Saturday, January 31, 2009

Getting Out the Photos

Abbi in her Patriotic Hat & Kelly with her Curls

I've been going through old photos, reminiscing, slobbering all over myself & then just asking for it all over again by sorting through a new batch. (You can see some of these pictures at:

Pictures, like music, move me. I am totally unaware, when I am having my photo taken, or when I am taking one of the children, how it may strike me in the future. There is an old picture of Abbi wearing a patriotic hat. Her eyes are so blue, and she is smiling so big. She looks beautiful. At the time she just looked cute to me. Now it brings back a flood of emotions I can't even put into words. It's amazing how pictures can do that!

I feel the same way when it comes to pictures of myself, and photos of Joel and I together. I have never been the type to be sure of myself. I've always been very tall, and I have been informed that I stand out in a crowd. I've recently been told to take that as a compliment, but I look back at these long forgotten pictures of myself, and realize how uncomfortable I was in my own skin.

Yes, looking at some pictures for me is like watching a beautiful love story while cuddling with a porcupine. I take pleasure in the memories, but it hurts like hell at the same time.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Words To Live By...

I think the lyrics to this song are beautiful. I actually think the entire song is beautiful. First reader to guess the name of the song and the artist will win a prestigious prize, an honorable mention in my next posting :0) Good Luck!

My best friend gave me the best advice
He said each days a gift and not a given right
Leave no stone unturned
Leave your fears behind
And try to take the path less traveled by
That first step you take is the longest stride

If today was your last day
If tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday
Would you live each moment like your last
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have
If today was your last day

Going against the grain should be a way of life
What's worth the price is always worth the fight
Every second counts cause there's no second try
So live it like you're never living twice
Don't take the free ride in your whole life

If today was your last day
If tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday
Would you live each moment like your last
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have
And would you call old friends you never see
Reminisce old memories
Would you forgive your enemies
And would you find that one your dreaming of
Swear up and down to god above
That you'll finally fall in love
If today was your last day

If today was your last day
Would you make your mark
On ending a broken heart
You know it's never too late
To shoot for the stars
Regardless of who you are
So do whatever it takes
Cause you can't rewind
A moment in this life
Let nothing stand in your way
Cause the hands of timeAre never on your side

If today was your last day
If tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday
Would you live each moment like your last
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have
And would you call old friends you never see
Reminisce old memories
Would you forgive your enemies
And would you find that one your dreaming of
Swear up and down to god above
That you'll finally fall in love
If today was your last day

The words say it all.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Too Touchy to Title

If you don't have kids, you might not get this, but read it anyway. If you do have kids, I would be thankful for your view on the matter, as I hold a rather skewed position. In fact, the whole issue just exasperates me to no end.

My 4-year olds are ready to start preschool. I have no doubt. They are excited about it, discussing backpacks, clothing options and even umbrellas amongst themselves. At enrollment time last year, I was astounded at how quickly preschool classes fill. There is no shortage of classes. I could not believe how many choices there were! There are just more children than spots available. We were searching for a half-day program (nap time is still essential and much-loved at our house), and we wanted the school to be local, with good teachers. I didn't think that was asking too much.

We were put on a waiting list for the class that we chose. It broke my heart. The twins wanted to start school so badly. Abbi was already planning her wardrobe, and Aiden was beyond backpacks and umbrellas, and onto green binoculars (oh my God... what have we done?). So since September of last year, I have called our chosen school many, many times to see if there have been any dropouts. There have been, but never two at a time, and I refuse to separate the twins.

So, I was talking to a teacher the other day who told me that the elementary school in our little town is starting a preschool! I was so extremely excited! I called the principal right away. She clarified that they needed just a couple of more children to get the class rolling. My heart soared! My babies could start school! The principal promised to mail me a packet, and indicated that the preschool would most-likely start within a couple of weeks. I was pumped! Nothing could bring me down! I was preparing to take the kids school clothes shopping, and trying to figure out where in the hell I could find a pair of green binoculars for the boy.

I fully expected to get the packet from the school in the next day's mail. It didn't come. It didn't come that weekend either. Of course I automatically began thining the school was a sham, and the entire set-up didn't even exist.

So the next tuesday I was sitting at work, and I had an amazingly smart idea. My husband could traipse down there! He could just go talk to them! I called him. He told me there would be no traipsing, but he would, indeed, drive down to the school. They had a nice packet for him. When I called him to dig up some info, he didn't have much for me. I was annoyed. Why didn't he take my list of 22 questions to ask the principal? Men!

