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Its odd coming back to a blog after leaving it for so long.  It just sits here, untouched, sleeping in cyberspace, and holding all of  the forgotten thoughts of its author.

I have come to the conclusion that my blogging habits are a pretty accurate reflection of my personal life.  There are times when I have it all together and times when I don’t.  There are times when I have clairvoyance and times I feel like I’m wondering aimlessly in the dark; the unclear times are the ones in which I can write more easily.  Other times, I just feel like…nothing, really.  See, those times when I can just float along, worry-free and void of any desire to completely understand the intricate weaving of life, are typically the best times.

I’m a chronic over-thinker.  When making any decision with multiple options, I am at a loss; deciding where to eat for dinner is better suited for a more resolved individual.  When you take that into consideration, then plug in being a mother of three children that I adore more than life itself, a husband I adore more than my children (that is horrible, right?), and the day-to-day keepin’-the-gears-of-our-lives-moving, well, it makes for a stew of interesting flavors.  Some days are sweet, but some are sour.  Some days are full of richness, and some are bland and boring.

Overall, life is pretty good.  I suppose, for the most part, I feel incredibly blessed.  I have these three beautiful little girls, an amazingly sweet and intelligent husband, and the worlds best/worst dog ever – the Marley of Golden Retrievers.  Realistically, I have nothing to complain about.  I have a good life surrounded by wonderful people.

So, what is there to think about?  Is it just self-pity?  Ignorance?  Disregard for those who have real challenges in life?  Not even close.  See, I came from less-than-favorable circumstances.  I didn’t have the worst upbringing, but it was really hard at times; in fact, there were often times that it seemed the only way to make life better was to escape into another dimension.  Since that wasn’t possible, I did the next best thing:  I prayed.  I moved forward.  I made good choices.  And you know what?  God really pulled through.

Whence do my worries come?  Honestly, I think its the way I consider life.  I am completely overwhelmed by the love that surrounds me, and I often feel unworthy of it.  Then again, I have this nagging bit in the back of my mind that thinks I will wake up one day and realize, “Oh yeah, I forgot, this life here – the one without confusion and worry – was just a dream.”

However, here I am.  Some days I never experience a waking moment that I don’t thank God for every blessing I have received.  Other days, I forget those blessings are from God, I take ownership of them, and I am ALWAYS taught in a not-so-wonderful way that I have become undeservingly conceited.  All days I seek to keep moving forward, soaking up every moment of every day, never letting a second of the beauty around me slip between my fingers.

In short, I am in awe of life – the way it churns beneath our feet, inside our bodies, and from our souls – unknowing to those who are less perceptive of it.    For some, life just moves along in a very scheduled beat.  We do this, then this, then this to get here, then there, then there.  Life for me doesn’t flow so prettily.  It goes more like this:  we do this, but why…to get here, but how…then there…wait, why did we do this to begin with and what does it all mean?

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Freeze-Dried Women

I was out tonight doing something I rarely do; I was out WITHOUT a single member of my family!

WHAT???  You ask.  Not Caroline!!  No way!

BUT, yes, I did, and it was surprisingly fun.  Sure I do go out at least once on most weekends by myself, but it’s always to places like Target, or the grocery store.  Even though I get out without my family, it is always to places where I am there for the purpose of getting various items to care for said family.

I have a really bad habit of not really living beyond what I have to do for my children, the mileage I run each week, and all of that other “home” stuff.  I’m a home-maker, I guess.  I hate that title, BUT it is what I do.  And, just like everyone else, it’s not too hard for us mommypreneurs to get all caught up in our career to the point where we don’t really live beyond it.  I’m such a hypocrite too. I constantly tell my husband not to do exactly what I tend to do about 99.9% of the time.  The other .1% of my time I leave open for nights like tonight when I make no excuses and I go out with friends.

I met up with a few friends at a local sports bar in our suburban town.  While I was out I noticed something that I became particularly fascinated with.  It’s not that I haven’t notice this thing before because, honestly, I encounter it quite often in various places here and there.  I just never really put a lot of thought into it until tonight when I was driving home after encountering so many of these things in one single place.

