Mom’s Peanut Butter Pie

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It was Pi Day yesterday and the internet collectively lost its shit.

I helped by making my husband’s favorite kind of pie:

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Peanut Butter Pie with hot fudge. Dressed for the occasion.

My mother in law found the recipe, called Mom’s Peanut Butter Pie, on a Western Family Cream Cheese package in the early 90s.  Captain requests it as his special dessert whenever I give him the option. So, with yesterday being Pi Day and all, I whipped one up to have after dinner.

It’s a pretty rich dessert, so we have smallish pieces. Since we have a family of 6, we go through food really fast, but we managed to keep our indulgence down to half of a pie between us. Which left half of a pie in the freezer for tonight.

It was wonderful, being able to offer the kids such an awesome treat 2 nights in a row. We had a delightful few minutes where the kids were focused on shoveling the cold, creamy delight into their pie holes *snicker*.

Until Cabin Boy flung a glob straight at his older sister’s face.

If you want a piece of this amazing and food-fight friendly pie, here’s the recipe:

‘Mom’s Peanut Butter Pie’

9 in. graham cracker crust
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup milk
8 oz. cool whip, thawed

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy.
Mix in the peanut butter and sugar.
Slowly add in the milk, mixing well.
Fold in the cool whip until the mixture is thoroughly combine.
Pour into the graham cracker pie crust and freeze for several hours.
Remove from freezer 10-15 minutes before serving.

My mother in law likes hers with a “BAM” of hot fudge and salted peanuts. Captain prefers his unaltered. I think next time I’m going to have to try it with Nutella instead of peanut butter.

The Balancing Act That I Suck At

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If you’re a follower of my page, you know that I’ve been quiet. There are a lot of things we’re waiting on right now and I’m having a hard time processing it all.

I’ve become more active in the blogging community, despite my lack of blogging efforts, and the excitement about this years blogging conferences is becoming rather infectious. I had resigned myself to not going, as what’s the point of going to a blog conference if I’m not really blogging, and the cost of airfare is super restrictive. But today someone mentioned that there are some killer travel deals going on right now, so I peeked. $500 for round trip airfare across the country is far more affordable than it was a few months ago.

With a little creative thinking, I could actually go to BlogU.

I thought about and even asked around regarding setting up a crowdfunding site for myself, but the idea of asking people to help fly me across the country felt odd. An adorable fellow blogger‘s husband set up a site for her, and within 6 days they had raised enough money to get her registered and booked for the conference. It was an amazingly sweet gesture by her husband. I feel that asking for myself is a bit tacky though.

Captain happened to call while I was in the middle of this mental struggle, so I put the question to him, “Should I crowdfund my BlogU trip?”

To which he responded, “Absolutely not.”

Because we have problems asking for financial help. As a single income home, we are blessed in that we don’t struggle to pay the bills, enroll our kids in extra curricular sports, or afford preschool. We manage quite well. We could be doing better, sure, but as of now, we want for nothing. All of our extra money, when we have it, goes straight into our ‘Forever House’ fund. We’ve never been frivolous. My vacuum was nearly 10x more expensive than my wedding ring. We don’t do fancy. I’m a bargain hunter through and through (aside from the vacuum… but the importance of that investment was drilled into me from an early age, and with 4 kids, it is worth every. single. penny).

I felt myself get teary-eyed, because after 4 kids, the hormones never really leave. Everything makes me cry.

“If you can get back into blogging regularly, make it the thing you’ve been wanting to do and talking about, then I will pay for you to go myself,” Captain explained.

And I totally started crying. Because this was the 2nd time in 12 hours that he had proven I needed to have more faith in him and his desire to see me happy and successful. He will back my children’s book and he will back my blogging/writing/marketing education.

It’s a frightening thing, being reliant on a single person’s income. It’s hard not to feel that money spent on myself is a waste. What do I really need money for that wouldn’t be better invested in the kids? But I deserve an investment in myself, too. Despite how terrible I am with housekeeping, how much I loathe grocery shopping, the procrastination I carry on with when it comes to taking care of myself, I am still a person who deserves care and attention. And I’m so grateful that I have a husband who see that.