The problem was this... It is $105 per week to send ONE child to preschool at a public school. It would literally cost $840 a month to send the twins to preschool at Elgin.

Once again, my heart is broken.

There is a specific, distinctive guilt that goes along with being a working Mother. We have to be gone most days, and if you are like me, you have to dedicate time to work from home, as well. When I see how badly my children want to go to preschool, I want to make that happen for them. When I can't, it's heartrending.

I am going to find a way to make this happen for them. I realize that for many, many people in this world, $840 is insignificant. For our family, it is an amount greater than our house payment.

As I've mentioned in previous entries, I believe in seeing the fun and good in every day. I've seen it in this day, as I will see it tomorrow. Where there is a will, there IS a way... and I will find the way for my children.

Off my soapbox... more to come...

Kelly :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Amidst This Chaos, We Find Our Happiness

What are your quirks? Can you count them on one hand? If so, you may be one of the few luckiest folks on the planet. You are blessed. You DO NOT have ANY form of OCD. If you do have peculiarities, which take all of your apendages, along with your digits to count , you are incurable, and you may as well suck it up and deal with it. You are a neurotical freak, just like the rest of us!

I find happiness in small, medium and large, extravagant things. If you ask my friends, they will tell you that I really love pretty much everything. I love gifts, I love handwritten letters, I love mail in general, I love girls' night's out... the list could continue until your eyes bulge out of your irrational heads and you are eating paint chips just for fun.

When I'm at home, I enjoy sitting in front of the fire place, taking baths, cuddling with my babies on the couch, watching my husband play his Guitar Hero drums, napping, reading and cleaning like a bat out of hell, but only when I'm in the mood.

I LOVE vacationing, gambling, texting, date nights, a night alone at the house every once in a while... I'm really quite easily amused.

The OCD does not come through in what it is that we do, but how we go about doing it.

For instance, here I sit at 1:42am. I know I still need to take my medicine before bed, brush my teeth, put up the baby gate, check the doors to make sure they're locked, check on the boys and cover them up for the 5th time, check on Abbi and do the cover-up thing again in her room, watch the rest of Grey's Anatomy (because I promised myself some 'Me' time), read a chapter of the fabulous Jackie Collin's book my dear friend Anne loaned me, daydream, worry about money for A MINIMUM of 15 minutes, think about how I DO NOT want to go to work on a saturday, plan my saturday in my head, make a mental list for the store, which I will completely forget within 10 minutes, wonder how I'm going to get caught up on the Bachelor, the Young and the Restless (I'm behind four episodes from this week) AND get the laundry done, and clean the house. Then I'll wonder again if I locked the door, but I won't get up to check this time, because I'm absolutely exhausted. So I'll turn off the light. The baby will toddle in and crawl up in bed with me. He'll smell like pee. I'll be forced to go get a diaper and unzip his sleeper. Why don't they make those damn gowns for 2 year old boys? While I'm up getting the diaper, I'll feel compelled to check the door. Still locked! I'll change Logan. He'll snuggle with me for a maximum of 45 seconds. Back to bed he goes. I will then drift off to sleep, only to awake at 5am to both Logan AND Aiden sharing my bed, rolling around, fighting over pillows and blankets. I'll kick them (not literally. Please don't call APS) out of bed. They'll saunter off to their rooms, screaming, as if I've just told them they will never ride Papa Mike's tractor another day in their lives. I will then fall into a peaceful sleep, with dreams involving a fireman and a big hose, only to be awoken an hour and a half later, just when I'm about to ask what the big hose feels like, to screams coming from the bathroom, along with running water and three children with raisin hands, most-likely from playing in the soapy sink water for the last hour and a half.

Okay, so I strayed from the subject a little there, but if you are a Mother, I'm sure you appreciate the sentiment. My whole point being... I understand that everyone lives a frenzied life, full of ups and downs, and twists and bends, fireman and hoses, and shriveled hands and a soapless house. I make it through each and every day, and enjoy doing it, by finding the fun in every single thing I do. Embrace your life! Hold your quirks close and never, ever let them go. They make you! They are you! You are you because of your eccentricity.

No matter what idiosyncrasy arises, you will always be you. Learn what you love, learn what creates chaos in your life. Learn what to blow off, and then learn what to hold dear.

