I am ‘As a Gentile & Tax Collector’ AKA – I Was Ex-Communicated Today

How many people get to say that in their lifetime?

Also I totally told you guys this was going to happen.

This is what was read, out loud and openly to the congregation of my former church today. I’m just so grateful to God that Leif has decided not to attend there anymore or subject our children to this terribleness.

Where is the love, people?

Bold emphasis mine [brackets mine too].Italicized theirs.

 

Beloved in the Lord Jesus Christ:

On September 1, 2013 Elder [name redacted] read during the divine service an announcement that the Consistory decided to proceed to the first step of public discipline with a member of [name redacted].

According to Article 55 of our Church Order the Consistory needs to ask the advice of Classis before proceeding to the second step of discipline. The Consistory asked for that advice of Classis at its meeting on September 17-18, 2013 by presenting the circumstances and the care given to this individual without the name of the individual being mentioned. During the course of the discussion it was mentioned that a few months ago this member stated via e-mail to the Clerk of Consistory that she wanted to resign from being a member of [name redacted]. At that time this request was denied because the Consistory didn’t see that option in our Church Order nor do the By Laws of [name redacted] allow for such a termination of membership. After much discussion Classis gave our Consistory this advice:

“…classis advise the consistory of [name redacted] to consider acquiescing to the request for resignation from Mrs. X and thereby recognize her as standing outside the communion of the saints and consider her as one excommunicated from Christ’s church.”

The Consistory voted to accept that advice and to act according to it. Towards that end we have called this special meeting of the [name redacted] membership.

Up to this point the Consistory has proceeded according to Matthew 18 and our Church Order and we have not made known to the congregation the individual that we have placed under discipline. Because this individual has requested to resign from the church of Christ [Side note: WTF? I am still a member of Christ’s church -- just not this particular congregation. I have never asked to be removed from my savior, whom I rely upon daily. Gah.] the Consistory considers that excommunication and we are treating it as such. Normally there are two other public steps of discipline including the announcement of the sinner’s name prior to the announcement of excommunication, but given the circumstances and the request of this member, Classis advised us to proceed to this final step.

At this time, then, it is appropriate that we announce to you again the sin of the individual as well as her name. We do this with heavy hearts and with the prayer that the Lord will give her saving faith and once again bring her into the communion of the saints. The Consistory of [name redacted] has used the Keys of the Kingdom in the exercise of Christian discipline towards Jennifer Erikson for the sin of filing for divorce without Biblical grounds and no attempt to reverse those actions.

Form for Excommunication:

As you know we have announced to you the great sin committed and the grievous offense given by our fellow-member, Jennifer Erikson, to the end that, by your Christian admonitions and prayers, she might come to her senses, turn to God, and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will (2 Tim. 2:26).

[Another side note. Snare of the Devil. I’m sorry, but I just snorted. Y’all should’ve heard it. It was totally sexy. Snare. Of. The. Devil.]

But to our great sorrow no one has yet appeared before us who has caused us to understand that, by the frequent admonitions given her (in private, before witnesses, and in the presence of many)[False. Very, very false. I met with Leif and one elder the morning after I left him, and one elder, ALONE, soon after that. They both said I was a sinner-sinner-pumpkin-eater and I figured I was better off not heeding their advice to meet with My Pastor], she has come to any sorrow for her sin or has shown the least evidence of true repentance. Since, then, by her stubbornness she daily aggravates her transgression, which in itself is not small, and since we have made known to you the last time that in case she did not repent, after such patience shown her by the church [Patience? Y’all have ex-communicated me in less than six months. When has that happened before? I mean like maybe if I were convicted of a crime or something, but hot dang this was lightning quick -- which I guess is your decision to make, but to then brag about your patience is making my eyes roll] we should be constrained further to grieve for her and to come to the extreme remedy, we are therefore at the present time compelled to proceed to her excommunication. We do this according to the command and charge given us in God’s holy Word. Our purpose is that she may be ashamed of her sins, that by this corrupt and as yet unrepentant member we may not put the whole body of the church in danger, and that God’s Name may not be blasphemed but reverenced.

