Friday, August 28, 2015

Luck?

I read this article, My Husband; Five Reasons I Am Not Lucky to Have Him, and it irritated the crap out of me.  The thing is, I agree with a majority of her points so I couldn't quite figure out why I was so irritated by the article.  I'm pretty sure, though, it's because of her second point:

Luck is out of my control; I chose my husband.
 
Why does this irritate me so much?
 
It's a lot like the Facebook postings we saw last week, in the wake of the latest Duggar scandal and the release of names in the Ashley Madison hack.  "In a world full of infidelity and things like Ashley Madison, I'm so blessed to have a husband that would NEVER do something like that to me!!!1!"  It just . . . well, for starters it almost reeks of "the lady doth protest too much."  Then there's almost a dash of disrespect, a nanny-nanny-boo-boo if you will, victim blaming in a way.  "SO SORRY your spouse sucks but, hey, look at me!  I chose much more wisely!  Sucks to be you!"  But, I think what bothers me overall, is just the smugness.

Seriously, how much of a smug asshole do you have to be to pull out the "I chose him" card?
 
Yes, most of us chose our partners, past and present.  And, yes, it's true that some have made much more wiser choices than others.  But there's also a certain amount of luck that's involved in any relationship, I firmly believe that.  Very few people purposely marry someone who is an asshole.  People get married because they're in love, because they want to build a life together.  We never know if someone is going to change after those marital vows are spoken . . . and we certainly never know if their level of change is something we're going to be able to roll with, something that would be in our or their best interest to roll with.  I know that I certainly didn't go into my marriage thinking I would get divorced after five years. 

So many women say "I knew he would be a great father before I married him because of how active and involved he was his nieces and nephews!"  Bullshit.  You figured he'd probably be a good dad because he would play football with your nephews and once took his niece to see Disney princesses on ice.  And, come on, getting down on the floor to play a board game with your best friend's son is great and cool but it doesn't automatically mean that when it's his own offspring he'll be changing diapers or taking a night time feeding when you're so sleep deprived you can't remember your own name.  You never know what kind of father a man will be until he IS a father!
 
When your marriage makes it for the long haul, I firmly believe that's something to be proud of. Heck, in my own family, the fact that my great grandparents were married 74 years and my grandparents 59 (both "'till death do us part") is a huge source of pride.  But you can be proud of how far your relationship has made it without being smug too.  Give a little bit of credit to luck or fate or God or just both of your hard work in keeping your union afloat!

My current relationship is still so relatively new in the grand scheme of things that I probably shouldn't even be referencing it in this post.  But I know - I KNOW - I am lucky to have this man.  In fact, we often say to each other that as long as we keep thinking we're each had lucky one in this relationship, we can make it go the distance. I'm lucky that I found someone I adore who treasures me and never passes up an opportunity to let me know just how much he cherishes me and our relationship.  I'm very lucky to have that.  But I also know I'm lucky just to have found him in the first place!  The fact that any of us can find someone we have amazing chemistry with, someone with common values and morals, someone we can laugh with and be ourselves around, someone we can't imagine doing life without . . . that's pretty damn lucky.

I don't ever want to find myself feeling like the author of the original article.  Yes, I chose him but I'm lucky he ever came into my life . . . the same kind of lucky anyone in a good and positive relationship should feel about their mate.  And, come on, we know most of each other's quirks, we've met each other's families, and he's seen the interior of my utility room and we STILL want to be together.  Lucky.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thursday Things

1) I think I've lived outside of Texas, Holy Land of high school football, for too long (it'll be six years next month!)  It was super rainy last Saturday and I looked out my kitchen window and was surprised to see the middle school football game was going on.  Like, "they're letting those boys play in the rain?!?"  I mean, DUH Brandi!  You lived in Texas for ten years of your life.  You know

2) I saw the other day that the Farmer's Almanac is reporting that it'll be a colder and snowier winter in my part of the country.  Um, what?  We had snow - a lot of snow! - in March last year.  Can we not for this winter?  Please?

