Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thoughts of Victoria

Victoria Christina Anderson
September 25, 1996
Fly, fly little wing
Fly beyond imagining
The softest cloud, the whitest dove
Upon the wind of heaven's love
Past the planets and the stars
Leave this lonely world of ours
Escape the sorrow and the pain
And fly again.
Fly, fly precious one
Your endless journey has begun
Take your gentle happiness
Far too beautiful for this
Cross over to the other shore
There is peace forevermore
But hold this mem'ry, bittersweet,
Until we meet.
Fly, fly do not fear
Don't waste a breath, don't shed a tear
Your heart is pure,your soul is free
Be on your way, don't wait for me
Above the universe you'll climb
On beyond the hands of time
The moon will rise, the sun will set
But I won't forget
Fly, fly little wing
Fly where only angels sing
Fly away, the time is right
Go now, find the light

This song, by Celine Dion, beautifully expresses how my family views the brief time we had with Victoria. How blessed we are that our precious daughter did not have to "waste a breath" or "shed a tear". All she ever knew of this Earth was love, pure and sweet.

My husband & I, along with others who wanted her to stay longer, were relentless in our pleadings (begging on many days) with Heavenly Father. From the very instant we received her diagnosis, until the moment of her delivery, we were fervent in our efforts. For many long years I felt that He had rejected me, turned a blind eye to our hoping. Now I know it was just that He and Victoria had other plans for her. I like to think she heard us, but she knew what was right and best; therefore, she stuck to the plan...Never letting even her parents' pleadings distract her.

Well, I wouldn't want anything less from my daughter. That is what parents want, right? We pray for our children to know the plan, know what is right and best, and never veer from that course. So I guess in reality, Heavenly Father gave me exactly what I wanted. Thank You, thank You, thank You....and who, in a million lifetimes, could have imagined I would ever be able to say that?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Be Gone Snarky Belle, Be Gone!

I do not think it is a good sign when you are exhausted from a long day (all you really want to do is put on the jammies and melt away), but your blasted blogging thoughts will not be gone!

I have dinner to cook, clothes to wash, blahdy-blah-blah, all the things that everyone has to do.
As I attempt to slay these beastly dragons, I hear Snarky Belle's sassy voice: "You know you can't stand it any longer, so just hit the blog already." The truth is, I literally can not do anything else until I get this out of my system. So here goes....

I am livid!!! Yep, that's right...eye-bulging, teeth-gritting, ready-to-blow mad!
I am going to make this as quick and painless as possible.
Three things:
1.) I am not a Wall Streeting, big-time corporate exec.
2.) I am not a sleazy lender giving away subprime loans.
3.) I am not a consumer who took one of those loans in order to keep up with the Joneses and buy a mini-mansion that I knew darn well I could not afford.
And yet, my family will be one of millions taking this bite to the butt!

Maybe I am more scared than mad. I tend to react with anger when things frighten me. The complete and utter refusal of people I share this planet with to take RESPONSIBILITY for their own actions, combined with the steady, sneaky pushes toward socialism are enough to scare the Snarky right off my Belle.

At this point, I will stop my rambling and leave it all in the hands of one who says it much better than I ever could: Mr.Glenn Beck.

GLENN: We're talking about this bailout package and as I have told you before, I am for the bailout package, however that is getting weaker and weaker as the days go on because it is getting more and more caveats and it is becoming worse and worse. Congress does exactly what congress always does. They have not sensed what is really coming around the corner and they are trying to load it up with special interests and making sure they take care of all their boys and making sure that they score political points. And also there's the other side of growing cries of socialism and one world government, one world control of the financial system here in the last week and that should make the hair stand on the back of your head. So we go back to Senator DeMint now. Tell me exactly what you think the worst case or the worst point of this bailout bill is.

SENATOR DeMINT: It will increase our national debt to the point where our dollar will begin to lose confidence around the world, which means our dollar will be worth a fraction of what it is today. And we're already in a position where we can't pay our debts. This just pushes us over the cliffs in my mind. And I think the second part of that is there's no example in our history of a government actually taking something over and running it well. It's ruined our education system, it's ruined our healthcare system, our transportation system. And the financial markets are the most complex and dynamic part of our economy. The government cannot come in and buy it. And just as you were starting to explain before the break is once they get into it, then you start looking at globalization of rules, the United Nations involved with what we're doing here because these bad mortgages are all over the world now. They've been sold with government guarantees all over the country as part of our debt package. And these other countries are demanding we make them good. So this government's dug a big hole for us and we can't get out without some pain. But I think we can get out of this because I really do believe that the American people and our economic structure will work if we just take the burden of bad government, overtaxation, regulation off of it and that is something we could do in a week if we were willing to do it.

