Tuesday, August 29, 2017

keeping my promises.

When I resurrected this blog a few weeks ago I promised honesty and vulnerability and real. Here it goes. This post has been sitting idle for 6 or so weeks. There's no turning back now. 

Summer was awesome. I'm sad it's over. Seriously sad. It was such a nice reprieve from the scheduled chaos of the school year. Plus, I didn't want to kill my kids at the end so that was a win, too. On a particularly adventurous morning, I took them to a splash pad we'd never been to before (not really a surprise since we've only lived here a year and I don't get out much). Pro-tip: get there before the camps arrive and leave depart when they arrive. 

Before we left I asked a stranger to take our picture. Normally I would have just taken a picture of the kids and been on my merry way but I'm not in the picture a lot. I want to be in the picture. I want our kids to have pictures of us on adventures or just laying on the couch eating ice cream (but not really on the couch because... kids and type A tendencies). I want them to remember me as the Mom who was there with them! Anyway, I had a stranger take a picture of us. 

I wore a two piece. I have several two pieces but most of them can be described as a 'tankini' rather than a 'bikini'. I even have a swim dress. For a few minutes a few years ago I thought it was cute and so did Kenneth Cole. I think we both regret those minutes (makes mental note to put in donate pile).  Anyway, back to the bikini. This is not my MO. But lately I've been pushing myself outside of my comfort zone; way outside. I've been pushing myself face first into my mushy midsection, stretch marks and insecurities. I'm not sure why but I'd like to think it's an effort to make myself vulnerable. To make myself vulnerable and then to become more courageous (a la BrenĂ© Brown) and confident. 

Once the photo was taken and we were home eating popsicles and hotdogs (in that order) I had to decide what to do with it. To post or not to post. Non-vulnerable me would have let it live forever in my phone. Recently vulnerable me could take a step out of my comfort zone and share it. It's really a giant leap outside of my comfort zone. 

When I looked at the picture something happened. I didn’t see my biggest insecurities (which are definitely in this picture), I saw Cannon. I saw my almost 9 year old son hugging me with all of his might. Wrapping his arms around me, loving me. He was loving the morning together at the splash pad. Loving me being there, being present. Know what he doesn’t care about?  My stretch marks. Or my weird stomach skin that's been pushed way beyond its capacity three different times. He doesn't care about any of my insecurities, really.  And when I looked at the photo I realized, neither should I. Knowing that I shouldn’t care and actually not caring are two different things. It took me three kids and a solid 36 to get here (and there are a lot of days where I’m still not there). So I'm sharing it here, to remind myself when I need a reminder. And for anyone else who may need a reminder of how much more important it is to just be there, and be you and be vulnerable. Setting an example of my authentic, flawed self is one of the best things I can do for our kids. Chances are they won't be a supermodel grazing the cover of Vogue, and those professional sports dreams will probably not come true. They won't be perfect. None of us are. But they can be real. And honest. And courageous and kind. And learning to be those things, starts at home (or at a splash pad as the case may be).

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

This isn't how it's supposed to be...

I am shaken to my core. My stomach is turning. This just keeps getting worse. I want to hug my kids so tight and tell them that this isn't how it's supposed to be. This isn't the America I know, the America they deserve; the America everyone deserves.

I want to hug them so tight and look into their eyes so deeply that I can see their souls and tell them that everyone is equal. Everyone. I want to tell them again and again that they are no better than anyone else; especially not because of the color of their skin or the religion they practice (they may tell you they aren't sure what religion we practice). I want to hold them by their shoulders like I do when they've pissed me off and tell them that hate and evil and anger like is being displayed in our country right now, has NO HOME HERE. I want to tell them that silence is no longer an option. These actions, this hate, the words coming from the leader of our country have to be denounced in the most certain and strongest terms. This is NOT WHO WE ARE.

If I did those things right now, while my blood is boiling and my stomach is turning, I would probably scare them. So I'm writing it here. That's one of the big reasons I started writing here again, to give myself an outlet. It's a place to put thoughts on paper and maybe a few people can relate. Maybe a few people will nod their heads or virtually fist bump in solidarity.

Hate has no home at the Best's part.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Kindness Rocks.

I had other posts in the works for my first posts post blog resurrection. This one is more timely.

Ignorance terrifies me. 

Ignorance makes people afraid of things they know nothing about. It lets shallow (mis)conceptions and anything that strays from the norm, anything different, paralyze someone with fear. And that fear, turns to anger and to hate. The actions that result from that hate are terrifying

What happened in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend makes my stomach turn. The images of young, white men with anger in their eyes and hate in their hearts are terrifying. Hate. I can’t get my head around how someone can have enough energy, enough malice, that they hate someone they know nothing about only because of the color of their skin or what religion they chose to practice. I do not and will not ever understand it. And it shakes me to my core that in our country, in 2017, this is happening. 