3) I hate homework.  I hate it so bad.  I hate it, hate it, hate it, hate it, HATE IT.  I would rather potty train toddlers again then do the homework thing.  And this year . . . dun dun dunnnnnn . . . I have THREE who have daily homework.  Shoot me.
 

4) I'm a little ashamed of how invested I am in the latest Duggar scandal.  And now there's a porn star coming out of the woodwork to say she had an affair with him?  Gahhhhh.  Anna Duggar!  LEAVE HIM! 

5) It took all of two weeks being back in school for the kids to get sick.  Karis came down with the sniffles over the weekend (she was hoarse on Monday and didn't want to go to school because "I can't talk right!") and now we all have the sneezies and sniffles.  And it's still only August.  Womp womp.

6) Life these days seems to revolve around school, school, school.  I'm not 100% happy with the new principal at the kids' school but, I have to say, I LOVE how much their teachers are communicating with me this year.  It's so much more than in years past!

7) No weight loss last week and, honestly, it surprised me a little bit.  I guess it shouldn't have?  We hiked A LOT the previous weekend in Hot Springs.  But we also ate a lot and there was a ton of beer.  I guess it was too much to hope it would cancel out!

8) Whaaaaa??? Old doesn't begin to describe. 



9)  And, with that meme, I just have to say . . . I'm a little sad that there are ZERO TV shows I'm excited about this fall.  There is nothing left that I watch.  The Office is gone.  Parks and Rec is over.  No more Parenthood.  We won't even get into all the other oldies-but-goodies.  There's literally nothing -- other than football -- I'm looking forward to watching on TV this fall. 

10) And in honor of the upcoming football season . . .
 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Gang's Out Back

There's a song by the country group Blackjack Billy called "Why God Made Summertime" and I love it because it's a song about my favorite things . . . baseball, sun rays, the gang out back, all that.  Summer is over for us in that the kids are back in school but that doesn't mean we're going to stop soaking up these long summer weekends.  I love it.

My friend Becky was in Dallas over the weekend and I really wanted to drive down there and hang out with her for a couple days.  But.  We traveled three of the last five weekends.  I really just needed to stay home, to have a lazy Saturday, catch up on laundry, that sort of thing. 

Friday night, the kids were with their dad and I went with boyfriend and his kids to the skating rink.  I don't think I've been to a skating rink on a Friday night in a good 25 years!  Maybe ever!  The kids had fun, though, and that's all that really matters.

Oh, and I had beer.
That's what really matters.
Yeah, I said it. 

Saturday morning was rainy and gloomy and just GROSS.  A good day to sleep in, amiright?  We didn't do much and when the kids went with their dad that evening, I went to Kendra's to hang out.


There was beer and some dumb game that I could NOT get the hang of.  We needed the catch up time, though, and Kendra started nursing school this week so it may be a while before we have another night to just hang.

Boyfriend was golfing Sunday so I took all five kids to Avery's birthday party.


We were also at her first birthday party and now here she is turning three! The kids played, the adults visited, there was cornhole, and they had my favorite thing ever ... ice cream cake!




After the party, we decided to continue our Sunday Funday'ing at the pool. 

Here's hoping next summer at least one of us -- hopefully both of us! -- has our own pool to hang at!
 

I LOVE scenes like this. My favorite people having a blast. 

We only have one more weekend before Saturdays and Sundays become all about Hogs and Bears and another team of Bears.  I love football but I'm also sad to see the summer coming to a close. Don't leave me, August!

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Duggars Set Josh up to Fail

I went back and forth on whether I wanted to write anything at all about the latest Duggar scandal, mainly because there are so many facets of the whole thing.  But have a free Friday afternoon so here I am, all up on my soapbox.