Especially when I don’t.

So all that to say, Captain has offered me the incentive I needed to get back in the game. Even if it means taking my laptop to preschool drop off and writing in the car while the boys are in class and The Kraken naps. I’m making it a goal to post something new on this blog once a week, and submitting an essay to other blogs and/or anthologies once a week. Since I’m terrible at balance, it is incredibly likely that non-preschool days will be spent in pajamas, eating snacks for 2 of our 3 meals, with a constant stream of Disney Jr. and Nick Toons on the TV. But at the end of the day we will all be alive and fed, and I will be writing again.

I can do 2 original posts a week. I can do this. I will do this. Not just to get my tickets to BlogU to meet the incredible community I’ve come to love being a part of, but to show Captain that his faith in me isn’t misplaced.

I deserve the opportunities he’s giving me. I’m going to prove it.

I Aided in Fear-Mongering, and I’m Sorry

There’s really not much to say aside from that.

I used to be staunchly opposed to GMO foods.  I was, for a while, on the fence about vaccinating, and turned to a delayed schedule for our 3rd child, Mr. Monkey.

I wrote long rants about the money-grubbing of corporations like Monsanto without thinking about the money being made by corporations in the organic food movement (which I have deleted from the blog; truly, they were bad).

I never once double checked sources in articles claiming the detrimental effects of biotech and vaccine technology before sharing the articles.

I allowed myself to become a mouthpiece and free advertising for people like Food Babe, who railed against the use of BHT in health and beauty products, but has been making money from selling just such a product through her website.

It wasn’t until Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye stepped into the conversation regarding GMOs that I realized I was sitting smugly on one side of the fence, refusing to even look in the other direction.

I cannot say that I am 100% sure of my positions on anything now**.  I guess that’s what skepticism will do to you.

But I CAN say that I won’t be a platform for the propagation of misleading information anymore.

And I’m humbled and truly sorry that I ever was one.

 

**The entire Pirate crew is fully vaccinated though, because I do believe that the minimal risks are worth protecting our family and community.

Not all 12th Man Seahawks fans are band-wagoners, but why does it even matter?

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Friends.  The air here is palpable.  It’s electric.  It’s exciting.

There’s a frenzy broiling beneath the surface of this town.  Everyone going about their daily lives with an extra layer of exuberance.

I live in a place that has a history with Russell Wilson.  He played baseball in the stadium that stands next to the fields where my kids play soccer at in the fall and spring.  Every time we go by, my kids exclaim, “Mom! That’s where Russell Wilson played!” And it’s so cool.  My husband, the Captain, practically swoons with delirium.  Raising our kids to appreciate the things we do is important to him.  And, boy, do we love football.

I grew up in a house where football was the highlight of our television year.  Sitcoms could come and go, news broadcasts were a dime a dozen, cooking shows weren’t even acknowledged, but football… Football was the lynchpin of our Mondays, Thursdays, and Sundays.  Before my siblings and I ever really had interest in the game, we would spend Sundays going about our business while my mom hooted and hollered at the players on the television.  If anyone ever wonders where my louder than necessary attitude came from, you need only peek inside my childhood home during a football game.

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We’re a Seahawk, Packers, Redskins family. ((Sorry, Nana. You make silly faces.))

 

As I got older and became more interested in football (read, after my skulky, attitudenal teenage years), I put an effort in to learn about the game.  As I started to understand the process, the rules, regulations, and the roles that various positions played, football began to be a source of entertainment for me.  It helped that the Captain, who is as big of a fan as my mom, is ever-so-patient with my, still, consistent questions.

My decision to learn more about football wasn’t completely because of interest in it though.  With family and a spouse that devoted so much time to watching this game that they love, I felt that I had two choices: Be a part of it, or find something else to do.  For me, it was a simple choice.  There are few things better than snuggling up on the couch with Captain, enjoying snacks, and sharing in the triumphs of our team.

