Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk…..err rather Sectionals

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Or why selling a sectional is so not charming

I began this blog nearly two years ago, lamenting over the sale of my beloved home that I literally poured my blood, sweat and tears into, among other things. And during this time I’ve written at length about how a house is just walls, that it’s the people that make a house a home. I stand by these words. So here I sit once again having moved my little family and I’ve written numerous posts in my head, daily, about said move. Mostly on the hilarity that ensued…chronically everything from debacles with the moving company, to being stranded by myself, trailer hitched to my  Mom SUV (oh yes I did!), the deep puncture wound and trip to the ER I suffered in the middle of all this…. the day all my worldly possessions sat on the lawn while I watched a wedding across the street proceed. It was greatness!! What I failed to mention was the bits about how I attempted to bolster myself up about what a strong independent woman I am during the process. Again I have never felt so alone and helpless and the latter is something that I will not tolerate. Yes, I got it done. As my eldest says “Mommy always finds a way.” And she is right…yet a time comes when Mommy gets tired too.

I look upon our new dwelling as a fresh start, clean and shiny and new. Yet the old battles are ever present and I have grown weary of the fight. Tonight I found time for reflection finally and I realized I just need to let go. Such a simple concept; easy to say, difficult to execute. The past. Those who have hurt me. Things. Pain. And yes, now my beloved sectional. I have a bizarre visceral reaction to this sectional, a piece of furniture. A relic of another era which doesn’t fit in our new space, was hand chosen by me and took so long to custom build I could have had another child. It’s a thing and perhaps it will be a relief to let go of a thing that is a reminder of a time and a lifetime ago that is no longer mine. A voice keeps telling me that it’s time to move on and live the life I was meant to live….if said voice could share exactly what that is I would greatly appreciate this, thank you very much. Until then…goodbye ultra suede comfortable, beautiful, sectional, I shall miss you, but you are a mere thing and my family will greatly benefit from your departure in more ways then one. Ahhh parting is such sweet sorrow….. It’s good to just let go….

Sectional-OldLR
Sectional, Old Living Room

-Charmed, I’m Sure

1. Sia- The Church of What’s Happening Now

2. Jem- Keep on Walking

Really worth a listen. See below..one I had to upload all by myself. xx

Sunshine is Oh So Charming

I am very pleased to accept the Sunshine Blog Award that was given to me a few weeks ago by Develyn, at Sifting through the Noise.Please take a moment to read her magnificent writings at http://mariposasmind.blogspot.com. The Sunshine Award  is passed on to those who are creative, positive and inspiring.The rules for accepting this award are:
  • Put the logo on your blog or within your post
  • Pass the award on to twelve bloggers
  • Link the nominees within your post
  • Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog
  • Spread the sunshine and link to the person from whom you have received this award

I have not posted anything in a few months and for those of you who do follow me, my apologies. That anyone reads my ramblings is indeed an honor, and for fellow bloggers to read and honor me with an award means more to me than I can express. Indeed, I will follow the rules of this award as I am going through my favorite blogs currently and making my selections. Needless to say the last few months have been challenging, challenging can be good. New posts forthcoming. Thank you all for your continued support and readership.

-Charmed, I am sure

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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

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Or why kindergarten projects can be oh so charming…

Dreams

We all have certain dreams of how we think our life will be at certain points of time.  And we can look back at the timeline of our lives and find pivotal markers in those timelines that later culminate into the collective experiences that make up our personal histories.  While in the present our perception of our current circumstances, positive or negative, can change as we look back through the lenses of maturity and wisdom.

While I am coming up on my four-year divorcery, when an occasion arises that I am forced to be reminded of my singleness I admit I find difficulty in putting the death of the dream of what I always wanted but never had away.  My own parents divorced when I was in second grade and I honestly do not know what living with two parents would be like.  While why Mother did the best she could, I know she once had a husband and four young children and had definitive dreams for our lives.  I have always believed that divorce is not so much the death of a marriage, but rather the death of a dream that will never be, even if it never was.  I find myself caught between my own dreams, cumulative experiences and perceptions; caught between my own, now and then and wondering how if anything such things might affect my own children.

Over the weekend we spent time going through photos for a kindergarten project where my youngest girly needed pictures of herself and her family for “Star of the Week” poster.  She gets upset when she sees pictures of herself as a baby as she says they remind her that she doesn’t know what it is like to live with both Daddy and Mommy.  I try my best to tell her stories of the good times whenever possible yet this does not always make the tears go away.

