"Do you want me to call your dad in here?" "Alright, I'm calling your dad." "That's it. RYANNNNNNNNNN!" I have used the presence of my husband to control my children's behavior.
It hasn't been often, and I haven't done it in about 3 months, but I used to when I was at the end of my rope for the day until God impressed on me that what I was doing was undermining my OWN authority by having to call for back up, as well as making them FEAR their daddy, and show division in our parenting- I was the weaker link. God showed me this a long, long, long time ago but unfortunately I wasn't disciplined or obedient enough to stop.
Each time God would show me this, I'd understand and commit to not threatening my children with their daddy's presence, but then another frustrating situation would happen and I'd do what I heard my mother do so many times as a child "I'm going to have your dad come in here."
The way I feel God speak to me in regards to parenting is with a lot of flashbacks from my childhood and my parents unstable and unhealthy parenting. I'll see what the mature and appropriate and wise choice would have been to make, and then it'll clearly shift into this space of where I am at in my own parenting journey like a Tetris pattern.
Sometimes, having three toddlers is SO frustrating and exasperating that I just want to pass the baton off to my husband while I catch my breath. I want to scrub out and get a snack. Clock out and return Monday, refreshed. That momentary break from discipline and correction and guidance is felt on a minor scale when my husband comes in and brings with him his peace and calm which alone draws the children to obedience, but it has big consequences.
Meeting the emotional needs of three toddlers is taxing. Mine are 1.5-in that lil bit toddler lil bit baby stage, nearly 3-"NAOW!" LOTS of big emotions always intensified by hunger, fatigue, stimulation, sense of security in expressing them, and 4.5-he's still in his boundaries and pushing them stage, and just began half day preschool. I'd rather not add in MORE hard emotions to work through by building a foundation of fear of their daddy even if it does provide momentary relief. It's almost like when you take a pill for one thing which fixes that thing, but then you get 17 side effects.
Louise Bates Ames has material that actually discusses equilibrium and disequilibrium based on the half year before a child's birthday. So, equilibrium is present from the birthday to the half year, when disequilibrium comes in until that next birthday; the disequilibrium brings with it confusion, big emotions, being temperamental, and almost regressing in their ability to accomplish a task that was once doable to them.
We are in the disequilibrium stage with ALL THREE and will continue to wane in and out of these stages with all 3 at once. I've said all of this to paint a picture for you if you're not a parent, or not the parent of a child who is old enough to talk with yet. If you are a parent, you didn't need to read all of that because you already know exactly what I'm talking about.
In a perfect world, I'd be completely filled with patience, joy, reverence for God's will for me as a mother to three, gratitude, healthy mindsets with proper thinking, and well-rested-ness. Whew, nope this is not the current situation. It's more like a "Choose 3" situation. I work hard to always recognize and think on what my children may be experiencing behind their tantrums about what seem to be completely irrational meltdowns without merit. The other day at the library, my nearly 3 year old was SCREAMING AND THROWING HERSELF ON THE GROUND because I let her 1.5 year old sister throw her own dirty diaper in the trash. To a childless adult this is probably like uhhh okay she's probably just tired or naughty.
Well, as her mother I saw she certainly needed a nap, but she's not naughty. She is the middle child and she feels connected to me and appreciated by me when she is helping me with anything. She gets my attention and knows that I have seen what she's done because I thank her and tell her how helpful that was. She's coming into her own on the other side of 2.5, and is able to do more tasks with and for me each day which really feed her soul and make her proud of herself.
All I knew to do in an instance where she wasn't reasoning with me or letting me help her with her emotions was to call my husband and put him on speaker phone and let him love her. Just the sound of his voice soothed her tantrum down to slow, deep, post-sobbing heaves. He asked her if she got to read books, play in the tent, do puzzles, and other things the library offered. She knew when I offered her the phone to talk to her sweet daddy that it was going to be a help in her emotions, not a punishment for them.
This was a warm experience because I saw that my sweet girl recognized that she has a good, patient, gentle, soft, loving, daddy. I'm so glad I haven't ruined the way she sees him. More than not intimidating my children with their other parent, I want to always be sensitive to the fact that children grow up to view God as they experienced their Daddy, and I want them to look to Him as the source of their own daddy’s good, patient, gentle, soft, love.
I I have waited tables for nine years and when you first start the gig, peers warn that blacks don’t tip. Asians don’t tips. Middle Easterns don’t tip. Latinos don’t tip.
Not yet thinking autonomously, I subscribed to this “name of the game" if you will. While I never treated a race poorly and always gave what I believed to be good service, I would see a table of non-white people being seated in my section and feel a gut wrench. Everyone told me they weren’t going to tip me or leave me $2.
Over the years, I began to wonder if perhaps I, along with my coworkers were perpetuating stereotypes because we approached tables of different races already believing they would not be of any use or worth to our bottom line. To put it another way, what if the problem wasn’t entirely a cultural issue, but included the mediocre attitude of service we’d give.
Lots of waiting tables at 3 different restaurants have found me overhearing remarks from co-workers like: “They can wait for their refills, MFers aren’t tipping me anyways” “Ohhh God does anyone want 13? Please? I can’t afford to be stiffed tonight” for starters. I’ve heard worse. Racial slurs aren’t uncommon. “Three bucks might be a good tip in Mexico but it’s not here, go back!"
So, while the logistical service given was probably good, service in its entirety was not because at the heart of service is the right attitude. I didn't have that. What I did have was a lot of ignorance, and blindness to what I was ignorant to. Such a messy combination, honestly. You don't know what you don't know. So, beginning to wade my way through so many embarrassing situations where I'd said something ignorant, I had a desire to change. To just see people how God sees them and have God's mind toward them. I have to be honest here, I am STILL ignorant in some areas in regards to racial minorities and the issues faced. And it's embarrassing EVERY time I realize I've just said something or thought something that does not honor another human. I've used a term interchangeably or incorrectly, I've confused two things, etc. I've had to say before, red in the face, in front of others: Wow, I am so embarrassed that I didn't realize that. Thank you for letting me know so that I don't make that mistake again. I really appreciate that you care about me enough to correct me.
It's embarrassing because my heart is to LEARN and GROW in love. I want to be sensitive and gentle to someone who is a minority in any capacity so as not to compound their suffering, and possibly even alleviate it.
