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The Things We Wait For

November 1, 2012 15 comments

Every semester for the last two years I’ve printed the 1L xxxx School of Law course schedule and kept it tucked inside a notebook hidden in my purse. I’ve been carrying it around as if the schedule were my own, praying that one day it would be.

In a life which I’ve devoted the better part of to raising a family, my hopes to pursue a law degree has been a secret desire buried twenty years beneath the daily conundrum of kids’ science projects, football practices, mortgage payments, the ups and downs of my husband’s business, and my own nine to five job. When you spend that much time folding laundry and refereeing sibling rivalry attempting law school seems more like a pipe dream and less than a reality. Perhaps even more restrictive of this law school fantasy of mine was that bachelor’s degree I lacked but required if my aspirations were to become anything more than an unsettled yearning in my chest. Read more…

It’s Almost G Day Folks!!

I contemplated long and hard about writing this post. I wasn’t sure if I should be embarrassed…or proud.

I think people tend to be their own worst critics. Course, I don’t believe that about everyone. Browsing through my husband’s Facebook newsfeed, you might actually think otherwise. There’s definitely a good amount of tooting-your-own-horn going on over there. Maybe that’s why I don’t have a Facebook account. Heck if anyone wants to read snarky comments about my life every ten minutes on his or her feed. A few hours of that and I imagine people would start blocking me.

Truthfully, I always feel uncomfortable accepting compliments or praise and it’s a rare occasion I’m not kicking myself for something I wish I did better. It’s a little tiring really, flogging myself all the time. Read more…

The Stories They Leave Out of the Marriage Manual

February 18, 2012 17 comments

Some days I look at my husband and think, “I can love this man a thousand years, in this life and the next.” Other days I find myself struggling to figure out how I’m supposed to stand him one more day. Marriage is funny like that. It’s like a roller coaster, complete with that sick-to-your-stomach-feeling you get when you catch a dip you didn’t realize was going to be so steep.

There really is a thin line between love and hate. I should know, my husband and I have danced on both sides more often than I’d like to count. On a few occasions I’ve just been one bad decision away from setting his clothes, his car – heck, sometimes his *ss on fire. Good thing I know better, at least now I do.

The last few years of our marriage have been rough, which is saying a lot considering the first ten was chock full of cinematic worthy drama. I don’t doubt the stories of my marital highs and lows wouldn’t incite screenwriter Tyler Perry into writing part three to his ‘Why Did I Get Married’ movie series. Read more…

Happy New Year…from my house to yours..

January 14, 2012 2 comments

Another year has come and gone, another memorable chapter in our lives closed.

It hadn’t been one of our better years. As individuals, and as a family, I think each of us learned new things about ourselves, strengths we didn’t realize we had and weaknesses we would’ve preferred keep to ourselves . My husband and I found ourselves doing a lot of much needed self reflection. We rediscovered what it takes to keep a family whole and how being happy with ourselves and each other plays a key role in that.

Between the hectic schedule of a family of six and despite our tumultuous summer, we’re all still laughing and driving each other nuts, in a good way..at least most of the time. Read more…

A Private Room…For Dogs..To Do What?!?

October 19, 2011 8 comments

As if four kids wasn’t enough we also have four dogs, all boys. Feeding them, keeping their shots up to date, and buying them toys costs us a pretty penny, same as our kids do, but they’re worth more than the trouble they get into so we keep ’em around. Hmm, same as our kids do. *Insert pic of light bulb turning on above Maria’s head here.*

My secret favorite dog is Hogan, a sweet lil’ Dachshund Chihuahua mix, whose daddy, I’m convinced, is not actually the chihuahua his mother has led everyone to believe, but rather the much more good looking  Doberman Pinscher “player” from around the way.  Hogan maintains the never-experienced-a-shelter-mentality, innocent and loving. He’s constantly smothering people with dog kisses, which wouldn’t be so bad if his breath didn’t smell like a fish container.  Read more…

The Stuff Our Kids Teach Us

October 11, 2011 6 comments

The other day I was tossing up the closet when one of my girls came up from behind me in surprise.

“Mama, what are you doing?”

You bet I jumped. “Hey sweetie.”

“What are you doing,” she asked with her head cocked to one side.

Now this is the baby of the family, the kid where hubs and I finally got it right, hence a bit sheltered, so when she asks me what I’m doing when it’s rather obvious I’m nosing through her dad’s junk she really is asking out of innocence. This is opposed to her older, more street savvy siblings whose likely responses would’ve been, “Mom, whatcha’ doin’ creeping through dad’s things again,” accompanied with a wink and a smile implying I owe them one.  Read more…

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July 21, 2011 Enter your password to view comments.

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What The %@#$%^! Is Going On Here?

I’m a warrior, a road warrior. Well, among other things. Really. Just hear me out.

Being a family of six limits our options when it comes to travel. Heck, being a family of six limits us financially in several respects, because as you can guess six times any dollar amount usually equals much more than most people can afford.