First, Josh is a hypocrite and an asshole.  There's no way around that.  Cheating on your wife is bad enough, intent to cheat on your wife is bad enough.  But if you're going to do that then keep your ass in Tontitown, Arkansas, selling used cars.  Don't perch yourself on a platform, screaming from the pulpit about family values.  Don't you dare try to preach about homosexuals and how they ruin the sanctity of marriage when you can't keep it in your pants.  Glass houses, stones, all that.  He's disgusting.

That said, Jim Bob and Michelle set Josh up to fail.  Yes, he was an adult and yes, he made his own choices.  He chose to step outside of his marriage and that's all on him.  But.  BUT.  The Duggars took and take helicopter parenting to a whole new level.  You HAVE to give your children autonomy.  You HAVE to let them make their own choices, good or bad.  Sheltering them from every single "bad" thing in the world only sets them up to fall.

These boys couldn't even look at females.  Their sisters were taught to yell, "Nike!" when they saw an immodestly dressed female (which, let's be real, probably meant she was wearing shorts or maybe a tank top) so the boys would know to look at their shoes.  The boys were all thrown in a room together without so much as an old Sears underwear catalog to, uh, well, we won't go there.  Then you have Josh who is sexually stunted but curious enough that he TOUCHES HIS SISTERS.  And how was this dealt with?  Was the boy given proper therapy?  No, he was sent off to do manual labor.  They never got to the root of his sexual issues and, in my opinion, that makes Anna Duggar's tears and grief just as much the fault of Jim Bob and Michelle.

Not only that, but this boy was married at only 20 to someone whom he had never had a conversation with without the presence of a "chaperone."  How can you really get to know a person?  How can you know if you have any chemistry at all with a person if you're not even allowed to so much as touch before you're engaged?  Let's say Jim Bob and Michelle never went off the deep end into fundamentalism and patriarchy.  Let's say they raised Josh and maybe three or four siblings in a fairly strict conservative Christian household, the kind of people who support Tea Party politicians and share anti-Obama memes on Facebook.  If he was allowed to date, allowed to form friendships with people other than those just like him and his family, would all this have happened?  I kinda doubt it.  I think that Josh would've ended up like a lot of other nearing 30-year-olds of his generation.  He'd be joining online dating sites, maybe to meet someone, possibly just to get laid.  He'd occasionally look up some internet porn.  And, then, eventually, he'd settle down with someone he loved -- someone he was able to meet on his own, to touch and talk to and even sleep with before marriage -- have his 2.5 kids, and live a relatively simple life, hopefully thankful that the mistakes of his 20's led to a tame and happier 30's decade.  He was robbed of that, simply because he was brainwashed from the jump that his parents were the ones who needed to make all decisions for him before springing him out on his own, with a bride to take care of and the instructions to "be fruitful and multiply" at the ripe old age of 20.  That's just . . . it's sad.

Anna is a victim of her cult(ure.)  In the beginning, I kind of wavered on whether or not I feel much sympathy for Anna, mostly because she didn't dump his sorry ass when the molestation scandal broke.  (For what it's worth, I don't believe she knew the true details of that whole scenario until the rest of us did.  I think she was probably told something along the lines of "he engaged in some inappropriate touching, only over the clothes, just for a few minutes" and was never told that he actually touched his SISTERS.)  But you know what?  Females raised in the patriarchy movement are even more brainwashed than the boys.  This poor girl.  She never stood a chance.  She was taught from the time she was a little girl that her only goals in life were to a wife and mother.  She was taught that if she was pure and kept sweet that her perfect prince would come along and then, as long as she gave him sex whenever he wanted it, submitted completely to her husband, and kept having babies for the Lord, she'd have the ideal fundamentalist life. 

And now that all this has happened, there's a good chance she's blaming herself.  In fact, I even read earlier that she's absorbing partial blame.  Why?  Because she didn't have sex with him enough or the kind of sex he wanted?  That's not how a relationship works.  She's a victim and the saddest thing about it is that she can't or won't act like any of us would.  She won't scream at him or throw a shoe at him or cuss him out or put all his clothes in the driveway.  She'll blame herself and get busy on filling that quiver a little more.

