Grateful sister, part 4

“Do you have a sibling who you just click with? Someone that you have always been comfortable to say anything to and know that deep down, they’ve got your back and will love you no matter what? I’m very blessed because I have 4 of them! It’s because of them that I imagined having 4 kids when I grew up. Then I started having kids and realized how fricken hard it was to be a mom- the sleep deprivation, the lack of personal time and space, and all of the emotions, don’t get me wrong… I ABSOLUTELY love my kids, but two is plenty for me.) Each of my siblings have their faults (who doesn’t- I know I’m not up for the “Perfect Sister Award”- is that a real thing?) but their beautiful qualities outshine them by far. In the next few weeks, I’m going to tell you about how lucky I am to be their sister. “

The previous three weeks, I wrote about my brothers Sam and Christian, then my sister Sheila. This week, I am going to tell you about my sister Stephani. When I was young, I definitely had a lot of love for her, but we weren’t super close and I could tell she had a hard time feeling accepted in our family for some reason. It seemed like she was kind of in and out of the family home when I was little. I feel like a lot of the time she was either with friends or when she didn’t live with us, she was with her mom. She actually now reminds me a lot of my daughter -very smart, strong, determined, outspoken and rebellious and also sensitive and loving and passionate. These are all things that make me so proud to be her mom despite the difficult times. I definitely parent differently than my parents did and I feel bad when I lose it and how hurt she looks, so I can’t imagine how that would have felt for my sister Stephani as a kid, knowing what I do now about different parenting methods and the trauma that it can cause. I know she felt like an outsider in our family, and for that, I am sorry. I was such a shy kid and I wish I would have reached out more to her when I was younger by making her feel more welcome then.

After my parents’ divorce, I didn’t really see her much. Shortly after she graduated high school she moved away and only for a few months one summer she lived in the same city as I did. It was really nice seeing her, but I could tell she still struggled with where she fit in the world. I remember when I lived in Oregon and she decided that she wanted to buy my old Honda Civic for her son we met up for the exchange. When we went to breakfast one morning she was talking about how she was interested in women. She never really seemed happy in the relationships that she’d had with the men she was with whom I met so it seemed realistic that she wasn’t really into guys as much as we all thought. In 2009, my sister went back to school for computer science and math (told you she was smart). It didn’t seem to take much longer before it appeared that she really found herself. Before she seemed very angry or had hurt feelings and now she was glowing from her happiness. I’m not sure if it was the meeting of her now wife, or if it was because she came out and knew her true self and wasn’t afraid to speak it. Almost four years ago, I had the honor of seeing two beautiful brides promise their lives to each other. More recently our bond has increased although we live far from each other. I love talking with my sister about all of our commonalities, which seem to be quite a lot now. She’s one of the few people who really show my kids respect. I’m so glad that my sister is happy and that she is in a place where she is showing love and gratitude for herself. Soon she will be off to new adventures as a Canadian and I hope to visit her in her new home soon. Love you Steph! 

My favorite memories of Stephani

1. Chatting at night before falling asleep at my dad’s farm house when I was little
2. Her taking me to Dracula when I was younger
3. Marrying her wife
4. Watching her interact with my kids
5. Going camping with her and her son when he was probably 3
6. Murdering Barney (our brothers stuffed animal

Grateful Sister, Part 3

“Do you have a sibling who you just click with? Someone that you have always been comfortable to say anything to and know that deep down, they’ve got your back and will love you no matter what? I’m very blessed because I have 4 of them! It’s because of them that I imagined having 4 kids when I grew up. Then I started having kids and realized how fricken hard it was to be a mom- the sleep deprivation, the lack of personal time and space, and all of the emotions, don’t get me wrong… I ABSOLUTELY love my kids, but two is plenty for me.) Each of my siblings have their faults (who doesn’t- I know I’m not up for the “Perfect Sister Award”- is that a real thing?) but their beautiful qualities outshine them by far. In the next few weeks, I’m going to tell you about how lucky I am to be their sister. “

Last week, I wrote about my brother Christian, and the week prior I wrote about my other brother Sam, which you can read here. This week I am writing about my sister Sheila.