Pronouncement of Excommunication

Therefore, we ministers and rulers of the church of God at this place, being assembled in the Name and authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, declare before you all that for the aforesaid reasons we have excommunicated and hereby excommunicate Jennifer Erikson from the Church of the Lord [Again, sorry, guys, you can't ex-communicate me from God. Only from your church.]; that, so long as she persists obstinately and impenitently in her sins, she is excluded from the fellowship of Christ, and of the holy sacraments, and of all the spiritual blessings and benefits which God promises to and bestows upon His Church; and that she is to be accounted by you as a Gentile and a tax collector (Matt. 18:17), according to the command of Christ, who says of His ministers, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven (Matt. 18:18).

Exhortation

Further we exhort you, beloved Christians, not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of such sin—not even to eat with such a one (1 Cor. 5:11) to the end that he may be ashamed; yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother (2 Thes. 3:15).

In the meantime let every one take warning by this and similar examples to fear the Lord and diligently to take heed: let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall (1 Cor. 10:12); but having true fellowship with the Father and His Son Christ, together with all believing Christians, to remain firm to the end (Heb. 3:14), obtaining the outcome of our faith, the salvation of our souls (1 Peter 1:9). You have seen, dear brothers and sisters, in what manner this our excommunicated sister has begun to fall and gradually has come to ruin [ruin!]. Learn, then, from her how subtle Satan is to bring man to destruction and to draw him away from all salutary means of salvation. Guard yourselves, then, against the least beginnings of evil, and according to the admonition of the apostle, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:1–2). Be sober- minded; be watchful (1 Peter 5:8); pray that you may not enter into temptation (Luke 22:46). Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts (Heb. 4:7), but work out your own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12); and let every one repent of his sin, lest our God humble us again and we be obliged to mourn for some of you; but may you, with one accord living in godliness, be our crown and joy in the Lord.

But since it is God who works in us, both to will and to work for his good pleasure (Phil. 2:13), let us call upon His holy Name with confession of our sins.

Prayer of Confession

O righteous God, merciful Father, before Your high majesty we blame ourselves for our sins and acknowledge that we have justly deserved the sorrow and pain caused us by the excommunication of this our late fellow-member; indeed, if You should enter into judgment with us, we all deserve to be excluded and banished from Your presence on account of our great transgression [No. Comment.]. But, O Lord, be gracious unto us for Christ’s sake; forgive us our trespasses, for we heartily repent of them; and work in our hearts an ever increasing measure of sorrow for them, that we, fearing Your judgments which You bring upon the stiff-necked, may endeavor to please You. Grant that we may avoid all pollution of the world and of those who are excluded from the communion of the Church, in order that we may not make ourselves partakers of their sins, and that he who is excommunicated may become ashamed of his sins [Church copy-editor apparently got lazy. I’ve been a girl up to this point]. And since You desire not the death of the sinner, but that he may repent and live, and since the bosom of Your Church is always open for those who return, kindle, therefore, in our hearts a godly zeal, that we, with good Christian admonitions and example, may seek to bring back this excommunicated person, together with all those who through unbelief and recklessness of life go astray. Add Your blessing to our admonitions, that we thereby may have reason to rejoice again in her [yay I’m a llama again!] for whom we must now mourn, and that thus Your holy name be praised, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

 

 

So yeah that happened.

I’d have words, but they’re kinda unnecessary, right?

And to think … I used to be scared of what these people thought of me.

The Girl with the Bible Tattoo

bible tattoo

God is in the midst of her

How bad is it gonna hurt??

Come on. If you don’t have a tattoo, you’re wondering. If you do have some ink (look at me with my hip, I’ve-now-been-inked language!), you remember wondering. Because fact of the matter is that in order to get some permanent body art — you gotta break some skin.

For the record, skydiving was way more terrifying.

Wait. I take that back. Telling my mother I got a tattoo was up there with jumping out of a plane.

“You’re 30, Jenny. You can get a tattoo,” Ashley reassured me.

“But but but … my mom!”

For the record, mi madre was great, and loved the scripture reference, and made no indication at all of any inner thoughts along the lines of OMG MY DAUGHTER JUST DISFIGURED HERSELF AND WHY WOULD YOU PUT A BUMPER STICKER ON A PORSCHE?

Thanks Mom.