These “things” I am speaking of are girls – usually college-aged, but sometimes you get the even more eerie older or younger version of them.  They all sort of look the same, like they entered the world straight out of the womb of Barbie herself, and it’s just sort of creepy really.  No, I mean REALLY!  I notice these girls, and I notice that men usually notice these girls…actually, practically everyone notices these girls, and I’m wondering why in the hell do we notice these girls?

What is it about them?  Is it their hair, their skin, their clothes, or their bodies?  It can’t be.  I mean, seriously, they are kind of creepy looking – sort of like they have been stuck on a stick in the desert for weeks on end without water.  (That’s so mean, I know.  I am a really nice person.  Really.  I just can’t help, but to think this.)  They are an unnatural, leathery looking brown, or beige color.  Their hair has gotten so blonde that it has a radioactive glow.  Their bodies look slightly sunken in and are tightly wound in cloth of glitter and bling.  They are freeze-dried women.  They desperately…need…water!

I really don’t think I personally notice them out of awe, but it’s definitely more out of shock with a touch of sadness.  Someone please give these girls some water!  If we did I am certain they would plump up a healthy bit.  Their faces would return to a natural glow with rosy cheeks, and their eyes would come alive with a sparkly shine.  Their hair would return to its natural soft color.  Perhaps their ability to don a real smile would become a real possibility as the skin on their face would no longer be pulled so tightly across the bone structure of their skull.  They woud become vibrant and alive once again.

Then again, if this happened, they wouldn’t be there for us to look at, which might suck because for some weird, unexplainable reason, we all like to notice and look at them.  Don’t lie!  You do, too.

I guess giving them water would never work.  I don’t know if they really see it that way.  Because I over-think everything, I think they probably think that we look at them because we think they are beautiful and not because they are sort of bizarre and unnatural.  I think they think it is their beauty we notice, and not that – especially when they travel in packs – they look like an exotic display at a really fantastic city zoo.

Seriously now.  I know this is mean, but it’s true, right?  And, to be fair here I have to say that their men counterparts are like this too.  They have their own oddities.  No matter their age, they all sort of look like 6th grade boys wearing their ‘nice, relaxed-Sunday, church clothes’.  They have on their polos, perhaps a ball cap if they aren’t showing off their spiked hair, and wear their nicest prebroken-in jeans.  They congregate in circles and look tough together with their overdrive of testosterone.  They make natural people nervous.  Not really because they look strong, but because we all know that together, and given a few beers, they become as dangerous as a group of cavemen fighting over the last shred of food on the face of the earth (except instead of food it’s a freeze-dried woman and a six-pack of cheap light beer).

Sometimes I want so badly just to tell them that they aren’t really all that attractive.  I want to tell them that men who look like daddies and wear oxfords and a nice pair of slacks are hot.  I want to tell them that men who work hard to take care of their families and are intelligent men are hot.  Then again, I realize that not everyone is me, and that is pretty much an image of my husband, which is what I think is hot.

Too, I know that not all men think that freeze-dried women are hot.  They make my husband cringe, and it’s a real cringe.  Then again, he is into nerdy glasses, striped socks, and a woman who can really think for herself, which is, well, me.

The point is, we all have our respective counterparts, and thank God for that!

What I really find sad are when these lines cross somewhere, and men, or perhaps even women, step to the other side.  The woman full of insight and intelligence with a killer sense of humor gets stuck with a douche in a baseball cap who doesn’t really appreciate her.  Then there is the man who should know better, but even though he has a beautiful family at home, he finds his thrills going to places like Hooters to gawk at freeze-dried women in shirts that use a cute cartoon character to say, “HEY, LOOK AT MY BOOBIES then give me a tip.”

I’ll give you one:  drink more water.

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On Steve Jobs

If we are being honest here, I would have to say that I did well to develop with technology beyond the DVD player.  I started dating my husband about 11 years ago, so that would be about right time wise.  See, my husband is one of those IT guys – my go-to, fix-it man for all things high-tech.

For example, my netbook recently started running slowly.  I say, “Honey, my computer is messed up.”

He eventually comes back and says, “It’s fixed,” and it is.  Wah lah!  No hassles.  Who needs Geek Squad when you have Geek Spouse?  It’s a nice amenity in life if I do say so myself.

