Thursday, December 30, 2010

True Confession

Hello. My name is Mari, and I stalk my own blog. There. I said it. Out loud. If you pay any attention to the Live Traffic Feed widget on my blog (under Peekers) you may have noticed that the majority of visitors come from Smithville. Uh... that would be me. I love to check in on my blog to see if anyone is reading. (It also logs my time if I'm just previewing a post.) It's fun to see the various locations of passersby. Does that make me egocentric? Narcissistic? Creepy? Maybe. But I ain't gonna stop.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Case of Stolen Identity

Well, it's happened. My identity was stolen.

Not in the computer hacking, credit card stealing kind of way. More in the giving birth, having kids, becoming a mom kind of way. This wasn't supposed to happen to me. I was going to be the mom who kept her own identity while raising well-adjusted children whom I encouraged to develop their own identities.

Perhaps the most distressing part of this is that I made the realization while standing in Barnes & Noble last Thursday. To make matters worse, my husband confirmed my frightening discovery. Here's how it went down:

My sister gave me a $25 BN gift card as a graduation gift. After spending an hour or so soaking up my kid-free time in one of my Top 5 favorite places (a bookstore), I headed to the checkout counter. On the way, I glanced down to review my selections.

ME: Is it sad that I'm spending my graduation gift card on books for the girls?
ME:  What does that say about me?
HUSBAND: That you no longer have an identity or any interests of your own.

Ow-ie. Brutal. Ow-ie. Brutal.


The conversation reminded me of that Julia Roberts movie, Runaway Bride.  In the movie, Richard Gere accuses Julia's character of following the whims and ideas of everyone in her life instead of figuring out what she really enjoys and thinks. My situation is kind of similar ... except I'm not Julia Roberts. But I do worry that I've gone from being an independent, intelligent, opinionated woman to .... someone ... who ... is ... not. And I hate it. And I'm going to fix it. And I might have just found my goal for 2011.

In the short term, to remedy the B&N situation, I marched back to the escalator, glided up to the fiction section, and selected a Steve Martin book that I recently added to my "Books To Read After December 18" spreadsheet. Yes, I said spreadsheet. Wanna make sumthin' of it? Right now there are about 100 books/authors in that Excel file, which I compiled throughout 2010. My plan is to join the Centurions Group on Facebook and read 100 books in 2011. Ah, my first step to recovering/rediscovering/reinventing ME.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Oh! Christmas Tree?

Merry Christmas! I hope this post finds you and your family full of holiday cheer and merry mischief!

One of the things I love about having my own peeps is the discovery of new family traditions. And a discovery it is. I know people who make their own traditions, and I think that is lovely, I truly do. But after several failed attempts at making traditions (my ideal reality), I decided to let traditions find me (my real reality). One of those traditions is making salt dough ornaments. We made our first set last year and our second set just a few days ago. Of course, I forgot to take pictures. But we make a lot, and every single one goes on the tree. Speaking of which ...

Another emerging tradition is the decorating of our Christmas tree. In my ideal reality, I have one of those magazine-perfect trees. You know what I'm talking about: Glistening with white lights, every ornament strategically placed. In my real reality, I have this ...

Yes, you can believe your eyes. The tree is adorned with two plastic firemen's helmets and a rubber snake. If you look even closer, you will see a construction paper chain, a handmade popsicle stick snowman, and some odd strips of ribbon that were not so strategically placed. And you know what? I LOVE it. LOVE IT! LOVE IT! Because it reflects who the peeps are at this moment in time. This is my reality. This is our tradition. This is our family in December 2010.

As for the tree with the glistening white lights and perfectly placed ornaments? I confess: I have one upstairs. And it's quite lovely. This is the first year that I've had two trees. But it's just for appearances sake. The peeps' tree is the one I'll always cherish and remember.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Turning Nothing Into Something

Holy Smokes! I can't believe it's been more than a month since I've checked in! At this rate, I will never be the uber-blogger of my ideal reality. Sigh.

My long absence is not without reason. From my last post until December 8, I was immersed in my master's research project. Immersed is nice way of saying the project sucked every bit of my time, energy, and life. But I'm done. And I got an A. And my professor said my research was of publishable quality. And I earned a 4.0 in my program. And I will continue to pay myself on the back for a job well done for quite a long while.

And since December 8, I have done nothing productive. Well, almost nothing. I picked up a little freelance work from a former employer. But for the most part, I've done nothing.

Yet, if you ask my peeps, they will tell you that I've been very busy. In their eyes, I've done something. I've done lots of somethings. We've baked German Chocolate cookies. We've snuggled on the couch for hours, letting all of the Christmas shows on ABC Family rot our brains. We've played Candyland and cars and puzzles and Rudolph and Toy Story. We've read books and boogied to Mr. Stinky Feet. We've belted Rudolph the Red Nosed-Reindeer and Santa Claus is Coming to Town from the tops of our lungs. We've laughed and giggled. All of the stuff that I consider "nothing" is the stuff my peeps consider "something."

All of a sudden, I find myself looking forward to doing a whole bunch more of nothing, because I know it means something to my someones.