The fans who are abandoning ship NOW are disgusting.  Disgusting.  SERIOUSLY?  Just three months ago he admitted to molesting five females, including his own sisters.  One of those was a FIVE-YEAR-OLD when he was FIFTEEN.  That is not a youthful mistake.  That's not a teenage indiscretion.  That is sexual assault.  It was disgusting that it happened and even more disgusting that his parents swept it under the rug then paraded two of his victims out on national TV to tout the party  line of "forgive and forget."

Someone shared Matt Walsh's statement on Facebook yesterday.  At first, I kinda did the slow clap for Walsh.  I mean, if you're a conservative Christian and King Douchelord Matt Walsh thinks you're a douche?  Then, dude, you're a douche.  But you know what?  Nope.  No slow claps for Walsh or anyone else like him.  Why is it suddenly worse when it was two consenting adults participating in immoral behavior?  I'll reuse the word I've used a lot this post: disgusting.  I get that people wanted to think he was reformed and he was changed and blah, blah, blah.  But that doesn't change the fact that he committed a crime.  It doesn't change the fact that he stole the innocence from little girls and it doesn't change the fact that his parents "boys will be boys"-ed it and STILL paraded their family on TV as the ultimate in family values.

I was seriously blown away and sick that so many mainstream Christians stood up for the Duggars in the face of the first scandal.  When will people realize that this family does more harm for Christianity than any of the "liberal media" they like to blame everything on?  There's no way they should be the face of any Christianity, of any family values, and should not ever be held as an example of a "good, wholesome" way to raise your children.

What happens next?  I wish Anna would dump his sorry ass and move on/ up.  That's never going to happen, it's just not.  So even though Josh is a douche and an asshole and should probably be set on fire by a group of rainbow flag waving drag queens, I hope HE has the balls to do it.  I hope he finally musters up the courage to get out from under Daddy's thumb.  I wish he would divorce Anna (seriously, in two years she would thank him) so she can get on with her life, meet another man, take steps away from the patriarchal lifestyle that threw her under the bus.  Then he can go and be young and single.  Meet women!  Have sex!  Flip the bird to Jim Bob and the fundamentalist lifestyle and write a tell-all with all proceeds going to the children because, come on, that's the only way fundamentalism is EVER going to benefit them. 

That won't even happen either, though.  What will happen is that Baby #5 will be announced within a year.  In two years, the book will hit the shelves Surviving Infidelity: The Josh and Anna Duggar Story.  They'll start speaking at churches about how Jesus saved their marriage.  And, meanwhile, they'll both be living a miserable life.  Their poor children.  (Of course this is all provided we don't have a woman on the cover of US Weekly next week under the headline that screams something like, "I WAS JOSH'S MISTRESS: THE KINKY THINGS DUGGAR WANTED!")

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Thursday Things

1) So we're on Week Two of the school year and . . . ai yi yi.  I hate this adjustment period, getting used to the change in schedule, getting back in routine, all that.  This is also Karis's first full week and Monday was her first day in her classroom with her teacher.  We were so excited to find out she got the same kindergarten teacher Jaidan had.  We love her!



She's still adjusting to being in "big school" and yesterday morning, honestly, was kind of awful.  She didn't want to take a shower, didn't want to wear the shirt she had picked out the evening before, didn't want anything done with her  hair.  Then she told me she couldn't go to school. Why?  "It's too dangerous."  Hopefully just a mid-week slump!

2) Speaking of school . . . my kids got a new principal at semester last year.  She's implemented a lot of changes this school year and I'm just not on board with a lot of them.  I'm trying to be patient and give it time and make sure it's not just my attitude.  But I've talked to a few other parents and all seem sort of stank-faced about the same things I'm irritated over. 