The recent passing of Steve Jobs really hit a tender spot within me that I didn’t even know was there.  I knew he was the super-power behind anything, and everything ‘i’.   You can’t even look at a knock-off ‘i’ t-shirt – iGod, iRun, iSmell…you get the picture  – without thinking of Apple.  Steve Jobs was Apple.

He did what every one of us, at some point or another, wants to do.  We all want to become something GREAT and BIG in this world.  We all, deep-down, want to do our own part to change the course of man somehow.  Whether we bring new, amazing technology into the world, or blow up buildings, it’s all in an attempt to leave our mark in this world – to become a legacy.  Steve Jobs did nothing short of this.  He is an icon of our time – not an easy thing to achieve.

For me, it wasn’t necessarily Steve Jobs’ brilliance behind advances in technology that set him apart from the rest.  It was his outlook on life.  It was his drive and his motivation – the ‘umph’ behind his success.  He wasn’t scared of taking risks.  That ‘intuition’ he said to follow, he did!  And, he did remarkable things with it.

It also got me thinking about something else.  Although we all want to do our part to alter the universe somehow – hopefully for the greater good – it is impossible for everyone to do it on such noticeably large-scale.  For some, our iPhone isn’t a handheld device, but perhaps the spark in a child with the ability to learn to read, a baby nursing our breast, or a defective heart being hand-pumped by a surgeon as crucial moments tick by in someone’s life.

I love this quote that I saw posted numerous times on Facebook today:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

Perfectly said.

All I know, is that we have to be all that we can with the time we are given.  We  have to look at where we are in life as a place where we have been strategically placed in order to move us forward, and to create our own mark in the world.  It’s scary though, really!  Intuition is a hard thing to follow.  Realistically, when we try to use it, we can often be looked down upon and sometimes heavily scrutinized by others, especially when it is something ‘new’ and ‘different than the norm’.  It is easy to let the voices of others drown out our own perceptions to the point where we really do become trapped behind them.  It’s easy to conform to a mold of acceptability, and then to struggle on a daily basis to find comfort there.  People are constantly giving us direction instead of just offering insight and a word or two of motivation.  Then when you do step off onto an unbeaten path, they watch closely for you to fall.  At times like this, perhaps we just have to look outside of ourselves, and look at amazing lives that have graced this world, such as the life and words of someone like Steve Jobs.  His insight into what it takes to use your dreams and intuition to propel you forward and live in your own light instead of someone elses, is a brilliant inspiration to us all.

Whether the CEO of a mega-corporation, a teacher, a doctor, a parent, a sister, a priest, or a friend, we must take the gifts and opportunities we are given and use them wisely.  We must trust ourselves.  We must never cease to dream.  For me, I know my mark will not be made in this world by creating a device that will change the way we communicate.  As a matter of fact, I really have absolutely no idea what my mark will be.  All I know is that I have to keep moving forward, I have to keep writing, and running.  I have to keep advocating for my children.  I have to keep loving the hell out of my family.  I have to just be myself – to live from the gut of my intuition – and let it eventually take me somewhere.  That somewhere will most certainly not be announced boldly across the globe at my passing, but my greatest hope is that it will have at least been an exceptional life to the ones I love.

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Simple Wisdom

Tommy and I were talking yesterday; he’s a good friend of mine from high school, and a kid from the block from back in the day.  It’s interesting talking to him now after so many years.  We can recall what it was that we found interesting in each other so many years ago.  We could carry a good conversation.  Yes, Tommy was a boy, and I a girl, but that wasn’t an uncommon match for me as far as friendships went.  I admit, most of my friends were boys.  I had girlfriends as well, but boys were just easier to talk to.  You just talked…about stuff…and there wasn’t anything else to it.  They didn’t judge you, they didn’t read between the lines of what you said, and they certainly didn’t partake in petty gossip.  Let me say here that…

I

REALLY

HATE

Gossip!