Our team, which is the Seattle Seahawks.  As fans, we are called the 12th Man, because the franchise decided 30 years ago that their fans were so important that the fans needed to be honored with an official place on the team.  If you ever watch football, you may have come across a team getting a penalty for having 12 men on the field, since only 11 are allowed to be in play for each team at any given time.  But the fans embodied such a fierce love for the game, for the men who put their bodies on the line because they loved the game, too, that the number 12 jersey was officially retired, just for the fans.

Recently, the 12th Man has become less of an honorary position and more of a physical one.  The Seahawks have led the nation in false starts due to the noise level the 12th Man can incur.  Seismic activity has been recorded as the 12th Man goes wild for their team’s extraordinary plays.  It’s an amazing feeling, to be part of the tidal wave that comes crashing down on a team visiting the Emerald City.

It’s an amazing thing to be a 12th Man.  We do, however, catch a lot of crap for it.  To be fair, there are extremists anywhere that ruin the name of many things for many people.  The same is true with football fans.  There are those who are too cocky, too brash, too loud-mouthed, and just too much altogether.  So the rest of us are maligned for it.  The term ‘bandwagoners’ is tossed around like a hot, filthy brand to mark us as ‘not real fans.’

But, we don’t care.  And our team doesn’t care.

So often we flit through life from one popular thing to the next.  Diet crazes, fashion statements, music trends, and pretty much anything that a bunch of people ever said, “HEY, that’s cool! Let’s do that!” to.  It’s human nature to seek the newest and coolest, latest and greatest.

If half of the 12th Man is made up by bandwagoners, I say, ‘Welcome!’

If you, my neighbor, wants to climb aboard this train of excitement and skill and sweat and tears and hooting and hollering, then don your colors, whatever they may be, and scream loud when your teams gets that touchdown.  Revel in the thrill of the goosebumps that will take over your body when a pass is dropped or an interception is made.

It’s not for love of the colors, the uniforms, the wins or losses, or the glory (I’m also a Buccaneers fan. There is NO bandwagon for them).

It’s for the love of the game.

I’ll see you on Sunday.  I’ll be the loud one with the blue and green hair.

#GoHawks

Resolutions, of course.

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It’s the beginning of a New Year, so of course we’re thinking of changes and new beginnings.

I’ve tried to really take the time to think about exactly how I want 2015 to be different, and I think I’ve come up with things that are not only impactful, but achievable.

-I resolve to be more patient.  Not just as a mother, but as a human.  I’ve never been good at waiting.  That doesn’t mean I can’t become better at it.  Maybe a few less ‘hurry ups’ every day, maybe stepping back and letting my kids do something on their own, maybe just a few extra breaths when I start to feel the ‘just do it’ rise in my throat.  I can do that.

-I resolve to be a better friend.  Much of 2014 was a struggle to find new friends.  I am happy to say that I feel like I’ve found a few who could be truly good ones.  Now I just need to nurture those friendships, and give a bit more attention to the friendships I’ve had for years that, sadly, have taken a back seat the past year and a half.

-It may sound contradictory to my first resolution, but 2015 will not be a year of waiting, like 2014 was.  I will take action on the things that I can… my writing, publishing my children’s book, finding communities I can flourish in, and giving back to the ones I found solace in last year.

I won’t say getting healthy is a 2015 resolution, because it is a life-long resolution.  Also, whenever I make a declaration about my body, I fail horribly.  My “lose 20 pounds by Christmas” goal last year?  Gained 10.  Because that’s apparently just how I work.  My family and I will continue to make healthy choices as often as possible and not feel guilty about treats and splurges when we do have them.  What’s life without a few treats, anyway?

What are your resolutions for 2015?

No longer a life-giver.

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I should be packing and cleaning.

But my heart needs to bleed a bit, and I’ve ignored my heart far too much these past few months.

I sent off a piece of myself today.  The last bit of life I had to offer my children.

My last ounce of breastmilk.

Off it went, zipped up in numerous bags, packed in a brown paper envelope.

Left in the fate of the mail system.

To the doorstep of a women who says she can immortalize it for me.

She will turn it into a keepsake.  A ring that will be the centerpiece of my Mother’s Ring set.

I could get it back in as few as 6 weeks… Likelier that I won’t get it for a year though.