For a little over 4 years, I was the baby of the family of three girls before my brother Sam was born. When he arrived he took over my old room which was close to my parents and I was moved up to the attic to live with my sister, Sheila. As early as I can remember, I always had a very strong bond with Sheila. She always said she’s wanted kids and you could tell this was true by the way she interacted with me and now my kids. When I was young, I would sometimes wish that I could have been the same age as her so that we could do more things together but honestly, my age never really felt like it hindered my capability to hang out with her and her friends. I remember when we lived in the attic together, we would hang out with her friends together.

On nights when I got really scared I’d crawl into her bed and we’d tickle each other’s backs and talk. After bath or showers, we’d make believe we were princesses and she’d place our towels on our heads to look like princess hats and we’d go down to our creepy basement where there was a little cupboard and we’d pretend to be trapped inside it by an evil henchman. Other days, we’d play video games and to help her concentrate, I’d play with her hair. In the fall, we made a house out of leaves in our yard and in the winter we made one of snow and ice. My fear of hornets came from a day in the park when my sister wasn’t wearing shoes (I think) and she stepped on one and I remember how awful her pain was and to this day I run away like a scared child when I come across a hornet, which my husband thinks is ridiculous and hilarious.

I couldn’t imagine not being in the same house as my sister Sheila. When I was six, everything changed. My parents got divorced and I no longer lived with my sisters. I saw them occasionally and it tore me up when we had to go to our own house at the end of our visits. Then, when I didn’t think it could get worse, we moved to Fargo (about 5 hours away) so my mom could go back to school. When we moved back home a year later, my sister had moved 8 hours away to live with my dad. I had 6 years of solid time with my sister and then when I was 8 I only saw her on holiday’s and a few random weekends. When she got old enough to drive, she drove her little car down to see us for the weekend once or twice and made a point to call us to keep in touch.

After she graduated high school and moved to Kansas, she made it a point to meet us and we got to stay with her for a few months in the summer. I remember when she was living in Kansas, I’d stay in her queen bed with her and we’d talk about deep stuff like religion, relationships, and life. It’s because of her that I have such an open-mind because the small town I grew up in was a typical small town- kind of set in their beliefs.

We have lived in the same city again for the last 6 or 7 years, yet because of our busy lives we barely see each other. Regardless, I know she always got my back whenever I have something come up with the kids or if I need someone to talk to. I know deep down, she loves me no matter what and I feel the same about her. We have a lot in common when it comes to lifestyle choices and I miss our closeness. I know that once our lives aren’t so hectic we will be able to be us. My sister is so generous, beautiful, smart, loyal, and loving. I always hope that she knows that I love and appreciate her always.

My favorite memories of Sheila:
1. Playing Dr. Mario together, even though she always kicked my ass
2. The time she almost broke our grandparents stool and grandma didn’t notice a thing
3. Driving to the West coast for one of the many amazing road trips we’ve had
4. 4th of July when I was in college
5. Sharing a brownie before the Vagina monologues
6. Her teaching me how to count to 10 in Spanish and German
7. Watching her passionate career evolve and skyrocket

Grateful sister, Part 2

Do you have a sibling who you just click with? Someone that you have always been comfortable to say anything to and know that deep down, they’ve got your back and will love you no matter what? I’m very blessed because I have 4 of them! It’s because of them that I imagined having 4 kids when I grew up. Then I started having kids and realized how fricken hard it was to be a mom- the sleep deprivation, the lack of personal time and space, and all of the emotions, don’t get me wrong… I ABSOLUTELY love my kids, but two is plenty for me.) Each of my siblings have their faults (who doesn’t- I know I’m not up for the “Perfect Sister Award”- is that a real thing?) but their beautiful qualities outshine them by far. In the next few weeks, I’m going to tell you about how lucky I am to be their sister.

Last week, I wrote about my brother Sam, which you can read here. This week I am writing about the cooler of my two brothers (I was asked to add this in. Honestly, I love both of my little brothers and think they’re both pretty awesome), Christian.