On the same poster was a picture prominently placed right in the “My Family” section already of Daddy, New-ish Step-Mommy and New-ish baby sister and my girlies, leaving little room for any picture of Mommy.  Suddenly this was a bit much for me.  I left the girls to sift through the pictures for a few minutes so I could time to breathe.  When I returned, the girls never knew that I shed a tear or two for the family life I never had or the family life I wanted.  And yes, we are a real family.  Something about the physical moving and adjusting of THAT photo to make room for one of me and my girls made me confront the reality of my personal situation. The juxtaposition of the two photos, the sharp dichotomy… I cannot explain.

Meanwhile, my eldest girly found a picture of herself and Daddy that was particularly touching.  While this photo may not have seemed so significant at the time, on that day for her, seeing the love he had in his eyes for her meant everything.  Perception is not always reality.  Her perception of late is that Daddy doesn’t love her, yet the truth is that he has high expectations of his girls and does not always convey his feeling very well.  Seeing this picture changed her perception and gave her a new understanding of the things I attempt to explain.

My lessons learned are that my perception of what I dream of the perfect partner and family life has changed and needs to be altered further.  In the present, I simply want to enjoy my children while they are children and accept the reality that I could very well be alone for a long time and that is okay.  I look back with the lenses of whatever maturity I possess now and that maturity says do not keep your head in the clouds.  Keep your feet on the ground; all that glitters is not gold.  I needed a reminder that things are not always as they seem.  What appears to be a happy family may not be if you scratch the surface.  That there are many different ways to convey and interpret the same thing, and of course, a picture is worth a thousand words.

-Charmed, I am Sure

PS This is worth a listen.

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It’s the Little Things that Keep Life Oh So Charming

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And the BIG ones too...

 

Lately I have been pondering on life's ordinary and extraordinary miracles, those things big and small that are sometimes overlooked.  Such things are such a necessary part of life and yet when we find ourselves navigating through the quicksand of our lives, noticing the little things that make life, well, life can be challenging. Rather than lament on our tragedies, counting those blessing will be what ultimately provides that raft to our sinking titanic.  What might be a tragedy to one, may be easily shirked off by another. Let's face it, big or small, when life throws lemons said lemons are in the eye of the beholder.  You have a choice; dodge it, catch it, or get beaten down by all that pulp.  Better yet, turn lemons into lemonade.

Another fascinating thing happens when one gets bogged down with too many challenging life events.  After so many times of shaking off the dust and starting over again, the beat down occurs one too many times and you may find yourself feeling like the abyss is too large to bridge.  How do you describe that dark place and how do you even begin to climb out?  I cannot adequately explain this occurence, suffice it to say I have seen the abyss and it is not a place you want to be without at least a flashlight.  Sooner or later the light will shine in.  You find reasons to smile, and those smiles that you thought were a mask…  you find are real. 

We all hear so much the last couple years about today's economic climate.. and so on.  The news always seems bleak and with so many struggling, finding hope in a seemingly hopeless world may be difficult.  So if you are feeling alone in the abyss, struggling to find hope, wishing you could even afford lemons, think on what ordinary miracles and blessings surround you right at this moment.  For me, I went outside and listened to the gentle sound of the rain.  I thought about the fig tree that was all but destroyed during some construcion on my house in December, and how just today I noticed that not only did that tree survive, but is thriving more than ever.  And so what I have learned of late is this:

Each day I genuinely try to remain positive as the alternative is daunting. I look at the blessings in my life rather than what is lacking knowing that I am blessed to have such wonderful girls. I have a great family that would catch me if they could and the bestest of friends (when I'm not too busy trying to run them off) to round out my little tribe. I just need reminding every so often as I say that no (wo)man is an island. We just need the help of others from time to time. In these times to learn to say thank you to these gifts of help and support is the greatest lesson. To love and be loved is the greatest miracle of all and is not ordinary by any stretch of the imagination.  Extraordinary. Thank you.

 

-Charmed, I am Sure

"These things I have spoken to you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. " John 16:33

PS I know most don't listen to the audio I add, but this song is really quite worth it.

