The “Grounded” Family

According to Merriam-Webster the word “grounded” is used to describe a person who is sensible and has a good understanding of what is really important in life. I really appreciate that definition. In fact I’d like to say I relate to that definition. However the word “grounded” has had a very different meaning in my house lately.

Ever feel like all of your kids’ brain cells have gone on the fritz at the same time? I mean, there’s one child I expect it from, but ALL THREE?! AT THE SAME TIME?!! How is this fair? What did I do to deserve this? (Pity party begins.) I have gotten used to grounding the youngest. He is an independant, strong-willed, boundary pushing child. Lately if he isn’t grounded it’s momentus. That’s why when I got the call from his teacher I wasn’t shocked. Instead I was thinking what can I take away now? He’s already grounded! Apartently a mom of one of the girls in his class emailed the teacher saying her daughter and 3 of her friends heard him say the “C” word with definition. WHERE would he have even learned that word? It’s NEVER said in the house. I asked the teacher if she had ever used the soap-in-the-mouth method (on her own children, not her students…relax) and if so what kind of soap did she recommend.

That was a Thursday and yes I did stick a bar of soap in his mouth, but only for 15 secs cause MA had me worried that any longer and he’d have diarreah for days! He didn’t like it. AND he had to write an apology letter to his teacher. Nevertheless, relief was in my sights because his dad was going to have him ALL weekend and I would get a break…so I thought.

B and I shot a wedding that Saturday so we were on our feet from the time we woke until past midnight. I had already designated Sunday as my cleaning day and thats when I found it. I walked into the twins’ room and there was a piece of paper on the floor with and arrow drawn on it, “For mom” written under the arrow. It pointed to 2 more papers turned upside down. I turned them over to discover that they were letters from the boys and under the letters were their report cards. Before I read the first sentnce I knew. They had both done so poorly I wondered what planet the pod people came from that had obviously inhabited my kids’ bodies! J has never NOT been on the A/B honor roll and G had finally gotten on the A/B honor roll last quarter only to have one of those A’s drop to an F! WHAT?!!! Or more appropriately, WTF?!!! The letters gave me all the excuses as to why this happened. I actually teared up I was that shocked.

You know that advice you get to sleep on things and give yourself time to cool off? Well they came home that night so there was no sleeping on it, but I did cool off. Especially when I was taking their TV and XBox out of their room. And when they walked in the door and I confiscated thier ipods. (Insert minanical laugh here.)

I was going to write about the down side of grounding like the constant complaining that they don’t know what to do and they’re bored. Or them following me around. Or the increase in arguing without the distractions of technology. But instead I decided to list some of the benefits (end scene on the Pity Party):

1. I have a tv and xbox that I use every day to watch my shows.
2. B has a tv and xbox to play Walking Dead.
3. They have done a ton more reading and drawing and playing music. (Go creativity, Go!)
4. With their earlier bed times I have more ME/US time.
5. I’ve been able to see more of them and their personalities and have come to realize they’re pretty funny. That silly little kids humor is turning into HAHA humor (at least for me).

Oh and E is no longer grounded…for the moment.

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Happy Anniversary To Me!

I logged onto WordPress.com for the first time in several weeks to find out today is my one year anniversary! Yay! Now I really feel terrible for not posting in…months! Ahhh! I guess there’s no time like the present to get back on the horse, or is it back in the saddle? Either way, yee haw!

It’s a curious thing, and one I’ve been contemplating, that when I have the most to write about I don’t write at all. I’ve had some juicy stuff going on, the kind of stuff that starving journals are hungry for, yet my pen is stilled. Instead I remain in an overehelmed state until I finally pick it up again. As the ink runs out of the pen so goes my pent up stress. Until that moment my thoughts are akin to those little balls used in the lottery machine bouncing around and crashing into one another. Ouch!

When I first began this blog I wanted my experiences to help others. Not as in “do as I do because I got everything right”, but as in “maybe something I’ve tried will work for you”. Or at the very least, “maybe you realize you are not alone in this world”! There are others on their own search and journey to becoming a better person and so many approaches to reaching that goal. There’s also the possibility that we never fully accomplish becoming who we are going to be until we take  our last breathe.  I’d like to think that with every passing year I get closer to understanding myself, and while I believe this to be true, I am still discovering who I want to be. I thought I knew but the more time passes the more I realize there are so many possibilities for me personally.