When I was 14, I never imagined that I’d be blessed, yet again with another sibling. I was so excited to meet my new family member, which is probably why her pregnancy seemed to drag on! Like I said in last week’s post, I loved having my brother Sam around but I LOVED, and still do, little babies! I love cuddling them, talking to them and watching them explore this new life of theirs. When my mom was pregnant, I went to a birth class with her for support (for some reason her husband couldn’t go) and I would have loved to be in on the birth of my new sibling. My mom wasn’t 100% in the know of the gender because she didn’t care either way, and although I really wanted a sister, I would love my new sibling regardless of their gender.

On April 29, my mom got news that if she didn’t deliver by the next morning, she would need to be induced. Our mission was to encourage this little baby out, rather than having to force it out. We walked all over our yard and I believe my mom and step-dad went on a bumpy car ride since that was what worked with one of her other previous pregnancy’s. It worked! A few hours later, my mom and step-dad dropped us off at his parents’ house and they hauled ass to a town 30 miles away from where we lived. I tossed and turned all night both in anticipation and frustration of not being able to go with and support my mom. After a crappy night of sleep, I finally heard the phone ring at my step-grandparents’ house and was informed shortly after that my little brother was earth-side and doing well and so was my mom. I managed to make it through a regular day of school and finally, at 3pm Sam and I were on our way to meet, Christian.

It was love at first sight! For the next 4 years, we were inseparable (well other than when I visited my dad and during my short lived move-in with my dad). I definitely didn’t want the responsibility of being a mom at this age, but man I would have done anything for that beautiful little baby! I remember shortly after they came home from the hospital he wouldn’t stop crying and I couldn’t sleep so I offered to help rock him because I could hear how frustrated his parents were getting. Unfortunately, I was told to go back to sleep.

After I left for college, my baby brother and mom moved down to the same town I lived for a little less than a year and I loved being able to reconnect with my brother! I watched him play soccer, form new relationships at school, and babysat him when I could. Unfortunately, after they moved back home, we lost our closeness. I feel like the divorce of his parents really took a toll on his emotions and his confidence. I know that happened to me after my parents’ divorce.

More recently, when we hangout I feel like he’s slowly coming out of his protective shell a little bit, but for the most part I feel like he seems lost to me still. Like our conversations are more on the surface and never really anything other than how school is going and if anything is new. I wish we could have the same openness we had when he was so young; who knows, maybe someday he’ll feel comfortable around me again and we’ll be able to be close again. I hope that whatever happened or happens, he knows that I love him unconditionally! That he is so amazing and that he deserves to feel love when he’s living his true self. My hope is that he’s not scared anymore to speak his truth because what he wants and NEEDS matter! I know how shitty it is to be emotionally drained from people who love you the most and when you’re young it doesn’t make sense that it happens, but we are all doing the best we can at every moment that we try.

I watched my baby brother grow from in my mom’s belly to a young man in what feels like such a short period of time. (He turns 21 in a few weeks!- man that makes me seem old). Thank you, Christian for letting me be a part of your life, but more importantly, being a part of mine. I love you so much!

My favorite memories of Christian
1.       Holding him in my lap and watching each other
2.       Hearing him sing the “Scooby Doo” theme song
3.       Watching him run back and forth between the TV and the couch while baseball was on the TV
4.       His hugs
5.       Both of us crying while we talked about making him food
6.       Watching him play COD

Grateful sister, Part 1

Do you have a sibling who you just click with? Someone that you have always been comfortable to say anything to and know that deep down, they’ve got your back and will love you no matter what? I’m very blessed because I have 4 of them! It’s because of them that I imagined having 4 kids when I grew up. Then I started having kids and realized how fricken hard it was to be a mom- the sleep deprivation, the lack of personal time and space, and all of the emotions, don’t get me wrong… I ABSOLUTELY love my kids, but two is plenty for me.) Each of my siblings have their faults (who doesn’t- I know I’m not up for the “Perfect Sister Award”- is that a real thing?) but their beautiful qualities outshine them by far. In the next few weeks, I’m going to tell you about how lucky I am to be their sister.

