
There is a name for this
Some might call it
'coping'
others might call it a
'breakdown'
still others might call it
'denial'
I call it
God's grace
God's beautiful wonderful and comforting grace
I have been so caught up with fear and anxiety 
of what is happening to others in other places with other circumstances
That I haven't even taken a moment to step back and analyze the facts

My family is safe
I am safe
My family is healthy
I am healthy (relatively) 
And even if these two things were to change
God is in control
and I MUST ALWAYS REMEMBER this


On a lighter note
I turned 30 eleven days ago
3-0

When the heck did that happen?
I was just 15 getting in trouble for dating someone 9 years older than me
I was just 20 moving from California to Washington
I was just 21 and moving to Mexico
I was just 22 and getting married
I was just 24-25 and having babies
I was just 26 and getting divorced
I was just . . . living a life that is basically over

30 is gonna be an awesome decade
I refuse to let it be anything else



So, on Wednesday my mom, my sister and my aunt
took me out for Mexican food and drinks
and it was the best stinkin' 30th birthday party ever
Let me just say that Caribbean Pina Colada is simply amazing
I had 2 . . . one with dinner 
and one for dessert
The waiter thought he was pretty hilarious
He kept asking me if I'd like
'another dessert'



Then they embarrassed the heck out of me 
by placing a sombrero on my 'too big' head
(because I have an abnormally large head and hats just.don't.fit)
and sang happy birthday in Spanish
to which I was tempted to sing along 
because I know the words
but haven't had the opportunity to sing them since I lived in Mexico

"Que bonita esta la manana . . ."
ok you don't want to read the song

Here is a photo dump of what we have been up to
other than birthday festivities:


MISSING THE SUN
It's all foggy/rainy/cloudy now
But I don't miss the 90 degree weather 


WE'VE BEEN TO THE PUMPKIN PATCH THRICE
AND HAVE A BOAT LOAD OF PUMPKINS TO CARVE THIS YEAR
(LIKE 8)


EARLY CHRISTMAS COOKIE BAKING IN PASTEL COLORS
(I THINK THEY LOOK LIKE PLAY DOH)



EATING OUT 
BECAUSE MAMA HAS HAD NO ENERGY TO COOK




FIELD TRIPS TO
WHERE ELSE?
THE PUMPKIN PATCH

And
Lastly
Let's just say simply
OMG

#fallTV

because
OMG
I am seriously obsessing over a zillion shows right now

Parenthood
Vampire Diaries
Greys Anatomy
Bones
(what the hell Sweets? I'm gonna miss you dude!)
Once Upon a Time
Forever
(very intriguing new show)

I'm going to start watching
SCORPION
because my mom says it frickin' rocks

and the list goes on and on
jumping into reality shows like

Survivor
and
Dancing with the Stars

Soon, hopefully

The Bachelor
(with Chris from the last season of The Bachelorette)

will be on

and my TV watching, Netflix binging 
life will be complete

Forward

PS - Thanks for reading! 
With this new URL I am at over 100,000 views! 
I am shocked and appreciate those who read very much!
If you haven't before, give a shout out!
Especially you - the person from Simi Valley :D


Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Post I Don't Want to Write

First, I must warn you by saying that this is a post I really don't want to write. But I feel like if I don't put it out there, my brain might just implode, my heart might explode and I just might have a complete nervous breakdown. So, if you were looking for or expecting a light hearted post with a lot of .gifs this is not where you will find it . . . at least not today.

Do you remember I wrote last that I had done remarkably well in my eating habits for a whole week. I failed yesterday. And today. But that is not the main topic of this post. The main topic is WHY I failed.

Panic. Worry. Anxiety. Stress. 

Financial worries, family issues, and ex-husband worries completely aside ...

I live in a fairly small town of 15,000 people or so. I feel relatively safe except from your run of the mill random crimes and natural disasters. Even though we have a very high rate of drug use, (hi serious meth abuse) and an even higher population of incorporated felons, (probably from aforementioned meth abuse) nothing horrific has happened while I have lived here. Nothing super tragic. Nothings newsworthy. Nothing that has made me want to leave. Ever.

But in light of things happening in this country, I suddenly feel like I want to become a hermit. The kind who keeps herself holed up inside a dark house, blinds drawn with only her family and her animals and maybe the TV to accompany her. No malls, keep my children home from school, (even though I would make the worst home school mom ever) watch your back, make sure to stay away from suspicious looking people in long coats and caps if the occasion arrives that I must leave (except that is everyone now considering we are entering into the cooler months of fall) It is truly a suffocating feeling to want to become this kind of person.

When online I constantly see scrolling taglines talking about *S*S, the horror they wreck in their home land and their s*mpathizers here in the US (and yes, I feel the need to bleep out words so that they aren't used as keywords for people to happen upon my blog) I hear about the b*heading of a woman in Oklahoma by an extr*m*st and the letters sent to three different elementary schools in Rhode Island calling for the B*heading of children!

My heart hurts more than I can express with words. It more than hurts . . . it aches excruciatingly for times long gone where US Citizens felt safe not only in their neighborhoods and their homes but in public places and at their jobs. I cry just thinking about that last portion of the previous paragraph. What evil is on this earth that it would victimize the most innocent and the least suspecting? Tears burn my eyelids as I write this thinking about the S@ndy H00k sh**ting and the victims and their families. That was one act of a deranged individual. I can't even fathom a group of crazies looking to purposely t*rrorize so many.