My sorrow is sharp.

The Kraken is weaned, my supply is gone.

My breasts and my body are no longer nourishing or life-giving.

They just are.

And that’s a difficult pill to swallow.

Hello, New Me.  Different Me.  We have a lot to learn about each other in the coming New Year.

The Day My Last Baby Turned One

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Our last baby, The Kraken, is one year old today.  While nothing is different, everything has changed.

muffincollageAs I journaled these thoughts, she was in her car seat, sleeping off her first birthday photo shoot.  A tradition I’ve loved having for each of my kids on their first birthdays.  A tradition that I experienced for the last time this morning.

Last night, as she nursed before bed, I cried and held her a bit tighter.  My last chance to savor my last baby as just that: A baby.

While she will always be THE baby, there are so many things that are taking her babyhood away from me, much faster than I’d like.

She’s walking now.  Starting to talk.  Honing her fork using skills.  Interested in more complex things.

The baby sweetness is still there, it’s just tinged with the promise of growth and development.  It’s a tinge that I have a serious love/hate relationship with.

When we choose to have children, we get to experience them as babies.  We know that one day they’ll walk and talk, eventually walking their way right out of our homes and into their own lives.  We don’t have babies so that we can just have a baby forever.  The baby stage is the most fleeting, and so is seen as the most precious.  I think it helps that babies are just inherently sweet and adorable.  We came into this thing called parenthood knowing that they would constantly be growing and changing…

But, oh, if I could just have this baby remain a baby for a little while longer.

I won’t miss the sleepless nights, the spit-up, newborn poop, or the general constant worry that comes with the tiny baby stage.  But, I will miss just about everything else as we go from bouncy seats to high chairs, mobiles to stacking toys, and bassinets to toddler beds.

With my other children, each transition and new stage was met with the promise of being able to experience it again with the next baby.  Now, as we fold away the most recent set of clothes that have been outgrown, the finality of these transitions is overwhelming.

Never again will I feel the rush of bringing a new life into the world.  Never again will I experience the tingle of that first let down.  Never again will I experience, so intimately, an infant’s contented sigh as she slips off the breast into precious sleep.  Never again will I have someone who has such need of me that we are nearly the same person.

The cutting of a first tooth, the first baby babbles, the first food pictures.  First words, first steps, first haircuts.  No longer will they be ours to announce.  We will no longer be the givers of the gift that is sharing a baby’s growth with loved ones, we will be the recipients.

I won’t say that I’m not slightly relieved to be moving into the next phase of our lives.  Being free of the Groundhog Day effect that adding babies to a family has on life plans is something that we’ve been looking forward to for a while.  It is, in all honesty, an exciting and liberating feeling.  But it is bittersweet.

My gratitude for being able to have the experience the growth of not just one, but four healthy babies cannot be expressed.  So I am packaging it up in a sentimental box, to be reopened in moments of quiet reminiscence as we plow ahead into the new world that awaits us as a family without a baby.

The firsts that await us now may not be as cherubic in nature or execution, but they will still be gifts, and I cannot wait to see them.

Happy birthday to my littlest, who will always be my baby.

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We are The Village

in our concept of the

It’s 5 a.m. A god-awful time to be sitting at an airport gate. An especially early time if you’ve been there with your 4 children since 11 p.m. the night before. If, by chance, your boarding pass and the flight boards reflect different gate numbers, and you have already walked the significant length between the two, you are exponentially more exhausted.

It was this situation that I became privy to when a fellow would-be passenger informed myself and the aforementioned mother of 4, along with several other confused passengers, that our boarding pass was indeed correct, it was the flight boards that were wrong. We had done as instructed by all important air travel messages and trusted the board.

With heavy sighs, a group of us, who had also already made the long trek between the San Jose terminals, gathered our things and readied to get some extra exercise. Myself, with my purse slung over a shoulder, my coffee in one hand and roller bag handle in the other, a group two silvered ladies and a gentleman with minimal bags, and the mother of 4, eyeing her babes, ages 4-10, wrapped up like burritos, draped over chairs and laid out upon the ground, snoozing on the spot as only children can.