It took seven minutes and cost $50. I didn’t cry even though I’m a total crier. My artist Roger said he was impressed about the skydiving thing — he said he didn’t have the guts for it. Yes, I mentioned it like 8,000 times, because I had to convince everyone there that I wasn’t a wuss. And by ‘everyone’ I mean me. Roger had a neck tattoo, by the way.

That’s right, the dude with the neck tattoo thought I was badass.

Then later he said he was glad I turned out not to be a screamer, and I uttered that’s what she said under my breath because obviously I had to.

Anyway.

I love it.

God is our refuge and strength, 
a very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, 
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, 
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.

The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord of hosts is with us; 
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has brought desolations on the earth.

He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.

“Be still, and know that I am God. 
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

This Is Not a Post About Church — It’s About Target.

So hi.

I had this big long post all typed up for y’all about the church drama aftermath, but I forgot to save it.

Just kidding. Jesus saves my soul, and I save all my writing just about every other sentence. The truth is that it’s long and messy and super sad and I’m trying really hard to have a positive attitude and not get trapped in the quagmire of crap surrounding this particular situation.

There’s more to life than that. Which is why I use words like quagmire — because that’s seriously a great word.

So I’ll tell you that Leif, to his credit, has decided to take the girls to church elsewhere on his Sundays.

And that’s all I have to say about that, because a dead horse is not worth beating.

Now onto more interesting things — like shopping at Target.

You may or may not have heard, but I’m a single mom now. And single moms aren’t exactly rolling in dough. Also, I’m the one that moved out, and I took very little with me. So now I have this mostly empty house that needs some stuff.

The girls took care of the lack of a dining table by turning the dining room into a campground. Done. And they have beds, I bought a couple cheap couches, and there are stools at the kitchen counter. We’re making do, and honestly, I’m enjoying the minimalist lifestyle for a bit. Cleaning is much easier this way.

But I really wanted some backyard furniture. The girly girls have been loving having a yard after years of condo-living, plus I’m one of those I-love-nature girls, so I’ve been wanting a place to park my rear that wasn’t the retaining wall or the plastic child-sized picnic table my parents let us nick from their house.

Enter Target. I took the girls to get some sunscreen, a kiddie pool, and a box-o-wine, and looked up to see this:

Target girls on chairs

 

And then I saw this:

Target chair price tag

Which led to this:

Target cart

But then on the way to the register, I saw these!

Target stools

And this:

Target stool tag

And so with one hand pushing the loaded cart, the other carrying one stool, Thing 1 diligently carrying the other, and Thing 2 dancing along backward behind us, we made our way to the register.

The lady took one look at us and asked, “Would you like some help out today?”

Yes. Yes I would, thank you.

Then this happened:

Target trunk

And that, my friends, is Target done like a boss.

10 Years, 9 Months, 12 Days, and 2 Kids Later …

I filed for divorce.

So there’s that.

This decision was arrived at neither casually nor mutually. While Leif would be quite content to stay married forever, I am not, for reasons I do not feel the need to discuss at this time.

I know the question you want answered: What happened? Sorry to disappoint you, but nothing happened. We could blame the fact that we got married too young or too fast, or had kids too soon, or worked too many long hours, but the fact of the matter is that lots of relationships include those variables and turn out just fine in the end.

There is no one moment in time a person can pinpoint and say, “Aha! That’s when it all started to fall apart!” You don’t just wake up one day and say to yourself, “You know, I think I’ll file for divorce today. For kicks and giggles.”

Divorce is tragic. It rips families apart. It leaves emotional scar tissue in its wake. God hates it. It is never to be taken lightly. It is an option of last resort. Well, except for murder, but that’s illegal and I hate blood, and oh yeah, it’s evil and I hope I never hate anyone enough to even entertain that idea.

I know there are questions, so I’ve done my best to preemptively answer some of them below. Because I’m a blogger and I like to share.

FAQ

Q: How can this happen when you guys seemed so happy?

A: Once upon a time we were happy. Not every couple’s story ends with a “happily ever after.” Once you start to realize you aren’t happy, there’s a very long period of time spent in denial. I am happy, dammit! Things are just rocky right now, slowly transforms into, ok, I’m a wee bit miserable, but I’ll be happy again soon.