I hate to stereotype my own gender, but come on ladies!  What a waste of time and words!  Honestly, if a girl, and ESPECIALLY a woman, partakes in gossip, it is clearly because there is absolutely nothing interesting going on in her own life.  Furthermore, if you have to embellish a story to make everything into a Lifetime Movie Network feature, then you obviously have a bigger problem than anyone could have imagined, but guess what?  They did imagine, and you just made yourself look like an ass.  It’s as simple as that.

Tommy and I were talking about writing a book about every day wisdom such as the wisdom found in not gossiping.  It’s not ground-breaking wisdom that will change the course of man (or maybe it will), but just random tidbits of information that people ought to have learned by the time they grew up.  It’s like there was a break in the roadmap of their life somewhere that kept them from learning a lesson that is necessary to sustain a decent life.  Too, it’s not complicated wisdom; it’s simple.  It’s a matter of why-don’t-people-KNOW-these-things?  It’s baffling.

Aside from gossip, let me throw another example out there.  Fast food chains don’t make your kids fat.  YOU make your kids fat.  It’s your fault as a parent.  I hate that the media is constantly slamming McDonalds for having high fat, high calorie meals.  MCDONALDS DOESN’T MAKE MEALS!  IT’S NOT REAL FOOD!  Why don’t people know that?  French fries are not a vegetable and chicken nuggets are ground up reject chicken goop – it’s junk food!  However, it is necessary to have every once in a while.

Key being:  EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE!

For instance, when two of your three children (one of your two, five of your six, eight of your ten, and so on) are sick, it’s nice that places like McDonalds exist to tide you over to the next, more better prepared, and more thought-out meal.  AND, for crying out loud, they now have apples in their meals!  Skip the caramel, get milk, do better with the choices you have.  It’s not like McDonalds hires an army of armed men dressed in Ronald McDonald costumes to stand on every street corner forcing cars into their parking lot at gunpoint.  “Order the mutha’ friggin fries, biyoch!”

Here is another bit of wisdom:  being fit isn’t hard, nor is it expensive.  You don’t really need to pay billions of dollars for diet books, special food, shake weights, belts, pills, juices, and other weight-loss-in-a-box kits.  I’ll tell you the secret:

MOVE! 

 That’s it.  It’s simple.  Get UP!  Move one foot in front of the other and walk somewhere.  Calories out over calories in…that’s how you lose weight.  In the meantime, make sure you don’t under-eat, and make your calories count.  Eat less McDonalds and more whole foods such as fresh cuts of meat, fruit, veggies, and whole grains.  Beware of processed food that is not really food at all.  For example, steak and gravy in the frozen food section is NOT steak.  It’s crap.  It’s a food wannabe.  Eat less of that, and splurge a little for a steak from the meat department.  THEN cook those foods well.  Never deep-fry anything!  That’s just gross.  Oil is nasty when it soaks into your food like a marinade.  Do that LESS.  Instead, think smart and broil, saute, bake…etc.

While you’re eating better, do something physically active that you enjoy.  I like to run…a lot…either vigorously, or for long distances.  I like to ride my bike, often with my husband, out to the lake close to our house.  I love to hike.  I also love to play at the park with my kids.  Find what you love doing that is physically active and do that.  You’ll be surprised.  It becomes addicting (even more so than McDonald’s french fries) because being physically active makes you happy!  Yay, everyone wants to be happy!  Right?

While I’m on a roll, and now that I may have already sparked several issues for debate, I’ll just throw one more thing out there.  It’s not up to someone else in life to make us happy!  What?  Yes, it’s true.  Not our parents, our friends, our kids, nor our spouses.  We alone are responsible for that.  Gasp!

I was a latch-key kid growing up.  Both of my parents worked, and I grew up in a time where at eight-years-old we knew how to open the door, lock ourselves in, make ourselves a snack, do our homework, and be responsible.  It was a time when kids didn’t set the house on fire, take prescription medications, or have sex in their bedrooms before their age had two-digits in it (hopefully the first digit being a two and the second way up close to nine, and preferably there will be a wedding ring involved).  Guess what?  Kids, for the most part, still don’t do those things.  Kids, for the most part, can be taught to be responsible and trustworthy – two characteristics that my parents instilled in me for which I am forever grateful – and in the meantime there really isn’t some big, bad man with a beard lurking around every corner waiting to snatch them away.  Precautions are necessary, but don’t suffocate your children.

