Overloaded. That is how my brain feels, right now. I've been censoring myself a lot, lately, mostly because I have this tendency to offend everyone. But keeping it inside isn't healthy, so, hey, why not unload on a public blog that people can still read and still get offended over? Meh.
*We went to Cancun, Mexico and it was fabulous. Here's what we did in a nutshell:
Slept, swam, snorkeled, hiked on ancient Mayan temples, read books, ate yummy food, relaxed on the beach and by the pool, went to Isla Mujeres and rented a golf cart to drive around the island, enjoyed each other's company, and got great tans. I got the best sleep I've had in 2 years! We kind of didn't want to come home, quite yet.
*Toddler girl is now weaned. I had only been nursing at night, but it was all night. She was co-sleeping 3/4ths of the night, too. Now, she sleeps all night in her bed and hasn't asked to nurse even once! She still wakes up a few times, but easily goes back to sleep after I put her back in bed. Last night she woke up only once! We're close to her just putting herself to sleep on her own. --Side note! Biggest surprise of all is how little emotion I felt at this. She is my last baby. I will never nurse again! I thought it would be more emotionally upsetting for me as I made this transition, but I am just pleasantly happy with the whole thing. I think it has a lot to do with the fact I've been nursing, pregnant, or trying to get pregnant for the last 17 years of my life. I also haven't gotten a full night's sleep in over 2 years (more or less). My body is ready to rest, I think. And since I've had so much peace with our decision to be finished adding to our family, it's most likely been transferred over to this next step... Anyway, it's finished, she's totally cool with it, and time marches on. Oh! Sad irony: for two years, she rarely got sick. First week weaned, she gets the flu. So sad!
*This morning the power went out for 3 1/2 hours. Unexpected and frustrating (first world problems!). I was supposed to make muffins for the snack at preschool today. Luckily, the power came back on just in time and I whipped up some lemon oatmeal muffins. Yum! Except... I don't know why the recipe had the cooking time at 400 degrees for 22 minutes, because I burned them. Why was I not paying attention?? Good question! They're not inedible, but they were not appropriate for preschool, anymore. BLERG. So, I whipped up crackers and cheese (as in, I put together the last of the goldfish crackers, the last of the ritz crackers, and cut up a bunch of sliced cheese). Sigh. Doesn't matter, really, but I was so looking forward to eating muffins without the burn smell!
*I got FB unfriended by someone I've admired for a very, very long time. I found it both comforting (he'd been kind of rude on my posts, lately) and genuinely heartbreaking. What stinks is it was a direct result of using the gospel to pigeon-hole politics. Or politics to pigeon-hole the gospel? Whatever the case, I obviously didn't have the correct opinions. Which I find really interesting, because there is truth, yes, and then there is objectivity in how we react to that truth. Here's the biggest truth: we all want the same things. Peace, prosperity, love, happiness, family, freedom, etc. Where we all differ is in how we go about making sure people have access to these things --and members of the same religion will differ in how they think we should go about it. Honestly, that's all politics are about. But, if there is any greed, pride, selfishness, or envy involved, then things unravel rather quickly, and it's impossible to come to any compromise or happy solution. We have to be able to allow people to state their opinions, even if they differ from our own. We have to be able to try to understand where other people are coming from and not decide that their entire character is to be found in a FB, twitter, or Instagram profile. When we decide that someone is only one facet of their life, then we lose out. It takes A LOT for me to unfriend someone. There has to be great consistency in how they treat me both online and in real life. If the pattern emerges and doesn't get better, then I do what I gotta do. But until then, I simply scroll on past what I don't like.
*I think Trump is a horrible president and all the hope and cautious optimism I held when he took office is gone. Fled. Ran right outta town. He's turning into exactly who I feared he would. And let me just say that the wall at Mexico (which I disagree with) and the refugee halting (which I hate so much) aren't even the scariest parts --it's that he is choosing the worst, worst, worst people to advise him and work with him (Bannon makes me want to scream). The only exception? His Supreme Court nominee. That might be the only good thing Trump has done. Disagree with me? Think Trump is fantastic? That's your right, for sure, but you might want to not tell me in great detail why. I may lose respect for you and then you'll have to unfriend me on FB. Ha! Just kidding! Sort of! *insert awkward smile, here*
*We might get another cat. Blerg. Walter has been so lonely since Kaz died. Did I write about Kaz dying?? I can't even remember the last time I wrote. Kaz died several weeks ago and it was so heartbreaking. He was 17 1/2 years old, so it wasn't surprising, but it was still hard. He had heart/respiratory failure and died within 30 minutes of us finding him (he came up the stairs around midnight wheezing and panting). It was so hard for me to watch. I've never had a pet die (I never had a pet before him) and it was really difficult. It was also really hard on Brandon and the kids. Brandon made a lovely box that we all signed and then we buried him in it near a tree in our yard. Now Walter (our other cat) is lonely and needs a friend. So, we just might have to find another cat. Sigh... I'm just not sure how I feel about it. It's cheaper and easier with one cat. But he wakes me up around 5AM every morning because he's bored. Plus, he'd be much happier with a buddy, that's for sure...