A couple years ago, I was extremely pregnant with my last baby around tax time. I had a table of 3 black moms come in with 6 or 7 little children. They wanted all three of my tables. We were running a never ending type promotion and I treated them all warmly. Graciously dodging the children who were running throughout my section and obliging with kindness their very demanding needs. In the beginning of their meal, they asked why we were so busy and I wasn't sure of any event that particular day that would make us super busy and supposed it was people excited to have a night of treating themselves with their refunds.
The nightmare began when one of the moms didn't like her dish. It was exactly what she ordered, but no matter. I told her hey not a problem, the super good news was that it was a never ending thing so I could quickly ring in what she WOULD enjoy and have it out in no time at all with minimal effort. Total win-win here. I removed the dish from her and noticed she was giving me a really disgusted look. Uncomfortable, but whatcha gonna do ya know.
I pieced together that they had gotten up and retrieved several to go boxes on their own and were keeping them at their feet filling them up with food. This is why she was so mad, she wanted to take the thing she claimed to not like, home. Things were getting weird before this because that was a lot of food gone quickly, so I clued my manager in that I was anticipating a problem and here's why:
See, I'm not giving any opinions about whether or not it's right, but the restaurant doesn't like when people come in and get a ton of refills on something and take it home. It cuts into profit. I get both sides, the customers and the business'. But here's the rub: When I try to uphold the rules because I want to keep my job, I don't get tipped because people get so angry that I need to charge extra for a salad to go home when if they'd have just ordered a free refill, they could've taken it home. So then if I want to be tipped and feed my family, I have to turn a blind eye to what's going on and then risk discipline action. It's a real crummy spot to be put in. I KNOW restaurant mark up on pasta is crazy. I KNOW it's important to follow the rules of your employer. It's just crummy to reckon these two. Plain and simple.
So, this particular manager was eventually fired for his pure hostility and nastiness, it was very difficult to bring issues to him, but I wanted some advice on my next step here. I was told to go let them know they can't keep boxing up refills. ALL ACTUAL HELL BROKE LOOSE GUYS. Hollering, telling me off, claiming another location allows this across town. Demanding a manager. They told my manager I'd made racial slurs to them AND told them that the only reason they're in was because they'd just gotten their taxes back. They said I gave awful service and had an attitude. That I was racist and nasty.
This cut me so deeply. I was in a place in my serving career where I SO BADLY did not want to have automatic unkind thoughts about waiting on tables of different races, and this whole blow up not only threatened my ability to feed my family, but deeper drove the wedge of caution I'd heard years ago, between myself and my guests of color. My manager not only gave them a ton of free food to take home and took care of a $200 bill, but didn't believe that I had not acted the way they said I had and that hurt worst of all. A good manager always knows their employees character and when a complaint doesn't match up with it. These women kept talking where I could hear them because I HAD TO BOX UP ALL OF THEIR FREE THINGS AFTER THIS ENTIRE SITUATION about "Yep, we showed that pregnant bitch yes we sho did girl. Teach that lil white bitch to mess with a real black bitch. That's what she get. She ain't know shit bout us." It enraged me.
The very next table I had was a family of 5 black people. GOD PLEASE NO. PLEASE. NO. The dad was horrendous and not only didn't know what he wanted to order, but made ME the problem with not knowing what he wanted or liked. The mom never once stuck up for me, and the teenage children had no manners. I gave it all I had, reminding myself that the ability to feed my children with a job had to outweigh whatever outcome this table gave me. I had to be nice. The bill was $97 or something and she wanted change from $100. OMG. I was so fuming mad. I handed her the change, and she handed me a $50 bill. She told me it looked like I'd had an awful night and that God loves me. Yikes. I'd let some serious ignorance get in my way.
The lesson of people acting how they act because of who they are and not their skin tone was so tangible to me that night. I never feared or thought a bad thought toward coming up to a table and seeing a minority after that. I only welcomed it.
As a mom of three, I am so THRILLED to get adult interaction and make lots of money once or twice a week outside of the home that my mindset is truly one of gratitude and excitement to connect. I want as many tables as possible for the money and I want as many interactions as possible for fun. I LOVE making people laugh and being helpful, so this is just perfect for me. This shift in paradigm has allowed me to be free of letting a table of ANY race who may not tip well run off with my emotions and keeping me in a bad attitude all night, ruining my FUTURE tips altogether.
A couple weekends ago, I made $50 in thirty minutes from 2 Hispanic tables. They both told me I gave them fabulous service, and it made me wonder if they naturally tip that well, or if they'd had a poor experience dining last time and they wanted to show their appreciation for my humor and warmth toward them with money.
You know who are actually the worst to wait on for me? The upper-middle class clientele. They tip just fine, but they don't see me. I am in a service position and my humanity is neither here nor there. I am called "they" standing right there while they chat amongst themselves about what I'll bring or do. They chuckle condescendingly about my lack of education and socioeconomic status. They don't SEE WHAT MAKES ME, ME AND IT HURTS. ME.
Ya know, last week I had a table of 2 black women and we hooted and hollered with laughter about life. They took up a table for 2 hours and left me $5 on a $70 tab. I was okay with it. I wasn't bitter or resentful. They saw me, and I can't wait to see them again.
Here's a newsflash: white people tip bad sometimes too. Some people are cheap. Some people are rude. Some people don't know dining etiquette. Some people may have realized their bill was much higher than anticipated. Some people may have left money at home by accident. Lots of scenarios. And yes, it would seem after 9 years of serving that one scenario could be cultural.
Waiting tables for me is so fun and refreshing. I TRULY can now say that I approach each table with a baseline of respect and desire to serve them, now that I have a new way of thinking for myself. One of those baselines IS, believe it or not, to see someone's color.
Last night, a nicely dressed couple sat in my section. The man wore what I believe is called a turban on his head, and his date had the most beautiful mustard yellow dress to complement her olive skin, green eyes, and shiny, thick, dark, long, hair. I had their shared entrée split up for them in the kitchen so they didn't have to fuss with it, gave a good recommendation on appetizers, and while I was boxing them up, we had a good conversation about egg-free substitutes in baking sweets. I was giving the ratio for a chia seed egg when he stopped, looked right at me and said, "Out of the past 7-10 times we've been out to eat this is the best service we have received. Thank you." His eyes were sincere and painful at the same time. I knew EXACTLY what he meant by that, but I smiled and said, "Well I'm SO glad to know that, thank you for telling me!" I boxed up the rest of their food and again, he thanked me and told me he appreciated me. "I appreciate you" he said. The words fell onto my soul like warm honey. Because I KNEW. I knew why he wasn't given good service. I KNEW he had pain and has had to adapt and overcome immeasurable adversity in something as simple as being served A MEAL. He appreciated the way I treated him. He appreciated the way I didn't treat him.