I hate that our media sensationalizes these acts to draw out the most extr*me response of the public. I hate that in reality they don't have to sensationalize it. It is as horrible as they make it seem. I hate that I can't watch TV without hearing about it all. I hate that I can't look at my Facebook wall without seeing a post about it or an advertisement related to it.

I f*ear for the future of my children. I f*ear for their fr*eedom. I can't be alone, can I?

If I had known what it was to become a mother; to forever have your heart literally go walking about in this world cloaked in the bodies of your children who are at the mercy of all its horrors, I am uncertain if given the foresight and the opportunity I would choose it again. Not because this is too much for me to bear or because I don't love my daughters with every breath in me, but because I love my girls so very desperately I am not sure I could consciously bring them into a world such as we have now. A world controlled by f*ear and the merciless. The ones bent on everything evil.

Then again maybe it IS just me. Maybe I am making it out to be much bigger, much more severe than it is. But I think of that day in September more than thirteen years ago and then again the Boston M@rathon and the subsequent copycat threats and events and now this. All that I mentioned above in OK and RI. And then I see this . . . post on a government website.


I have so many questions. For the government, for the public, for schools and for the ter*orists themselves but mostly I just want to know: How much has to happen for people to stand up and step in and make sure this does NOT happen on American soil EVER? And sadly the answer is, even if/when people did/do stand, even if people want to fight, there is no way to know exactly what we are up against because they hide in plain sight among us. They are the people we work with, the people who serve us our food, the people who fly our airplanes, the people who service our cars and by the color of their skin or the accent of their voice we would never know because some of them ARE US, and that is what chills me most deeply.

That is what makes me want to eat an entire package of ruffles followed by an entire container of ice cream and drown it all with diet coke after diet coke and wine . . . bottles and bottles of wine. (Though thankfully I haven't had any wine in the house for over a month) It is utter despair that drives me to this. There are days, frequently many consecutive days where I feel like it all is so distanced from us, like there isn't imminent danger. That we are essentially safe and I needn't worry too desperately. And there are other days like today where I feel like just one wrong move and our entire country, our entire world is going to implode in on itself.

So, I pray deeply and I cry and I suck it up for my babies who should never know the horrific war that rages inside me. I make pastel colored candy cane cookies with them because I know that it makes them happy and I should be enjoying it also. I make silly rubber band art birthday gifts for their teachers and I let them go to the park with my family while I make dinner even though just the idea of letting them out of my sight leaves me nearly paralyzed with f*ear. It takes everything in me to drop them off at school and leave them there. It takes every ounce of my faith in God to trust that He will protect them from the world and all the evil in it.


And I listen to music. Specifically music that gives me hope. These 3 songs in particular.

Blessings by Laura Story on Grooveshark
We Believe by Newsboys on Grooveshark
Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies) by Chris Tomlin on Grooveshark

If you have read this far, what are your feelings on this topic?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

My New Norm

Yeah, so I haven't been really great about writing.
I guess it's a good thing no one pays me to write or to advertise their blog/product/whatever.



You see my new norm is as follows

Monday, Wednesday, Every other Friday - Get up at 6am ----> take oldest to school ---> entertain youngest until oldest is out of school (eg: sit on my butt and twiddle my thumbs out of boredom)  as well as do all of my chores  ---> dinner (which usually takes a trip to the market and cooking all day to get done) and homework (a hellish task in and of itself) ----> bed (sweet sweet relief)



Tuesday, Thursday, Every Opposite Friday - Get up at 6am ---> take both littles to school ----> volunteer for the first couple hours because that's the responsible thing to do ---> entertain myself until both littles are out of school ---> hurry to get them to gymnastics ---> hurry to get them to family dinner ---> homework ----> bed



So, as you can see my weekdays are busy . . . 
mind you I have not mentioned what I do to entertain myself



and every other day my youngest child 
which include all day jaunts to the market, 
and the other market that has different car carts 
and even another market that has mini doll carts for kids
- you know, for variety -



As well as laundry, 
creating new concoctions in the slow cooker, 
stressing about my health, 
stressing about money,
binging on Netflix
me on oldest's iPad and littlest on her own iPad
(It's quite the sight) 
and you know 
making useless rubber band things 
with the loom my girls got that is too complicated for them



On the weekends 
I get everything done that I didn't do during the week
and on Sunday we do Church and Breakfast
and other family stuffs



And during the entire 7 day stretch 
I get on my computer to check Facebook
I get on the computer to check bank account statuseseses
I get on the computer to compute my volunteer hours at the littles' school
I even get on the computer to read blogs
But more often then not I just cannot find the energy to blog
And if I have the energy I cannot think of WHAT to blog
And if I have both the topic and the energy
Then of course, my children are making it impossible to concentrate


Oh yeah, on that note
did I mention I have been eating really well 
On target
1500-1700 calories
for an entire week now
That is 7 days binge free



This might mean very little to some
but if you knew the deep dark trenches of despair
and mounds and mounds of food
that I just climbed out of
it wouldn't seem so small



And on that note
Tomorrow is Friday
The one where both littles go to school
and I volunteer 
and I have to figure out how to entertain myself
and the list goes on infinitum
So I shall wish you all goodnight





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