#shitmykidsays Vacation Edition

 Isaiah: The first rule of hot tub is don’t pee in hot tub

Addison: welp! Just broke that rule

 
Tobias’ face looking at the giant horse that was about to pull us through downtown OKC 

 Addison: Look! I can do this with no hands

Isaiah: Yeaaaaaah. That is because your butt is big and weighs you down!

 Isaiah reading about Wilbur Rogan, a negro baseball player.

Isaiah: Dad said they made blacks and whites play separate… Is that because they wanted to give white players an actual chance to win… Or just slavery?

 Isaiah: this is my hot tub. I am gonna name it Tupac Tub.

Addison: That isn’t your name, lame-o!

Isaiah: it is the name in my heart!

 The waiter sat down my drink and said, “here is your humming bird, ma’am.” Addison leaned over and whispered, “does he know that is just a drink with a flower?”

 Addison: those are daddy’s mustard butt pants. 

 Addison: let’s wait for the elevator like we are in charge of everything 

barriers to change

What Is Holding You Back: Three Common Fear Barriers

I was talking to a friend the other day about what her plans were for the future. I am always amazed at how people plan their futures, since the future frightens the hell out of me. She was naming all the very wonderful reasons why she should stay in our little town. I’ve explored many a conversation just like the one I had with her. The most common theme, I’ve come to recognize, is the fear of moving on. So many people are afraid of moving on from where they are in life. Moving on can represent instability and the unknown; neither of which any of us finds particularly fun. Even good change or desired change can leave us crippled with fear of releasing the status quo.

What Is Holding You Back?

My time working as a therapist and being treated  by one has helped me identify many invisible beliefs that I use to sabotage myself. I am sharing them with you because, well… sharing is caring. Maybe it is time for you to move on from a romantic relationship, a friendship, a job, a town,  or a belief. Maybe you are on the precipice of change  and your legs are seizing up.

Fear is good, y’all. It reminds you that your body is working to protect you. Too much fear, though, can become toxic and the behaviors that chronic fear manifests results in a less than full life. You need to evaluate what you are protecting yourself from. Is it real danger or a prison of your own making?

Here are some ways I sabotage my ability to move forward because of fear.

1. My Inner Critic and Fear of Failure

I am so gracious with other people. I am long-suffering and kind. But if you took a trip down the road of my mind and made a left turn on “inner voice” street, you’d terrified. I am a drill sergeant with myself. I expect myself to execute with precision and perfect and anything less equals self shaming and rigidity. We combat this internal behavior by cultivating self compassion. Remind yourself that it is okay to feel worried or afraid. Re-frame the expectations you have for yourself: turn “failure” into a learning opportunity. “You aren’t going to fail either way,” you need to tell yourself, “you are going to learn what works best for yourself.”

2. Fear of Adventure

Adventure equals fun and you aren’t allowed to PLAY. As a kid who experienced significant instability and chaos in her upbringing, I feel significant stress around the ideas of fun and adventure. If something lacks a plan (and it is part of a major life decision) I start to feel the creeping fear from the traumatic stress I experienced. I wonder if I will be okay, if I will have what I need, and if I am in danger.  I can get so wound up with fear that I just shut down and stop moving altogether. I experience feelings of hopelessness and depression and agitation.

You also might have an internal rule about being allowed to play. You may have experienced an elevated sense of responsibility, as a kid, like me. Your responsibility instinct is amplified because of your childhood experiences. We were taught that folly and fun isn’t responsible. Adults don’t fool around, and so you assign the adventure you’ll experience with this change as “bad” or “inappropriate.” We combat this internal behavior, again, by cultivating self compassion. Remind yourself that your past makes this instinct completely valid, but you don’t need it to survive any longer. Pivot these feelings of fear into a focused self-determination. Remind yourself that you can obtain whatever resources you need to survive. You are resilient. You can parent yourself in a way that fills the gaps you might have developed as a child. The power of self-determination will disarm this fear. Create habits that cultivate joy and fun. The more you make letting go a part of your everyday life, the easier it will become to combat your fear reflex toward situations that require a sense of adventure.

 

3. Fear of Success

The fear of success is about two covert messages. The first message in the fear of success is about #1. Your fear of failure keeps you from starting because you don’t want to risk not succeeding. The second part of this particular fear is about self value and feelings of worthiness. At some point you’ve started believing you don’t deserve good things.  You will settle for the long term pain of a dysfunctional relationship because you don’t believe you can have anything better. There are also many changes that come with success. These changes can look like instability and then you activate fear #2. We combat this feeling, again (I KNOW!), by cultivating more self compassion. This self compassion should center around messages that reflect that you are good enough, smart enough, and gosh darn it people like you.

 

We have to believe we deserve good things. We have to believe that we will be okay, no matter what happens. We have to believe that we are self-determined and can do the work. I am learning to face these fears on a daily basis.

How do you evaluate and face your fears?

 

 

 

 

We Can’t Go Back to Business as Usual

Gay marriage! Hooray. No really! Hooray!!

 As soon as I *divorce G I am going to marry a woman, or maybe a gay dude.

I love love. 

I am extra cranky today and feel really jaded about life in general.  I’ve watched this funeral too many times. I want it burned into my soul. I want to remember.

My social media timelines are filled with completely justified and hard fought celebrations over SCOTUS’ ruling. Marriage equality is a thing. I still feel the lingering heaviness of Charleston, though. I am happy for us, for America. The ruling is a step in the right direction… but I am still spinning from the last few weeks.  I have been intentional to take good care of myself, but I still feel that painful malaise of reality: equal isn’t equal to everyone, so we still have work to do.

