I’m so sorry if this song gets stuck in your head. Kind of.

Sometimes the best course of action you can take is to shower and wash your hair while dancing and lip syncing to “Mony Mony” that’s playing in your head, while also letting your husband come get a handful of whatever he wants a handful of because the child is sleeping and we must take advantage of those moments.

It’s taking time with myself, re-connecting to me after the last week and a half of fun, visitors, and busybusybusy. I didn’t eat enough vegetables. I can feel it. But there’s always another chance to welcome them back in. Today is that day.

Broccoli, my friend, I’m looking at you.

August will undoubtedly get a little crazy, September more so. I will remain fed, exercised, rested, and fun! Shoulders will be down, I say!

It’s a new month. Let’s make it good.

 

 

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Phone chargers and rejection

My phone was dead when I woke up this morning. I can’t seem to locate a charging base, which I always refer to as “base charger.” It drives Aaron nuts, and I also like to put on my best southern accent and yell from another room, “Airn! I cain’t find my base charger!” He always comes to my aid. I love him.

Anyway, I don’t care that my phone is dead. I’m not expecting any calls, especially not this early on a Sunday.

So, I’m a planner in life. I plan plan plan. “This is my next plan!” I’ll excitedly tell anyone who sees me after I came up with said plan. I think part of me feels like what I’m doing in the present is never enough. I have to do more! Be better! So…I applied to graduate school, because that was my next plan! I applied only to one, because why should I apply anywhere else? I’m a shoo-in!

And y’all, I was denied. Ouch.

Now, I could declare verbal war on the institution that decided I was not what they wanted, but I did not and will not. I shed some tears, beasted through my workouts, took some deep breaths, did have a few beers, and that was it. I DID NOT BINGE EAT. I DID NOT SELF-DESTRUCT.

I’ve received great clarity this week. This one denial does not mean my career goals have ended. I will continue to find ways to better serve others. This also means I can relax and enjoy being a mom without school stress. I’m signing up to be the Daisy leader in Julia’s Girl Scout troop. Aaron is going to be her soccer coach, and me the team manager.

This also means NO MORE STUDENT LOANS.

We are living the dream, and there is plenty of time to build onto the dream.

There was once a time where I wondered if I would ever be where I am right now. Cool with food? Cool with letting the world know my imperfections? Cool with telling the world that I, Tiara, was REJECTED?!

Yup.

And channeling the Elton John song, I’m still standin’. Not only am I still standing, but I’m standing tall, like the lady who truly believed she was 5’6″ and put it on her first license, but is actually only 5’4″, but will still stand as though she is 5’6″.

That lady is me, btdubs.

Happy Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May

Oh, May. You have been somethin’ else. And you’ve been here for a really long time. Aren’t you tired? Your rest is almost here. I finally woke up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated this morning, for the first time all month.

School has ended for me. I received my diploma in the mail this week, and I cried when I opened it up (with the help from Aaron, because what is that tube it came in?!) and unraveled it. I began that degree in high school at 16, and I was so excited and ready for the challenge. I took off of school at 19 to do an AmeriCorps program, City Year. Fast forward to 3:00 and you will see me, as Tiara Stockard. That video took my team forever to make because we could not stop laughing.

Anyhow, after that was over, I went back to school at 20, then stopped again at 22. Then became pregnant. Dun dun dun! After having Julia at 23, I probably could have taken online classes, but I was terrified, and had little faith in my own abilities at that time. I found Lamar’s online program and enrolled at 27. I completed it at 29. What a relief! What a huge personal accomplishment! That part is over. I finally have figured out what I want to do in my life. Sort of. I want to help people. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. Stay tuned.

In other news, JB is READING and sleeping in her own bed. I was only slightly concerned when she wasn’t reading before she started school. I had heard enough about kids picking it up when they’re ready, and that brought me comfort. And that is exactly how it’s been for her. One day it was like, “OMG, YOU ARE READING!” And it is precious and incredible and so cool. She can text family members now, and read what they send back. She reads everything. I love it.

Now transitioning her into her own bed was initiated by me, because 3 people in a full size bed was no good for my sleep, or Aaron’s. Of course, she slept wonderfully. But it was time. It wasn’t too bad, and she appreciates her own sleeping space now. This morning she woke up to use the restroom, came into the room, kissed my cheek, and crawled back into her bed. Goodness, she is the sweetest child. Mostly. But aren’t we all that way?

May has brought many other challenges, all of which we have handled, maybe not gracefully, but handled nonetheless. And time marches on.

Jiggly Arms

Yesterday I woke up at 6am to prepare for my day. I would be teaching Pop Pilates and our community workout at the gym. I felt well rested, and even got to enjoy the sunrise while sipping warm water on the porch, and getting cuddles from Ginger kitty. Then like ten minutes into it the mosquitoes came out, and I was like, “You guys ruin everything.” and retreated back inside. After a delicious breakfast it was time to get dressed. I knew it would be warm, so I put on a tank top. Then I looked at myself in the mirror and practiced arm circles while looking at my arms.