This doesn’t happen over weeks or months, but years. Then you start to question your sanity, because there are some good times sprinkled here or there that glimmer of hope that things are changing and the heat wave will break and beautiful flowers will bloom on the morrow.

If you’re a blogger, you share the good times and only occasionally the bad, and you hold fast to the belief that things will get better. Behind the scenes, you hope and you pray and you beg and you try everything to make it work. You yell and you cry and you apologize and try to ignore the fact that there’s been no real resolution.

You remember how happy you were to walk down the aisle and say, “I do,” and promise your heart to another. You hold onto those memories with a vice-like grip. You look at your children, little human beings that you made together, and think things can’t be so bad, because look at this amazing goodness that came from your union. It will get better, right?

In other words, denial is a powerful thing, and not everything is as it seems.

Q: What about the girls?

A: They are bright and wonderful children who are very loved by two devoted parents. With some counseling and time to grieve and adjust, they will be just fine.

Q: How can you call yourself a Christian?

A: If you call yourself a Christian, you have no business asking that, you hypocrite. If you don’t, then the only answer I have is that I believe in the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that my soul was bought at the price of His blood shed on the cross. That doesn’t change with my marital status.

Q: Have you thought this through?

A: Gosh, no I didn’t! I didn’t think at all about how much this will hurt our friends and loved ones, how it might affect my daughters’ romantic relationships later in life, the grief of our happily married parents, the awkward social situations that are bound to arise, the inevitable financial strain …

Q: Do you know how hard life is as a single parent?

A: Probably not. I didn’t know how hard motherhood was going to be either. No one can fully anticipate what trials the future holds. One day at a time, baby.

Q: Is there any chance you guys could work it out?

A: It’s unlikely, but I have agreed to hold off on definitively answering that question or finalizing anything until some of these festering emotional wounds have had a bit of time and space to heal.

Regardless, I believe that ultimately all things work together for God’s glory, even the nasty bits. So even if we don’t work out, I know everything will work out in the end exactly as it’s meant to be.

Q: Are you still living together?

A: No. (Please see previous Q&A and note the ‘time and space’ contingent.)

Q: Where are the girls?

A: They’re living with me, and Leif has visitation. We’re working on figuring things out. It’s been all of less than three weeks since the fit hit the shan, so we obviously don’t have an ironed-out schedule at this point. So far we’ve been making sure that they know when they will be seeing the other parent next, because apparently stability is important.

Q: Is this why you’ve been so quiet on the blog front this past year?

A: Basically. My life has been consumed with getting through my days, aching at not being able to get through to my husband, questioning my grip on reality, questioning our history, and questioning God. And tears — lots and lots of tears.

In other words, it’s hard to think up something to share with y’all when all I wanted to write was, “Sooooo … my life is falling apart around me and the scotch tape I’ve always used to hold it together doesn’t seem to be cutting it anymore…”

Q: What can I do for you?

A: Please be respectful. Don’t assume anything. No one knows what goes on inside a relationship except the people in that relationship, and even then it occasionally often gets convoluted.

Pray for us. Don’t take sides. Don’t pray for reconciliation and don’t pray for divorce. Pray that God’s will be done — no matter what the outcome. Because guess what? It will be done. God is kinda almighty like that. So I guess … please pray that grace be plentiful all around as we wade through this crap.

And of course, the most important thing is our children. Hearing negative things about either of their parents will not benefit them in any way, shape, or form, and as my great grandma always said, “Little pitchers have big ears.” So if you have something negative to say about either one of us, I kindly ask you to take a deep breath and remember that there are children involved.

Home From Boston

I’ve been home two days. It’s weird and dazy and strange and hard to believe that less than two week ago, my biggest worry was trying to figure out if I could make a bicoastal commute somehow work within the confines of my family.

Mitt was headed to the White House, yo. And I was going to be part of it.

There are a million reasons I could ponder on as to why we lost. Actually, there’s only one – we didn’t get enough votes. I know! By all accounts, it doesn’t make sense.

Now I could contemplate how we could be so wrong about our numbers and voter turnout, mention Obama’s superb ground game, or wonder why my generation seems more concerned with government-sponsored birth control than borrowing from our Children’s piggy banks, but that would be boring.