Hence, over the last few years this family has become a band of road warriors, trekking it across the state and the country in our bucket of a minivan accompanied by three little dogs. Despite the thousands of dollars we save in airfare, road tripping has its drawbacks, the most obvious of which has to be the circus you’re subjected to by the parties in your car.  Read more…

Exhaustion

March 24, 2011 9 comments

I’m not a morning person, never have been. In fact, I have a love hate relationship with my snooze button. I need her, rely on her, religiously check on her just in case, but every morning I blindly smack her quiet for that luxurious ten more minutes of sleep. Who am I kidding? I set her for 6:30, but shush her half a dozen times before my husband has to coerce me out of bed with coffee at 7. And that’s on a good day.

The worse days entail me waking up to my fourteen year old standing above me citing I have fifteen minutes to get dressed and out the door. Better believe I’ve long since given up fixing my face and hair unless I can work that in while I warm up the car. I usually focus on just trying not to wear the same outfit two days in a row and some weeks I don’t even manage that.  Read more…

The Price We Pay

I was recently invited to write a piece for The Write On Project, a fabulous blogging community featuring some really great writers. I’m quite humbled and flattered they extended me an invitation. The suggested topic of the post was guilt. My post is scheduled to post on their site tomorrow morning, but titled as “This Girl’s Road to Redemption”. On my site I prefer the title “The Price We Pay”. I hope you all enjoy it. I wonder if some of you might even relate, especially those of you I grew up with. Here’s to all the other “survivors of our era”.

The dictionary defines guilt as “a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, or wrong, whether real or imagined.” Real or imagined, that sounds about right. Might even be more accurate, at least helpful, if they added a footnote, “Warning: Duration of guilt known to last several years. Atonement not guaranteed.” Now that’s the kind of guilt I know. Come to think of it, I didn’t know there was another kind. Read more…

This Ain’t No Hallmark Card It’s a Rant, But an Honest One

February 13, 2011 31 comments

I’m no expert on love or marriage, I’m barely an expert at my own life, but over the years I think I’ve learned a few things worth sharing. I’ve had the pleasure, and sometimes the burden, of loving the same man for the last sixteen years. I was only nineteen when we started dating and naive enough to think all a marriage needed to survive was love. Sure was a fool back then, but I learned.

Here’s what I know so far. Foremost, it takes hard work.  You have to show up, be there, listen.  You invest a great deal of time, effort, and patience, a whole lot of patience into a marriage.  And still there’s more.  You have to make something of the time you spend together.  It’s not enough to just be around living day to day in some force fed obligated routine.  You have to sincerely care about where your relationship is going, not just when everything is new and exciting, but throughout its entire duration. Read more…

Are My Children Mentally Deranged?

January 16, 2011 9 comments

Here’s a scene from dinner a few months ago, not quite sure what to make of it.

Mom: Where’s Taylor?

Rodney Jr.: In her room.

Kayla: She’s still trying to get out.

Mom: Of what???

Rodney (nonchalantly): We tied her up. Read more…

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January 9, 2011 Enter your password to view comments.

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The voices in my head

November 27, 2010 3 comments

I have to wonder sometimes if I’m the only sane person who has voices screaming inside her head. What an oxymoron, right?

But really, doesn’t anyone else have moments where he (or she) finds himself questioning why in the heck they bother doing what they do? If it matters at all? Don’t the voices in your head just scream for you to give it up, let it go, to just forget it already?! But then there’s that stubborness in you that won’t allow you to stop until you’re done. Some call it tenacity, I prefer to call her the crazy voice in my head and I would like nothing more than to punch her quiet this morning.

It’s Saturday and I’ve already spent the last few hours trying to make sense of exponentials and logarithms. I’ve always thought of myself as a smart girl, but college algebra makes me question my sanity, tests my self confidence, and makes me feel downright stupid.

Add to that I have a ton of other things to prepare for; next week’s out of town conference for work, another research paper due for Business Ethics, FINALS!!, and I still have to do a practice run on fixing Kayla’s hair for her cheer competition next week, but instead here I am stuck on problem #5 on page 370 of Beecher’s 3rd Edition College Algebra.

Great, now the voices in my head are arguing. One is yelling at the other about this being the reality of a mom going back to school when she barely has enough energy to clean the house, another insists things will be okay, and then there’s a third voice who just keeps singing that New Radicals song over and over again. I’m so flustered, I’m not even sure which voice I want to smother. I could really cry right now, that is of course if I had the time, which I don’t.

I only wish I was as good at college algebra as my professor so smoothly explains it every Wednesday evening in room MH 208. Maybe then I could get on with my day and quit wallowing in self pity. I think I’ll make that my early Christmas wish. Dear Santa, if I’m good, will you please help my brain wrap around f(x)=-2(to the power of x) – 1. Don’t forget to show me how to graph it as well. xoxo Maria

Readers, thank you for listening to me vent this morning, I’m not usually this depressing. I still have several more hours of studying to go so….

When did I get this pathetic?

November 22, 2010 2 comments

This past weekend I caught one of the dogs trying to mount the other and after I shooed them off of one another, they each shot me a dirty look as if to say “Don’t hate just because we have healthy sex lives.”

