Browsing Category: Life

Getting Myself Out of a Rut

Hello my long lost pals!

It’s been awhile and I’m sure you’ve guessed what’s been going on with me based on the header.  Yup, I’ve been in a big, ol’ stinky, don’t feel like it, shrugged shoulders, funky-town, rut.  And it’s been no great helper to the blog.  Or my self-confidence.  Or my self identity.  Or that long list of projects.  Sigh.

After a few weeks of feeling “off,” I came to the conclusion that I needed to step away from the extra stuff.  Just take the pressure off, you know?  I still did a few things here and there, but I gave myself the option to binge watch The Good Wife, if I wanted to.  Freeing myself, allowed me to face my rut head-on.  Why wasn’t I feeling like myself?  And how the heck was I going to get out of this rut?!  You guys, I need out of this apathy STAT.

What’s a to-do lister like me supposed to do?  Ha!  I decided to come up with a list.  DUH.  Kind of like a 12 step program, for lame-o’s, to get my Stella groove back.  And then I thought (lightbulb!), wouldn’t it be even better if say, a few friends joined me along the way?!  Like YOU, hint, hint, wink, wink.

Anyway, after lots of day dreaming and commercial munching, here’s the list I came up with –

  1.  Retail Therapy.  Of course this is on my list.  It’s easy and damn it, staring at something new and pretty will make my eyes happy.  This will for sure start me in the right direction.
  2. Watch something FUNNY.  Watch something SAD.  Movies heal, y’all.  We can all agree to this one, right?

    If only we could all feel this kind of joy every day!
    If only we could all feel this kind of joy every day!
  3. Give myself a guaranteed win.  Will it feel cheap?  Maybe.  But hey, I deserve something on my to-do list that is easy, awesome and guaranteed not to suck.
  4. Get my body moving.  I’m thinking rock climbing, yoga-ing, cross training.  Shit ANYTHING at this point.  I’m sure that getting the blood flowing will certainly help my endorphin level, or whatever it’s called.  Those may be a stretch, but I KNOW I can at least do a video a few times a week.
  5. Give my kids a win they never saw coming.  Omg, how awesome is it when you surprise someone with something they were not expecting at all??  It’s kinda amazing.  I need to do something that will up my Mom cred, even if it’s a short lived high.
  6. Enjoy some time with my man.  It’s sad to admit, but we rarely spend time with just the two of us.  But we should… not just because I still like him after all these years, but also because I remember my other self… that (kinda) sexy, funny, daring girl, who’s still in there but doesn’t come out to play as much.  It’s fun to be her every once in awhile.
  7. Tell my mom I don’t feel good.  Mom’s (or BFF’s) are the best at pumping you back up.  After a lunch with my mom, my head will be so big it’ll barely fit in the house.

    My son, Cruz hiding his fear on the gondola and his little brother, Arrow, taking it in stride!
    My son, Cruz hiding his fear on the gondola while his little brother, Arrow, takes it in stride!
  8. Look your best, feel your best.  This one is really hard for me, but honestly it’s a difference of about 3 minutes in the morning.  Do I wear a little blush or go without?  Care about my shoes or wear what’s comfortable?  I’m really, really going to push for those extra 3 minutes so I can strut just a wee bit.  Or fake it… that’s also an option!
  9. Do something challenging.  What this will be, I’m really not sure.  But I think it’s a good thing.

    My twins getting a red stripe! They never give up!
    My twins getting a red stripe. They never give up!
  10. And lastly, when I start to feel down on myself, give myself a pat on the back.  (That’s a lot of myself’s!)  I DO work hard.  I AM a great mom.  My ideas ARE flipping cool.  Sometimes we are so hard on ourselves.  Why?  I was yammering on with a girlfriend of mine about some dumb room mom crap, totally caught up when I realized that ROOM MOM CRAP IS BORING.  I apologized for bringing up the most boring sage ever told, and my friend said (you won’t believe this), “Jessica, you couldn’t be boring if you tried.”  Friends, it made me cry.  That’s how eff’d up I’ve been.  So, yeah I need to cut me a bit o’ slack.

So, that’s kind of what I’m thinking.  ALL super fun things.  ALL really great things for my mind, body and spirit.  I don’t need shit right now.  I need HAPPY.  I need smiles, and hugs, and kuddos.

Wanna do the list with me??  I say we start NOW.

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A look back at 2015

Hi!  And welcome back peeps!