“Here, please let me help you,” I offered, draining the last of my caffeine in a massive gulp to free up a hand, while at the same time the gentleman asked which child he could carry for her.

This mother graciously accepted our help, watching as one son roughly roused another, and, with the extra hands being offered by the older group, we managed to collect the 9 bags and one too-sleepy-to-walk 4 year old that made up our motley crew’s possessions, and began our journey back down the terminal, to the gate we had all already walked to and turned away from, screens blank and seats empty.

I learned on our long walk that the older group was heading north for a train trip to a fishing destination in Canada. The mother was on a long multi-flight journey from taking her children to visit her native home and family in Hawaii, to their current home in Alaska. Myself, heading back to my own family after a whirlwind weekend long conference for bloggers.

What did we have in common aside from our temporarily similar travel path? Maybe not much, probably more than one would think at first glance, but definitely one incredible thing:

We were the village.

So many times we see, again and again, a lamentation of the loss of “the village.” “It takes a village,” everyone says, and in the next breath we curse the privatization, the exclusivity of our lives as parents, childcare givers, and neighbors. “Not my monkeys, not my circus” has been making the rounds as a prominent quote, meaning to say that we shouldn’t entangle ourselves in other people’s crazy, but being implemented on a broader scope.

Why is it then, that, in our society where oversharing is a normal occurrence, we do not share in the joy, and yes, the burden of being a village when so many are seeking one?

Our insistence on independence, ridding our lives of the need to rely on others, to be seen as strong rather than weak, to “have it all together” instead of admitting that sometimes we are all just a hot mess, is taking the village out of the communities we build. We are taking an essential part of humanity out of the human experience.

And for what?

Maybe it was empathy that caused me to help her. Having 4 kids myself, I understand the work it is to move them from Point A to Point B without losing one of them (or my mind). Maybe it was the leftover sense of community that I had been basking in for a full weekend with my blogging peers that made me reach out, eager for a continuance of the human connection. Whatever the reason, would my day have been better had I decided to enjoy my mocha, sip by drawn out sip, on a lonely stroll down the terminal? No. Quite the opposite. I would have missed out on a conversation that gave me a glimpse of the fun these people were coming from or heading towards. Snippets of their lives bringing back fond recollections of my own visits to family and my own fishing trip on the Pacific with my husband. It sparked a connection, formed a new tie-in to humanity, and, if only for that long walk down the bustling airport hall, we were a village. And when you are part of a village, it becomes easier for you to spread the village boundaries.

As our flight began boarding, comfortable from my place in this amiable, temporary village, I noticed a man being continually brushed off by the gate clerk. ‘Your row is not boarding yet, you will have to wait.’ ‘Your seat is in row 7, we are boarding rows 20 and up, please wait over there.’ Cozy in my supportive space, I watched in mild interest, a bit frustrated on his behalf due to the language barrier that was obviously hindering his ability to effectively communicate and understand. When he turned to speak to his traveling companion waiting behind all of us, I followed his gaze to his petite wife, wrapped in her hijab, holding their dimple-faced baby girl. She replied to him, unaware of my attention, and he shrugged.

I found myself drawn to them, thoughts turning to my own 10 month old daughter, her blooming curiosity echoed in the dark chocolate eyes of this baby from the other side of the world.

“Are you trying to board early?” I asked the woman, who looked to her husband.

He looked at me, clearly frustrated, “No English. Simple. Please.”

So, I made an ass of myself, pointing to the plane, pantomiming, and using the sign for one of the only sign language words I am confident of: baby.

“You… want to get on the plane… now… because of your baby?”

Relief washed over his face, “Yes.”

A quick explanation to the attendant and they were ushered to the front of the line. A furtive wave from him in thanks and they disappeared down the ramp.

Now, when I wrote this piece, I was on a 2 hour flight, seated half a plane length away from that little family. The words practically put themselves into the notebook in front of me until, finally spent, I placed what I thought was a completed piece into my bag, ready to be edited, typed, and submitted.

But the village wasn’t done with me yet.

