We are lucky enough to be able to visit the beautiful North Shore of Long Island whenever we want because my parents and aunt and uncle live there. The past few years we have made our trip for a week at the end of June/beginning of July and are able to see the firework show that Dolan puts on yearly. Since my dad has a boat we take the boat out and anchor just off the tip of where Billy Joel lives and we have a perfect view. Three summers ago he was married on the Fourth so we were treated to music from his party, fireworks from Dolan, and the release of paper lanterns.
Summer break just began for us, we are actually on day two, and I have very little planned. The kids will be attending swim lessons and then 'Camp Invention' for a week at the end of June, and we will visit my parents on Long Island (we stay for a week every summer), but other than that we are just hanging out.
There are moments when I feel like I should be doing more with my kids, taking them to different places and planning activities, but then I remember how all of that is totally not me and honestly is just too much. I will be happy with staying home, the occasional friend coming over to visit, and sleeping in late.
This will not be a long post, but if any of you are looking for a simple set of furniture for outside I may have found it for you. The set is only $199 and if you use the code MAYSAVE you will get free shipping and 15% off.
I just ordered the set this morning and the code worked perfectly. I will update this post as soon as I get the furniture to let you know what I think of the quality.
Visit this site if you are interested - https://www.worldmarket.com/product/belize-4-piece-outdoor-occasional-furniture-set.do?sortby=ourPicks&from=fn
Update: The furniture went together easily with the help of my eight year old, but I will be purchasing new cushions. These cushions are a little thin and the off-white color probably will not last more than a week!
It does not take much to make me happy. Really. About all I need is some time at home with the people I love the most. Nothing special needs to be planned and the less I have to do the better. I do not enjoy being busy and do not see what there is to gain from the stress that comes along with a packed schedule. Simple is best for me and simple is what I think is best for my kids. Of course we do have activities and sports, but those things definitely do not dictate the scheduling of our lives.
This past weekend was perfect. Friday after school was rainy so we were able to watch a movie together on and then I was able to sleep in a bit on Satuday. Since there had been so much rain the baseball game was cancelled and that freed up some time for us to just be at home . The weekend ended with a Sunday of perfect weather and since the weather was so nice we were finally able to plant part of our vegetable garden. The kids helped without us having to ask and are now planning their own garden that will be filled with every viney plant you can imagine. Pumpkins, watermelons, canteloupes.... We still have a bunch to plant, but at least we got this small section done and out of the way.
I always have the intent to make nice markers for each row of plants, but I end up not doing it and then never know what type of tomatoes or peppers we have. This year the kids found a bunch of rocks with a flat side and they wrote the names for all of the veggies we planted. They used a Sharpie marker and then I used Mod Podge so that the marker would not wear off. I think they look great, we even made a few that say, "The Clem Garden".
It takes very little to make me happy, I really just want to be with my family and spend the time with them. When the weather is nice being home and outside is all I need and I definitely got that this weekend, it was perfect.
Life changes in an instant. Sometimes we are on the good side of this change and others on the bad. Right now my life is on the receiving end of some shit information. In my heart I believe that it will all be okay, but my head tells me that the chance of it not working out is highly possible.
We spent RJ's first and second & Lily's first Christmas in New York with my family, but I thought that it was important for us to stay in Indiana and stay home for each Christmas since. I miss my parents and my aunt and uncle, but I needed us to be able to do our thing and start our traditions. It is always a little sad, but it is nice not traveling and rushing around. It is nice waking up at home and having our coffee while the kids open gifts, our Christmas morning breakfast of steamed buns & eggs, and Christmas dinner usually with a few extra friends, but this year was just us four. Simplicity is something I cherish.
Read this first.
Yes. The families of the students I teach, many of the residents in my town, they are misunderstood by those holding a higher education and they are frustrated. Growing up on Long Island and now living in a struggling town in north central Indiana have given me the ability to see both sides. Jobs around here are harder to come by than those in big cities & it is not like we are close enough to a big city for residents to commute to a job. People own guns here to hunt & as a form of personal protection, but the guns they own are rarely used. I have students whose families rely on hunting as a main food source because shopping at the grocery store for everything is too expensive. These people have felt ignored and left behind and all the people in the metropolitan areas seems to think that is okay. They seem to think that our country should follow their standards and beliefs. The people who surround me these days are the ones who wanted to give our government a big 'fuck you' for not listening to them, they got what they wanted. Bernie was that 'fuck you' for the democrats, but they allowed themselves to be steamrolled and did not fight for his nomination.
It saddens me to see educated people turn their noses up and make fun of those who did not go to college. It saddens me to see people blaming the result of the election on the voters who voted third party. It saddens me to see blanket statements made about those who voted for Trump.