Hmmm…I wonder if God finds it funny that my dogs are now getting some more often than I do?

Follow my rules

October 28, 2010 1 comment

I wandered into each of the girls’ rooms this morning and found that they had posted rules for each room. Here are the ones that made me smile.

  • When you step in my room, you live by my rules.
  • If you don’t like my rules, you better get out.
  • If you don’t follow my rules, well if you know my family by now, you should know you’re going to regret it.

I think this is what happens when you are growing up in my household, you confuse rules with threats. In my defense, the other rules were reasonable (clean up after yourself, no food, etc.) Well, at least my girls have moxy.  🙂

Why does it look like that?

October 25, 2010 7 comments

There’s nothing like buying a new pair of jeans to force you to realize what a fat *ss you’ve become. You find yourself standing in front of the neatly folded piles of jeans for at least ten minutes before you even reach for a pair.

Skinny jeans, boot leg, slight flare, dark wash, acid rinse. So many choices but all you’re concerned with is what size you should be reaching for. You want to grab the 5/6 but realize that’s the size you wish you were, so you start to reach for a 7/8 but remember you haven’t been that size for a few years, so now you start looking for a 9/10 but it’s on the top shelf and you have to ask a salesperson to help you.

Now it feels like a small production because the salesperson has to use a ladder to get your jeans and you start to think, “What if I’m wrong? What if I’m actually an 11/12 now? ” You don’t want to have ask the salesperson for help twice because then you’ll be pegged as one of those women in denial about your size. So in your most nonchalant voice you say to him, “You know, while you’re up there do you mind grabbing an 11/12 for me?” while doing your best not to let on just how much it hurts you to admit that out loud.

Finally with six pairs of jeans tucked under my arm I head off to the dreaded dressing room, where I think women do more self reflection than trying on clothes. I mean, why is it that the lighting in those rooms reveal parts of your body in a way that you just never notice when you’re in front of your own bathroom mirror? You’d think a retail store would want to encourage purchases by using lighting that compliment the shapely figure of all women, not just the perfectly shaped ones. Try dimmer lights Abercrombie!

Note to self: Start an average to plus size woman’s coalition against the inventors of those terrible dressing room lights.

I’ve learned to avoid looking in the dressing room mirror until I’m completely dressed, but out of regretful curiosity that day, I peeked behind my shoulder just as I was sliding the jeans over my buttocks. What a bad idea. All I could think was, “What happened? Why does my butt look like that? It looks so…deflated? And when did it drop? It used to be so damn perky.’

By the time I left the third store empty handed I was tempted to walk into a store that sold those new jeans claiming to enhance your *ss. Of course, after all I’d already put myself through mentally I couldn’t envision walking up to the bored looking sales kid and asking him to point me in the direction of the butt lifting jeans.

*Sigh* One hour later, still no jeans, and all the kids and hubby are blast texting me. I’m having a mid life crisis and all they care about is what time we’re meeting for dinner.

A teenager’s camping checklist

My almost 19 year old son went camping with a large group of his friends this past weekend. Of course, it was only 10 minutes away up by Lake Travis but still. This was my nightly text checklist for him.

  • Did you pack enough clothes? Should Mommy bring you more clothes?
  • Keep your butt clean, did you grab toilet paper from the house? Better yet just drive home if you have to do a number two.
  • Are you drinking? Stupid question.  Don’t drink and swim. Promise me.
  • No cliff jumping at night!
  • Don’t start a forest fire. Don’t let Ethan and them start a forest fire either.
  • Don’t share your sleeping bag with anybody..no girls in your sleeping bag or I will be very mad at you. Don’t make Mommy go there and tell some girl to keep her hands to herself.
  • Who is feeding you? You come home if you’re hungry.

I love you. Be safe. Mom.

By the way, he did drive home everytime he had to do a number two.

The lies parents tell…

When we first moved to Texas several years ago those ugly Croc shoes were very trendy. I abhor the things. They give me an itch to go clog dancing. So when the girls each asked me for a pair I told them no. They whined and complained that “everybody wore them, even their classmates”. I refused and finally told them that Asians don’t wear Crocs. Since there aren’t many Asians in Austin I figured they would be hard fetched  to prove me wrong. Besides at the time they were only five years old. Needless to say, they stopped asking.

This evening we were at the mall and saw the newest style of Croc sandals with fur. One of the girls stopped to admire a pair, but the other reminded her “Asians don’t wear Crocs remember?”

1-800-ALGEBRA SUCKS

Believe it or not, I actually like math, I’m good at it. At least when I’m completely focused on it, I’m good at it. But how many working adults with kids have the time to devote to locking down polynomial division and fundamental theorems? As it is I spend several nights a week up until the wee hours trying to teach myself what I didn’t understand in the last class.

I wish there was a 24 hour algebra hotline. I could call them and we could discuss rational functions and inequalities until I actually knew what I was doing. *Sigh* Next semester it’s business statistics. *Urgh* Maybe I should just change my major to theater.

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