Instead I’ll just cliché it up: Nice guys finish last.

I don’t feel like the end of the world is here because Obama got reelected. I just feel like it’s going to be on hold for four more years. At best.

Oh, and I got a letter in the mail saying that my doctor no longer accepts my medical insurance. And my premiums went up about 30% last year. But Big Bird and binders!

Seriously guys, how did we lose this?

Double whammy for having worked for Romney: 1) He lost, and I’m out of a job, and 2) He lost, so companies aren’t hiring because they can’t afford to pay for everyone’s birth control and sex change operations.

I wasn’t there when my kids heard about Mommy’s Governor Romney’s loss, but I’m told that they said, “We may be poorer, but at least we have Jesus and our family.”

Love those goobers.

Meanwhile, I wrote about the 5 Stages of Election Loss Grief over at The Stir. I think I’m somewhere between incredulous and annoyed at the moment.

Oysters

Everyone knows that oysters are poison to children. The only thing that comes out of the sea that’s not poisonous to children is breaded and deep-fried and served with a healthy dose of catsup. Even then, not every kid will eat fish sticks. (mine won’t)

In case you doubt me on this, I refer you to Honest Toddler, who had this to say about how one should serve seafood:

Almond-Crusted Halibut and Green Beans
Step 1: Give the green beans to a homeless individual.
Step 2: Take the almonds off of the halibut.
Step 3: Put the halibut on a clean surface.
Step 4: Ask yourself what halibut is.
Step 5: Google “halibut” on your home computer.
Step 6: Hold back your tears when you find out.
Step 7: Gently place halibut in the outside trash next to the carrots.
Step 8: Order tacos.

Anyway, I’ve never tried oysters. Because I was a kid, then I was a vegetarian for years (I know, I can’t explain it either), and then because they freaked me out because they look like giant boogers on half shells.

Seriously. Who decided to crack open the rocky looking things and eat the slimy stuff in the middle?

Ashley loves oysters, and said I had to try them. She said something about them tasting like the sea. I love the ocean. I love salt. I love fish. Seems like a perfect fit.

Justin loves oysters too. “They’re sooooo good!”

I’m living in Boston right now, which I associate with oysters, because clam chowder, and clams and oysters are like totally the same thing because they’re bivalves.

Huh. I did learn something in high school biology.

So last night Justin convinced me to eat oysters.

They were … slimy.

And salty.

They tasted like ocean slime.

I had one and didn’t hate it. Had another and didn’t love it. Had a final one and then ordered champagne and a steak.

Next time I’m ordering shrimp cocktail.

Mitt Romney and the Lying Trash Man

The afscme, a service employee public union, has released some short videos featuring people who have worked in Mitt Romney’s upscale San Diego neighborhood.

Richard Hayes is a garbage man whose route includes La Jolla, the ritzy suburb where Mitt and Ann have a home. In the video clip, Mr. Hayes says that many times citizens will come out to give them hugs and Gatorade, to thank them for the job that they’re doing. He also says that he picks up 15 to 16 tons of garbage by hand.

Red light! Red light!

I live in San Diego. I haven’t seen a garbage man get out of the truck for residential trash pickup in years; possibly decades. It’s one of those things I’ve thought about that my kids might never see, like phones with cords or cassette tapes.

San Diego issues every single-family residence an approved trash receptacle. The garbage goes in, and on trash day, someone has to pull it out to the curb. The trash men cometh on your assigned day, in their air-conditioned trucks, and they stop next to the can. Then a robotic arm shoots out, grabs the thing, and dumps it into the back of the truck.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmhverQzSYw&feature=relmfu

It’s not exactly the hard physical labor it once was, and certainly nothing is done by hand.

Mr. Hayes says that when he’s 55, 60 years old, his body is going to be broken down. Broken down from what? A sore finger from pushing the button to make the robot arm pick up the trash?

Just in case you didn’t know, San Diego has some of the most insane employment and retirement benefits. You can read about them here. So this guy is going to drive around in a truck until his mid-fifties, then basically retire on a full pension complete with healthcare, and thanks to the way the system is set up, he can even double dip by getting another job with the city. After all, who retires at 55?