Before you leave me any ugly comments such as: "Well big talker, what do you plan to do?"
I plan to email, fax and call my Congresspeople, and it will go something like this: "It would be greatly appreciated if you would stop talking out of both sides of your mouth. You and I both know there is no feasible way for you to protect the average taxpayer. I am completely appalled at this entire situation, and against the socialization of our economy."

(Whew, now be gone Snarky Belle, until you have something more positive to write.)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Words I Want to Shout from the Rooftops

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming.

(The credit belongs to the man) who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

President Theodore Roosevelt, 1910

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I'm In a Mood

It isn't asking for much, outside the walls of a home---just a little private pee time. But as any giver of care can tell you, inside a home, it's asking for too much!

So, in struts Princie.

r Daddy gave her that nickname: Princess+Pixie=Princie.
Next thing I know, in my lap sits something that resembles a large rat, a very creepy and nasty rat. To my relief, it was not a rat, but something almost as terrifying....the mullet wig from our costume closet.

"Put it on", demands Princie.

"Could you just give me a minute?", I ask.

"Uhh, noooo, I need you to wear it, now."
"Coler Moler won't wear it, and Cademan won't wear it, and Daddy isn't here."
"So, put it on."

"Why don't you put it on yourself."

"I can't", she informs me, "I am not funny. I'm pretty."

"Well, you could actually be both."

"Not today, I'm in a mood."

"You're what? In a mood, what is that supposed to mean?"

"That I don't feel like smiling, or talking, I only feel like this."

(insert image of pouty lips that she just might trip over, as well as scrunched up brow and nose)
"So, you wear it and then I can laugh at you, and I won't be in a mood anymore."

"Ok, fine then Princie, give me the wig."

I put it on, she just stares at me.

"Is this working, am I funny?", I ask.

"No, Daddy is much more of funny. I am still in a mood."

Now that makes two of us!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Inner Superstar...oh yeah, we all have one!

One of many things I have learned as a mother and teacher is that everyone has an inner superstar just waiting to be set free.

Picture this: My son, we call him Coler Moler, has been repeatedly informed not to jump on the couch, yet I still find him standing on the arm of the couch. He proceeds to dive (yes, literally) into a pile of pillows on the floor.
Me: "What the?"
Coler Moler: "No mom, I am not finished with the stunt."
Before I can blink, he is back on the arm of the couch, and this time shows me what he has in the cannonball department.
Coler Moler: "Mom, watch this, watch this. Oh, that rocked. Ok, so what do you give it?"
Me: "Have you lost your mind, what do you mean what do I give it? I give it a time-out is what I give it."
Insert image of Coler Moler, looking all forlorn, no twinkle left in those little eyes. I am a mother who has managed to crush a spirit....ughhhh! Yes, he does believe this feat will one day be an Olympic sport. So, I cave.
Me: "Ok, I give it a 10."
Just like that, his inner superstar has been set free, twinkle returns to the eyes, and his world is suddenly right again. Whew, close call.
He walks away. He knows someday he will be the Gold medal winner in the diving off couches into pillows event. Who am I to crush his superstar? We have the rest of his life for that, right?

On the playground, my students yell: "Teacher, teacher look at this...look at me...I am so strong...I can run so fast." Everyday I have the chance to help kids set their inner superstar cool! Inner superstars fed...check!

What I have realized is that I am not too different from these children. I have an inner superstar too, and she wants out. I think I am on to something. In the middle of the night, my inner superstar woke me up. You should blog about me, she said. Not now superstar, I need my beauty rest. After all, I have no team of stylists waiting on me in the a.m.

And then it hit me, I know why I blog. My superstar likes being fed. There, I admitted it.
Seriously, why do people blog? For journaling purposes, for posterity, as a forum to share important information, to learn from others? The list could go on forever.