I saw his color. To say I don't see color is not only a lie, but I think it robs a person of color from the ownership of their experiences as a marginalized population. I understand that when people say they don't see color they are TRYING to find some way to say "I treat everyone equally. I am not racist." However true that may be for the person speaking it, it does strip away part of what makes a person, that person. We can't deny another human that, ever. To say we don't see color is to say that we don't see THAT PERSON in his or her entirety. I saw his color, and I went forth with no reservations about what that may mean in regards to my tip, but rather what that may mean in regards to how I could connect with him and his date.
I think Jesus wants us to SEE people. See their color. See their wheelchair. See their single parenting. See their deafness. See their poverty. See anything that may be uncomfortable for us to acknowledge has shaped them into being marginalized and excluded. To see it, and then to meet where that pain has a need for healing. Even if it's just one bowl of pasta at a time.
5 years have past now since I became pregnant with my first baby. Half a decade. I go weeks now without thinking about the season of life I was in where I'd wanted to kill my baby every day. 23 years old felt so grown at the time, grown enough to indulge in an affair with a man 10 years older who promised so much, grown enough to make my own choices, but when it came time for the consequences 23 felt light years away from maturity. And looking back now, it was.
I was unashamedly pro life. I had so many hard set morals that were unshakable. But when the certain disaster that comes from a toxic relationship came to a head, I found myself on the door step of a crisis pregnancy center waiting for them to open the morning I'd found out I was pregnant. My hope was that they'd abort this baby faster than my reality would sink in, and erase a summer of poor choices...and any threat against my bright future. Looking like I led a noble life was important to me, looking like I was a good, moral, Christian person was important to me. Having a white wedding and living life in a socially acceptable and recommendable order was important to me. Except that I never was able to bridge the gap between who I was and who I wanted to be.
So, there I was stuck in the middle. Shame, guilt, regret, and bitterness ran through me and the idea of having a baby this way made my blood run cold and had me running to the toilet over and over again. The soft Christian music playing overhead that once flooded my car made me want to vomit. To my dismay, I'd gone into a place that did give honest, unbiased information about abortions, but that tried really hard to help a mom choose life for her baby. I filled out my forms and the entire meeting with a counselor was a blur, but I remember when the paperwork asked if there was anything they could pray for, I wrote one word: abortion.
Each morning I laid in my bed until I had to work at 4 or 5 in the afternoon. I cried and stared off into space. I called abortion clinics nearly every day, the nearest one was a little over an hour away. I asked a lot of questions and what I wanted to hear was that someone could offer me freedom from the deep emotional bondage I was in. Nobody ever could do that.
I was sitting in my car one rainy afternoon around 10 weeks along eating a bagel in a parking lot. Depression and heartache were heavy in me, but I GRIEVED. I grieved my reputation-all but a couple friends completely abandoned me, I grieved hurting other people in this process, I grieved my choices and the feeling of a clean conscience, I grieved my future. Coming from a broken home and painfully dysfunctional family made me want to break these cycles and do better. It was my main goal in life. I'd lost everything when God punished me for this affair with a baby.
Scrolling through Facebook, a friend's dad posted a random article. I had nothing better to do. That website had a few articles I may be interested in, and one was the story of a doctor on the East coast who'd been aborting babies up to 41 weeks on Sundays at the clinic. He called them Sunday babies and his staff testified how he'd laugh at their size. The doctor would turn the babies breech in utero before inducing the women and then before the head was delivered, he'd insert scissors into the base of the baby's skull and cut the baby's spinal cord.
I sat in that car and wept. I saw no difference between what I'd be doing and what this man was doing. In the days following, knowing myself as a deep feeler and one prone to guilt and self-loathing, I thought I'd begin writing about my experience with an abortion if I had one. I'd go through start to finish and after, every emotion and sound. So in a phone note, I wrote:
“You’re going to feel a poke. The nurse told me that part as the cold needle slid into my vein. None of the staff were the monsters I’ve always pictured them to be. Even though I still secretly thought they were.
Like…how does NOBODY here think this is wrong? Who APPLIES for these jobs? They’ve never heard of God? So they just sit here in this office every day, commit murder and then have lovely dinners with their families? And nobody sees a problem with it? What am I doing here! I’ll bet if I just got up and left RIGHT now, God would help me. He would, I know He would.
Do you have any questions before we begin? This will only take a few minutes. He spoke through a dr mask and I couldn’t see his face because he was down between my legs but I hadn’t spread them apart yet. Maybe I won’t. I could just get up right now and figure this out. Get up. Get UP. Could he just do it with them clamped shut? Let me feel like i didn’t choose this, like its not my fault. His gloved hands are cold. Most professionals’ are. My legs are shaking and prickly with goosebumps.
And WHAT is that nurse doing? What in the HELL is her job?! Is SHE going to hold my hand and whisper that it’s okay? Because it’s not! She makes me angry and I could just slap her for standing there thinking she’s any help at all to the world. I hate her already and I hope she drops the tools & breaks them so I can just go home. Get up. GET.UP.
I wish the anesthesia was made for emotion. I could probably deal with the pain. I’ve had Pap smears before. Why do I have to be awake for this? If I were asleep I wouldn’t feel like id had a choice in the matter and I could blame all the murder and tragedy on these normal people, whom I was certain were at any moment going to take off their masks to reveal demons. But I need no further than to turn my head to the left and to see my reflection in a surgical steel tray. Is that where they’re going to put her? I hope they set her down gently and let me hold her maybe. Why would I think that thought? God, please teleport me to my apartment. Maybe I should rethink it.
I bravely & cordially smile like he’s a dentist asking if I’m ready to have my braces put on. Like, it will hurt but it’s for the best. I’m pretty and happy now without braces. This will be the same. It gives him the go ahead like he’s just checking under the hood real quick.
My mind goes a million miles a minute. It hurts so badly and I am cutting into my hands with my fingernails oh my GOD my baby is being cut up like this and she hurts too Okay stop I changed my mind. STOP! STOP! Put her back!!! Is She in that machine? Why does it sound like lawn equipment? God! PLEASE IF YOU NEVER DO ANYTHING FOR ME AGAIN, take my baby out of that machine and put her back. Or I will trade places with her. I promise I will love her please God. I CHANGED MY MIND STOP!!