First up, is my brother Sam. Sam and I have been through life, thick and thin ever since he was born- at least, that’s how I remember it. We played together, watched movies together, went to the pool on our bicycles every summer, and in the winter we built some epic snow forts. He’s always been a confident and smart guy and I’m so blessed to know him. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had our quarrels but I couldn’t imagine my life without him (I’m glad he didn’t electrocute himself by trying to plug in a part of a flashlight he had taken apart into the outlet when he was about 5 or that he didn’t impale himself the night he fell out of his bunkbed and landed on his Legos when he was little, or that I didn’t kill him when we fought over a Christmas bear which led him to the ER to get stitches in his head, or get more hurt on his motorcycle a few years ago on the interstate when a tire retread kicked up and flew him off his bike. Why he still rides, I don’t know). He has such an amazing smile and is so generous (almost too generous and has been burned by people taking advantage of his generosity, unfortunately). Recently, he has helped me get out of debt faster by allowing me to use one of his credit transfers on his credit cards, which was not the easiest things to ask for help for, but he was more than happy to help me.

When Sam was in middle school (and I in high school), I decided to move in with my dad who lived about 8 hours away. Unfortunately, when I moved back in with my mom a few months later, Sam didn’t follow me this time. It was so hard him not being around anymore, but ultimately, it prepared me for when he moved down to Arkansas shortly after he graduated high-school. Although, he still lives there and I live in South Dakota, whenever we see each other, it’s like we’ve never left each other’s side. I worry that he isn’t taking the greatest care of himself, but it’s his life and he has to make decisions about it, so I can’t worry too much.

My hope is that he will live close to me again, but if he doesn’t that’s okay too. Writing this with tears in my eyes, I’m thinking of my greatest memories with him. It’s hard to choose from because there were SO many he has such a happy personality (most of the time- I do remember pissing him off so bad when we were little- the look he gave me… I thought he was going to kill me). I loved playing Lego’s with him. Sometimes he would use his batman figurines while I played Barbie’s and I remember being such a turd to him. At nights when we watched scary movies, I’d ask him to sleep in my room with me because I was so scared and most of the time he did. And the things that drove me crazy when we were growing up, now only make me love him so much more (like the fact that he used to quote Jim Carrey movie lines so much that my mom banned them from our house).

I know we don’t see eye to eye on everything, like parenting, politics, and some lifestyle choices, but he’s my brother and I love him regardless. All I wish for him is a long, healthy, happy life… and to visit each other as much as we can. Thank you Sammy, for all that you have given me and for being one of my first best-friends! I love you little brother!

My favorite memories with Sam:

  1. While doing chores, screaming the theme song to “Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers”
  2. Creating roads with Tonka toys in the snow with our step-brother into the dark
  3. Figuring out who the pool pooper was one summer, Sam- I felt so bad for you to have witnessed this
  4. Your impressions, especially Miss Swan and Chicken from “Cow and Chicken”
  5. Trying to find all of your bolts for your snowboard when one of your bindings fell of and then deciding to sled the rest of the way in MT
  6. Your reverend skills at my wedding

Next up… well you’ll have to find out next week. Until then, remember to hold gratitude for yourself and those amazing people around you whether they are family, friends, co-workers or a perfect stranger.

Stop being so positive

Okay, so the title doesn’t make much sense right now, but keep reading…Today, I’m really excited to talk to you about something really amazing. You may know our body is comprised of about 2/3 water. And we all know the 3 common phases of water, but did you know there is a fourth state of water and that it’s an integral part of health and energy for our body? We all know that water can be a liquid, solid or vapor, but have you ever heard of structured water? This type of water is so important to maintain health and have energy. A man by the name of Gerald Pollack, world leading expert who has been researching this topic and written over 300 scientific studies published in peer-reviewed science journals and has written 8 books. 

Now, if you have heard of structured water before, you may think you need some expensive, fancy machine, and there are some petty amazing ones out there if you want to spend up to thousands of dollars, however you have the ability to structure the water that’s in your body by adding some daily rituals. Here is a list below…

  1. Green juicing organic veggies (if you can’t juice, then add in a good, organic barley grass powder– don’t worry my celiac friend, it’s gluten-free)
  2. Grounding 
  3. Turmeric bone broth– especially for the colder months when juicing is less appealing and it’s also great for healing the gut
  4. Sunbathing and being outdoors
  5. Infrared lights and saunas

Now you need to be listening to your body and drinking proper amounts of water so that your body has the optimum number of structured or EZ water around your cells to attain health and energy. 