Our reach, from this little suburban bubble, isn’t far. But we have three innocent souls, three little  people who don’t know hate. They don’t know hate because you aren’t born knowing how to hate someone or something. That is a learned behavior. It will not be learned in this house. Hate has no place here. I refuse to let our kids grow up thinking they are better than anyone else for any reason. 

The hate that happened in Charlottesville has to be countered with love, so much more love and kindness than the hate that was spewed there. Those people, they don’t represent the majority of us and we won’t let their message be stronger than ours. 

At the beginning of the summer I saw a story somewhere (maybe on the news but most likely on Facebook— that’s where you get your news, right?) about Kindness Rocks. The concept is simple. You paint a rock and you leave it somewhere for someone to find. We grabbed some spray paint and some sharpies and got to work on our rocks. We wrote messages on the rocks like, “Be the good” and “Love is greater than hate” and my personal favorite “Have a great summer” from the 8 year old. After what happened in Charlottesville on Saturday, Sunday seemed like the perfect day to spread some love; to share some joy.  But more than that, it was an opportunity to teach our kids that love wins and that spreading kindness, even in the smallest way in our little community, goes a long way. 

By Monday morning I already had a post on my Facebook page about a rock spotting! The kids were so excited (LBS* so was I) that someone had already found one of our rocks and that it made them smile! AND THEN I found a Facebook page (with the help of a friend who is way more in touch than I am) and people had already found our local rocks and shared pictures! 

I'm not a DIY'r so I Googled to make sure our rocks didn't rot or peel. I'll save you the trouble of Googling.
Step 1: find some rocks (we live in Florida and they think they are landscaping here so ours came from our yard)
Step 2: spray paint the rocks (if you get it on your brick pavers by accident your husband will forgive you... or at least I'm hoping that's his plan)
Step 3: write messages in Sharpie on the rocks (you can also # them with #thekindnessrocksproject but that # was too long for some of our rocks)
Step 4: spray rocks with an acrylic sealer
Step 5: put your rocks all over the place

Step 6: corner your kids in the car and explain to them what happened (in kid terms) in Charlottesville and remind them of how important it is in your family to be kind and that love is greater than hate and that we are ALL EQUAL.
Step 7: unlock car doors and let them out

I thought I was the last person to hear of Kindness Rocks. I'm usually slow on these trends and also most trends (think booties, skinny jeans, coconut oil). But according to my Facebook and IG feeds I wasn't the last to learn of it which is why I'm sharing it here.

LBS: Corey lingo for Let's Be Serious

where I belong.

I've been thinking about writing again. I mean, that's what I want to do when I grow up, I want to write. I want to write about life and facing challenges and parenting and wife-ing and being kind. I want to write about things I'm passionate about. Things I am good at (drinking wine, sentence fragments, and sometimes parenting, for instance) and things I struggle with (sometimes parenting and doing laundry, just as examples).

If I want to be a writer, if I want to write things real humans will read and take an interest in, then I have to just do it. I have to write again. I have to put myself out there. That's the scary part. 'Hello Internet! Here I am, at my most vulnerable, please enjoy. And be kind. Pretty please.' Because I can't be interesting and not be vulnerable. I can't relate to people and not share my life, our lives, us, me, them, all of it, if I'm not me. Authentic, flawed, slightly neurotic, total type-A, lovable, straight-shooting, kind of a pain in the ass, but mostly good, me. Right?

This is an old blog. A really old blog. I've spent some time lately, as I considered resurrecting it, reading old posts.

I started this blog when I was 28. It was the summer of 2009. We had one kiddo and were living in the midwest. I was still working in television and damn, we were young. 

Now it's the summer of 2017. I'm 36 years old, we have three kids and I haven't worked in television since 2011. Now I dabble in photography and mostly just strive to shower before 5pm. We live in Florida now; our second stop in the sunshine state. This one is basically on the equator, or I'm pretty sure it is (mental note: buy at globe on next week's Homegood's trip). 

I only read back 12 or 15 posts. I posted 525 times on this blog! 525! I'm sure some of those are like watching paint dry. And I'm sure there are a lot about trying to lose 10 pounds (story of my life). And there are probably posts about being pregnant and having a baby and a toddler. Probably some good stories too. 

When I decided that I needed to start writing again I debated starting a new blog or giving a new life to this one. I read posts that I wrote after my Grandmother died, and posts about watching my kids personalities develop. I decided this is where I belong. Sure, if you're bored (I mean you'd have to be laid up bedridden and have reached the end of Netflix and the internet) you could learn a lot about us, very little of it that interesting. But this is where I started blogging, and if I'm going to commit to writing again, this is where I belong. The Best's part.

So, without further adieu. Hello Internet! Here I am, at my most vulnerable, please enjoy. And be kind. Pretty please. I plan to share life, laughs, eye rolls, joys and sadnesses. I plan to share what works for me and for us. And what doesn't work. It's not sugar coated, it's real. This is me. This is us. This is life. Join me, won't you?