But I cooperated and lied as still as if I were dead because I think I am inside. People do this all the time. I am going to just be like everyone else and forget about it. But I can’t. I can’t ever be anything from here on out my whole life is changed. I can’t even. What would she have looked like? First word? Dance recitals, would she have been a ham & done something hysterical instead of her routine? What would her nickname have been? Is there a baby boy out there whose wife was just killed? Oh my God her wedding. And her dress. And her children. MY children. What if they later wonder if I wanted to kill them too? Like I’m going to have a husband or children NOW anyways.
What exactly is 3 hours in this bed supposed to recover me from? Not my regret.
coffee grinds. Snotty tissues and Diapers and pencil shavings. They end up in the garbage because they belong there. Babies aren’t garbage. I am garbage, I should go to the dump and spend my life there because I am a baby killing piece of trash and I do not deserve better than what I gave my first child. The nurse didn’t tell me I’d feel that."
For weeks, I texted all of my friends, lost and looking for the one piece of advice that would cause my pain to disappear. Even my most liberal pro choice friends were adamantly against me having an abortion, knowing it'd lead to my demise.
One thing that still sticks out in my mind is my mentor's words during a heated phone conversation where I told her I wanted an abortion, but I DON'T want to give the baby up for adoption because I'd love it at that point. She asked me, "THEN WHY WOULD YOU KILL IT IF YOU'RE GOING TO LOVE IT?"
I didn't abort my baby. I had that baby and named him Asher. He is 4 now.
How then, can I title this post "Aborting My Firstborn Baby" when I didn't? Because I ALMOST did. My entire life, like one of those choose-your-ending Goosebumps, would've crumbled if my story was different. Some choices we make, we never realize the gravity of until after it's happened. Some choices are so small, we'd never trace where we are now back to them. But THIS choice, the choice to keep my baby, changed everything from that point out.
I now have a truly beautiful life. I am blessed beyond measure despite what I thought I would deserve, and though it took me a few years, I no longer feel guilt or shame about the choices I made that led me to becoming a mom. It doesn't rattle me. It doesn't embarrass me to share because the devil can't use against you, what you've brought to the light. He loses his grounds to it.
I have a husband who came into our lives when Asher was 10 months old, and has been his dad ever since, eagerly, happily, officially adopting him nearly a year ago. This healed many wounds I carried. I wondered often laying in that bed of mine in my early pregnancy, "What if I meet someone who desperately wished I'd kept this baby and who would've loved it?" That's exactly what happened, and maybe the prospect of a man coming in to save the day shouldn't have kept me holding on, but it was more than that. It was the idea of wholeness and completion in a family that I got to create in love. In peace. In security.
We have a beautiful home with 2 beautiful girls, and all that I worried about in that lonely bed this time 5 years ago, has never come to pass or rear its head. None of it. I worried about a step family experience for my son that reminded me of what I had. I worried about half siblings and him not feeling wanted. I worried about not being able to teach him about God because I had disqualified myself from Christian-dom with my choices. I worried all day and tormented myself with negative thoughts as punishment.
I think in a way, an abortion would have been a punishment to myself too. Because when I chose life for my baby I chose life for myself too.
Today, my sweet boy lights up my entire life with love, pride, laughter, joy, and gratitude. He is smart and kind. Funny and sweet. Cute and witty. At the adoption hearing, Asher's biological father had to give a testimony as to why he was voluntarily giving up his rights as a parent before they were terminated. On the way out of the courtroom, I stopped him in the doorway with the judge looking at me as if I may need arrested. My husband looked at me, unsure of what I was doing. I cried as I told him "Thank you for this little boy. He is smart and kind. Funny and sweet. Cute and witty. He is perfect and we love him so much we would die for him. He is the best thing anyone has ever given me, so I forgive you."
Asher has grown me, matured me, made me wiser, more loving, deeper. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I got to tell him that last night laying in his bed with him rubbing his forehead while he fell asleep. I am so thankful for every experience I get to have as his mother, and he got to over hear me praying that over him tonight as he fell asleep in my arms. I can never get away from all of this thankfulness in my heart because I feel like I owe the life of my child to those who prayed for us. To God's perfect love and ways.
For all of the prayer warriors, those I was aware and unaware of, waging spiritual warfare on our behalf and impressing a conscience and God's will on me, I am grateful. I am indebted. It's because of you that I did not destroy two lives 5 years ago.
I don't have the mental space to often think on the time I was sad and single and pregnant these days, but when I do, I thank God that my abortion story ended in a baby whom I'd give MY life for.
Phew! The last two weeks have been a whirlwind for our family! We moved out of our home and in with my in laws, a half mile away for 10 days while our floors were refinished. They look BEAUTIFUL! Who glued linoleum onto them because I want to have the kind of chat Chris Hansen from Dateline NBC How to Catch a Predator has when he walks into the room. And I want to tell them they're free to go, but have cops waiting outside to arrest them.
Anyways, I'm getting to the capsule wardrobe thing. My in laws are SO gracious and let us stay with them for 11 months while we house hunted right after we got married, and then for 3 weeks last summer while we got our living-dining floors refinished, and AGAIN for a week and a half this summer while we got our kitchen-foyer floors refinished. We came this time with 3 kids, 1 puppy, 1 dog, and 2 adults so if you see them, buy them a beer!
Okay almost to the wardrobe thing. But first, I confessed to my Facebook friends while I was packing up the entire first floor of our home to store before we left for 10 days that I needed 30 YES THIRTY boxes for my kitchen things. Yikes. I've been on a mission to purge my home of extra clutter all year, so packing up my whole kitchen shed a light on the next area I need to tackle.
I don't have a ton of clothes. My husband has quite a few, my 4 year old son doesn't have an outlandish amount, but my GRILLS (my little boy coined the girls "The Grills" when he was 3 and it has stuck!) have ALL THE CLOTHES! I justify it because they are 15 months apart and all of my older girls clothes will be worn by my youngest girl. I don't think we have as many clothes as a lot of families, but we have too many. FOR SURE. And ya know, I am so grateful for what we've got, but as soon as I let something get me off my laundry game, my bedroom becomes a dumping ground for all of the clean laundry and I just pick through every day for clothes for us all until I play catch up and get back on my laundry game.
It's stressful, makes me dread part of the morning, makes me not want to be in my bedroom, and is always a lingering chore mentally that I shouldn't be relaxing, I should be up in that room sorting. And it torments me day in and out until I address it.
