Saturday, November 15, 2014

30 Days of Gratitude: Friends and Family

I got behind.  No surprise.  I've been keeping busy with a sick husband, spending some more time with the kids since the show ended, studying (and being completely overwhelmed by one class in particular), and trying to get my house back in order.  But here I am, catching up for the last 8 days!  It's like a Hanukkah of Gratitude!

Day 8: The Beast
How could I not start with the guy who officially recruited me onto Team Carlson?  This partner of mine, who shares my vision and my values in life and whose happiness is intertwined with my own.  I'm proud of him, grateful for him, and will happily argue with him (in both the intellectual/philosophical and emotional/marital varieties) for the rest of our lives.  He keeps me solid, I keep him from becoming a hermit.  It's a match made in Oberlin.

Day 9: Bean, my first-born
This. Kid.  This boy who unflinchingly wore a leopard print skirt and football jersey to his first day of school in a new town.  This amazing soul who told me his classmates would "get over it" when they kept asking him if he was a boy or a girl, and whether he was wearing pants or leggings (leggings, of course!  Metallic "armor" leggings!).  This boy who, as a baby, taught me to be flexible while also demonstrating why sleep-deprivation is used as a form of torture.  He has been an incredible teacher to me.  I've learned how to be his mom, how not to give a fuck when people stare, how to roll a furious child into a blanket burrito to calm him down, how to pick my battles, how important listening is, and so much more.  I'm so grateful that I get to be his mom.

Day 10: A-Train, my baby
And, of course, this kid.  My favorite photo-bomber, my shadow, my buddy, my little ham.  He loves to snuggle, and hugs me around the neck to tell me I'm the best mommy ever.  He likes routine, unless it involves not being allowed to watch videos.  And he doesn't know his letters but he can spell "poop" gleefully.  A-Train and Bean are incredibly different people, so I have the honor of learning from both of them.  This guy is so laid back (in the context of being 4 years old) and so sweet.  Where Bean often pushes the limits and forces me to find the sort of self-confidence in my mothering that he seemingly possesses in all things, A-Train goes with the flow and builds me up (only occasionally tearing me back down!).  And his throaty laugh that is almost a cackle?  It might be my favorite sound in the whole world.

Days 11, 12, 13, and 14:  Very Important Meetings
One great thing about having kids is that, when you move, you can be plopped right into a community of fellow moms.  Don't get me wrong, I love my child-free friends and relish the times I can go out and forget I have Y chromosomes.  But this group of ladies? They are already part of my joy and sanity in our new town.  I can already call them up and say "I'm lonely.  Have lunch with me and A-Train?"  I can ask for childcare, and they can trust me to love on their kids in the same way.  Together, we have turned 4 bushels of apples into apple sauce (an impressive feat!), crocheted/tried to learn so we can make blankets for young new mothers and their babies, figured out why I lost my appetite and a fairly scary amount of weight (it's a medication), soothed children, laughed, cried, and stripped in front of over a thousand people (well, just two of us did that). This picture was taken after we had a moment and ended up in a group hug.  So, from left to right, I'm grateful for Carrie, Mindy, Gwen, and Rebekah (who is missing from the photo) and our very important meetings.

Day 15:  Mom
Though, obviously, I wish she'd been alive longer - or were still alive - I'm grateful for the 13-and-a-half years I had this woman mothering me.  She gave me a solid start, and certainly influences my own mothering.  Despite the trauma and drama it relates to, I'm grateful she is my mother.

Friday, November 7, 2014

30 Days of Gratitude: Behind-the-Scenes and Oxytocin

I love you...a bushel and a peck...

30 Days of Gratitude, Day 6: Behind-the-Scenes
Take back your mink...
When I auditioned for Guys and Dolls in September, I was really unsure whether there was a role for me. I told the folks doing the casting that I would do anything they asked - including play in the pit orchestra instead of being on stage - and they cast me as a Hot Box Girl.  A dancer.  What?!?

I'm so glad that I trusted their casting decision and, especially, that I got to work with a wonderful choreographer who made a whollllllllle bunch of non-dancers look amazing.  The costume designer came along and made us look a perfect combination of adorable, ditzy, and sexy and the director gave us the latitude to have a little subplot in our scenes.  Our first two shows were to full houses and our last two are sold out!  I've had a blast and I will be sad when it's over.  I'm really grateful for this opportunity to return to performing and thrilled to have been pushed fairly far our of my comfort zone.

This Teenage Mutant Photobomber is a master snuggler.

30 Days of Gratitude, Day 7: Oxytocin
I wonder if I'm an oxytocin junky.  But who doesn't love snuggles, right?  One thing I'm looking forward to when the show ends is snuggling A-Train to sleep at least a few nights a week.  I'm planning to do homework and studying during the bedtime hour, but will hopefully get some sweet preschooler snugglage in moreso than I have been over the past month or so!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

30 Days of Gratitude: My own resourcefulness

30 Days of Gratitude, Day 4:  My own resourcefulness:It is a rather hard-won quality, but I am commonly described as "resourceful."  Today I am grateful for all the times I had to make crazy shit work because it means I might be able to make crazy shit work again. 

Bean is sick and will likely not go to school tomorrow.  Meanwhile, I am sitting in on a class that I started more than halfway through the semester, and don't attend the lab I'm rather determined not to miss any classes.  The Beast teaches at the same time.  I need to make some childcare magic happen! 

Also, I voted today.  And I'm grateful for all the women (and men) who came before me to give me the right to do so.

And now let's just call me a day ahead on this 30 days of gratitude deal...

30 Days of Gratitude, Day 5: My right to vote

Monday, November 3, 2014

30 Days of Gratitude: Avocados

photo credit

30 Days of Gratitude, Day 3: AvocadosWhat's not to be thankful for with this amazing fruit?  They've been one of my favorite foods since I was a kid, and Albuquerque completely spoiled me with their regional affordability. 

I found them on sale here this week, which means I ate one on its own for breakfast (and my having an appetite for breakfast is a minor miracle these days - all hail the avocado!) and then created my lunch around eating another.

Lunch was mashed avocado with spicy pepper jelly mixed in, on fresh-cooked tortillas with some leftover quinoa.  Delicious, nutritious, and quick!

Oh, Avocado.  How I love thee...
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