Throwback Thursday

Growing up in Phoenix, Arizona ensured that I spent my fair share of time in Mexico as a child. In fact, I have yet to be back as an adult. Mainly because Cancun does not appeal to us in the slightest and pretty much everywhere else in the county is part of a military travel warning. I’d like to go back someday – I have great memories in rural Mexico that don’t involve corrupt politicians and the drug cartel.

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Early 90’s, Sonora, Mexico

Being A Whole-Ass

I’ve never been shy about my love for Ron Swanson or Parks & Rec in general. I believe there are two type of people in this world – those who get Parks & Rec, and those who don’t. Obviously, those of us who do are superior. As Donna Meagle says, “We can GET it!” This past weekend, I was reminded of one of my favorite Ron Swanson quips…

never-half-ass-two-things-whole-ass-one-thingAlthough I currently stay home with young children, I have a variety of volunteer commitments that allow me to stay sane and prevent me from talking about my children 24/7 (as lovely as they are). I have a (maybe an irrational?) fear of becoming consumed by motherhood and loosing myself in the process of raising little beings into functioning members of society (no pressure!). So perhaps that’s why I am extremely active in the little guy’s preschool PTA, I am the {volunteer} librarian at his preschool, I am the FRG {Family Readiness Group} leader for Clay’s unit, and I teach Sunday School at our church. They’re not a full-time job with a nice paycheck but they’re enough to keep me busy outside of the home. It was while working at the preschool consignment sale on Saturday that I pretty much crumbled and realized I was half-assing two things rather than whole-assing one thing.

The details aren’t really important, but on Saturday night, I went to bed feeling like I let everybody down – specifically my family and the other volunteers who worked long and hard hours along side me. It was a horrible feeling. While volunteering is extremely important to me, I am beginning to realize that I need to find a way to better balance it all. Or at least learn how to say no. Because being a half-asser is never a good thing.

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There are many out there who likely dismiss my decision to stay-home as lazy or selfish. That’s their prerogative. I do know that when I re-enter the workforce in the next few years, my time at home will be of value. I’ve had the opportunity to serve on boards, be part of community-action teams, and hone invaluable skills. My decision to stay home has not set feminism back but rather help propel it forward because I have a choice – society is not making the choice for me. But during these last few years at home, I need to make sure that I am choosing my volunteer commitments wisely – after all, I don’t want to half-ass this pretty sweet stay-at-home-with-the-kids gig.

A Weekend Near Water

I am finally emerging from the depths of my first preschool-related sickness. Now that the little guy is in school five days a week we’re at the mercy of four- and five-year-olds. Good times. On a somewhat unrelated note, Christopher Columbus (or Cristoforo Colombo if we’re being exact) by all accounts was not a great man, or at least not the noble explorer we were taught in elementary school. Despite “committing atrocities against native peoples and decimating their populations”, he is honored every year with an October holiday. And because of this federal holiday, Clay had a four-day weekend. We originally planned to take the kids on a mini-vacation but the water heater in our Oklahoma house went kaput and then our Volvo needed major work so before we knew it, our Columbus Day Weekend vacation fund was resembling our national economy. No bail-out for our family.

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Not that we slummed it over the weekend. I’ll admit that we’re incredibly lucky – my parents live on a lake and Clay’s parents live near the beach so we have ample opportunity for almost-free getaways, as along as we’re willing to stay with our parents and make the drive. Thankfully, both sets are pretty cool so we don’t mind ;).

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We left early Friday morning and arrived at Clay’s parents by early afternoon. The weather was absolutely gorgeous (a far cry from the storms northern Virginia was experiencing at the time) so we took the kids to the beach – late afternoon/early evening might just be the best time at the beach (especially if you’re a shark!).

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After dinner with Clay’s parents, we put the kids down to bed and headed into Wilmington for drinks and Gone Girl (highly recommend – NPH is perfect in his role). The next morning we went back to the beach and soaked up as much sun as we could before the cooler temperatures take over.

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Saturday evening is when the plague overtook Weston. We nursed the little guy and by Sunday afternoon he was feeling well enough to stay with Grandma and Grandpa for Clay and I to sneak out for a couple of hours to head to the riverfront in downtown Wilmington.

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We met a college friend for flights of beer and then strolled along the river walk before sharing a french-pressed coffee at a local coffee shop. We then made our way to Wrightsville Beach (our favorite) and walked up and down in the light rain – it felt like we were in a romantic comedy spearheaded by Nora Ephron or Nancy Meyers.

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Our weekend away just solidified what we already knew – we are happiest near water.

If only Clay had joined the Navy instead of the Army…