I saw nothing of this tiny, middle eastern family when I departed the aircraft. I sent a silent prayer into the world that they would find a kind soul to help them, wherever their path led. I made friends with a candy-kid hippy and we talked tattoos while navigating the various escalators leading to the rail that would swiftly deposit us at the next gate. The train pulled up, I stepped through the doors and when I turned around, there they were. The husband fumbled for his pass, and thrust it towards me.

As fate would have it, we were heading to the same gate.

I beckoned them on, the man offered me a smile, and they stepped in next to me, their daughter, now in his arms, still bright-eyed with wonder. In a fit of spontaneity, I showed them a picture of my daughter that my husband had send to me, the blue of her eyes such a contrast to the 3 sets of eyes looking at her, but in an instant I felt a new connection being made. We needed no common tongue to have a common cause.

I resolved to help them. I had an hour until my flight boarded, and I was no longer willing to leave this family to the chance that maybe someone else would be there for them. It wasn’t hard to remember the man’s frustrations trying to board the previous flight. I tapped my wrist and said that I had time, I would settle them at their gate.

The man nodded, “Moscow.”

“Idaho?” I replied.

It is possible that I imagined the eager question in the woman’s voice when she uttered her first words to me, “Moscow, Idaho?”

I would have given quite a lot to have been able to tell her that it was my destination as well.

We were making our way towards more escalators when their daughter reached for me.

Instinctively, my hand reached up to hers, but I pulled back at the last moment, placing my hand over my heart, “May I?”

The man smiled for the second time and nodded.

His daughter’s fingers were so warm as they curled around mine. Her tan skin soft, as only a baby’s can be. Her grip was strong. She was so sure of herself in that action that she took my breath away. in our concept of the

This is what the village is. Sharing these moments, so seemingly small and insignificant, yet so pivotal.

How in the world could I ever have expected that a family who did not speak my language, share any of my physical traits, and worshiped in a completely different manner than me, would need me in their village?

It seems to me that, in our concept of the village, we have degraded it to a mere shadow of what it could be. We have turned it from a web, ever reaching, ever growing, ever reinforced, into a circle, stagnant and never changing, of people just like us. We hope to find those we have commonalities with, not because we are racist or prejudiced, per se, but because we are most comfortable with what we know, with what we are familiar with. It is in this practice that we are doing ourselves, our communities, and, most importantly, our species a disservice.

We need to take the village back. We have seen enough casting about, attempts at pinpointing the problem, speculating the hows, whos, whens, wheres, and whys. Instead of asking where my village went or how to find my village, I am making a call to action.

I am the village, and I am taking it with me, expanding its population wherever I go.

Will you join me?

Where do we go from here?

notsosweethome

In the ever evolving chronicles of our family’s journey of the tiny house from hell, we have a big decision to make.

But to catch you up:

  • When Captain got this job offer, we lived in Western Washington.  I was pregnant with The Kraken.  We put our house on the market.
  • The kids and I moved in with my parents in Eastern Washington.  The Kraken was born several days before Captain had to report to his new job, 2.5 hours away.
  • We lasted 1 month apart before deciding that living together in a tiny house was better than living separately with weekend visits.
  • We found a 3 bedroom house that would work while the people renting our house in W. Wa. saved up to buy it.
  • They became unexpectedly pregnant with their 3rd, necessitating a vehicle upgrading and stalling their home buying plans by at least a year.

So here were are, in this tiny house that we only planned on being in for 12-18 months, facing the possibility of being here for much, much longer.  The neighborhood is great.  We are right next to Cabin Girl’s school.  But…

There’s not a ton of space.  And only 1 bathroom. The laundry area is open to the tiny kitchen.  The 3 big kids share a room while The Kraken has the tiny room across from the one notsosweethomeCaptain and I occupy.

There are sugar ants.  EVERYWHERE.

One toilet.

The a/c went out.  Temperatures have been consistently in the triple digits, the siding on this house is aluminum, and we have 3 window units that don’t work simultaneously, because the house can’t support that much current.  Keeping our house cool consistently flips the breaker, shutting down power to the entire south side of the house.

Did I mention that our family of 6 shares the single washroom?