My parents leaned more on the side of uninvolved than suffocating.  That is another story altogether, and also not a good place to be, but I have to give them their credits where they are due.  One of the greatest things my parents never did was rushing in to save me from a pit of hell if I dug myself into it.  Instead, they left me to figure out how to crawl out, that way I would be better equipped and would have a marked path should I lose my way again.  At least I’m guessing that was the intention of their plan.  If not, then they made a really wonderful mistake.  Brilliant they were at teaching us (or not teaching us) kids those types of things.

About five years into my marriage I found myself down in one of those holes.  It seemed very deep and endless.  It consumed me.  Marriage problems!  BIG ones.  We weren’t communicating.  We weren’t connecting.  HE WASN’T MAKING ME HAPPY ANYMORE!

I remember going into my mother’s dance studio and breaking down in tears.  It started out as a touching moment.  After all, it took a lot of guts to come in and…well…spill them all over the floor.  I expected there to be lots of endearing tears, hugs, and her taking my side.  To my surprise, my mother got MAD!  REALLY MAD!  She said, “So what?  His job isn’t to make you happy.  You make yourself happy.  Sometimes you’re really going to be in love and sometimes you really want to leave.  Sometimes you even pack your bags with tears and wonder where to go, but the important thing is that you go HOME and talk to him about this!”

Do you know what another best thing was that my parents may, or may not have, intentionally done for me?  They didn’t give me a place to go once I became a full-grown adult.  My husband and the family that we created was my home.  So, that’s where I went.

I drove back that day from my mother’s dance studio.  Surprised, clueless, and baffled, I entered the doors of the house that my husband and I shared with our two little girls, and you know what?  We eventually figured it out.  It wasn’t easy.  As a matter of fact, it was really freaking hard, but we made it through.  Instead of having in-laws, brothers, sisters, friends, aunts, uncles, and Dr. Phil help us out, we figured our way out of that hole together.  To our surprise, when we came out on the other side, we were much stronger.  I can’t lie and say that we haven’t fallen into even more holes every now and then because we have, and we will.  That’s life.  Relationships are hard.  However, we learn as life goes on how much relationships are worth every effort we have inside of us.  They are worth it because we must learn in life the raw truth that nothing is perfect – people aren’t perfect, we aren’t perfect, and situations aren’t perfect.  Life is raw.  A good point to reach is coming to peace with those raw edges in life, in relationships, and within ourselves.  Somehow, the raw edges is where everything becomes so breathtakingly beautiful.

Time spent in marriage has taught me that I’m thankful for things I never knew I was thankful for, such as being in a good marriage where sometimes we aren’t happy, but most of the time we are.  I’m thankful that sometimes we don’t communicate, but most of the time we do.  I’m thankful that we have faith.  I’m thankful that my husband doesn’t drink and isn’t abusive, which are definitely signs of the types of problems that, for safety reasons, call for intervention from loved ones, experts, and a way out.

The point in all of this is, we have to learn how to make ourselves happy and when we do that, we have the energy to take care of each other, even when times are tough.  If we figure ourselves out – how to care for our own physical and mental well-being – we become better people on this earth.  We have the confidence and the energy to contribute more.  We are really there for our friends when they need us, we hold up our spouses when they are down, and we certainly don’t go around telling every Tom, the neighbor, Dick, the mailman, and Harriett, the barista at Starbucks, about it.  We take responsibility for ourselves and our actions.  We realize that no one owes us happiness and that McDonalds doesn’t make us fat.  We realize that if we just do right by our family and friends, in the end, everything will be okay.  Perhaps we may even teach someone a little something useful along the way.

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A Bike Wreck of Writings

Here we meet again – this screen, this keyboard, my Word Press dashboard for “Confessions in Carolina”.  There is the familiar, such as the feeling of my fingers typing feverishly as they interpret each word as it flows from my brain, down through my shoulders, surges through my arms, and brings life to pecking fingers that, with great hope and, I admit, a slight desperation for success, bring my thoughts to life.