This guy has a cushy job, and it’s on my dime. I’m paying taxes so this guy can retire at 55 while I have to continue to work, because in the private sector, no one is offering me an insane pension that will pay out even more than I made when I was actually working.

Mr. Hayes, I’m so sorry that Mitt Romney didn’t come out to give you a hug for pushing the trash button on your truck’s instrument panel. This is what we like to call a first world problem.

Endnote: When Mitt Romney was running for governor of Massachusetts, he spent a day a week doing odd jobs that everyday Americans do, in order to gain appreciation and understanding for what various people do in their day-to-day lives. This excerpt is from his book No Apology: The Case for American Greatness:

“One day I gathered trash as a garbage collector.  I stood on that little platform at the back of the truck, holding on as the driver navigated his way through the narrow streets of Boston.  As we pulled up to traffic lights, I noticed that the shoppers and businesspeople who were standing only a few feet from me didn’t even see me.  It was as if I was invisible.  Perhaps it was because a lot of us don’t think garbage men are worthy of notice; I disagree – anyone who works that hard deserves our respect. –  I wasn’t a particularly good garbage collector: at one point, after filling the trough at the back of the truck, I pulled the wrong hydraulic lever.  Instead of pushing the load into the truck, I dumped it onto the street. Maybe the suits didn’t notice me, but the guys at the construction site sure did…”

In Other News, I’m Moving to Boston Today

72 hours ago, I got a phone call from Romney HQ in Boston, asking me if I would please join the team on site as a copywriter. Right now, I’m sitting in the San Diego airport with a one way ticket to Massachusetts, waiting to board my flight.

So that’s what’s going on in my life.

It all started a couple of weeks ago in Tampa at the Republican National Convention. I guess you could say it started four years ago when Obama got elected, and I committed to do everything I possibly could to make him a one term president, but I’ll just recap this latest development because that’s what’s interesting at the moment.

In Tampa, I got to meet up with a lot of cool people that work on the campaign, and whom I’d been doing some volunteer Twitter messaging for. It turns out they were even cooler in person than online, which always makes me happy because doesn’t it suck when people turn out to be duds in real life? Some people just come across better over the internet, I suppose.

Anyway, I met some people in Tampa, and started thinking about what I could do to help them. Writing. I’m good at the writing thing. I may have mentioned to some people that I’d love to jump in and help out.

Last week, I got a call asking if I was serious about a job, because they needed to hire a copywriter, stat. YES!! I could work remotely from California, right? Um, no. The job was in Boston, 3,000ish miles from home. Well so much for that.

I told Leif about it that night, in a sort of off-handed, wouldn’t that have been fun kind of way, and he looked at me and asked, “Why not?”

It’s an on-site job.

So?

In Boston.

So?

That’s in Massachusetts.

I’m aware of the geography.

I’d have to move there for two months.

Do you want to do this?

Yes! I mean — it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’d miss you guys like crazy, and I’d worry about the girls, but when am I ever going to have another chance to help kick a Democrat incumbent out of the White House? Never, that’s when.

I think you should go for it.

*blink blink blink*

So I sent them my resume on Wednesday. Friday I heard that they were interested, and they’d be getting back to me soon. Sunday I got a call asking what I’d need financially to make it work. I gave them a number, they said yes, and hooked me up with a flight and a hotel for a few days.

Then there were 72 hours of mad phones calls and emails to family and friends, sitters and dog walkers, and short-term apartment rental agencies in Boston. There were dry-cleaning runs, tons of laundry and packing, list making and instructions for the care of the kiddos and the house. I grocery shopped, meal prepped, and cried as I hugged my mama and my local friends.

This morning I almost couldn’t let my girls go. Leif was trying to get them in the car to go school, and Thing 1 started sobbing. Thing 2 said, “Bye Mommy! Have fun at the airport! I love you!” I went inside and cried into my pillow. Thank goodness for FaceTime and Skype. And for my mom and dad, who are going to be taking care of them after school for me while Leif is at work.

And of course thank you to Leif, who is willing to let me move across the country to work on a presidential campaign. He’s kinda awesome.

Now let’s get this thing done and get Romney elected, so some of the 23 million people out of work right now can find a job too.