Here are a few explanations from Gerald Pollack regarding EZ water:

“…what we found is that when water meets one of those hydrophilic surfaces, it changes monumentally. It no longer looks anything like water. It has completely different physical/chemical properties. And those properties occur not just in a single molecular layer that’s right next to the hydrophilic surface, but it actually projects out many, many, many layers. And we’re talking millions of layers, not one or two. We’re talking macroscopic dimensions. So this is what we call the fourth phase because it’s not a solid. It’s not a liquid. It has a consistency perhaps something like honey, if you will, a raw egg white.”

“So what’s going on is that the water molecules, the original water molecules, when they’re exposed to one of these hydrophilic surfaces, the molecules actually spread into the negative part and the positive part. And the negative part organizes itself next to the hydrophilic surface. And that’s the fourth phase or what we call the EZ or exclusion zone.”

“Well, it turns out that the cells that are really fully negative and therefore full of this EZ water, function quite well. Cells that are not functioning well like cancer cells or pathological kidney cells, their electrical potential instead of negative eighty or ninety millivolts is negative fifteen or twenty millivolts. Not as negative as the healthy cells. So one of the first things, one of the measures of health should be, and I believe it is, a very high negative, a substantial negative electrical potential. We actually measure the electrical potential of people.”

Love and acceptance

Imagine waking up hours before you’re alarm, looking at the clock dreading 8am when you’re supposed to be on at your job (or school). You love what you do, however, you don’t feel completely comfortable around you’re peers. You feel a little ostracized about the way you choose to live your life so people just don’t get you. I feel a little like this sometimes because of the way I eat. But think about the people who are living a double persona. I mean we all kind of do this in certain ways. We close off little bits of our self because we are afraid of the reaction of our peers.
What if we were so afraid that we couldn’t completely be honest even to our self? I think of the people who are told growing up that loving a certain person is wrong, yet for some reason they do. You can’t chose who you love, you just do. Thankfully it’s becoming more accepted to be able to embrace these honest feelings but we have a long way to come still.
I remember growing up and people telling me that interracial marriage was wrong. The first time I was told this was when I was probably 4 or 5 and I knew that it was a load of garbage. How could loving someone be wrong!?
Then, I remember being in middle school and when I saw a certain girl, I got butterflies. I knew my parents would freak out if I ever confessed this so I just hid it away. In college I kissed girls who were my friends at parties but it wasn’t until my husband who I am very attracted to and love immensely said he thinks I should explore this more. Maybe some day I will but right now I’m very content with my life and I don’t even know where to start or even if I want to. I’m not super comfortable even writing this because once I hit publish it’s out there. My sister and my best friend are a few of the only other people who know this part of me. Honestly, I don’t know if it means anything but who knows until I try. Who knows if that day will ever come but if and when it does, I shouldn’t care about what others may think. It’s my life and if I’m happy and making other people happy then why that hell should it matter?

The Bug made it into our home

Around 3 am Sunday my poor 5 year old puked all over herself and her bed. This lasted all morning and she was resting the remainder of the day. At one point I thought I’d better check her for an appendicitis because she was in pain. She had every symptom I knew of that pointed to this infection and once my mother in law was on her way to watch my littlest kiddo she started to feel way better so I called of my MIL. The remainder of the day she rested and when she woke up Monday morning she was finally feeling well again.
My daughter has always had a more sensitive stomach, like me, so I didn’t really think anything of it. Otherwise, I would have boosted my immune system like I usually do (lots of raw garlic, camu camu powder, echinacea, etc). But then as the morning went on and I was getting ready for work, I noticed that I was a little queasy and super cold. I told my family I wasn’t feeling the greatest but I was going to go to work and see if it passed. I passed it off by being dehydrated and went to work. Two hours later, my boss sent me home and when I opened the door to my house my sweet daughter had everything ready to take care of me: a bucket, a wet washcloth, rice cakes, peppermint tea, the TV remotes with the Netflix educational section ready for me to make a selection. It was so sweet! Unfortunately, all I wanted was a hot bath to warm me up but she got really upset when I didn’t take her up on what she had ready. I felt awful that I hurt her feelings so I indulged her for a little while on laid on the couch while I warmed up on the heat pad and blanket she provided. (I even got a story in bed-shown in the featured picture)
Thank goodness my mom was home watching the kids that day because I don’t know what I would have done if it was just me. A few hours later, my husband come home with the same stomach bug!
After 27 hours, I finally started feeling better. So grateful for my mom and my sweet daughter! And I’m so glad my son is still nursing because I think that’s the only thing that saved him from getting the bug.