I wish I could collect in one pile the number of hand-written journals I began in the past.  I could probably fill an entire bathtub.  What a sight that would be!  There would be the initial excitement of choosing a notebook and opening it to reveal handwritten page after page of my life’s past – my thoughts, insights, and interpretations – to a time I had long forgotten.  However, I would have to tell you how certain I am that my excitement would be quickly diminished, and the admiration for my own writing cut short, once I realized how each of these journals were only half-filled.  It would be like reading a really good book with the entire second half missing just after it starts to climax.  My current self would ask myself in those pages, “Why?  Why did you just stop?  Why did you just give up?  There’s some good stuff here, slacker!”  The pot calling the…um…pot black.  I would close the journal, realize the error of my judgement, and declare that I would no longer stop short again.  In fact, right now this very single moment I would go and write, but this time I would never stop.

BUT… 

First, just let me fill this sippy cup with milk.  OH, then I’ll vacuum up that crumbled granola bar that keeps sticking to the bottom of my socks!  Then, yes, Annie is right that the Legos really do need to become an amazing castle before we put them away.  Now it’s time to start dinner, then bathe the kids, read them books, and do a load of laundry…or two.  Then…well…as you can see, the day is quickly gone.

Days

months

and sadly

years

often pass me by.

My once exciting bathe in journals quickly becomes a total washout; they are nothing more than a story in which the character does this then that, but falls shy of ever reaching any real destination.  She seems to share so freely her experiences through a time span, but then falls on her face before reaching the finish line, and she actually falls so short that not even the fall gets the chance to make the record books.

The pot then asks, “Why, pot?  Why did you just stop writing?”

The collective result of these journals is that I have these time spans in which the account of my life is recorded, detailed and bold, but in between, during the times when I wasn’t writing, I have a vague memory of life’s happenings.  In those times I am missing the really good stuff – observations made, ideas formed, feelings felt, conclusions made, and lessons learned.  Sure, life was there and it did happen, but without record it just stands somewhere in time almost as thin and weightless as blank sheets of notebook paper.

Tonight I could have said that I was going to write.  Like every night I could have, instead, done a million other things first.  I could have just put some random tidbit of information on Facebook (both a writer’s friend and enemy).  I could have gotten into bed tired and worn out from the day, telling myself that, instead of tonight, tomorrow I would write again.  I could have blamed it on needing the extra time to create an entirely new blog, to watch the leaves change color, or for another holiday to pass.  I could have even gone so far, as I have before, to say that perhaps when the kids grow up I will write again.  Afterall, that’s only going be about 18 to 20 years away, right?

Let’s face it; writing is like riding a bike.  When you finally hop back on it can be a little rough at first, but you quickly get the hang of it.  Hopefully this time you remember to keep moving your feet.  As the past has shown, if you don’t keep moving the bike just stops, and suddenly you topple off without ever really reaching a destination.  Instead, you just lay there on the ground, blank, until time passes and you pick yourself back up, dusting yourself clean before hopping back on the bike.  Staring ahead you already know that the road turns every which way and that.  You are certain of the obstacles that will get in your way.  It is quite intimidating, but as you have learned from the past, no matter what, you must keep going until, perhaps, your writing actually takes you somewhere.  Hopefully this will be to a place where stopping no longer becomes an option.

Peddle harder this time, pot.  Peddle hard!

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I’m aggravated today.  We are packing for a trip to Saint Louis to visit family which should be a blast.  The only problem is that when you travel for more than a day with three small kids you have to pack EVERYTHING necessary for survival, which is pretty much everything but the kitchen sink.  For instance, we will need two types of Tylenol (childrens and infants), snacks, infant cereal, bottles, formula, several changes of underwear and shorts for kids (and pants incase it gets chilly), tons and tons of bibs, spoons, ice packs, band aids, hair ponys for the child with long hair, hair clips for the child with long bangs, and even small travel dvd players with a selection of movies so that the children will peacefully veg out for five hours, HOPEFULLY.  And to think, at one point we wondered if we would need to buy a minivan to cater to our three-child family.  Thank God we did!  However, it is in the shop, and our fingers are crossed that it will be ready by tomorrow morning or we will be seriously missing what I have come to know as our rolling house.  Our other option will be taking my husbands car, the Mazda 5, known to the automotive world as a cross-over mini-mini van.  In the world of vans it’s more like a rolling flat which will leave our large family packed like miserable, sad, limp sardines.