I am not too proud to admit, I love this spot. My spot where I can go and tell it like it is. And people tell me how great I am, or how terrible they think I am. But, if they say I am no good, well I tap one little key, and their comments are flushed away like the stinky poop that they are! I love it. I can revel in my own superstarness and no one knows the difference.

Really, how often as adults does reveling in your superstardom happen? How often does someone give you a 10, or feed your inner superstar?

So I say, set your superstar free, if only for a few minutes a day. And don't forget to feed others' superstardom while you are at it.

For now I am off to tame my four year old daughter. Her inner humility wants to be set free, she already knows she is a superstar!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sorry for the Confusion

I am sorry I did not communicate clearly on my last post. Victoria's "Day"...that is what I prefer to call actually not until a week from today, on September 25th. I guess for me the week before, week of, and week following become one giant blur. It is all the same to me.
Thank you for the kind comments and emails. I am truly blessed. Love to all.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Some Things Change, Some Things Never Will

It is almost too much to process, the changing of seasons coupled with my oldest child's upcoming birth/death day (September 25). I walked outside this morning and felt the crisp fall air settling in on my world. In one moment I feel both freedom and suffocation. It is so strange, and no number of years will change that.

I wrote this a few years ago. It still holds true today.

How did I get here?
In this raging sea, and I can't swim.
Do I fight the suffocating darkness,
Or just let go?
I am alone now.

I am fighting to live, but only because everyone is calling my name.
I am growing tired, too tired to fight.
Darkness is my day,
Cold is my embrace.
I'm breathing, but I am not alive.

Outstretched hands all around me,
But none to pull me out.
I can't find the surface.
I give in to the pain,
Darkness is comfortable.

And yet, somewhere in my mind,
I know that my soul will never let me go.
My soul offers hope.
And with hope, a gentle voice whispers air into my lungs.
I have strength.
Strength to touch the One hand that can guide me to the surface.

I am free.
I am alive.
Light is my day.
Warmth is my embrace.

Pick Your Battles Wisely

Read at your own opinions on this next topic will make some of you less than thrilled, but that is actually part of what makes this blogging thing so fun!

Yesterday I received a phone call from a friend telling me the following story:
A 1st grader, attending a private K-12 school, had a washable, temporary tattoo on his forearm. The tattoo was not obscene or immoral in any way. It was not distracting to others. Just a fun, little stick-on tattoo. His teacher did not say anything about the tattoo; however, another teacher was apparently offended, and chose to pick this stupid battle. Sure enough, the next day, an addendum to the dress code was added: No temporary tattoos.

Can I just ask where common sense has gone? I am discouraged as it is becoming an endangered quality in the lives of those I have to share this planet with! Really, with all that is facing young children today, with the lack of ethics, respect and civility in this country, all these people can focus on is a temporary tattoo on the forearm of a six year old?

Now before you go all crazy on me, hear me out. Some might say, "Well, what if all the kids end up covering themselves in these washable tattoos, that could get out of hand." I say: Why not deal with the few who will take it too far? That is the core of many issues in this country. We tend to take rights away from those who know how to behave because that is easier than dealing with REAL problems.

The school mentioned above has many students whose parents host drinking parties, and drug use is also high among these kids....nope they don't live in ghettos either, these are children of very wealthy, upper-class people. But, oh my, we better watch out for the six year old with the temporary Batman tattoo on his arm! Do not tell me that if we don't "nip it in the bud", these little first graders will become juvenile delinquents who don't know how to behave. That is just plain idiotic.

I am guessing there is no link between letting your six year old have a washable tattoo, and his/her chances of ending up in jail. Why not focus on the lack of respect and common courtesy in this world. (I would go to head-to-head with anyone arrogant or self-righteous enough to generalize and tell me that people with tattoos are not respectful and courteous.) Call me crazy, but I think our time and energy could be better spent teaching children manners and how to be considerate of others. Unfortunately it seems some adults don't want to spend time and energy. It is easier to make up and enforce random rules.

Next, some may say, "I am teaching my child early on that tattoos are not acceptable." Fine, teach away, but don't push your views on me OR more importantly, my child. Because you see, I have enough faith in my own parenting abilities and enough faith in my children to know that I can teach the difference between a temporary tattoo and the real thing!