*I discovered my Aura Personality. Kitschy? Too hippie? Well, it's all good. I like the idea that we all have light and that our God is the source of all light. If our Savior is all light (white), then it doesn't seem outside the realm of possibility that we would each bring parts of His light with us --besides the fact that we are all divine offspring of our Heavenly Father, endowed with spiritual gifts unique to our spirits. Anyway, I am rare, I guess. I'm an indigo-crystal with a blue overlay or something (I think I got the wording right?). I've been told to get it tested because it sounds too rare to be true. Meh. We'll see. I'm pretty confident. My pinterest board would agree, too! Ha! Hahahaha! Ha. You can learn more about the book I read right here.
*My therapist has moved me to monthly sessions. You know what this means?! Nothing, really. Just that I'm doing pretty well. I've made some really great breakthroughs this year! Boundaries, letting go, shifting the way I view myself and my past, forgiveness, self-care, and learning to serve others again --I've gained a lot of ground. Considering the fact that I've been seeing a therapist at least every 2-3 weeks for the last 2 1/2 years, I better be doing well!
*My husband is incredible. I love him like crazy. In the last month, he did something really hard (he set a respectful, but very firm, boundary with someone), he took me to Mexico, he took me to a nice restaurant for our anniversary (4 Olives!), and he almost died. Just kidding! He didn't almost die, but on Saturday, we were in the ER because he was having what looked like a heart attack! So scary! Turned out to be a really bizarre result of a flu. He's all better now and doing really well. Also --my husband doesn't always agree with my opinions on politics. He's more apt to question validity of information and leans more conservative than I do. But he has never made me feel bad for thinking the way I do, and we've been able to have some great conversations, helping each other see each side. I swear, I fell in love with him all over again just because of that! People say you can't be married to someone who doesn't have the same political leanings as you, but I'm thinking that's not necessarily true... We agree on the most important stuff, though, so maybe that is what matters most.
*February is the craziest month of all months in our family. We have four birthdays (and one just barely into March). This year we also have two plays, no-school days, recitals, competitions, and loads of appointments.
*I'm a moderate and it confuses people. I refuse to align with parties (in life --on paper, I have) and I am an enigma when it comes to anything political. For example (many):
--I am pro-life. But I sincerely don't think abortion should be outlawed. Illegality creates desperation and doesn't stop certain behaviors; it only makes them more risky. Take prohibition --good in theory, but devastating in skyrocketing criminal behavior. I would rather we focused all our attention and money on making adoption more affordable, educating girls and boys on the consequences of sex outside of marriage, providing good prenatal care and counseling, and even providing birth control to those who want it. Women who have a strong support system, education, and more choices tend to reject abortion in great numbers. Going further --I wish we would support women in giving birth more than we support women in having abortions. Make birth less expensive!
--I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman. But now that gay marriage is legal, I'm not going to fight it. It's a battle that cannot be reversed. And even though I believe in heterosexual marriage, I don't condemn homosexuals for marrying.
--I hate the way our welfare is run in our country. It needs to change. But it needs to change in a way that is both frugal AND helpful.
--I think immigration is good. I think we are all blessed by the refugees and immigrants who come here. Yes, people should do it legally, but because we make it so incredibly difficult, people come illegally. I don't blame them. We need to help them and we do this by changing laws and red tape, not building stupid walls to keep out the people that aren't even coming here, anyway (i.e. there are more Central Americans coming illegally than Mexicans by a landslide). Also, 40% of illegal immigrants come on airplanes (outstay their visas, etc). A wall isn't going to stop that!
--I hated Hillary Clinton's politics. I hated Donald Trump's politics. I don't like Bill Johnson's politics, either.
--I think the best way to solve problems is to look at all the issues. Extremes solve nothing. Extremes only alienate and create gridlocks.
--I vaccinate my children. But I think forcing vaccinations is fascist and I will never support legislation that does so.
--I think public education needs more funding, more options, and less testing. Far less testing.
--Health insurance is crap. I hate it. I wish we didn't have to have it. But that doesn't mean I agree with socialist medical care. I wish we could just pay for the services we need and nothing more. Hospitals and doctors already do payment plans --we could do that without insurance jacking up all the prices! Once, when we didn't have health insurance (many years ago), our pediatrician had a specific price for the uninsured. For an appointment that included vaccinations, it was $47. When we had insurance, the cost would have been $250. Think about that for a minute...
*I teach primary and I think it's a lot of fun. The kids are so eager to learn and they are so trusting! I thought I would be sick of it by now, but it's not so bad. I guess I'm just fine being in mom mode all week long. Who knew?
*I thought I would have many more piano students by now than I do. I wonder if I was too optimistic? I've had zero calls about accompanist jobs, too. I may need to make more of an effort, but it's hard not to get discouraged. I should be grateful I only have five students right now, because it's easy to juggle. But ideally, I would love 15.
*I started wearing my fitbit! Yay! I've also been doing yoga and eating less and guess what?! I've gained five pounds. Figures.
*I love the gospel of Jesus Christ so much. The end.