3) The weather has been kinda great here lately.  It's still hot but the humidity finally decided to calm its tits and you can be outside without feeling like your face is going to melt off. 

4) Still not ready for fall though!  Can I please have a couple more months of swimming and beer by the pool?

5) But TOTALLY ready for football!  SIXTEEN DAYS until Razorback football!  Annnnnnd it was announced yesterday that Brad Paisley will be giving a free concert after the game I'm wanting to take boyfriend too.  YES PLEASE!  I'm still not sure if we're going to the game (because I'm poor and since I'm taking him to the game I feel like I should be the one footing the bill for this one -- especially since his games he's taking me to this year require more extensive travel than just going to Little Rock.)  But, seriously, as if I needed more incentive to actually go?  Brad Paisley?

6) My boys will be playing football this fall.  It's their first year so I wanted them to play flag until they learn some of the basics.  Even though J is roughly the size of most sixth or seventh graders, he's still got the maturity and mentality of an eight-year-old boy and needs to get the rules and basics down.  Kyan is the most excited about football season (J is more a basketball boy): when you ask Kykes what he wants to be when he grows up he won't hesitate to tell you, "running back for the Denver Broncos."

7) I love when kids are just learning to spell.  I try to always make my sound out the words and do their best to get it right.  "Emergentsee?"  I die.



8) Anyone else wish Elin Nordegren could be the one to counsel Anna Duggar through the latest Duggar scandal?

9) I HATE homework.  I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.  I swear, I hate it more than my kids.  All three of mine had it yesterday -- my girl's very first homework.  And she was NOT feeling it.  With both boys, it's worked to do homework as soon as we get home but I think we're going to need to shake things up with Karis.  She needs to unwind before jumping into homework.



10) Most true thing EVER!


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Foooooood

Since I talked about weight loss yesterday, it obviously only makes sense to talk about fooooood today, right?

The first few weeks of the school year are so rough on both me and the kids, just getting adjusted to new schedules and that sort of thing. Funny enough, I just mentioned to boyfriend last week that I felt like the change in routine gave me an energy charge. No issues folding laundry after 8:00! Sweeping the floor at night after the kids were in bed rather than waiting until the morning! Meh. Now it's only Wednesday and my laundry is taking over the house and I really just want a nap. 

One of my goals for this school year is to not fall into the rut of convenience meals. And by convenience meals, I mean ... sandwiches, microwaveable dinners, that sort of thing. Ideally, I want to fix a "real meal" four times a week. Baby steps ...

I tried to make things fun the first week of school. Monday night, we had Karis's favorite meal (corn dogs and macaroni) but for the rest of the week I planned "make your own" nights. 

Make your own pizza. 

We don't do anything extravagant. I set out the sauce and cheese, some veggies (like the kids choose those! But I looooove green and red pepper, onion, and banana pepper on mind), pepperoni, and bacon. I buy premade crusts because ... well ... Leave me alone, at least it's not a microwave pizza!

Make your own quesadillas. 
J's face!

My boys actually like this one more than making their own pizzas. I put all different things out but they pretty much always, always, always end up making buffalo chicken quesadillas. Karis usually goes with only cheese and I'll do chicken with a lot of veggies or just black bean and veggies for mine. And always Laughing Cow pepper jack cheese!

We had planned on doing make your own potato night but boyfriend called and whispered those magic words, "Taco Thursday" so all thoughts of baked potatoes were abandoned. But, seriously,  that's one of the best "make your own" nights! It's an easy way to use up leftovers. And instead of doing a baked potato, you can always slice up your 'tator and do French fries then top then with fun stuff. 

One more meal to share, it was last night's dinner and one of my very favorite dishes. 