01 - Ordinary Miracle
Sarah McLachlan

 

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Coming Clean

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or  why  hoarding  is  so  not  charming…

 

While sitting around my brother’s table one evening, my youngest brother announces that a discussion has ensued with our sister regarding me.  What was this, an intervention?  Ah the blessing and curse of a tightly knit group of siblings.  My brother proceeds to announce that they believe I am a Level III hoarder. What?!?

Okay, I have admitted on numerous occasions that yes, I lost an entire garage space of storage when we moved, and yes my girls could live without a a few barbies, and okay, I deemed that the useless sun-room could take the place of the garage I lost, but a Level III hoarder?

Deciding that none of them have done any homework on such conditions beyond a few episodes of the aptly named television show “Hoarders,” I did some research of my own.  According to the National Study Group of Chronic Disorganization a Level III Hoarder is defined as follows:

Level III. Household may require services in addition to those a professional organizer and related professional can provide. Professional organizers and related professionals working with Level III households should have significant training in Chronic Disorganization and have developed a helpful community network of resources, especially mental health providers.

By this definition I am fairly sure that my sun-room issues do not, as of yet, require professional services nor do I require the assistance of a mental health provider, at least not for this.  And let’s be reasonable, to my knowledge nobody is going to unearth a few dead cats amidst the random boxes.  At least, I hope not.  Have not had a cat in ages…. or is that what happened?

Needless to say, I drove home feeling a little bit miffed to say the least.  My home has been a place that at one point  had been described as a mausoleum of cleanliness and organization.  This week while the girlies have been out of town, I decided that it was time for spring cleaning.  And of course the best time to get rid of things that they would well, hoard, if they saw me attempting to toss said items in the Goodwill bag.

Later as I was going through books, DVD and the like I was suddenly hit with a realization of massive proportions.  They were partially right.  I am a collector, of media.  Books, Magazines, CD’s (back in the day) digital media, work-out DVD’s, even iPhone apps that I have yet to use.  Is this what I hoard?  Because every time I go through them, I think well, I paid good money for them and I’ll use it sometime.  So now, I need to acknowledge that I do have a problem. I’m a multimedia hoarder.

Hi, I am Sarah, and I am a Level I hoarder. And please, excuse my sun-room because I do not have a garage but eventually I will so kindly get off my back….

-Charmed, I’m Sure

“One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.”  – A. A. Milne


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3:27am Is So Not Charming

or a night (or morning) in the life of the sleepless…

People always say there is never enough time in a day… if only I didn't need sleep, I could get oh so much done.  I never intended to chronicle my insomniac moments however it is Spring Break and so I am on Day (or night 4) of the shorties being at Grandma's House.  And what does that mean for Mommy?  I AM SO TIRED!!

 

Since about 12:30am I wandered aimlessly about the house.  Got in bed.  Feigned sleep for about 30 minutes tortured, tossing and turning.  Got up decided to watch The Biggest Loser, debated putting on a few hundred pounds with the thought that, hey I could win this thing…  I can win the big bucks, get product endorsements, make money doing what I enjoy, yoga and beating up inanimate objects.  And lots and lots of running shoes.  Alas, it's not worth whatever I would have to do to gain that much weight.

I then became restless and looked at the dishwasher asking to be unloaded but what fun would that be? Surely there are some insomniacs out there, totally OCD, armed with a toothbrush cleaning grout off the floor tiles in the bathroom.  I wish I could catch that disease.  If you are out there, you have an open invitation.

 

Tired but wired.  Can't function properly and yet cannot sleep.  I decide I need Gatorade but without my full faculties intact though this is not necessarily due to the insomnia truth be told, a trip to 7-11 was in order.  Except where I put my purse, who knows?  Rather then locate it, I decide to count every penny in the house.  Note to the elder child should you ever see this:  No I would not, and would never touch your piggy bank. Absolutely not, I raided the swear jar, of course.  Now, this is a jar for the really BIG words, like STUPID, or SHUT-UP, or HATE.  Others exist but as I tell the girls, if you must say potty words as we all know that they are oh so funny, please do me a favor and both of you go in the potty and have a potty party.  Be my guest. 

I go to 7-11 at 2:43 in the morning, real safe.  Armed with a change purse with about 300 pennies in it.  Now my thinking is that the overnight clerk should be amused.  What kind of fun does this guy have really?  I smiled really big and everything.  Not amused.  Not one bit.  He even asked me how old I am, and believe me, he was not flirting.  To which I replied "Hey at least you won't have to crack open a roll of pennies anytime soon!"  Big smile.  Have a good night. 