Do you not allow your kids to play with stuffed bears because you are afraid if they see a real bear at the zoo, they won't know the difference and they'll jump the fence and try to hug the bear? Do you never let your child swim because you think they can't learn the difference between swimming during the week, and not swimming on Sundays? Do you not allow your child to dress up for Halloween because they may not understand the difference and oh my goodness, what if little Johnny wants to be Darth Vader for the rest of his life? Hmmm, just wondering.

Lastly, some may say, "We avoid the very appearance of evil." Heads up folks, tattoos are not evil, and no prophet or church leader has ever said they are "evil". If we save our "evil" talk for things that really are evil, say sexual predators for instance, we would probably gain much credibility with others in our communities. It is my observation that we sometimes alienate many wonderful people who might be willing to learn more about the gospel. This could be an entire post on its own, but we need to carefully tread when we begin blurring the lines between our opinions and the factual teachings of our leaders. Side note: if you see someone drinking a pina colada, it might be a virgin one, and even if it isn't, the pina colada is not evil, and most likely neither is the person drinking it! Maybe we should worry more about NOT judging others than we worry about stamping everything we disagree with as evil.

Now you ask, what is the point of this rambling? My point is that we should pick our battles wisely. Have the courage and determination to fight the battles that really matter. Don't pick the battles that are EASY to fight and win....easy battles will most likely bring you nowhere closer to winning the war. Have more faith in yourself as a parent, teacher, mentor. Have more faith in the children whose lives you touch. I would guess you are smart enough to teach and they are smart enough to learn the difference between a temporary tattoo and a real one.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Define Snarky Belle

So, here I am. I have allowed the blogging wave to pull me under...this after my letter to Oprah. I received many emails from people asking if I had a blog. Well, now I do. I am sure my family will be pleased that I am choosing an outlet, besides our dinner table, for my opinions and ramblings about life's annoyances.

Just who exactly is the Snarky Belle? Let's start with the basics.
snarky: sarcastic, usually due to irritation
belle: a charming woman
Thanks to my deep Southern roots, I have been taught grace and charm. Thanks to my life's experiences I have become snarky. Put the two together, and you have a Snarky Belle. Yes, I know it is an odd combination...sarcasm and charm...but hey, I never said I wasn't odd.

Be warned: I am a "say it like it is" kind of girl. So, if you are looking for politically correct, fence-sitting, hemming & hawing you have found your way to the wrong blog.

The Oprah Letter

A little FYI...I know some were upset by my letter to Oprah...whaa, whaa, who cares? Someone mentioned I should give her credit for all of her charity work. I am glad she gives so much....she should!!! Helloooooooo, come on people. I am not going to apologize for the fact that I will not shout praises to Oprah because she is charitable, and gives away portions of her billions. I fully expect that those who have billions give to those less fortunate. She is simply doing what she should do! I just do not understand why people act as if Oprah came up with some profound idea. All of us should give, depending on our circumstances. And, I don't think Oprah is any better than a person who gives $5.00 to Meals on Wheels because that is all he/she has to give! Have you ever heard the story of the widow's mite?? No, well go read it.

Here is a copy of "The Letter":

Dear Oprah,

I am uncertain of exact numbers, but it is my understanding that your audience is roughly 75% women. I have a question for you: Do you really believe all of those women are just plain dumb?

I have seen news shows reporting you have chosen not to have Governor Sarah Palin on your show. Obviously you get to make any choices you want, just as I will be choosing to tune you out until the end of your reign. Let me be clear, I am not turning the channel on you because you will not have Sarah Palin on your show. While I think Governor Palin would make an interesting guest (given the challenges she faces as a working mother of a special needs child and a pregnant teen...which seems right up your alley as far as programming topics), as I said, not having her on your show is not why I am turning the channel. I am making this choice because you are dishonest.

You have said you do not want your show to become a political forum. By not having Governor Palin on your show, that is just exactly what you are doing. Especially given the fact that Barack Obama has been on your show. Yes, I know it was before he was an official nominee, but let's not split hairs. The very thought of you portraying your empire as non-political is asinine.

The reality is you are a Barack Obama activist. You support him. You have made your choice. You stood at a rally in Iowa and told us all the reasons why he is the candidate for you. That is not my issue. If I tried, I could not care less who you support in this election. I think for myself. I have never bought into the Oprah fanaticism. I do not diet because you decide it is time. I do not read a book because it has your stamp of approval. I do not buy products because they are good enough to grace your list of favorite things. Most importantly, I would certainly never vote for someone just because the all-mighty Oprah says so. All of that to say again, I do not care who you throw your name behind in this election.

