Thankful Thursday: May 2nd

I know I’m about two months behind on these. Life really has gotten in the way, and I do plan on catching them up, even if I have to write two or three a week.

Since today is our second birthday here at Notes From the Backseat, I thought I’d go back to just how this blog got started. I don’t think I’ve ever really gone over that other than to say it’s all my husband’s fault lol

Let me take you back in time about two and half years or so. I’m sitting in the passenger seat of our Honda CR-V as my husband drives along the interstate. In the backseat, Sissy sits behind daddy, Little Brother behind me and the cat, in her carrier, wedged between the car seats. Strewn about the floor board in both the back and front are duffel bags, diaper bags, crafting bags, supplies for the kids (such as snacks and DVDs). In the very back, a stadium stroller, a dog in a crate, two large suitcases and a bunch of pillows and blankets. On top of the vehicle was a large black bag, securely strapped down full of more travel supplies and all the Christmas presents, already wrapped and hiding from the kids so as not to ruin Santa just yet.

You see, this was Christmas 2010 and we were in the middle of a PCS from beautiful, sunny Southern California to bitter, cold, dreary Central Virginia. From forecasts like “78 and sunny” to “23 with a wind chill of 10”, we drove through snow, ice, rain, sunshine, warm and cold. Ten states in Five days. Not a trip I’d want to make in such a short time ever again.

During our trip, things would come up between the kids, or between us that just made us laugh. I used these to update my status on Facebook with the title “Notes from the Backseat #__” and had a great time with it. After a while, my husband decided that “Notes from the Backseat” would be a good blog title, though it would be a few more months before I actually started the blog, shortly before our last PCS to Middle Tennessee (which is actually on the Kentucky boarder, not sure how that works).

So in honor of our second birthday, and in being thankful for all this blog has done for my sanity over the past two years, I present:

THE BEGINNING

#1: “i can’t wait to tell people to look at my tooth hole”
#2: “ok mommy, go back to your seat please! Go!”
(This was while I was leaning over in my seat making sure her movie was playing in the right language lol)
#3: “can I get out of the car?”
“like now? Can’t you wait til we get to Albuquerque?”
“well, okay mommy”
#4: “mommy, you can close the wind”
(She meant the sunroof)
#5: “look mommy! Cows! Moo Moo Moo!” -then she proceeds to giggle for 3 minutes.
#6: “i see snow! The holidays are here!
#7: “no no no!”
“what?”
“you cannot drive in the snow!”
#8: “oops! It’s not working!”
#9: “look at all the snow! It’s turning white!”
#10: “a birthday! Is it my birthday? I love parties!”
#11: “op! You’re out! Op! You’re out! Op! Everyone’s out!”
(we think she’s playing tag by herself)
#12: “mommy, my tooth is growing up”
(I’m just glad its not growing upside down)
#12 (ish): “ok, kiddo, let’s look for some boots for you”
“And Dora too!”
“ok let’s look for some shoes instead.”
#14: “you rescued the marble! you’re my hero mommy!”
#15: “Did you steal my pizza?!”
“MMMmmmMMM” (courtesy of Little Brother, he ate it all)
#16: “mommy, I think I know why its upset.”
“why is it upset?”
“cuz its dark outside. Can I have a hug?”
(she misses her daddy already)
#17: “mommy, when the movie’s over, I can have poptarts”
(no she cant, but it was a nice try, wasn’t it?)
#18: “thank you so much, SuperHero Mommy!”
(after putting the post-it over the sensor on an automatic flusher)
#19: “mommy, the tv is big so now we can play ping pong!”
(daddy said when the tv got here she could play Kinect sports ping pong lol. It’s here and she wants to play)
#20: Daddy: “honey, do u want subway or should we try Bo Jangles?”
Sissy: “jingle bells jingle bells jingle all the way. Oh what fun it is to ride in adkfirnuch eeeeeeh!”
Daddy: “i said Bo Jangles not Jingles Bells”
(she’s not quite sure what the words are LOL)

So there it is. The 20 status messages that got this blog started. My kids have always been a source of joy to me. Sure there are days that are long. There are days that are difficult. But all too often, the days are just days. Reflections of who we will be tomorrow and who we were yesterday. Today, while walking home from school, Sissy remembered about a trip she and daddy took to the beach during block leave last summer. Just the two of them, for an afternoon, went to the beach and made sand castles “and I got to knock them down!”

Today, I’m thankful for this blog.
For the people my words have touched.
For the enlightenment it has brought to others.
For the piece of mind it has brought to me.

Advertisements

Happy Anniversary, and 30 Day Drawing Challenge: Day 6-8

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO ME!

Or should I say “HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NOTES FROM THE BACKSEAT!”

My blog is two years old today.

Here, have a cupcake:

Ain't she cute!?! Just the sweetest little cupcake in the whole wide world!

Ain’t she cute!?! Just the sweetest little cupcake in the whole wide world!

Now, on to the drawing challenge, and yes, I’m really behind, but I will finish this. I will!

Day 6: Favorite Drink

Honestly, I don’t have a favorite, so long as it’s cold.