Life is a million miniscule acts combined into our own little happiness.

More Tomorrow...
Kelly :0)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Where Do You Rank? (And Do You Really Care?)

Our hours are 'cut' at work right now. I often start to complain, and then stop myself and walk away mid-sentence, trying not to succumb to the downward spiral that is workplace drama. I enjoy drama. I enjoy hearing about it from a distance. I DO NOT enjoy being a part of it.

I realize that I am blessed to have a job. Masses of people are being laid off and let go by their employers, and in my humble opinion, it's due to asinine decision-making. I pray our new president will help us out of this horrific mess. He sure seems to want to bring change and betterment for our country. The transformations that need to take place will take years to perfect. How did we become a nation of chaos, anyway? How did it get so bad?

So, jumping to a completely unrelated topic, yesterday morning, I was sitting at my desk. My head was ready to explode from workplace overload when my boss came in with a pretty, sparkling gadget. She said, "this is for the activity room." I looked at it for a minute, and said, "thank you!" I wasn't sure what it was for, but I was sure I could find a use for it. I then went on to tell her how very pretty it was. She looked at me blankly. Did I sense a slight hint of amusement in her eyes? Um... maybe.

Please understand... my desk looks like it ran into the BettyBoop section of a drug store in 1930 (thanks to my best buddy Anne). Along with old Betty is a boa, many pretty, fluffy pens, pictures in delightful frames and enough adorable post-its and other notepads to furnish every employee, resident and guest to walk in our building, for a year.

So, circling back, I continue to look at my boss holding this shiny, red gizmo. She said, "Kelly, the activity room is on fire. We are having a fire drill." Although I wasn't "street smart" enough to realize what was going on, I'm sure you are, so I won't go on to explain what the pretty, sparkling gadget was my boss was holding onto. In my crazy, fake-fire manic-state, I walked out of the activity room, completely lost. I felt as if my place of work for a year and three months now was a foreign city. Fire alarm. I had seen that someplace. Where did it go?

I finally found it, and managed to make it make a noise. It sounded pretty loud. I apologized to one of the nurses, who continued to do her work, as if nothing was happening. Hello people! There could be a fire!!! Run! Get everyone out!!! Move it!!! No, I wasn't saying these blurbs aloud, I was thinking them... but I was just about to start shouting when our housekeeping supervisor came up to me, looked at me like I was clinically insane, and said, "Kelly, WHAT are you doing?" I snapped back, "we are having a fire alarm! I set off the fire alarm!" "No you didn't!" she replied, and she closed the plastic cover. The noise stopped, and everyone went along their merry way. This pissed me off. How dare everyone just act like everything was peachy keen when there could be a burning bush or desk, or something worse in the activity room? It took me a couple of minutes to convince our housekeeping supervisor that we were, indeed having a fire alarm. At that point, she illustrated the proper way to set off a fire alarm, and I had waking nightmares of this story being twisted into a hundred and twenty different versions by noon.

Thankfully one of my coworkers also had no idea how to properly set off a fire alarm, so I enjoyed her company in my embarrassment all day. Apparently the plastic cover I had pulled up is just a warning device. If someone pulls that open, it will sound in the immediate area, and will not alert the local fire department. I'm sure I learned all of this in orientation, but that's been quite a while ago, and I have simply forgotten. Plus, in this extreme case of an extremely frightening fake fire, it is quite easy to lose your damn mind! Now I know (again) how to work a fire alarm, and I'm not likely to forget (again) any time soon.

So my best work friend had a bad afternoon yesterday, and I was trying to cheer her up. The entire building had been talking about me throughout the day, and it finally hit me...

How awesome is it that we are newsworthy? People care about the things we do, the things we do not know how to do, the people we associate with and the way we look. If we have a bad day and look terrible... who cares? We're surely being analyzed. And if we make a fool of ourselves now and again, and the entire building finds out about it... that's great! We were in the 'in club' that day!

I don't particularly care if I'm part of any group or club, or if people care what I'm up to or who I spend my hours with. I do feel a pang of satisfaction when I think about it as described above, though. No one should ever feel obsessive or paranoid about what people are saying about them. They should be thankful that people are saying anything at all!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Eternal Youth, My Ass

I'm taking an English class spring or summer quarter at the local technical college. I have been contemplating it for some time now. I know one class seems not so big a deal to most. It's a big commitment to me. I took all of my activity courses online. It was a bitch. There is something about not having someone right there to push you along that makes you become a real wimp. But I liked the fact that I was home with my family. To commit to actually going to a class twice a week, knowing that I have babies at home, is a very big deal. Not to mention the reading and the studying.