THEY WERE JIGGLING.

More than I wanted them to. I’ve been nursing a bum shoulder for weeks now that hasn’t allowed me to exercise like I want to, and it’s taken a bit of a toll on me, physically and mentally. I stood there and contemplated what to do. Change shirts, obviously. Nobody wants to see the instructor’s jiggling arms. Instructors shouldn’t have jiggling arms! Then I made eye contact with myself and was like, “Really, Tiara? Wear the damn tank top.”

And I did. And then I went and did what I love to do, and both classes were filled with beautiful people who came and worked so hard, and I was so happy! And not once did I think about my jiggling arms. Or my jiggling butt, or whatever else on this body that jiggles. And I went on to have one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time.

Wear your tank tops, your shorts, your bathing suits, and own your jiggle or lack of jiggle. We are the only ones who ultimately get to decide how we feel about it, and we are SO.MUCH.MORE than what jiggles.

Be free, people!

 

There are a couple of swear words in here.

My alarm went off at 5am, as it always does. But this morning, from the moment my eyes opened, I felt an overwhelming amount of anxiety. <— The best part of waking up, no?

I made coffee (that didn’t even sound appealing), sat on the back bed, and panicked.  Everything on the to-do list for the next several weeks, months, was racing through my head, all the while I’m thinking, “How are we going to manage all of this?” Along with the overwhelm comes the guilt, for not taking care of school before Julia came into our lives. For my lack of patience some days, and when we eat shitty food because it’s easy and we’re all exhausted. It’s those days you’re convinced you’re failing as a human and especially as a mother. But then your tiny one still comes to sit in your lap at the end of the day to love on you and feel your warmth. She shuffles out of bed to come snooze on the back bed just to be close to you while you yoga. You are not failing. I am not failing.

While sitting on the back bed, I realized I needed to find a way to work out the anxiety. I do this either through intense exercise, or gentle yoga. Yoga was it. I stood in mountain pose and began crying. I breathed, and stretched, and connected with my body, calming my mind. By the end of my practice, tears wouldn’t stop rolling down my face. I cried and cried, silently, as to not wake up Julia on the bed. It was the cleansing release I needed. And then the instructor said, “No matter how big the stack of papers on your desk is today, remember this moment and take it with you.” YES. I will take this moment with me. I am a muthafuckin’ warrior woman. Carry on, I must.

 

30! Minute! Challenge!

That’s how many minutes I have to write before I must begin the walk to pick up Julia. I like a challenge. 30 minutes is actually a good amount of time to have for writing. Though I do have to put on pants and shoes and be ready to head out of the door at that time. I’m not naked. Not that it would matter. This is my afternoon and I’ll do with it what I wish. Moving on.

At this point I have written and deleted several times. This has become more challenging than I anticipated. “Where’s the quality, Tiara?!” I’m over analyzing what I’m writing. I want to send out something that I perceive as good when I press publish. So I could be writing about something else, but here I am discussing why I won’t publish what I’ve previously written. This is my brain. I love this brain. I have some pretty sweet dreams.

Ten minutes left. How am I doing? Great! Oh, it just switched to nine. I hope my sweatpants are clean. I didn’t think about that earlier. Eight minutes left.

I’m going to end this here. I took the challenge and I feel good about it. If you made it to the end, were you surprised that this wasn’t a fitness challenge? Fair enough.

With five minutes left until departure, I bid you farewell. Stay hydrated, fed, and keep moving.

 

 

Go deep.

The button says it.

WRITE.

It’s not in all caps. I see it in all caps. And all caps is pretty serious, no?

Aaron and JB are on a date right now, which provides me with this precious time for loud music in the headphones. Muuuuusic. If  it ain’t a part of you, I’m sorry. You’re missing out. But maybe you’re not. Maybe sports is your music. Maybe it’s woodworking. Do your thing, bro.

There is much unrest right now. It can’t be ignored. And in the midst of wondering what comes next, we’re still living our day to day lives, (hopefully) doing our best to bring our own personal strengths and gifts into the world. Whatever work you are doing on yourself, keep at it. Don’t stop. Keep an open mind. Keep conversations going with those who do not see your point of view, and good grief, keep those conversations offline. You and I both know that the comment section of anything does not change perspectives. (Though I’m sure there are occasional breakthroughs.)

Let’s keep going. I believe in us.

I also believe in boudain balls. I didn’t know they were even a thing until I was introduced to Cajun culture. And my boudain balls should be arriving shortly. I will douse them in mustard and enjoy the rest of my Saturday. I hope you do the same.