It’s always fun at the beginning of a new year to take a look back… I actually do this starting around the beginning of December because I make calendars for the grandparents of all the special moments in the year.  I only use photos from the current year, so each calendar is truly a reflection of what we’ve recently been up to.

And just when you start to think that you really got nothing accomplished and didn’t do too much… well, you start to find a bit of photographic evidence to the contrary.

Remember when mi casa looked like this?

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That is simply a faded memory now… I almost can’t even remember that french vanilla anymore….

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I’m pretty proud of how it turned out… even my blue ceiling, which everyone said was a wild idea.  It turned out so cool and special and fun – I love it!

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And though painting the house was a HUGE pay-off, I didn’t do it myself (thank goodness!).  So when I think about a project that was a challenge, in a good way, I have to remind myself of the triple bunk beds.

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There have been a few updates, which I totally need to tell you about but we’ll save that for laters.  Just know that every pallet on the street literally calls out to me and I have to remind myself that I’m done with all that – Whoo Hoo!!

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To top it off, I’m extremely happy with how a number of easier projects turned out!  This stitched pillow is one of my faves, as well as, this door

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And these shelves

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These shelves are reminding me to get my butt over to Savannah’s for some pictures.  Man, sometimes I am so lame.  Wait.  Adding it to the list… gotta finally show you guys!!

We also hosted a bunch of parties this year – so much fun!!  A Birth-thism, Ninja Turtle vs Spiderman birthday, Super Bowl, Tricia’s Baby Shower, Baseball birthday, Christmas…

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And I even got the boys in on the action!!

So, amazingly (miraculously!!) I actually did stuff.  Whoa.  Load off the ol’ shoulders.

And the best part?  I had fun doing it.

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My favorite 2015 moment?

It’s kinda a tie between hearing that Zander, one of my 4 year old twins, had a girlfriend name Mia Puji… and then finding out that there was NO Mia Puji at his school.

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(There he is on the right.  This boy loves the ladies, but man, he’s gotta learn their names first!!)

And

watching Star Wars in the theater as a family.  Call me a nerd.  Call me whatever!  Tell me I have to get a life!!  (You’re probably right on that one!)  But it was so much fun!  The boys were ridiculous that day.

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Worst day of 2015?  Definitely the night Cruz needed stitches (for the second time I might add) on his chin.

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Boy, that kid’s face is like a floor magnet.  Or should I say, that he’s a doctor’s dream patient… always something, nothing serious, happy to get a lollipop.  Cha-ching!

Did I learn anything?

Well, I think we all learned that we need to guard loose teeth very, very carefully.  Reign’s teeth kept falling out and he literally lost 2 of them!  2!!!  And the tooth fairy doesn’t give money for invisible teeth – at least not at our house.

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I also learned that, Holy Crap, I can sew clothes!!  It’s like a wwwhooolllee neeeewww woorrrllldd… Okay, they were costumes, but still!

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I was also reminded that I’m so easily out smarted.  When I told the boys that if they were naughty Santa would put coal in their stockings, Reign said that he was ok with that because he could use it to make a fire.  Shit!!

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What does anyone learn then they have kids?  Don’t make plans.  Don’t ask your kids to perform on command.  Don’t try to create magic… Just let the magic happen all on it’s own.  It will.

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So, thank you and good-bye 2015.  You were a good year.  I learned a bit, saw some stuff and did a few things.  I laughed – like A LOT.  And I cleaned up – like the most ANYONE CAN EVER CLEAN UP (Damn you humans with penises!!).

But it’s all good ’cause I have love in my heart and I am loved.  The rest is gravy.

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Happy Halloween – From my Little Guardians!

Have a wonderful Halloween weekend!!

I know we will be pounding the pavement hard tonight… we have offered Cash for Candy and the boys are READY to go!  And with those moves they’ll be keeping the streets safe too!

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Last night, Rocket the Raccoon nabbed 1st place for the costume contest at Gracie Barra in Northridge!  Great party and great fun!  (If you’re curious how I made the mask, check it here and for everything else, it’s all kind of a blur!!)

OH!  And if you see a fabulous costume, say something!!  My gosh, last night I saw one of my favorite costumes of all time – literally a scene from the movie Up, complete with the grandpa figure, boy scout and house with balloons (worn by mom)!  It was CRAZY amazing!!  Gotta up my game next year!!  HA!

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The Older I Get…

Hi!

You know that dread you get when you see the Jury Duty envelope in the mail?  Yes, I felt it… two months ago when I found out that I was back in the jury selection pool.  Man that year goes by quickly, doesn’t it?!