So my good friend and employee Brittany (I know... I've heard it a million times... not a good combination... blah blah blah) is urging me to sign up for spring quarter so we can be enrolled in the same class. She told me since I'm 'so smart' and a 'grammar freak' I most likely won't have to take the computer course before I take the English course. That baffled me. Why in the world would I have to take a computer applications course? I'm quite proficient and can find my way around on my computer very well, thank you very much! PLUS I took a computer applications course in college 10 years ago, and aced it! So there! Brittany responded with, "college has change A LOT over the past 10 years, Kelly!" I called the college immediately to set up my appointment. Right then and there I realized I'm getting old. Pretty soon grey hairs will start sprouting out of my nostrils, my back will begin to arch, I'll wake up with Depends on and will have forgotten where I put my teeth. Brittany, thank you for making me realize my youth is behind me! Granny panties here I come!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mingling with the Skinnies, the Hotties & the Snotties

So last night was my husband's annual awards ceremony. Most of you know that my hubby is a deputy sheriff. He has been a cop for 3 1/2ish years now and I have never felt quite openly received at these events. Joel tells me he feels the same way. I wonder if everyone does...

Anyway, we showed up last night *right on time* with kids in tow... it was a family affair. We would all mingle with the other deputies, wives and children, as well as the sheriff, lieutenants and the many other persons of importance. We would then all eat dinner together and mingle some more, followed by the annual awards ceremony.

During the ceremony, the children would all play in the gym, under the watchful eye of a few dedicated adults while the wives would escape with their brave husbands to watch them win prestigious awards earned throughout the previous year. My husband was expecting to receive the Mother's Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Award this year, as he had pulled over and properly punished the most drunks (or as I like to call them worthless drunk losers) for the year of 2008. Although I felt a bit out of place, as usual, I was glad to be there for him! If nothing else, Joel should at the very least receive a faithful husband award, which was a lot more than most of the other men in his field can say. I am so blessed to have a faithful, cop husband!

I must do a U-turn and tell you that each year I make a huge deal out of what I will wear to this 'casual' event. There is one particular wife that is stunning. She is literally 'make your tongue wag' gorgeous. The guys stare. The girls envy. The husband parades her. The other cops wish they could. She and her husband have several children, and she literally has a completely flawless body, and a perfect face to match. I believe she recently had a boob job, which bring my perfect *10*opinion of her down a quarter of a notch, but she is absolutely, amazingly beautiful. I actually went to school with her, and she was just as pretty then. The guys have always loved her. The girls all love hating her. That's just how it is.

So, anyway... back to my outfit. I knew I wanted to wear something that appeared to be an ensemble I had just grabbed out of the closet. In all honesty, my mother took me shopping two nights before the event. We found incredibly flattering jeans and a complimentary blouse I was completely happy with. It took me about an hour and a half to get ready. I curled my hair carefully, paid extra special attention to my makeup and lubed on the Amber Romance lotion. I felt pretty darn good. I wanted to soak it in, because I knew that as soon as I ran into the hot wife, I would once again feel like a frumpy, uncool, blubbering, red-headed blob.

So Joel mingled with his co-workers (including hot wife and her cop husband... who, did I mention, is not AT ALL hot and very chauvinistic?) while I sat entertaining the children. I encouraged them to go play. They finally did, but less than five minutes later I heard Abbi screaming at the top of her lungs in terror, like she does at home when she can't find a Barbie shoe or one of the boys is playing with her enchanted princess cash register. Hot wife looked over at me and said "Kelly...", as if I hadn't heard the drama coming toward me. "What's wrong Abbi?" I asked as she ran toward me with full-on tears streaming down her face. "I couldn't find you! Where did you go?" Mind you, I had been sitting in the same exact spot the entire 4 minutes and 45 seconds the kids had been playing. This was only the beginning of our drama.