I feel on top of the world when all of our laundry is done, put away, kept up. But I miss one day of doing a load of laundry, and the next thing I know I have 34 towels, sheets, 100 kid outfits, 2 pillows, and 6 Legos strewn down my basement stairs beckoning me to come handle it. Capsule wardrobes are supposed to drastically improve laundry situations while being better for the environment, and less stressful in terms of a cluttered closet.
If you don't know what a capsule wardrobe is, it is when you sort through your clothes and leave only simple pieces that won't ever go out of style, that can be worn throughout each season. If you need to purchase some things to augment what you've got, you do so with quality over quantity in mind, and keeping with the timeless aspect. The idea is that you should just be able to go into an uncluttered closet and pick any top, with any bottom, any shoe, and be ready to head out the door with no thought. Everything can be mixed and matched to create an effortless clean look.
Some people like to create a capsule wardrobe based on what is "in" and that is fine too, they are not timeless items then, but rather a minimalist wardrobe. Hopefully this doesn't sound too restricting! You really don't have to have ONLY 20 pieces in your closet. You don't have to get rid of a favorite ugly Christmas sweater or anything you LOVE! It's more about taking away stress and clutter, and adding in tidiness and peace.
So let's get down to business, when packing for our little stay I thought this would be THE PERFECT TIME to test out a capsule wardrobe for each of us! Now, we are in Michigan so this made it challenging because what was supposed to be typical mid-September 75 or less degree weather ended up being about 6 straight days of 100% humidity and 88 degrees. Yuck. I didn't do my research and it came back to bite me.
For myself, it was easy because I only have 4 shirts, 2 pants, 1 short, and 1 legging that are acceptable for public. I grabbed one longer black cardigan and 5 pairs of underwear, 3 bras. No socks because it's still flip flop weather. One work shirt and work pant and one pair of black socks for my one waitressing shift a week. I forgot any pajama so I just slept in my shirt of the day and undies.
For my husband, I brought 4 work shirts, 2 pairs of pants, 3 pairs of socks, 3 lounging shirts, 2 lounging shorts, 1 shirt and 1 short 1 pair of socks for his 2 golf outings and church. Flip flops, work boots, tennis shoes, golf shoes.
For my son who started preschool while we were there, I packed 6 long sleeve shirts, 4 short sleeve shirts, 3 pair of shorts, 5 pair of pants, 3 sweatshirts, a new package of socks, new tennis shoes, his Keenz sandals, 2 pair of pajamas and 10 undies.
For my daughters who are 1 and 2.5, I brought for each of them: 2 pair of pajamas, 2 shorts, 4 long sleeve shirts, 2 short sleeve shirts, 2 shorts, 5 pants, one pair of shoes, and 10 undies for my 2.5 year old. No socks.
I left behind HOARDS of clothes all stuffed onto the toddler bed that is butted up against our bed and while I DO wish I'd have checked the weather and brought mostly summer stuff, we were fine. I didn't miss most of it! I brought 5% of our clothes and didn't miss the other 95%!
I should be doing a load of laundry a day or every other day, so at first it was weird to be like um I'm wearing 1/3 of my clothes right now what will I wear on Friday!? But then I remembered WELL FOR PETES SAKES I COULD WASH MY CLOTHES! I think this MAKES me have to do laundry or have to pull up in the pick up line indecent. When I adjust to HAVING to do something by force instead of choice, it does come with a certain level of responsibility, so a little stress too. But by day 4 or 5, it just was what it was.
I'll admit that becoming a mom of three in three years kind of left me, an already messy, unregimented and undisciplined person DROWNING in house work as I often did(okay do) my house work as an afterthought as opposed to being as essential to my survival as changing diapers and feeding my children. I'm not a proactive person naturally and really have to make a conscious effort to do my chores. This seems like a good solution to eliminating a lot of excuses for me because I will sit down after the kids are asleep knowing there is laundry that SHOULD be done, but doesn't HAVE to be done because we have more clothes to wear. This is a mindset that gets me into trouble because I apply it in other areas too: it's not bad enough to address, I'll wait until I almost can't fix the situation until I tend to it. Its like I know there is smoke coming out of my toaster, but I'm not going to get up until flames are 3 inches from me. NOT GOOD! So where laundry is concerned, I'll just have it pile up until we almost don't have any clothes to wear and I'm in a bad mood and huffing because I have to switch laundry out at 11pm when my husband is about to go to bed and I need him to watch the baby while I go do it. THIS ALL COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED IF I UM JUST DIDN'T OPERATE LIKE THIS! HELLO!
So my practical advice, if you want to take advice from someone who doesn't put out fires until they interrupt her OutDaughtered binge watching, would be to take a time slot, empty out every drawer and hanger, and pluck out only what you love and what can be easily paired together. Keep your other things somewhere out of sight (neatly, maybe a large tub if you've got it! You want to get the full-ish effect here not become disgruntled that you've got 698 pounds of clothes strewn in a corner.) and work it for a week or two! Then at the end, add in what you really wished you had, and sell the rest!!
Enjoy a more peaceful dressing routine!
His eyes were a little pre-misty tonight. In the minivan, just our 4 year old and my husband and I leaving his preschool open house. We slowly weaved around the school's roads back toward my in law's home, quarter mile from the school where my husband had lived since he was 4 years old.
I hate public schools. I've gotta get that out of the way, sorry. I love public school teachers. I love public school principles and secretaries and janitors and bus drivers. But I hate public schools and since I was about 19 I knew I was going to home school. I don't approve of the learning styles, or how long they sit in chairs, or how the periods and recesses and lunch breaks mimic an 8 hour work day, for a 5 year old. I hate the Clorox wipes and air fresheners. Tearing my child away from his security, sense of safety, home, and mom. Not a fan. You might be a fan, and that's okay.
This is part of my crunchy mom attached parent thing. My children will be tirelessly and without compromise be built on the firmest foundation of security and love, we will do ABCJESUSLOVESME, we will learn about God at home and do the home school co-ops. We will dance when we want to dance, we will eat when we want to eat, we will learn by playing always.
Argument after bicker after holler after links to studies and articles and reports after argument. After bicker. After holler. More links to studies. More arguing. Usually, always, actually, my husband hears what I have to say and disagrees immediately. Then exactly 24 hours later he tells me I'm right. That didn't happen. And that was fine, because he was only 18 months old. And it didn't happen. Then he was 2, then 3, and then 4. And it didn't happen.