My only hope is that we make it down there “situation” free.  This means no unexpected poop out of the diaper, car sick vomiting, obsessive complaining or crying, boo-boos, interstate back-ups, or car breakdowns.  So far everything is going relatively well and I expect our only set-backs to be the numerous hole-in-the-wall McDonalds and gas station bathrooms.  My fingers are crossed… TIGHTLY!

I have to keep reminding myself of the anxiety I felt a few years ago when my husband decided that it would be a great idea to drive fourteen hours from Kentucky to Disney World, each way.  I thought he was absolutely CRAZY!!!  At the time we just had two children, but they were eighteen-months-old and three-years-old.  For weeks all I thought about were the obstacles with preparing not only physically for such a drive, but emotionally and mentally which required a lot of help from me spiritually.  By the time it was said and done, sure the drive was long, there were some set-backs, but yet again my husband was right and it ended up being one of the best memories of our trip.  Afterall, how entertaining is it to count the number of times you can see the word pecan or peach while driving through Georgia?  This time our drive from Nashville to Saint Louis is only five-hours plus stops which time wise beats the socks off of fourteen hours.  I can only be reminded of how much can happen within a five-hour time span that could seriously alter my sanity.  There is no turning back.  All I can do is pack and pray, not to mention preparing for personal emergencies by stashing some Excedrin Migraine and a few pieces of left-over Easter chocolate into the “Mommy-Only Pouch” of the baby’s diaper bag.

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What is with me lately?  I wish I knew.  Day after day I wake up with the intention to clean the house, write, or do something that feels productive (other than keeping the kids alive and well).  I can’t seem to get anything done and as a result I feel as though our house has taken on a life of its own.  I am certain that if I don’t get it picked up soon – if the dishes don’t get done, if the toys don’t get picked up, if the little pinpoint spots of annoying stickiness doesn’t get mopped off of the floor – it will continue to pile up until it suffocates me to death.

I should not be on here writing a blog that is probably going to end up sucking as much as this mess that is consuming my better thoughts.  I should be slaving away, rushing about the house feverishly sorting, wiping, dusting, and disinfecting my way to more organized surroundings.  However, I can’t find the motivation.  I feel like I need to write something first so this is my lame attempt to free myself from the bond of having to put something on my blog since it has been a week since my last post.  It’s so sad, too, because I keep starting draft after draft after draft, but either something comes up and I lose my trail of thought, or what I write just seems to go nowhere, much like this post that I am determined to publish no matter what. 

I just have one question:  how do some mothers do it all?  What are those mothers lacking in that seem to keep a clean house, run all of their errands, organize their thoughts and plans surrounding Easter egg hunts and basket filling,  spend quality time with their husbands, and still have time to take a shower?  There has to be something missing.  I feel like I run around ALL of the time, but never seem to get anything done.  Heaven forbid any of those mothers set foot in my house for they would be mortified.  Hopefully the laughing and excitement overflowing from the happiness of my children would be enough to thwart their first impression that I’m a filthy slacker.

In some ways I think this dirty house is like therapy for me – a technique in learning to cope with less than perfect circumstances.  I have to admit, to be where I am now, and not be completely loosing my mind is pretty impressive compared to where I was before I had children.  I remember days when a messy house was defined as something silly like a throw pillow being turned the wrong way.  In fact, if my former-life self (i.e. Caroline pre-children) was to show up unannounced, she would be so disappointed.  Today a messy house is defined as no clean spoons, having to go through the dryer to find clean jeans, shoes covering the floor of the mud-room and not a single one inside of the shoe organizer, and not being able to see the top of the island in the kitchen because of the bills, bags, art projects, recycling, and other miscellaneous items that have been thrown there.  What’s sad is that even with that list of things, it could still get worse before I would consider it unbearable.

There, a post… finally.  Sorry that it sucks, is short, has no meaning, and will make no one cry, but it’s really just the scraps of my brain that I have to share at the moment.  Maybe the weekend will bring not only a great idea for a great new post, but also a home that resembles something my former-self would be proud of.

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