The kids sat through dinner unpredictably calm and well-behaved. I was proud! Joel was talking to his co-workers about his triumph over cigarette smoking. I was even more proud of him! At one point, one of his cop friends asked how Joel had been since he had quit. Without thinking I responded by saying, "he's been a big jerk." The cop friends seemed to think that was humurous, but when I looked down at an older lady sitting further down the table, I realized I had apparently made this statement pretty loudly, because she stared at me in horror. I smiled sweetly at her.

We finished dinner and mingled a little more. I have to tell you.. there really was not much mingling going on on my part. At one point a lieutenant came over to say hello. He started to push back the chair next to mine to sit down, but decided against it. I thought maybe I had a green bean stuck between my two front teeth from dinner. I attempted smiling at him with my mouth closed and immediately cursed myself for not brining my little flosser my best friend Anne had introduced me to. A few minutes later I was tidying the area around me when I looked down at that chair to find a huge glob of mashed potatoes on the edge of it. I started laughing uncontrollably. If anyone had been watching me, they would've though Deputy Thorpe truly had an insane wife. I couldn't quit laughing. That lieutenant hadn't sat down to engage in conversation with me because of a miniature mound of taters!!!I was still laughing when Joel brought in our coats for the awards ceremony. I was happy to oblige him and move on to a more structured environment where we were expected not to talk.

We explained to the kids that we would be back in a few minutes. Abbi started sobbing... again. I explained to her that I needed to go support Daddy and I would be back soon. Soon wasn't good enough. She continued to blubber. I decided to play tough Mommy and told her I WAS going and I'd be back. I started to walk out the door, and I heard her sobbing uncontrollably. I heard a woman ask her what her Mommy's name was. OH MY GOD! Give me a freaking break! So I went back into the gym and played with about thirty children while my kids played happily. I imagined Joel's name being called and him striding to the podium proudly as he graciously accepted his award. But instead of watching that awing moment, I watched children hitting one another on the head with basketballs, falling off stilts, trampling dress-up clothes, tripping over bowling balls, but mainly I watched my children playing on the fact that Mom had stayed to play because they hadn't LET me go with Daddy. I was pissed. I admit it.

To top the whole damn thing off Joel didn't receive an award. They didn't even present a MADD award at all. Joel tells me that at the end of the ceremony, the sheriff said that they had worked hard not to exclude anyone and not to forget any awards, and to speak up if anything was missed. Joel said he thought it would have sounded petty for him to bring up his achievement. Maybe it was a blessing (for Joel) that I wasn't in there. I would have had a very difficult time not speaking up on behalf of my husband.

Speaking of blessings, Joel received a cop Bible for his continued service... something we will need many times throughout the coming year, I'm sure.

On our way home the kids begged me to never attempt to leave them again. I pretended not to hear, as preschool is coming up in a few months. I'm pretty sure they won't allow me to tag along every day.

To my husband...

YOU deserved that MADD award AND the Bible!!!

To my kids... YOU probably saved Mommy from making a complete ass out of herself!!!

To hot wife... YOU have inspired me to put down the cookies and the barbecue chips and to be only 30-40lbs heavier than you next year at the awards banquet, as opposed to 70ish.

Thank you all for your inspiration!

**I** Have a Dream...

I am starting this blog with a joyous heart, which at any given moment could openly burst with exhiliration and excitement!

Have you ever held yourself back from something you wished for deeply? Have you ever listened to someone sing and ached to be the one holding the microphone? Have you ever yearned to have a college degree, but never quite made it?

Last year I finished up my certification courses to become a certified activity director in the state of Ohio. It took me only a few months, but the feeling of accoplishment I felt after receiving those certificates was amazing! I wanted to feel that again, only on a bigger scale.

So I started dreaming about writing a book again. I had been dreaming about it off and on for years. I kept telling myself that dreams of becoming actresses and great novelists were for those people who were born into rich, deserving families. It never occured to me that this wasn't always the case. I'm a plump redhead with a visual impairment and an annoying cackle of a laugh. But it recently hit me... no one will realize any of that if I'm behind the pages of a book!

So now I'm here writing about writing. Typing about typing actually. I imagine back in the quill days it took ten times longer to 'write' a book than it does today.

I am **5** chapters into my book. It's pretty damn good if I do say so myself! I've been at it for a few months now, and although I scrutinize it daily, I have managed to keep at least 50% of what I have written.

I'm excited to give all of you a glimpse into it, and I will in time.

For now, I will share a comical story with you that was not so comical the other night as it was unfolding...

Stay Tuned...