So now it is 4:42 and my next venture is to reorganize my entire musical catalog on my laptop which should get me to at least Good Morning America with any luck.  Believe me I want to sleep. My only thought now is that I should have purchased more coffee creamer while I was out…

-Charmed I am Sure

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Love Field is Oh So Charming…

As I took my girlies to the airport to visit their Grandparents for Spring Break, I reflected about a time when I was the kid with the tag around my neck. Shuttled between two cities to visit my Father.  The first time I flew by myself I was so very little and yet I remember with such clarity.  Clinging to my Mother, pleading with her not to make me get on that plane.  Recalling that memory with the eyes of a mother, that must have broken her heart.  Yes, I wanted my Mommy but it was more than that…  You see as a child I was still working under the assumption that if my parents were on the airplane, the airplane would not only take flight but stay in the air and we would all be safe and sound. It didn't matter how many times my Father explained to me that airplanes are safer than cars.  Such logic is unimportant when operating under kid logic.  Clearly I knew my parents were not actually pilots, but parents keep you safe in an uncertain world.

Certain things are required that make us feel secure in this world.  For myself it is simple, the ability to receive bills in the mail and pay them, to provide food and shelter for my family, the knowledge that I have my tribe to love and support us no matter what… to name a few.  And that my children have been given the tools they need to feel loved, safe and secure to give me a kiss and a hug then walk hand in hand toward the airplane.  And the savvy to ask beforehand, "At what point is it okay to turn my DSi on?"

-Charmed, I am Sure

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Insomnia Is So Not Charming

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or why can’t I sleep when the kids are not home?

Sleep

Some sort of parental Murphy’s Law must exist whereas on any weekday, if given the chance, we would all sleep late, like say 8:30 (ha!) and yet when Saturday rolls around the shorties wake up at the crack of dawn.  Simply not fair. Perhaps their little internal clocks automatically switch to fun just as twice a year we change the time arbitrarily for daylight savings even though our bodies do not like that much either.  An extra hour of sleep?  I still do not buy that one.  Monday morning rolls around, and again like clockwork, my girls cannot seem to wake up unless I were to whisper something like “donuts”.  But that would just be plain wrong.

How often as a parent do we dream of a time when we can sleep late, guilt free, as if we were still kid-less, like teenagers till noon type of deep coma sleep?  Thinking back to the days when they were tiny babies, when I truly believed  I would never sleep for more than a full hour at a time, that sort of sleep would have been like heaven.  Again, If given the chance my body simply would not have allowed such a thing.  As a Mother, we always have one eye and ear open, ever ready to jump up and do something… well motherly.  Falling asleep and staying asleep is very difficult when you know you will be woken up at any time.

Now my children are a bit older, and though it’s no secret that the little one still hops into bed to snuggle with me, they of course, do not wake up ten times a night anymore. Usually.  I do so miss nap time though. A curious phenomenon has been occurring over the last several months.  The girlies go to Dad’s house for their requisite visits every other weekend.  Over the last few years I have slowly but surely gotten used to their absences though of course I miss them dearly.  I don’t like to share my toys.  And the first year or so I didn’t know quite what to do with myself as there is only so much laundry folding one can do…  I got over that one.

One would think that after putting in the full-time parental duties 90% of the time I would be ready to drop by the time that weekend away rolls around…  Here I have a guilt free weekend, more or less, to actually sleep late if I so choose.  And here is where the curious part is….  I absolutely cannot get any decent rest at all without my girlies home.  I tossed and turned last night, until finally succumbing to sleep around 4:00 in the morning and awoke at 7:30, only to find I was out of coffee.  Insult meet injury. Needless to say I was fairly unproductive for at least half the day, possibly more.

My eldest daughter called earlier this evening to tell me about her day as she always does.  And though it sounded like she had a great day, she sounded, well, sleepy.  When I asked her, she turned the question to me as I fumbled through an answer. She said “Mommy I just don’t sleep well when I am somewhere you are not I think we are just wired together or something.”  How can I argue with such wisdom?