I prayed for God to change my husband's heart, open his blind eyes to this certain tragedy Lord. Give me SOMETHING.
And God gave an instruction to let him have this one. Which was difficult to obey because A. God was wrong, and B. No. I've got a messy tendency to shake my husband and God like 8 balls until I get my way.
There's a way I like the kids to be rocked and fed and dressed and cleaned and doctored and taught. Talked to prayed for looked at listened to. And if it's not the way I like it, then it needs to be. Ryan has a different way of doing all of these things. I have spent most of my marriage feeling more entitled to the details of my children's rearing than my husband.
Maybe I'm just a bad wife. Maybe I'm nuts. Maybe I think my mother's intuition is stronger than his opinions. Maybe I can't imagine someone who didn't carry these babies could know them better. Maybe I spend so much time as a stay at home mom with them and breathe in toddler from the time my eyes open to the time they shut that I think the currency this sacrifice would best be exchanged in, is to get to make the final decision.
But I don't even hear the man out. I usually listen to what he has to say so that I can refute it. And I didn't realize that until tonight. Or maybe God has shown me before and I hadn't wanted to change so I don't remember.
I love my husband. Maybe I should've started out with that because I doubt more than 3 of you are going to believe that now. He's a good dude. He's really level headed and balanced. Quiet, but smart. He met Asher and I when Asher was 10 months old. He adopted Asher in December of last year, but had been his dad since Day 1 and is all he knows. Ryan had gotten out of The Marines about 6 months earlier where he'd survived several bombings and outnumbered 10:1 ambush combat. He told me that he never expected to survive, but if he did, he didn't think he'd ever get married so he wanted to buy a home one day and adopt a child.
And on the 2 minute drive through the little paved roads he had walked 5 days a week for 14 years, where he'd gotten his baseball scholarship and goofed around and made friends and held hands with a middle school girlfriend and thought in silence during walks, the little paved roads he drove through when home on leave from deployments in Afghanistan reminiscing...his eyes got that inflamed red that comes before a welling up of tears. He said, "This school hasn't seen a Karbon since my brother graduated. I never thought I'd see this day." I caught his eye then looked away, not sure if he wanted to hide his emotion or not. I looked at him again, and he looked back to the road. And that was the end of it.
Two sentences. Years of fighting, came to a head in revelation in two sentences. He had deep emotions, too. He had a say, too. He wanted what was best for our son, too. He gets to be the parent, too.
Groceries are my weakest area when it comes to budgeting. I've got a family of five and for the area of the Midwest we live in, I am on the really high end. I spend $250 every week, so $1,000 a month, but when I'm really off my game it can creep up to $400 a week. Yikes-a-roni.
I have to work really hard to be intentional in all areas of my life and meal planning is no exception. Where we get off track is when I just act like we don't need to eat the next day and take no steps to prepare. Out and about with no snacks...In comes some Culver's with gluten-free buns and fries all around! Didn't thaw out meat and it's 30 minutes before dinner, no instant pot, so I better go up to our local grocer for a rotisserie chicken. Someone holler if you hear me. My groceries are a mess.
However, when I'm really on my game plan for budgeting and saving and paying off debt, the FIRST place I look is here, because it's more than my mortgage! So here are the best tips I've got for you, for getting your grocery game together! Once you decide on a reasonable budget for the area you live in, try some of these!
1. When making your grocery list, see what you already have in your cupboards and freezer and refrigerator like an inventory list. I tend to make a list on notebook paper in thirds: MEALS FOR THE WEEK/HAVE/NEED
I know someone out there is looking at her phone like "wow girl seeing whatcha already got in your cupboard...genius...eyeroll." BUT FOR REAL! I'm a big huge fan of walking into a grocery store and buying anything I see that sounds good whether it goes with a meal or not.
2. Make a meal plan! Even if your meal plan is "order pizza" in Friday's slot, at least you've got a plan. I don't keep mine on any cute Pinterest chalkboard, it just stays on that grocery sheet in thirds usually crumpled up in the bottom of my purse. Making a meal plan helps you to use what you've got on hand and prevents those $40 for one meal trips up to your local grocer, or rely on fast food as an option. Pinterest is wonderful for this.
3. A super resourceful friend reminded me today to include outings in your plan, whether it's a few snacks or a cooler. If you know you're going to get hungry when you're out and about, bring food. I like to keep some grass-fed beef jerky and dried apple slices in my bag for the kids.
4. When making your grocery list, take a few extra minutes to check out the store's ads online.
5. If what you purchase has manufacturer coupons, use them. Duh! Couponing is NOT my jam and there are rarely coupons for what we buy anyways, so this isn't my strongest area, but I do know there are plenty of Facebook groups you could stalk with info on this.
6. Do your grocers have rewards programs or apps? In the Midwest, I use Meijer's MPerks which DOES have some occasional coupons for me, plus a rewards program. Kroger has an app for additional coupons as does Fresh Thyme. Never hurts to ask or google it!
7. Learn to cook what you can from scratch! It's healthier and cheaper. Reach out to a friend who is always posting her home made bread and ask if she can share the recipe!
8. Find alternatives to your fast food, restaurant, and pizza takeout. You can find a lot of recipes for chain restaurant classics online, and making a pizza takes just as long as it does ordering one!
9. Learn to garden! I have not had the chance yet, but I know that'll help our produce expenses a ton when I do. Canning or properly freezing your excess produce helps as well. If you don't know how, ask a friend, your ma, your aunt, a grandma at church. Someone would love to show you.
10. If you don't have a garden, does your neighbor? Could you weed once a week and buy him fertilizer and seeds in exchange for a helping of the crops? Could you get a tomato and cucumber plant for your deck? Take advantage of farmer stands and farmer's markets when in season? Or ask in your community's Facebook group if anyone has some produce to sell? Then can or freeze the excess of those yields.
11. If none of the above is for you, when you see a REALLY good sale on produce, go ahead and buy one or two extra to can or freeze.
12. Every couple of days, do some checking in on your produce to make sure it isn't going bad. In your meal plan, you should prioritize what goes bad the quickest produce wise to use first in meals. If something is nearing the end of freshness, make some muffins with a little carrot and zucchini and then freeze the muffins. Or chop and freeze the veggies for veggie stock. Or try to use them up quickly by sautéing a couple into each meal, and having them for snacks.