If you’d ask me a couple years ago I was sure I’d met my calling by being an administrative assistant. That career path fulfilled my need to help and be a critical part of making things happen while not being fully responsible for the things happening. I still believe that job to be a good match for me and one I succeed in. But this last year has opened several other, completely different opportunities to me. Videography for instance. Or script writing. WOW! I was pretty sure I’d have a roll in someone else’s creativity, but actually being a creative one? I’m still not convinced, but it’s an exciting idea and just having the chance to try my hand at it…WOW! My heart is still eager to help others reach their fullest potential and working with B allows me to do that. He’s AMAZING and talented beyond anything I could hope to acheive! So assisting is still a career probability for me which suits me just fine.

Speaking of working with B, we have another wedding we’re shooting this weekend! I am so looking forward to this wedding not only because the location is going to be beautiful, or because we shot this couple’s engagement video (below), but because Lauren is my friend and she and Vaughan are a great couple and who doesn’t like to see their friends get married?! Please enjoy this video from Wrinkled Blanket Media and stay tuned for their wedding highlight video to follow shortly.

Lauren and Vaughan’s Engagement Video from Wrinkled Blanket Media on Vimeo.

Beauty

There are times when I feel overwhelmed with the beauty of life. It’s everywhere when you look for it. And it’s real beauty, not what the media wants you to think is beautiful.

I am fully aware that there is an abundance of negativity out there, how can I not be with the constant bombardment of tragic news stories (because that’s what sells), and the incredibly well thought out comments on social media (and by well thought out, I mean NOT). There have been many times I’ve consider deleting my Facebook account because of the ugliness I see on it (don’t tell B, he’ll know he’s right). The hateful political comments, the judgmental digs on complete strangers…what happened to think before you speak? Or if you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all? Or do unto others as you would have them do to you? There is still wisdom in these archaic ideals, people! Just because you have the right to free speech doesn’t mean you should ALWAYS use it! There is still something to be said about being slow to speak.

Before this turns into a “Can’t we all get along” speech, let me get back to my original thought. The beauty that overwhelms me…A child’s giggle when her mom bounces her daughter on her leg. The way a friend knows exactly what to say to make you feel better when you need it most. An ex-brother and sister-in-law that still and will always consider you family “no matter what”. A stranger giving you a complement while waiting in line for coffee. Making new friends you know you will be friends with for a long time no matter your differences. The love of your life looking over at you to just look at you because he loves the way you look. Your teenage son who doesn’t go a day without tell you how much he loves you accompanied with a hug an kiss. The parents who will do everything they can to help you out even though you are not their responsibility and you didn’t ask them.

If you haven’t recognized the pattern yet, let me spell it out. Beauty is in RELATIONSHIPS.

I know that I am not always the best friend. I forget birthdays and anniversaries. I may not call for a few months or return Facebook messages right away. But I do love my family & friends and I think they know I am there for them when it counts most. Friendship a quality I continue to re-assess and work on. It’s a quality I fear most people don’t really consider too much. I am urging you to consider it. I believe you can be the overwhelming beauty in another person’s life!

A New Job and A Wedding (not mine)

It has officially been a week since I started my new job so I thought I’d share my first impressions with anyone who might be interested. Besides the fact that I get to work in the same building as one of my very best friends, thus having a lunch buddy most days, I am actually enjoying work at a huge company. I wasn’t sure I would as I have mostly worked at medium to small sized companies, but there are many amenities a larger company can offer. For instance, there is a different restaurant that brings food for purchase every day of the week, so you don’t have to leave the building. There is also a parking garage that keeps my car cool during the day so that I am not scorched when I leave work. There are elevators for ones convenience although I take the stairs to avoid that dizzy feeling I get in elevators. And there are vending machines on every floor!

Ah, but these are just the little things (having my BF there is not a little thing, for the record, just everything else I wrote about). The best parts of my job are not having to answer the phone and being able to complete a task without being interrupted. Listing to my music (instead of the classical station ALL DAY LONG) or podcasts with the use of ear buds, effectively creating the “my own little world” effect (LOVE this). And for the administrative part of my brain, I get to sort and organize docs all day long. Sigh! I guess you could say, “So far, so good.” I am curious though about the end of the year when my contract is up and what my journey will look like then. But I am REALLY trying to stay in the now.