I am afraid that people will go back to business as usual. I am afraid the removal of flags and statues might just be another evolution for racism. We are cunning with our hate, after-all, and can reincarnate it into various forms. I am afraid we might think that today means we can lower our shoulders. We can’t. We still have work to do.

There are churches being burned down. There are business owners and political leaders saying that they are going to take back America from the Gays, the Blacks, Crazy Feminist Women.  

I am in a mood. Maybe I am just tired.

We can’t go back to business as usual, y’all. We have too much work ahead of us. So we can pause to celebrate, to renew hope in hard work, to high five each other and know that good can still be cultivated… and then we must set ourselves to the task. We can’t fall asleep. We have farther to go.

*I was kidding about divorcing G (today). Lighten up, yo.

BLT Pasta

The Cuban’s BLT Pasta

“I’ve found my future wife on Twitter, Jazz. Holy shit! Look at her eyes!”

I shrugged over to look at G’s phone. This is a typical thing that happens between us. We find an attractive person and stake virtual claim to them. So far I have three future wives and two future husbands. I usually look at whatever particular piece of eye candy G is fawning over with an incredulous attitude. I think he has awful taste. He once told me that Laura Prepon is ugly.  I guess his one redeemable quality is that he is attracted to me.

I leaned over to look at his iPad and there she was. I read the handle, “@MochaMomma.” Her avatar was this picture of her looking straight at the camera with these piercing mythical eyes in a blue button up. Her hand is placed under chin and her smile says, “mmmmmhmmmm.” I shrugged and thought, “I bet she knows she is fine as hell, too.”  A couple of weeks later a package arrived for G from “Mocha Momma.”  G was beyond excited to win a giveaway for a hat that still gets worn, but is kept because Mocha Momma gave it to him. Soon after G discovered Mocha Momma, I met Mocha Momma at Blogher. We became fast friends. This is the magic of the internet. Your partner can happen upon a striking picture and a giveaway without even realizing that you are being introduced to your gente. That was almost four years ago, I think.

One text to Kelly letting her know I was going to be in the area, and plans for a sleepover were made.  I was in town to play the last bout of our team’s roller derby season. [We lost. No, I don’t want to talk about it.] I spent the night nursing my bruised derby ego and looked forward to brunch with Mocha Momma and The Cuban. Sunday morning I pulled up to a beautiful yet unassuming home in Springfield, Illinois. I grabbed my stuff and walked up to the open garage where a mustached sun-baked man was feverishly focused on a project. He looked up, wiped his hands off, and extended his hand to greet me. “Hi. You probably know me as The Cuban.”

She isn’t Mocha Momma to me anymore and he isn’t The Cuban. They are now my friends, maybe even family. We spent Sunday laughing, watching hummingbirds, exploring, eating, cooking, and listening to great music. If you had the chance to be a silent observer you’d never know it was my first time in their home. There are so many social litmus tests for how well people will connect. Some take years to determine. In the case of Kinfolk, you just know.

Sunday we just knew.

Kelly and I abandoned The Cuban in the backyard to continue his puzzle of a deck project. Kelly showed me around her town and we, somehow, decided what we needed was BLT Pasta. Cooking for people is a deep act of love for me. Since it was Father’s Day I thought it only fair that I make The Cuban a meal. Kelly was being treated, by proxy. We gathered the ingredients and returned home just in time for The Cuban to realize we’d been gone for over an hour. Puzzle deck projects can be distracting that way.

I’ve provided the recipe for the meal I cooked for the The Cuban for Father’s Day. It is delicious. I recommend eating it with people you adore, preferably ones named Mocha Momma, The Cuban, and (if you are REALLY lucky) Uncle Mel.

 

 

The Cuban’s BLT Pasta

This pasta is total comfort in a bowl. This recipe is designed to make the whole box of pasta (which serves 8 people). You’ll need:

one box of linguine or fettuccine (your preference)

butter

one  half white or yellow onion

garlic

flour

milk or half and half

parmesan, pecorino, and asiago cheese

salt

pepper

nutmeg

10 slices of bacon (broiled and chopped)

 2 cups of sun dried tomatoes, chopped

2 cups of fresh baby arugula

a drizzle of good olive oil

an egg for each person

italian parsley, garnish

This is a great dish because a little prep ahead of time makes this dish super easy. First, dice your sun dried tomatoes and set them aside. Also broil your bacon until it is crispy, chop, and set aside. Cook an over-easy egg for each person you are serving and place on a paper towel to rest while you prepare the sauce.

Start your pasta boiling in salted water before you begin your sauce.

Béchamel Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • .5 cup of diced onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/4 cups milk or half and half, heated
  • 1 cups of shredded Parmesan/Pecorino blend
  • 1 cup  shredded asiago
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a deep sauce pan melt butter.

Add in onions and gently sweat them until they are translucent.

Add garlic and gently stir until it is cooked through.

Sprinkle in the flour and stir together until the flour is cooked into a paste. Make sure that you don’t overcook the flour. Any browning will change the color of your sauce.

After the paste has set up slowly whisk in your milk or half and half

Continue to rapidly whisk to insure no lumps in the sauce. Once the sauce thickens up, reduce the heat and whisk in the shredded cheese until smooth.

Add the nutmeg and freshly ground pepper to taste.

By now your pasta should be al dente. Strain your pasta and place it in a large mixing bowl with a drizzle of good olive oil. Toss in your chopped bacon, tomatoes, and arugula and mix together well. Pour your béchamel sauce over the top and toss together again. Make sure the ingredients are well distributed throughout.

Plate the food and top with the over-easy egg and a sprinkle of chopped italian parsley.