13. If you have extra taco meat (STOP READING MY BLOG, YOU'RE CANCELLED SIS), freeze it. It extends the life a lot. Same goes for the Bolognese sauce. In fact, when making spaghetti, keep your pasta and sauce separately so that you can freeze the extra sauce, and then add some veggies and Italian dressing to your leftover pasta for a nice side dish or snack.
14. Try to go one extra day before grocery shopping. Pretend your car won't start or whatever you have to do and get CREATIVE! I'm almost always able to think of about 5 more meals when I do this.
15. Get some friends together to make a huge batch of pasta! Or if you've got a friend who is an awesome baker, and you are an instant pot pro, swap tips and lessons!
16. Do some checking around for a local bulk store like Costco or Sam's Club. I go with Costco because they have more organic options. See if traveling and the membership cost is right for you, but be careful when you go because it is VERY easy to convince yourself you're saving money by shopping bulk, and then your total is $1,132.00. Yes I did that last week.
17. Are there any food outlets near you? Best by, Use by, expiration date, sell by, those are usually terms for marketing and NOT safety. Your nose is going to be your best judgement. There is one near me that always has organic cold pressed juices and grass fed organic steaks. It's not always mystery meat!
18. This sounds counter productive, but when it comes to meat...when in doubt, throw it out. I would MUCH rather throw away $8 in a pound of grass fed beef even though I HATE to, than I would like to have my three tiny children and husband and I down with food poisoning. You've got to weigh lost wages, and doctor visits against your meat in question.
19. Speaking of meat, could you do a Meatless Monday? Or at LEAST make meat a PART of the meal instead of the main course? It never occurred to me that I could halve a chicken breast by slicing it hamburger way, and it would be TWO pieces of chicken until about a year ago. We have wasted so much less chicken. Sometimes, I will make an entire meal for the 5 of us out of one large chicken breast, breaded in almond flour and spices and fried in ghee. With sides, it's always enough!
19. Pack your lunch for work! If you figure $10/day in lunch, that's $200 a month in lunch!
20. Sign up for IBotta for rebates from lots of stores.
21. Get the dry beans and learn to soak and cook them! Much cheaper, especially if you're substituting them out for meat in some dishes.
22. Oats can easily be ground into flour in a blender for about 45 seconds!
23. When buying meat, if you have no local butcher shop or farm store near you, ask the meat associate at your grocer when their mark down days are. If you can go on that day, do so! Freeze your meat and pull it out to thaw as possible. If you do have a butcher shop, venture out with adding a tiny bit of organ meat to your dishes for extra nutrition, and less cost.
24. Learn which cuts of meats are cheapest. Chicken thighs for example have wonderful flavor and are MUCH cheaper than breasts.
25. Figure out how to bulk up your dishes with vegetables or beans. For example, we usually need 1.5 pound of beef for tacos, but if I scale it back to .75 pound and add a can of beans, no one can tell the difference or complains.
26. Do you know someone who hunts deer? Could you barter a skill or item with him or her for some of their meat?
27. This probably seems real obvious, but generic brand foods are usually just as good as name brand.
28. Weigh your opportunity costs when "stocking up" for sales. If your grocery budget is $120 for the week and you want to use $30 of it for stocking up, be sure they are items you would use in the very near future or else that savings is not going to be reflected in a noticeable way. Likewise, if something is on sale that you don't have on your list, even if it's $4 and was $7, you're still spending $4 that you didn't intend to, you feel me?
29. Speaking of lists, STICK TO IT. Stick. to. it.
30. Do veggies and fruits for snacks! Whip up some hummus in the blender to serve with vegetables, or throw a banana, broccoli, berries into a blender for a smoothie, freeze banana slices or grapes, dry fruit out for a snack, make sweet potato fries, or sauté/roast some vegetables. You'll save money on pre-packaged snacks and increase nutrition.
31. Eggs! Eggs are so versatile from hard boiled with salt to deviled, scrambled, over easy. Lots of people around me have chickens and I can get 30 for $5 from my favorite pastured farm.
32. Cauliflower gently sautéed after finely chopping is hardly detectable in most dishes, unless it's like jello. Don't do that. And especially don't do that and say I told you to because I'm not. But mac and cheese, yes.
33. Back to produce here, sorry but most big box stores should have some produce keeper/savers if you feel like buying one to test out!
34. You likely have a friend with a similar family size and lifestyle and income. If you're close, you can say "Hey Lisa, I'm currently spending xyz a month on my groceries, am I way out of line with this or does that sound about right to you? Trying to get our budget in order! Thanks!!" This way you're not prying into anyone's financials, and are getting a good idea of whether or not you're on the right track with the grocery budget.
35. Make a list of everything you buy in a month from your grocers, butchers, milk shares, co-ops, etc. I discovered I was spending $32 a month on fermented pickles for my kids!! Doh!!
36. SO, if you're a fermented foods family, you usually just need water, salt, and the thing you're fermenting, unless you need some culture. If this is something you're into, try it out! Lots of articles online explain how and why.
37. Water things down! Shampoo, A1, hand soap. Whatever ratio looks good to you!
38. Simplify your beauty products. A bottle of castile soap works well for the whole family's body soap, apple cider vinegar works well as a toner for skin, and if your hydration and fat intake is good, you shouldn't need lotion for softness. Coconut oil helps a lot of things. Hey I'm not TRYING TO BE THAT MOM IF YOU LIKE GARNIER FRUCTIS AND ST IVES THAT'S FINE DO YA THANG SIS I'M JUST HERE WITH THE BUDGET TEA
39. Simplify your cleaning products too. Baking soda works awesome to get soap scum out and neutralize odors. I like a little essential oil with witch hazel and water to sanitize with. Ditch dryer sheets in place of a wool ball. Your health will thank you!
40. Old receiving blankets or cut up towels work well to replace or at least supplement paper towel, which gets pricey after awhile! We are a paper towel family because we are a "we have a puppy" family. Sigh...one day I'll get back to the old towel thing.
41. If you are ordering from a co-op, or if you decided to go with that Costco membership, see if there's a friend who needs similar things and wants to go half on the bulk items.
42. When you're nearing the end of your toothpaste, shampoo, lotion, etc. cut into it to get the very last bits out.
43. When it comes to razors, see what you think of the Dollar Shave Club! Each month on the same day, our bank account is charged $9, and a set of 4 razor heads each with 6 blades are sent to us. You can cancel at any time for no fee. This is NOT anything multilevel marketing or a tricky situation, it's just razors on the cheap. You're also able to skip a month or change your ship dates as needed. We signed up in February of 2016 and will NEVER go back. I've got a link here, if you sign up I get $5 as a credit for the referral thank you. If you share YOUR link and a friend signs up, they put a $5 referral thank you credit to your account too. Super easy! http://shaved.by/j9Qi0 Aside from the referral thank you, which is NOT because I blog, I am not being compensated or paid for posting this link.