Amazing the clarity and wisdom that children possess.  So as I later reflect on this statement, when I go to sleep tonight I will think about how the three of us are wired together whether we are physically present or not.  They are forever with me as I am with them, hardwired together in our hearts.  Goodnight my sweet peas.  Mommy loves you more than all the stars in the sky…

-Charmed I Am Sure

Guess How Much I Love You

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or how do I love thee girlies? let us count the ways




On Valentine's day about three years ago, while participating in little shorty's Valentine's Day party at school she had a puzzled look on her face.  As we later walked to the car, laden with cards, candy and gifts, she turned to me and said "Mommy, how much do you love me?" That very day her preschool teacher told her that she loved her around the world and back again, which apparently is quite a lot.  How can you quantify the depths of the love you have for your child?  Or explain that it is endless, boundless, unconditional, in other words, do your worst kiddo. I still love you sweets.


That night we read the story "Guess How Much I Love You," which is a story about a Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare.  As the father, Big Nutbrown Hare is putting Little Nutbrown Hare to sleep, Little Nutbrown Hare poses the question "Guess how much I love you?"  Little Nutbrown Hare opens his little arms wide and says "This much."  Big Nutbrown Hare thinks for a moment and says this is a lot as he stretches his longer arms out, and says "I love you this much."  And so it continues through the story. One senses Little Nutbrown Hare's frustration in attempting to express how much he loves his father  In the end while looking up at the endless  night sky,  Little Nutbrown Hare says "I love you to the moon," and Big Nutbrown Hare says," I love you to the moon in back," as Little Nutbrown Hare falls asleep.

Since then as a family we play this game often, new ways to express how much we love each other in words, and deeds of course.  To that end we have compiled a short list of I love you's.

I love you…

1.  …this much
2.  …around the world and back again
3.  …more than all the grains of sand
4.  …more than all the drops of water in every ocean, lake and river
5.  …more than all the stars in the sky
6.  …a million, kazillion, billion times
6.  …more than you could ever possibly imagine

Valentine's Day this year came and went, and maybe I didn't get my girlies the biggest teddy bear, or the biggest box of chocolates.  We made each other cards with lots of glitter.  Yes the other stuff is fun too, but I want my girls to learn what it's all about, to show each other that we love each other.  Chocolate and bears later, and to that end , those two added one more "Mommy, I love you more than all the candy in the world!"  Whoa, what?  That's pretty huge, maybe more than all the stars in the sky we are talking about chocolate after all.

-Charmed, I am Sure






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Don’t Worry Girls, It’s Just G-d Bowling

And other such things we say to our kids to explain things that go bump in the night…

 

Growing up in "Tornado Alley," waking up to the crack of thunder and sky ablaze in lightening was terrifying to me. Particularly if the electricity went out, because obviously if the lights are still on in the house you are more or less going to be fine, of course.  I would run to my parent's room to snuggle in with my mom, only to find that three other pesky younger siblings beat me to it. Mom would hold us all and tell us things like, maybe G-d is bowling… and we would laugh amidst our tears and fears.

We look to our parents to take the scaries away, to explain the who, what, when, where and whys of it all and make everything better.  When my oldest daughter was still a toddlery baby and scratched her knee, or had a fever, she always said "Mommy, I need betters, need betters Mama…"  "Betters" was actually lots of kisses and hugs while applying Neosporin and bandaids. Why? She knew that if something hurt I would get the betters out, and make everything, well, better..  "Mommy makes everything betters…"

So last night when the thunder grew increasingly loud,  I heard the terrified scream of "MOMMMMMMY!!!!!!" piercing through the darkness of the house. Funny thing is, I still am a little scared of the dark, but as a parent we have to be fearless as we glide on by the things that go bump in the night.  We learn what we need to say, and as we soothe our children and make them feel better, we too feel better.  Because now I am the Mommy, and as I lay in my bed squished between two little girls, I stroked their little heads and said, "Shhhh, it's okay Mommy is here now….it's all going to be okay,..everything will be betters soon…" 

Someday they will have children of their own, and find out that even Mommy's need betters at times.. I need my Mommy too because she still knows what to say, "There there, poor thing, poor, poor thing…" For now, that my girls know that I can assuade their fears, everready with the betters…everything is going to be okay.

 

 -Charmed, I am Sure

 

05-little_dragon-thunder_love Prince - Thunder 02 Better 02 Can You See The Lights_

 

1) Little Dragon – Thunder Love

2) Prince – Thunder

3) Regina Spektor – Better

4) Butterfly Boucher -Can you see the lights

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