The other few times I’ve been called, I’ve managed to either escape with my name not being called or being sent home at the court.  Not this time, my friends.  I spent 3 full days on a case, and I gotta tell you, I was pretty psyched about it.

You’re wondering if all those episodes I watched of The Good Wife paid off?  Oh, yes.  Very good research, if I do say so.

And all that wait time got me thinking, (not just about what a big nerd I am), but also about how 10 years ago I would have wanted to shoot my left foot off rather than listen to this (somewhat) trivial case….well, there were moments I did want to shoot someone’s left foot off…I mean ‘cummon people, don’t lie under oath.  WE CAN TELL.

Right, back to the thinking… It got me thinking about how I’ve changed in the last few (‘er 10+) years.  And please don’t hate me for my answers!  It’s all in fun, yes?!

1.  I have A LOT more American pride.  My mother’s side is Mexican and my father is American, so I’ve had a neat glimpse into both worlds.  In the past while traveling I’ve often felt ashamed at my American kin – so loud, so obnoxious, always throwing money around…But you know what?!  We work hard up in here!  And we’ve got some rights that other countries smirk at… like, I’m not worried about showing too much calf in the summer!  Hey, we’re not perfect, but it’s a pretty wonderful place to live.

2.  I’ve become a bit more sexist.  Okay, so I’m all about She-Ra Princess of Power – Don’t get me wrong!  And I definitely feel that women can totally hang with the boys!!  But look y’all, I have 4 boys and I’m finding that I want to raise them to treat women a certain way… open doors, stand up when they leave the room, (gasp!) pay for their date.

3.  I’m more Republican.  I’ll never forget when my Grandmother Jane said to me, while I was in college, “I don’t know what I would do if there was a Democrat in the family.”  I cared so much about equality and women’s rights- issues I still absolutely care strongly about- but if you would have asked me about the economy, taxes, big business and international affairs, I would have been uninformed and pretty disinterested.  Now I can’t say I agree with either side 100% of the time, but I can say that over the years I’ve certainly begun to see what Grandma was talking about.

4.  I’ve become less concerned with my appearance and more concerned with my skin.  Forget the clothes, make-up, hair do’s, shoes – all that stuff!  Give me SPF, a hat, some shade and a cover up please!  Uhm wrinkles and brown spots?  No thank you.

My son Zander in the shopping cart at Lowes with the worst bloody nose ever!  Please hurry up and mix my paint =)
My son Zander in the shopping cart at Lowes with the worst bloody nose ever! Please hurry up and mix my paint =)

5.  I’m clearer on my priorities and more straight-forward about them.  If something doesn’t work for me, I ain’t doing it.  I won’t go out of my way for a person I don’t know very well and really don’t feel obligated to well, do anything.  I make time for my family and closest friends.  The fringe friends?  Well, there really isn’t a fringe anymore.

Bowling on Mother's Day - we are quite the handfuls!
Bowling on Mother’s Day – we are quite the handfuls!

Are you feeling me?  Or are you seriously ready to punch me in the face?  Either way, I understand.

Of course, there’s an equal number of things that’ll probably never change until the day I die.  Take a sec and think of what you would list here… what did you come up with?

Here was my list…

1.  I’ll always and forever be on Team Aniston.  Look, I know Angie’s had her breasts removed (she’s so brave!) and she’s a crazy good actress.  But I don’t care.  I’ll NEVER forgive or forget.

2.  I need Ya-Ya Sisterhood Time.  Why’s it so key?  It’s just happiness and laughter and freedom.  My husband thinks that we get together to try on each other’s clothes and listen to Beyonce.  How did he know?!?!

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Bros before Ho’s

3.  Prince, Madonna, Michael.  I loved you then, I love you now.  90’s jams are what’s up.  I can listen to This is How We Do It every hour on the hour.  And yes, I’ll tell my boys that some girls are poison.

4.  Nerds rule.

5.  If you want something done right, do it yourself!  This has been my thing since I was a kid.  When I didn’t appreciate my mom staining a few of my whites, I started doing my laundry – I was in 6th grade.  I wanted my room painted green with a blue chair rail – that was all me at 14.  And now, when I want my boys in a triple bunk bed, I’ll handle that myself, thank you very much.

So does your list match mine at all?!?

I’d love to hear how your list goes!!

Have a great week and hope ya get some jury duty soon!!  HA!  Happy Creating (and laughing), Jessica