I found the recipe on SkinnyTaste and basically just tweaked to what I consider perfection. I start by tossing sweet potatoes with dry onion soup mix and roasting. Then I add green and red pepper and purple onion (usually seasoned with creole of Cajun seasoning) and roast a little longer. Then, finally, I throw in turkey sausage and let it roast until everything is cooked through. This is DELICIOUS. You can also use regular potatoes, obviously, but those roasted sweet potatoes are my favorite thing ever. Bonus is having enough left over for breakfast in the morning. Just add in an egg and maybe a little cheese and voilĂ : breakfast scramble!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Weight Loss Train


I'm pretty sure I've done weekly updates every single time I've jumped on the weight loss train.  I'm still not sure I'm going to do that this time (though I do feel it keeps me somewhat more accountable) or if I'm just going to update here and there or weight it out and be all BOOYAH! when the pounds are gone.  But, there were a few things I wanted to share. 

For starters, I have an accountability partner now.  I started this whole diet thing on Monday the 3rd and, that morning, boyfriend texted me.  He wanted to lose 16 pounds before we got to Chicago in October and would be joining me in the whole weight loss thing.  Our texts lately have been a lot of "grilled chicken, sweet potatoes, and cukes for dinner" and "stop what you're doing and do 50 jumping jacks!"

Here's the deal with having a male accountability partner: he can give up beer and drop ten pounds in a week.  I can give up beer, carbs, sugar, everything that's remotely good and pray to Jesus five hundred times per day and I'll lose half a pound in a week.  Men suck. 

That said . . . it really feels good having someone encourage me in this journey.  He likes my body just the way it is but he knows that I'll be more comfortable when I lose these extra pounds.  He supports that rather than trying to sabotage it and that's a pretty awesome feeling.

During the first week, I lost 3.4 pounds.  I decided to weigh myself after coming back from our Chicago weekend (more on that in a minute) and I'd gained less than a pound.  At the end of the second week, I was down another two for a total of 5.4 pounds.  I want to be down a total of ten pounds by September 4th and twenty by October 30th.  Then maybe another five before Thanksgiving but we'll see! 

Now, Chicago weekend.  When we were first discussing the trip (like, less than 48 hours before we even left!) I told boyfriend, "this is going to blow all my progress!"  I do NOT like to limit myself when it comes to things like travel.  Basically, I refuse to not live my life and have fun just for the sake of weight loss.  So I did indulge more than I would have if we had been home that weekend.  Honestly, though, Lambert's aside, I didn't really do THAT bad.  Yes, I ate bad food (hello!  Aurelio's pizza!  Fried okra!  Breadddddddd!) and yes I drank beer.  But I didn't go crazy or binge on the bad food.  I did binge the hell out of cucumbers though.  I can't get enough of those these days.

Other things I'm eating?


I picked up these on a whim.  You see, I think "thin" Oreos are kind of . . .  it's heresy, y'all.  Oreos should be double or triple stuffed.  However.  These are just 35 calories each and they taste a lot like Thin Mints.  I can get behind them. 


Another thing I picked up on a whim.  I found these at Sprouts.  I love fruit leather and anytime I see a new brand I'll pick them up "for the kids."  They're 50 calories and great for a little midday pick-me-up.

 
These are really good but they're pretty small.  I mean, it's only 180 calories so it's not like you're getting a ton of cheese and nuts.  They're great for a mid-afternoon pick me up.


I LOVE guac so much and these 100 calorie minis are perfection.  I can't overeat the guacamole!  I've been eating them with the Beanitos hint of lime chips.  Yummy.

As far as working out . . . Sigh.  This is the harder part for me.  It was easier when I was going to the gym every day and I have GOT to get back in that gym mindset.  The biggest issue is finding something affordable as well as time to go (the cheap gyms in my area don't have childcare.)  We're trying to figure out a way to get me on boyfriend's Y membership so that will definitely help.  For now, the kids and I have been walking in the evenings, I hiked a ton over the weekend, and I think I'm going to be five years behind and start P90x.  Boo!  But I have to get this weight off and I know working out is what's going to make it fall off faster.
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