Day6

Day 7: Favorite Bird

I really wish these lists included less “favorites” and more random things to draw. I don’t have a favorite _____. Most of the time, I’m lucky just to have a favorite color. I really was at a loss, so I drew the first bird that came to mind while staring mindlessly at the calendar above the kitchen table.

Day7

Day 8: Amusement Park

Well that’s vague, isn’t it? Technically any park that brings joy, amazement, and fun is an “amusement park”, but I went with the good old stand by. When in doubt, go back to where it all began…

Day8

Slacker Blogging

I seem to have become depressed over the past week. I’ve been taking the death of the cat very hard…

As a result, my blog is suffering. Sorry guys.

I promise to get back with it this week. More Autism Awareness blogs and the 30 Day Drawing Challenge posts are coming this week. I will get caught up and finish on time. I promise.

I’ve sent my husband an email to help me stay on task and focus. I need things to keep me moving…

On a side note, I will be updating on my 29 Things list soon… I’m failing myself already, and it’s only April…

30 Day Drawing Challenge: part 2: Day 1

I don’t really have a good build up to this one… I’m seriously at a loss for words, and I think that part of this is a result of the events of yesterday and the exhaustion I am still feeling today.

Believe it or not, there are four parts of these drawing challenges, or at least I have four separate versions downloaded onto my computer right now. I was invited to participate in Part Two, and I accepted. I need something to focus my brain for a bit, and I’m totally being a slacker on my list of things to do this year…

Part Two.

Part Two.

Day One: Muppet

Well that’s pretty vague, isn’t it? Many people have chosen to focus squarely on The Muppets. The pride of joy of the Jim Henson legacy. Too many people forget that Jim Henson and his muppets had their hands in a few different cookie jars over the years. From Yoda to Ludo, Jim Henson has worked on Star Wars, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, Sesame Street, The Muppets (and all it’s “spin offs”, including Muppet Babies), Fraggle Rock and much more. So instead of focusing on one specific muppet, I chose to go with a few. Jim Henson was a man with a vision, and the “muppet” in all it’s forms is something to be celebrated.

Red from Fraggle Rock, Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street and Baby Animal from Muppet Babies.

Red from Fraggle Rock, Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street and Baby Animal from Muppet Babies.

Thankful Thursday: January 24th Edition

This is going to seem odd, but I am thankful for this deployment.

I want to be clear. I am not thankful that my husband is in a foreign land. I am not thankful that there is a chance he may never come home to us. I am not thankful for the separation, the issues in communication, or the lack of someone to hold my hand at the end of the day.

I AM thankful for having a simplified way of finding the people who really care about me. I AM thankful for this opportunity to be independent and really discover who I am and the things that I like to do. I AM thankful for the chance to show people who think I can’t do it, that I really can.

You see, there are a lot of people in my life who claim that they love me. They say as much. They claim to support me, to have faith in me, to be there for me when I need them. These are the same people who have not called once in the past five months to ask how I’m doing. They don’t send emails to let me know they are thinking of me. They don’t post on my Facebook page to tell me they are praying for my family while my husband is gone. These are the people I heard from via text message occasionally, but only in the context of “What do the kids want for Christmas?” or “Does Sissy have one of these, I was gonna buy it for her birthday.” I’m glad that these people have taken to showing at least a minimal interest in my children, but no regard is shown for me. One person in particular, called to ask about the kids Christmas presents and then went on and on about a gift they bought for another family member’s birthday. This same person did not so much as send me a birthday card last month. Though I did get a random comment on a Facebook post that someone else had posted to my wall.

These same people, who have chosen to ignore me the past five months, have also, in the past, expressed little comfort in my ability to care for myself and my children in my husband’s absence. They don’t believe I can do it. They don’t believe in me. They have no faith. Well, I am thankful because in the past five months, I have proven them wrong. I don’t have to even believe in myself to do it either. There are two children, two tiny little hearts, quietly sleeping in the next room. And THEY believe in me. They know I can do it. They know I will take care of them and that I can fix anything, and that what I can’t do on my own, we have Google to ask for help. They’ve seen me build shelves, and purse hangers, and fix the car. They know when I need comfort and they tell me the words that I tell them when they are sad.

I can do this. And this deployment has shown me that. It is certainly NOT easy. If given the choice, my husband would have come home months ago, but part of me is glad for this time apart. Not only am I getting the opportunity to prove everyone wrong, but I am proving myself wrong. Months ago, I didn’t think I would make it this far. Four months from now, my husband will come home to us. I will hug him and forget about all the hardships I’ve had to deal with alone these long months. I will read these blogs and know that the helplessness was short lived and that peace comes in the morning.

I am independent.
I am fierce.
I am getting stronger every day.
I will prove them wrong.
I can do this.

I am thankful for this deployment because I am more me now than I was before. I am stronger, more independent, and fiercely loyal. I know who is behind me and who stepped out of my life when I needed them the most. For that, I am thankful.

Happy Birthday to Me (you? Mommy?)