The great and powerful mind

I just watched another documentary, and I gotta say this is by far the best and most useful one that I’ve seen. It’s on Netflix and it’s called “Heal.” Basically, it’s powerful and empowering message is that we are the person creating our own disease and illness. How? By ignoring the soooo important mind-body connection to creating our most vibrant, healthy selves. Positivity has a tonic effect to the body, while negativity creates toxins in the body, which lead to illness and disease. Not all of it is our fault since childhood trauma is subconscious (so you don’t even know that you’re suffering from past memories) stress on your body along with the every day stresses that need to be dealt with in a healthy manner, as well. Think about how bombarded we are when watching the news or work drama or family issues.

I gotta say, this was so impactful that my husband actually admitted that he needed to start meditating! He’s a long time sufferer of migraines and more recently seen that some of his kidney and heart labs have come back abnormal and wants this to change. I’m super proud of his commitment to living a healthier life. His diet has been a lot better since we first started dating and when he did the elimination diet a few months back we both noticed his migraines basically went away when he followed the diet (he had tiny, short lived headaches a few times) and then the holidays had him back to the sugar, caffeine (which he has cut again) and other offenders that he is still testing out.

I know that I have subconscious trauma (we all do, not just severe trauma, but even being teased at school once) that I know I have to heal since watching the documentary; I am not messing around with this anymore. I’m seeing my chiropractor in two days and wanting to do NET and then I also would like to see another provider in town to help me release some of these memories as well. I have noticed a huge change in my mood and health after cleaning up my diet, however, I still have some anger and anxiety at times and I get so frustrated when my family gets the brunt of it. I’ve also, started listening to Pareting from the Inside Out by Daniel Seigel and I am doing exercises to heal too. Niki Gratrix, a specialist who helps people heal their past traumas. She recommends doing a daily reset ritual for 20 minutes, two times a day. Check out this great video with her wisdom.

Other ways to heal your past trauma: Meditate, journal, yoga, being in nature, laughing, dancing, being around other positive people, talk to someone, working with healers.

The mind is so powerful it can either hurt you, or heal you. What do you choose? Do you have a daily ritual that you use to heal your temple? If so, what are your favorites?

My sweet, little Valentine

I’ve never really been huge into celebrating Valentine’s day. I don’t know if this is because I was never really dating anyone during this time of year when I was younger and when I was dating it just wasn’t a really big deal. Maybe it was when I first started dating my now husband but after that we never really made it a big deal.

Since my daughter is in pre-school, I think every little tiny hint of a holiday calls for a big ordeal. I’m not sure how to handle this sometimes. On one hand, I want her to have a fun experience and I don’t mind at all if they do something at school, but having to do big things for every event can be exhausting. More recently, I have decided to cut out or drastically decrease the candy when we do something at home- for the most part. Honestly, for Halloween and for this last Valentines day, we bought a little bit of organic candy so she wasn’t really left out because I am not okay with giving her the candy with all of the dyes and other chemicals.