44. Repurpose leftovers. If you make the first night's protein one that is easily versatile, you can season it up to tailor it more for the next meal. Example, I frequently dice up a couple chicken breasts and sauté it with salt, pepper, and lots of garlic. I serve it with a gluten free rice spaghetti and avocado oil to make a chicken scampi type dish. If I have extra chicken, I'll use it to top a salad for lunch and then I can use Mexican seasonings and put it in a taco bake or have chicken tacos, etc. for that night.
45. If you have some favorite brands of stores, you can usually email them and request coupons or to be put on a mailing list for coupons and offers.
46. If you are trying to go with organic produce, stick to the "Clean 15" and "Dirty Dozen" which are produced yearly by EWG.
Clean 15: www.ewg.org/foodnews/clean-fifteen.php
Dirty Dozen: www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php
47. If there are still specific organic produces you're not able to work into your budget, I really like this for washing, which I am not being paid or compensated to mention, by the way! It's just very affordable, sold in most large grocers, and does a good job. www.rebelgreen.com/product/fruit-and-veggie-clean-refill-34-oz/
48. Finally, if you are consistently unable to get enough food, food banks or government assistance programs might be something you need to check into until you're able to reorganize your finances. My best advice here would be to make SURE you don't get stuck relying on these provisions because you ideally want to be making enough to not need them, and if you have organized your budget in a way that does not have a grocery allotment, you would be in quite a pickle once your funding ended.
There are certainly many different circumstances families and individuals face that may make some of these suggestions unreasonable or difficult for your particular situation, but take what you can to help shave money from your grocery bill!
Do you have something you do to keep your grocery budget in check, or to save money in this area? Leave me a comment below!
Happy grocery shopping!!
To You Who Took His Place,
It's a lazy day this Memorial Day. A Monday-that-feels-like-a-Sunday. It's warm. There's a breeze. Got a free pancake breakfast because Ryan is a veteran & we saw a parade this morning that honored you. One baby is sleeping. One is playing outside. He loves baseball like Ryan does & he's got a couple big plastic toddler bats. My husband is napping, he did some serious home renovation & worked up a sweat, he's so sexy when he's doing hard work. I like to think I've taught him all he knows of home reno via my HGTV marathons. (He is welcome!)
When we met, Ryan in some ways, tried to ease me into his accounts at war. And in others, felt it was best to lay it all out on the table for me to accept...or not. I did. And in the months after, I slowly learned of the missions he went on. The times he was outnumbered 10:1, 20:1. The times he went out and knew he wasn't coming home. The mornings he woke up, knowing it was likely his last. He was a single man, no kids. Went out no effs given as a true Marine, he chuckles as he tells me that I just wouldn't understand why he chuckled, or that I don't really know what Semper Fi means just because I google translate like a boss. But there were, he tells me quite a few missions that he was set for and then for reasons unknown at the time, was reassigned. And you took his place, his exact position. And you died. In his place.
I don't try to make sense of this ever, I know war is senseless and to try wouldn't do good anywhere.
I'll never get to hold the faces of your wives in my hands and weep from the depths of my soul for an exchange no words could do justice.
I'll never see how your mothers have aged 20 years in the past 2, wishing they could've traded places with you.
I'll never meet your dads and hear how he used to crack the best jokes, but keeps pretty quiet these days.
I'll never have my heart wrenched of all its capacity to hear your children's grief for a father's guidance which is only remedied with memories.
I'll never shake paws with the dogs you loved so well before you left.
I'll never bump into your best friends who have your voicemails from bachelor parties gone by saved, and won't get new phones because of them.
I'll never know the strength it took for them all to stand on wobbly legs and watch your adorned caskets be lowered & feel themselves sinking too, into grief too deep to move.
Nothing seems to fit the bill of gratitude for your sacrifice which I know my husband would've preferred to make at the time. There's not a "Thank You" card for this, not a floral arrangement I could send, I don't hold any high rankings anywhere to make my thanks more important & respected. I'm just an every day wife with a husband who puts his socks outside the laundry hamper and kids who love bubbles & hate naps-much like the very people I suspect you signed up to protect knowing what could be.
You literally gave up your lives, so that I could have mine. And the best I can do is let you know that I am, from every fiber of depth in me, thankful. That each day since I've known of you, I've been thankful. Not just on a holiday. That you're all carried with me in some way, forever woven into my happy family on lazy Sun-Mondays and on the couches where all of the House Hunters are pro and con listed by us, in all of the joy of a burned up dinner my husband eats with kids crying, because his measure for what a bad day looks like far exceeds mine. You're with us, you're appreciated, and you're remembered; and it's an honor to do so.
With All of My Gratitude & Respect,
Mrs. Ryan Karbon
Do you know how I knew Ryan was Asher's dad?
He drove up the day after our first date, I know, I know keep up with me here, my intuition is fire ok? He abandoned his normal Sunday plans with his mom to laundry at his parents' house (uh for her to do his laundry ) when I asked if he wanted to have...omg what do normal men eat? Pizza and pop?
So I ordered a MEAT LOVERS pizza because is that what men eat? And a gluten free pizza. And somehow found a documentary to watch about sugar.
I put on this Lions shirt that I'd gotten when I was a bartender only because it was so much more flattering than my button up shirt, because maybe he'd think I was super casual. It was Sunday after all and I know football is a thing on Sundays. I chose not to wear make up to just get that out of the way right now, because yes I did last night but I don't really that was a trick. but then I actually did put on a little mascara because let's not just let ourselves go 22 hours after the first date.
He didn't touch the pizza because he was too nervous but I sent it home with him and the pop. He claims he ate it the next day for lunch.
So anyways, I was known for making up some pretty killer raps & jingles for Asher. He got bajiggity around his usual time, and I started singing one of the original nonsensical numbers I am armed with...and Ryan danced. To my song. To my crying baby. And smiled, while he watched us. I didn't know how ridiculous he'd think I was for singing about a tuba attitude and a booty biscuit dude but he danced.
I snapped this picture after he left of the...whatever it was that beamed out of me and I can't ever bring myself to delete it to make room for other things. Because to me, we have somebody who dances to the music of who we are. And I guess, there really are no other things.