What I care about is that for some reason you will not woman up, you will not truly be that powerful, woman of integrity you sell to us mere mortal women everyday on your show. Why not just look into the camera that has made you who you are and say: I support Barack Obama. I can't have Sarah Palin on my show because he probably would not appreciate that.

You won't do that because you are not the woman you sell to us on television and radio each day. The woman you sell is one who preaches and teaches strength, truth, and empowerment. You only live what you preach when you are standing behind a podium in Iowa surrounded by people that, without a doubt, support the candidate you endorse.

It must be so tiring and tough to be you. How difficult it must be to walk the fine line between embracing your candidate and keeping women of different demographics happy. Because isn't that really what this is all about? You can't possibly put it all out there, not like you did at the rally in Iowa. You are afraid of what the stay-at-home white mother of three might think. You can't be that honest with her. You have to sell her feel-good, make-her-cry books and stories. You have to sell her diet tips and celebrity interviews. Tell her how to do self breast exams, and what jeans look good on her.
But stand up and say, look ladies I am sure Sarah Palin is fascinating, but I can't have her on because Barack is my, you can't say that because you don't have the guts, and that is the bottom line.

So, I simply ask that you stop trying to sell me a gutsy woman. It borders on false advertising, and is quite insulting that you think I will buy her. And since you and I both know you will never stop, I am turning the channel. I know of others who will do the same. We weren't asking for much, just truth. Unfortunately, your truth changes depending on your audience.

Frankly, your Messiah complex was tiresome and boring to me years ago. I have long been both frustrated and baffled by the American women who bow down at your Manolo Blahniks. You have been dubbed the "Teflon Diva", inferring that you are untouchable, indestructible. For your information, I don't care who thinks it is the best product around, I am tired of "teflon" and I won't be buying it. Oprah, you do not speak for me.

I am calling on the TRULY strong, honest, powerful women in this country...women who will never grace the cover of a magazine or a list in Forbes. I am calling on wives, mothers, daughters, friends and sisters. I am calling on single moms, stay-at-home moms, working moms, and women who want to be moms.

I am just one person, the most typical of typical. But, I refuse to be fed dishonesty and distractions any longer. Oprah, that is why I will be turning the channel on you this Thursday, September 11th. I do this in honor of the real Teflon Divas of America, the most typical of typical.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

Worth Repeating

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, and where the doer of deeds could have done them better.The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."-President Theodore Roosevelt

"That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do, not that the nature of the thing has changed, but that our power to do has increased."-Ralph Waldo Emerson

"What does love look like? It has the hands to lift others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. That is what love looks like"-Author Unknown

"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word."-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women."-President Ronald Reagan

"When a battered, weary swimmer tries valiantly to get back to shore, after having fought strong winds and rough waves he should never have challenged in the first place, those of us who might have had better judgement, or perhaps just better luck, ought not to row out to his side, beat him with our oars, and shove his head back underwater. That's not what our boats were made for, but some of us do that to each other."-Jeffrey R. Holland

"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody but yourself--means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight--and never stop fighting."-e.e. Cummings

"Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he's been robbed. The fact is that most putts don't drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just ordinary people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. . . .Life is like an old-time rail journey—delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride."-Jenkin Lloyd Jones, as quoted by Gordon B. Hinckley

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Snarky's Soft Side

My first child was born still on September 25, 1996. I knew my life was forever changed, I just had no idea to what extent. Below are links to posts I've written about Victoria and my experiences since losing her. Also, posts on grief in general.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Do you know what caused your daughter's stillbirth?
Yes. She had Trisomy 18, a condition caused by a chromosomal defect.

When was Victoria born?
September 25, 1996

How old were you when you had Victoria?
I was 23.

How did you make it through the loss of your child?

I almost didn't.

Do you hate politicians?
I think the majority are propelled by greed and an unquenchable thirst for power. I feel most are merely masquerading as do-gooders out to save the world. I have little respect for most of them, and I trust none of them. But no, I don't hate them.