 

Steak and Emails

Yesterday in Tampa, I ordered a medium rare steak. On the rare side. It was just a steak kind of day. I’m usually a pretty easy-going kind of girl, but when it comes to meat, I tend to be a wee bit finicky. And everyone that knows me well is laughing right now, because by ‘finicky’ I mean that I will cry if my steak is overdone, and it is one of two reasons I will ever send something back to the kitchen. The other is mayo, because I seriously can’t stand the stuff.

Anyway, I’ve been known to send my steak back. One time at Flemings the chef even came out to my table, because the first time it was overdone, the second time it was almost completely raw, and the third time he wanted to make sure he got it right. Hey, I’m relaxed about a lot of stuff — everyone has a thing, and this is mine.

So Yummy

So back to this steak I ordered in Tampa. It was perfect, first time out. I may have shed a tear of happiness. So I did what I always do when I’m overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of something I’m about to eat, and I took a picture to send to someone I knew would appreciate it. In this case, it was my husband, because poor dude has been on the other side of the table many of the times my steaks have disappointed.

He was still at work back in California, so I emailed him the picture, with the subject line, “Food Porn.”

He wrote back, “Mooooooooooo!”

Then I said, “I love you,” because he made me laugh and I wanted him to know I appreciated his humor and appreciation for my lovely dinner.

He said, “I looooooove you … How many wives send their husbands porn at work?”

Because that’s how we roll.

Cruel Summer

I love these little handfuls

I know I’ve been sporadic at best in updating my blog this summer. Honestly, it’s been challenging enough just keeping up with my regular writing duties over at The Stir. Just talk to my editors … I feel like I’m always just a little behind schedule.

Sorry, ladies!

It’s fair to say that this summer has been a bit rough. Being home with the kids most of the time has taken its toll on my sanity. I told you I couldn’t hack it as a stay-at-home-mom. It’s nothing really in particular; just the day-to-day inconsistencies wrought from the lack of any real schedule. There were a few day camps, a couple work trips for me, and days here and there with the sitter, but for the most part, the kids and I were forced to cope with each other for the majority of the time.

I really hope it made all of us stronger, because it sure as heck almost killed us.

Let me remind you all that I friggin love my kids, and I’d walk across fire for them, or worse, stay home all summer with them. I kiss their booboos, love on them, comfort them, feed them, take them fun places and give them treats, and I discipline them when necessary. It is hard, and it is not my forte.

Everyone always says every kid is different, and before you have more than one, you kinda sorta know that’s true in the back of your mind, but there’s no way you can really fathom how incredibly different two people from the exact same gene pool can be.

The only thing my girls have in common is their blond hair, their daddy’s eyes, and their stubbornness. Which I’m pretty sure they also get from their father. Just saying.

When I was about eight months pregnant with Thing 1, I reached that weird state of pregnancy where my belly started to have angles, as baby’s rapidly growing knees and elbows practiced flexing. There was this one area under my ribs that she would stick her foot out, and you could see the bump on my belly. Since it was our first baby and we had invented pregnancy (because all first-time parents think this, of course), we’d watch the bump on my tummy as I pushed it in, then slowly it would go right back in the exact same spot.  Nothing would deter that girl from her way. “My foot goes here, thank you very much,” she told us in vitro.

Fast-forward a few years to about the same stage of my pregnancy with Thing 2. Oh hey! I remember that little foot! Let’s push it in and see what happens … oh that was interesting … there was no slow creep back out this time. Instead, it was a very sudden kick back out to a place near the original spot, but not quite. Thing 2 was saying, “My foot goes out, end of discussion, fine I will play by your rules, but you never said my foot couldn’t go there.”

My now fourth grader and pre-kindergartener have retained those same personalities to this day. Thing 1 is quietly stubborn – patient and relentless in pursuit of something she wants. Thing 2 has been nicknamed The Destroyer. Just because I never said you couldn’t jump off the barstools doesn’t mean that you should try it, sweetheart.

Between these two, the keeping up with my regular job, and other various matters I won’t bother to get into in order to protect the innocent, I’ve been spread a little thin.

But I’m pretty sure I’ve kept BevMo in business.

Cheers to the end of summer, and Happy School Year to moms everywhere.