Maybe I have too much faith in people, but I think most of the people on this earth and in our country are good people. We have seen the worst of each side during this election because that is what we are shown by the media. We see what the media broadcasts and we choose to believe that our country is going to fail, we choose to believe our country will take steps backwards.
I choose to believe that the citizens of this country will not allow our forward movement to be stalled. I choose to believe that the citizens of our country will treat each other with kindness, empathy, and tolerance. I choose to believe that the citizens of OUR country will continue to make it great.
We need to have faith. We need to believe that our president (regardless of who it is at the time) is doing the best job for our country. I do not like Trump, I could not watch 'The Apprentice' when it was on because I dislike him. I do not like Hillary, eight years ago I had a lot of respect for her. However, those were the choices we were given this election and now we need to move forward and know that our country will continue to be great because WE make it great.
I apologize if my thoughts are all over the place, but I have had so much on my mind. I just have trouble with the entitlement of so many in our country. I have trouble with these people protesting a fair election and allowing the results to affect them so deeply. Guess what? You need to grow up. Do something productive if you disagree with the choice America made, but these 'protests' are not productive.
It is funny how life changes and you finally see how much someone actually does or what they did for you. Mom, thank you.
I'm lucky. Not in a perfect, everything in my life is amazing kind of way, but in an imperfect kind of way.
I am not one to post the perfect moments in my life because you know what, they do not exist. My moments are imperfect and because of that my life is amazing. My life is made up of so many frustrating and embarrassing moments, moments that make me smile and make me sigh. Moments that make me scream and moments that make me cry. Moments that make me frustrated and moments that make me proud.
I have a beautiful life. My mom and dad gave me this life and made me the person I am, and my husband and children have given my life meaning.
There are days that I do not want to keep doing what I am doing and feel that what I do goes unnoticed. There are days that I yearn for the freedom of my single days. There are days that I think I would be happier with more free time.
I realize though that what I do makes a difference, and that freedom means I would not have Shannon, RJ, & Lily, and that free time would be boring.
I was born on Mother's Day. Now that I have my own family I have a special few days of my own and regardless of what they do for me those days are special.
This year for my birthday I took the day off of work and I mowed the lawn, then I went out to lunch with Shannon. For Mother's Day we went to lunch with my mother-in-law and then I trimmed our donkey's hooves. They were both good days, not perfect days, but perfect for me.
So I posted THIS LINK to an article I found on the New York Times online to Facebook the other day and it was interesting to see how many and who "liked" the post.
Since we are in the middle of March Madness and our television is permanently tuned to basketball, I have had discussions with my kids about teams losing and how it is just a part of life. As heartbreaking as it is to watch these young men lose a game that means so much to them, their teams, their coaches, and their careers, it is still just a part of life. The press conferences after the games can be so painful to watch when a single young man feels that he is the reason his team lost. I saw tears and heard cracking voices and these boys said, "It was my fault. I missed that shot. I threw away the pass. I fouled that player." Each of them will wake up the day after that painful loss and move on. If they continue to play they will learn from the mistakes they made and improve their game, if they graduate and move on to a career they will use the experience in a similar manner just off the court. They lost, they do not get a "thanks for participating" trophy, real life does not give you this either and for some reason we are teaching our young children that everyone is a "winner". By doing this we are setting them up to not only expect everything to work out perfectly in life, but when the first thing finally does go wrong and nobody is there to pick up the pieces for them they are set up for devastation.
My parents let me fall down, hard, many times. Trust me, there are times that I wish they had held my hand so that things had worked out, but if they had I would not have learned to work hard and try a different tactic. If they had bailed me out of every unfortunate predicament that I managed to get myself into I would most likely be living at home with them now. I would not have had the determination to move on from the bad choice I made that turned into a bad marriage and a divorce. I most likely would have taken the easy way out and moved home with them.
I totally expect for my two lovely children to truly suck at many things and I know that their precious little egos will be hurt, but they will learn to persevere, to work harder and smarter, and hopefully master that skill. Sometimes, regardless of how much time and effort are put into something, you never become as good as you want. Choose something else, encourage your child to do something that is more suitable and move on from there.
I know that I will never sign R.J. or Lily up for a sports league where everybody and every team "wins" or receives an award for participating. Life does not allow for everyone to win all of the time. We need to learn how to lose and learn from those losses, but on the flip side we also need to learn to win with grace. I am not sure how we got to where we are as a society with all of these ridiculous participation trophies and ribbons, but these ribbons and trophies are things that I will not let my children be a part of, because really what will it teach them?
Here you will find my thoughts on various topics. Often cynical, never apologetic, deal with it.