Why do you get so angry about politics?
Actually, I don't get angry. I'm passionate. If you don't recognize the difference between anger and passion, you've never been passionate.

Why are you so rude when you write about politicians?

I prefer to think of it as direct. The only time I'm outright rude is if Nancy Pelosi is involved. And that's not as much about her politics as it is about her being a person I just really can't like.

What's your biggest gripe with conservatives?
self-righteous behavior and an inability to work with liberals

What's your biggest gripe with liberals?
self-righteous behavior and an inability to work with conservatives

Why don't you believe in welfare and taking care of the poor?
I most definitely DO believe we have a responsibility to care for those who can't care for themselves. I believe in defending the defenseless. I believe our welfare system needs a complete overhaul. This overhaul should promote dignity and help people get on their feet. I believe in giving a hand-up, but never a hand-out. I am more about teaching skills and trades. I support programs that encourage people to believe in themselves as opposed to encouraging reliance on a deeply flawed system. A system that rewards dependence and fosters little to no self-improvement behaviors.

What are your political beliefs?

I'll make this simple. Just take a look at our Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Those documents pretty much sum it up for me.

Are you a Christian? Yes I am.

You are Mormon, how can you claim to be Christian?
Oh, I don't claim it. I own it. This is me, owning it: I am a Christian. I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Jesus Christ is my Savior, and your misguided beliefs about my religion will never change that fact.

Thanks for asking.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Who Is Snarky Belle?

Born and raised in the South, I was surrounded by great women. To this day, they embody every particle of the oxymoron, "Steel Magnolia". Women capable of withstanding life's greatest tragedies while maintaining grace and charm. Depending on the circumstance, these women are either the most gentle of creatures, or the fiercest that nature has to offer. Independent, without losing their vulnerability. Feminine and feisty.

Entering adulthood, I wasn't always comfortable taking on the qualities of a Steel Magnolia. My gentleness was flawed, which opened the door to a lot of hurt. But I could also be extremely fierce, and in doing so, pushed people away. There were times I was entirely too vulnerable, followed by periods of destructive independence. I was never really comfortable in my own skin.

My life's experiences changed all that for me. Over the years, I've become very comfortable being myself. This spot, my blog, is all about being set free. I pretty much say it like it it is to me. I am nothing if not honest about how I feel. Some days, you will find a feisty spitfire venting about how messed up this world is. Another day, you will find a mother, just making it the best she knows how. I am a wife, daughter, sister, and friend. I've been married almost 17 years. I have three children on this earth, and one who soars with the angels.

I'm snarky. Lately I've noticed the word snarky getting a lot of bad press. But, it's who I am. Sarcastic, usually due to irritation. I don't think snarky is necessarily a bad thing. It keeps me sane and upbeat on days that I see this country going to hell in a handbasket. I like to have fun with the snarkiness. It makes me laugh. You, on the other hand, may find it annoying. You may not find me the least bit entertaining. Lucky for you, you don't have to read.

I am also a belle. I have been taught grace and charm. That's not to say I'm all that great at either of those things, but I try. I love easily. I'm loyal and would fight to the death for those I love. I feel compassion and sorrow for others. In my life I've felt a multitude of disappointments. For a long while, I resided in the deepest, darkest pit of despair, and was comfortable there. Ultimately, and after years of hard work, I have found peace. My life has its share of stresses and trials, but far more joy and good times.

This blog is about life. It's probable that our lives differ greatly. We may not always agree. If I tried, I could not care less about whether or not you agree with all that I say. That's the beauty of being set free. Our circumstances help mold us. Because yours and mine are not the same, obviously we see this world through different eyes. That works for me.

I fully expect that if you come into my spot, you use courtesy and treat everyone here with respect. And if you leave me a nasty comment, I'll only care for 60 seconds max, and then I'll forget you even exist...I'm just sayin', you may prefer to spend your energy elsewhere. Spend it on someone who will remember you are even on this planet...that someone really isn't me.

This blog is about freedom. The freedom to be comfortable in our own skin. Setting ourselves free from stereotypes, unattainable ideals, political correctness, grief, pain, frustrating days with our kids, harsh self-judgements, and anything else that weighs us down. Let it go. Fly free, live, and love. Sometimes more snarky than belle, and sometimes more belle than snarky. We'll just have to see what tomorrow brings.