What does get me excited for these little holiday’s is her giving spirit. I got at least 4 different handmade cards and so did most of all of her other family members in our home. This year, she decided she wanted to buy a chocolate for each of her classmates at our local co-op and two for her teacher. She also bought a small bag of candy’s similar to starbursts that she tried sharing with her family, but no one wanted the sugar laden fruit chews. She was so proud to buy them and share them with her class! She has such a giving personality and at times she wishes she could keep getting as much as she gives. Her love of sharing and giving really melts my heart. Her teacher has also boasted about her big heart and it’s something that I’m so proud of. We try so hard to make sure she’s grateful and giving and at times it’s hard for her but for the most part she is doing great-especially for her age! So my shout out for this week goes to my sweet Valentine, my beautiful spirit of a daughter and my smart, determined leader.

Every day has it’s challenges but I know that what we are doing to support her is the right thing although some worry or don’t understand. It’s not their job to understand or worry. It’s not my responsibility to worry about what others find acceptable or unacceptable with my parenting style (unless there is abuse going on, then okay I understand and expect people around would do or say something). Instead, we have a more mindful, respectful approach because we want our kids to be strong and healthy in all aspects of their lives and though we are never perfect we are doing better than our parents did and really that’s the main thing, right? (no offense to my parents… you are amazing and I love you)

Last night, my daughter got a Valentine’s day gift from our next door neighbor during dinner and when she realized that she wouldn’t be able to eat the treat she had a meltdown. All I wanted to do was eat our dinner so my husband and I could leave for our date shortly after, but instead I picked her up and brought her in my bedroom so everyone else could enjoy their meals but most importantly so she could be supported through her feelings. We sat there for about 5-10 minutes and she spoke about her feelings in between sobbing and I just told her that I understood by saying “I know” and sometimes just rubbing her back while she cried. It didn’t take long for her to calm down after this and then we got to talk about why we parent the way we do and responding to her feelings and before we left my room she told me that I was the best mom ever and that she was sorry. I told her there was nothing to be sorry for and that I am honored that she can feel so comfortable with me to express her feelings in this way.

Nothing better than handmade, handwritten gifts from my favorite girl!

Nerd Alert🤓

When I first saw my husband I pegged him for a lady’s man, jock type because of the way he looked- jeans, a BHSU hoodie, and gelled hair, super sexy but not my type. Man, I was wrong…Then, I actually had a conversation with him and was proven wrong regarding first impressions. He was sitting in my friends dorm room constructing a leprechaun out of fimo clay, which he ended up giving me after he was finished. Shortly after talking more, we became friends and I realized he was a little bit nerdy, which I liked. I’ve definitely been able to see the appeal of things I used to see as super geeky, once I give them a try and he has definitely turned me to the “dark-side” when it comes to nerdiness. I started watching shows like Firefly and Dr. Who, I began reading comics and finally, the cherry on top of all geeky activities: The infamous tabletop roll-playing game known as DnD (dungeons and dragons).

My husband just started playing about 6 months ago for the first time. This was something he has expressed wanting to do for a few years, at least, and he’d always tell me about his night when he got home from his game (usually the next day because I typically go to bed early). I asked him why he likes DnD and he said, “I like the fact I get to nerd with fellow nerds. I like the ability to use creativity and critical thinking to shape a story through my decisions I make for my character, all while joking and having a good time with a group of friends.”

After a few months of this, it sounded really fun so I told him I’d be interested in watching a game some night if we could find a sitter. Then his group disbanded and another group began being made and he finally convinced me to just try it. I figured I’d humor him and told him I’d go to one game to check it out. I made it clear if it didn’t turn out to be something I wouldn’t commit to I’d let him know after the first session. My husband helped me pick a dwarven character who I randomly named Arrmun Fireforge. He taught me some of the lingo and other necessities and reminded me that the group is really great at helping each other learn.

Even though I warned him not to hold his breath on me returning to any subsequent nights, I was nervous that I’d be letting someone, or the group, down.

Last Wednesday we met for the first night of this new campaign and I had so much fun! We didn’t get super far but the story is very intriguing so far and I’m super excited to go again. It reminds me of those books I used to love from the 90’s, build your own story, except with a lot more imagination. I think every adult could get some benefit to this type of creativity. I agree with my husband, not only is DnD great for being creative, but it’s also a great way to meet other people and get out of your comfort zone.

So, this is me, Tarin the proud nerd! What are some of your nerdy pleasures?