I briefly mentioned my friend Leslie’s wedding last week but I want to take some time to GUSH all about it. It was beautiful, warm, colorful, fun and delicious! Everything seemed to go as planned. B and I had the privilege of shooting the wedding and got to witness the inner workings. I have a new appreciation for the assembly of a Saree. It’s amazing how quickly and efficiently the women that outfitted Leslie were at making a beautifully designed dress out of one LARGE piece of intricately decorated fabric and safety pins. In a hotel room filled with 12-15 people you could have heard one of those many safety pins drop. Everyone was mesmerized by the process. In the end, Leslie looked like a goddess!

And what better location for a goddess than a museum! The NC Museum of Art to be exact. The intimate ceremony took place in one of the gardens outside the museum with just the immediate families present and included a “ring warming” (which I loved). The party that ensued not long after included a wonderful pallet of tastes, colorful garments and lively music EVERYONE could dance to  (Drummers accompanied the DJ = WOW!). However, it was the people who attended and the two amazing people we were there to honor, that made the wedding what it was. AWESOME! Now, to capture all that in a 6-10 minute video…shoo, B has his work cut out for him!

L&V back

Excuses, Excuses!

I’ve been pretty darn happy with myself for getting a post out every week until last week happened. I went back on my word to myself and anyone else that cares. I would normally blame my laziness for missing a week’s post, but that wasn’t it at all. On the contrary. I was too busy last week. It wasn’t a bad busy, just one that kept me from writing because by the time I’d sat down at my computer my mind was numb with exhaustion. What was keeping me so busy that I couldn’t share even a few hundred words with my favorite people? (Meaning you of course.) Here is a peek at my week and my main reasons for the neglect:

Friday: Worked my second job
Saturday: Full Frame Film Festival
Sunday: Food shopped, Cleaned the house, Arbonne spa party at my house
Monday: Frightened Rabbit concert
Tuesday through Thursday: Being a Mom in the evenings
Friday: Worked my second job
Saturday: Yard work, Food shopped, Finished taxes, Cleaned, took the kids to the park
Sunday: Church, worked my Origami Owl business

I didn’t add my full time job, but you get the picture.

I wish I could say these are the ONLY reasons, but alas, there’s more. Truth is I’ve been a bit unmotivated about writing lately. I feel stuck in a rut and I’ve been trying to find my way out. I’ve got nothing so far. When I started this blog I had a clear vision for it that has gotten blurry. It isn’t like I have one specified subject I write about. I have visited plenty of successful blogs that specialize in weddings, or parenting, or fashion…etc. You know what you’re going to get when you visit these sights. I’ve written about all of the above, minus the wedding stuff, plus divorce and relationships. I’m all over the place! My goal is to come up with a unified theme that will encompass all of life while still focusing on one main idea. Please be patient with me as I work through this and regain my vision.

Step one: Go back to the beginning.
When I remember where my heart was at the  start of this blog  my desire was to share my experiences with others in the slight chance that anything I’ve learned might help someone else. That includes surviving a divorce, discovering who I am and liking myself again (or possibly for the first time), understanding the meaning and impact of friendship, adjusting to single parenthood and finding true love. I wanted to be an encouraging voice rather than adding to the abundance of negativity out there.

Step two: Evaluate the title.
Why “Unforgettably Ordinary”? In my self-discovery I learned that although I’ve ALWAYS felt ordinary and talent-less, I have some really great qualities. In the right environment those qualities flourish and become extraordinary making me unforgettable (or at least I hope so). I’m not tooting my own horn here. I believe this can be true for EVERYONE. I wanted to be able to help others discover what makes them extraordinary.

I can’t believe I used the term “tooting my own horn”!

Step three: Think.
Now I need to take some time and think about where to go from here. Do I set a monthly topic to discuss? Do I continue all willy nilly and go with the flow? Do I only focus on one of the above mentioned topics from here on out? How do I get my lovely readers commenting and submitting their own stories?* etc. etc.

I will keep you up to date on the result of all the hard thinking I’ll be doing this week.

AND while I am being so vulnerable, there is one other tiny little confession I need to make. I do have one more reason for not writing…Candy Crush Saga! There! I said it. I’m addicted!

*As my statement suggests, I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts on all this? Please feel free to leave a comment below. If you are more comfortable with email, please email me at unfogettablyordinary@gmail.com.