When you plan your own birthday “party” and the only people in attendance are you, your two kids, your best friend and her infant son, singing “Happy Birthday” gets a bit dodgy in the middle. I have to admit, the whole thing made me laugh, and for that I was grateful. I really needed to laugh on my birthday of all days. Being near Christmas, my birthday has rarely been the best thing I do all year. Having my husband half a world away makes the whole month of December that much more lonely.

I admit, I did not handle December very well. But 2012 is behind us and 2013 is three days in the making. I have been 28 for a whole four days, and I’ve taken that time to write a list. A bucket list of sorts, but these are all the things I want to do in the next year. Twenty-nine things to do before I turn twenty-nine next December. But first, some birthday cake:

" “The angels have the phonebox”. That's my favorite. I've got that on a t-shirt. " -'Blink', Doctor Who, Episode 3.10

” “The angels have the phone box”. That’s my favorite. I’ve got that on a t-shirt. ” -‘Blink’, Doctor Who, Episode 3.10

Now to my list. Some of these will be silly, some of them very serious. Some will be well within my comfort zone (hence the time constraints placed on some of them), and some are so far beyond anything I’ve ever done that I’m pretty sure they wont get done until after my husband returns from Afghanistan this summer. Wow, this summer… He sounds so close and yet, he’s still so far away.

Yes, the list, sorry about that.

29 Things to do Before 29

1. Complete a book of Sudoku Puzzles in the month of February, cover to cover in order, no cheating.

2. Get shot with a paintball gun. Of course, this means I have to go paint-balling with my husband, but what better way to bond after a deployment then to fire balls of paint at each other, right?

3. Go zip-lining. This one requires me to overcome my severe aversion to heights and falling.

4. Climb a rock wall. No doubt this is a precursor to #3.

5. Read 29 books. This averages 2.5-3 books a month. I got this one.

6. Kiss my husband on the lips.

7. Do Zumba three times a week for at 3 consecutive months. I got the game disk for Xbox Kinect from the husband for my birthday, I will use it to tone the rest of the baby pudge let over from giving birth to children weighing the same as the standard bag of sugar.

8. Finish my first novel: in March and April.

9. Complete my figure drawing sketchbook.

10. Have portraits taken of myself (whether I post them here or just write about the experience I’m not sure yet). This one is an exercise in learning to appreciate my own beauty.

11. Wear three pieces of refashioned clothing in the month of June. (I should have plenty of options by then.)

12. Take one photo of myself everyday for a month (can’t be February, it’s too short)

13. Get another tattoo (I already know what and wear, just need to get on with it)

14. Complete my blog series: 30 Days with Autism that I started in 2010.

15. Blog every Friday  Thursday about something I am grateful for that has occurred in the past week. Let’s keep the gratitude fresh.

16. Write one short story a month, no minimum word count.

17. Pay off my truck.

18. Craft 31 piece of jewelry in the month of August.

19. Give up Soda (once I finish what’s left from my birthday party.)

20. Give up my hair for Lent. Headscarves all day, every day from Feb 13- March 30.

21. Learn to play guitar. Hubby plays guitar… Another one of those re-bonding activities… Maybe while I’m recovering from being shot with a paintball gun?

22. Stop biting my nails (again). To be successful, I have to have real nail growth on a continuous basis during the 12 weeks leading up to and including my next birthday.

23. Lay under the stars with my husband (possible sleep on the back deck, that counts as camping, right?)

24. Blog a video of myself reading a children’s book like I do to my kids.

25. Fire a gun. Another one of those “Let’s celebrate your homecoming” activities.

26. Buy “embarrassing” lingerie and actually wear it. Wear it again in front of the husband. (There will be no pictures on the wearing, there may be pictures of the buying. FYI, almost all lingerie is embarrassing, we really only wear it because we think our husbands will like it.)

27. Take my husband to an archery range. He has yet to see me in my element. Archery was the only sport I was good at in middle school and after the gun range, and a paintball course, archery is a nice change of pace.

28. Fully potty train my son, no more diapers. We are slowly venturing into the world of pooping in the potty. This will save me $60 a month once we get this down.

29. Solve a Rubik’s Cube. (This may take a while)

So there you have it. my list of 29 things. These are all realistic and completely doable. That’s why I chose them. I wanted a list that I could actually finish and say “I did that”. So, I’m a few days behind on some of these already, but I will be updating this list with other blog posts as I complete each number. My goal is to have the list completed by December 30, 2013.

NaNoWriMo WINNER!

I did it, dear readers, I actually did it.

I wrote my novel of 50,041 words… Of course, that includes a dedication page and two epilogues (I couldn’t figure out how to end the story… So I wrote two).

I love it! My story is complete and final.

Thank you, dear readers, followers, and friends for all the support and encouragement you have given me over these past 30 (-ish) days. Without the encouragement of people I care about, I would not have made it as far as I did.

I’m gonna go eat junk food a decompress for a few days.

I need to get caught up on laundry and dishes, and I trip to the commissary wouldn’t hurt either 😛

The world of self-publishing is still a confusing place for me and I’m not sure I’ll ever release my story to the public, but yay that it is written.