The dishwasher wasn’t cleaning the dishes in the top rack.  We would have to wipe them out whenever we unloaded it.  Then, it died.  It took a few days but it was finally replaced, with an older, louder version, baskets rusting through, but hey, at least everything gets clean the first time through…

Only. One. Bathroom.

As I am writing this our house is 81 degrees with all of the lights off and anything not in use unplugged so that the computer can be on while the a/c in the living room and the kids’ room will stay running.

We’re getting what we’re paying for though.  And yes, our landlords are aware of everything.  We nag them quite a bit.

Rent is cheap, there’s no denying that perk.  But it is a perk that I am no longer interested in.

We are a family at each others’ throats.  We’re always hot, in various states of undress, and crabby from always being hot.  There is no separation for anyone.  No designated space for the kids to play and be kids.  If they play in their room, it’s in the scant 12 square feet of open space between beds and dressers.  If they play in the living room it gets in the way of daily happenings.  It’s too hot to play outside.

So, where do we go from here?

Dare we seek out more expensive, less cramped housing, slowing our own savings to a trickle and prolonging purchasing our forever home?

Or do we buckle down and bear it through the next two months of serious heat, until winter when the blankets will come out to cover the poorly insulated windows and everyone wears socks and sweaters 100% of the time because of the cold floors beneath our feet?

I have already made my decision, but I feel guilty for it.  We have a roof over our head and we are together.  It is, as I said when we were living apart, all I needed.  Truly, in the grand scheme of things that’s true.

But I also need my sanity, and that is slipping away faster than the cool air escaping through the gaps around the front door.

Going to My 10 Year Reunion

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Yep.  I’m going to my 10 year reunion.  For high school.  With people I graduated next to.  Because:

Social Media. capssucka

10 years ago, I was so freaking happy to be out of high school.  My life ahead of me, my not terrible but not amazing years as a high school student behind me.

I was NEVER going back.

Reunions?  For suckers.  Glorified preening parties for people who were popular in school and wanted to show off that they still had it.

‘It’ being something that I never had.

I was a choir geek, horrible at sports, and “not skinny” or moderately fashionable.  Of course now I would kill to have my high school body again, but hey, such is life.  My close friends had either graduated the year before me or would graduate the year after me.  There really wasn’t anyone in my class except my best friend/soon-to-be-roommate that I was terribly worried about keeping in touch with.

As far as I was concerned, everyone from my graduating class may as well not have existed for how much thought I would give them for the rest of my life.

And then, social media happened.

First, it started with old acquaintances reaching out to me, and, eventually, me to them.  Hey, well, maybe this isn’t so bad.  It’s cool to know they’re doing well.  And look at how much we actually have in common when you take away the bullshit of high school hierarchy.

Next, reconnecting with some friends who had gone their own way on not-so-pleasant terms.  Cautiously reconnecting, it was a great feeling to be able to say, Dude, I was stupid, I’m sorry.  Are we cool now?  And we were.  Side pondering: Is that how guys apologize?  Just all zen, water-under-the-bridge type stuff?  Because it’s so easy peasy.

Then, suddenly finding yourself having a dialogue with people you barely interacted with on a daily basis in school, via a mutual friend’s posting.  Enjoying the dialogue so much that you cautiously reach out the ‘hand’ of social media friendship, and there you are, given access to the pieces of their daily life they wish to share with the people they’re connected with.  You.  You are suddenly part of that circle.

It becomes the new platform for sharing achievements, woes, and general lifely things that you never would have guessed at or known about on your own.

Engagements, marriages, children, degrees, jobs, deaths, vacations, moves, achievements…  You have a front row seat to see and remark on them when they happen.

Gone are the days of storing all of your cool happenings for a night or weekend of preening in front of the people you spent 4 years elbowing to maintain your place on the social ladder of high school.

Now, we can come together just as people, already knowing the amazing or mundane things the others have been up to.

Sure, there are many of my class of 400 people who I am not in touch with, who may not even remember me or know who I am.  For the most part though, the playing field has been leveled.

And I am so ready to go out and play.  Of course, by play, I mean party.  Because we’re adults now, and our parents can’t stop us.

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