Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Great Pumpkin Disaster of 2012

At the risk of sounding like the worst parent in the world, I will admit that I was perfectly willing to skip over the whole pumpkin thing this year.  Between planning the kids' superhero birthday party, work, and well.....LIFE, going out to a pumpkin patch just hadn't been in the cards.  I know, I know.  It seems like no fall is complete without the obligatory photos of your beautifully coordinated children posing peacefully in a patch of perfect pumpkins with perma-grins on their perky little faces.  (Do I get bonus points for all the alliteration in that sentence?)  Really though, it wasn't going to bother me a bit.

Isaiah had other plans.  I'm not sure who let the cat out of the bag and informed my child that his mean 'ole mom was depriving him of the quintessential fall experience, but he suddenly got it in his head that we just had to go pick a pumpkin and carve it to look like a mean Jack o Lantern face and we had to do it right now and it had to be the biggest pumpkin EVER!!!

The best I could do was a stop at Pick n Save after church to buy a pumpkin from out front.  I did agree to this whole carving nonsense since I figured I could print out a template from online and actually make it pretty cool.  Plus, Grandma had given him a pumpkin carving kit that the kid was just dying to use.

We settled on a Batman pattern that would look awesome on display at his upcoming superhero birthday party and set to work.  The cleaning out of the pumpkin guts was a good time for all, I must admit.  Isaiah was on a mission to scoop out all the guts and get his pumpkin perfect for carving!  We read instructions, watched a YouTube video, and taped our stencil on the pumpkin.

Then I spent the next 30 minutes using a thumb tack to outline where our cuts would go and Isaiah lost interest.  I guess he didn't realize that pumpkin carving was such a tedious process.  It wasn't until after I had all the cuts outlines in push-pin marks that I realized this pattern would be more difficult than I thought.

Me:  "Ok Isaiah.  Mommy is going to start by cutting out these little parts and then it will be your turn to carve along Batman's head."

Isaiah: "Yeah!  I'm going to carve Batman's head! I'm so excited!"

..........exactly 3 minutes later.........

Isaiah:  "Mommy, I don't want to carve anymore.  You just do it."

You'd think I would have been happy.  After all, getting my kid to relinquish control to me seems to be my greatest desire on any other given day.  In this case, I was actually kind of hoping he would want to contribute to our masterpiece, but he was just too afraid of messing it up that he just quit.

I can relate to that struggle.  How often have I held back from even trying something because I was so terrified of screwing up?  If I don't even start, it's impossible for me to fail, you see.  Nobody can call me a failure or be disappointed if I never set the expectation out there.

But once you've started carving, you have to keep going.  Now, people are watching......ready to judge.

Sometimes no matter how hard we try, no matter how precise we try to be, no matter how focused we are, we just fall short.  God did not give me the gift of pumpkin carving skills and before I knew it, my best grown-up efforts had produced this disaster:

A blind Batman.

All it took was a couple cuts gone wrong and the super-cool pumpkin my son had his heart set on was no more and all he was left with was this disaster.  His heart fell and his bottom lip popped out in a pout the second he heard me mutter, "Son of a Biscuit" under my breath.  I told him I was sorry, that I made a mistake.  He suggested I use tape to fix it, but I struggled to hide my frustration as I explained that tape wouldn't fix his precious pumpkin.  Isaiah took a moment to think it over and then looked me square in the face.

"It's ok, Mommy.  Grown-ups screw up sometimes too."

I gathered my boy in my arms and thanked him for his grace.  And I needed it terribly.  As much as I wasn't really into the whole "pumpkin thing" this year, he was jacked up about it.  This pumpkin meant something to himIt was important and I blew it.

But he forgave me.  Instead of throwing a fit and demanding I march my butt right back to the Pick n Save for a new pumpkin so I could start all over thankyousomuch, he instead extended me kindness and compassion.  He accepted my pumpkin, flawed and disfigured as it was, as something precious.  We put that pumpkin by our front door, set a flame-less candle inside it, and replaced the top.  He couldn't stop talking to his neighbor buddy about our "Blind Batman Pumpkin."

When all was said and done, it didn't matter as much to him that the pumpkin was perfect.  What he cared about was the experience, the process, the effort.  He enjoyed digging around in the pumpkin guts with me and separating out the seeds.  He relished the time and attention I put into choosing the perfect design specifically for him and the fact that I really tried hard to give him something special.  I think he knows that I really did put my whole heart into that pumpkin.  And he loves me even though it didn't turn out the way either of us had hoped.

Through grace, I was saved from my failure.  When viewed through the lens of a perfect love, my pumpkin was no longer a disaster, but a masterpiece to be proudly displayed by the front door.  Though flawed in its construction, that pumpkin can proudly let its light shine for the whole world as if to say, "I was fearfully and wonderfully made."

The pursuit of perfection dies when faced with perfect grace.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the wisdom you showed me today through the heart of my child.  So often, I get so caught up on results and performing up to the expectations I place on myself that I forget that I do not have the power to do it on my own.  I end up biting off more than I can chew or sometimes I never even try at all out of fear I will fail.  Thank you for reminding me today that you see me through the lens of Jesus.  Help me to remember that when you look at me, you don't see my failures and imperfections.  You no longer see the places where I have messed up, where I have fallen short, where I have disappointed.  You see your precious masterpiece.  Flawed as I am, help me to let my light shine proudly and to be bold for you, Lord.  Help me trust you enough to follow where you would lead me and to take on what you call me to do and not be so afraid of failure that I don't even try.  Through you, all things are possible and your grace leaves me nothing to fear.  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Project Life Tuesday - The "I'm So Behind" Edition

This is the tough thing about working on a scrapbook that documents your life on a weekly basis: LIFE DOESN'T STOP.  Through things like moving to a new city, searching for and starting a new job, playing the single parent for two weeks, and managing a house with three kids at the center, time marches on and likes to remind you that you are more than a month behind on that scrapbook!

I love Project Life, don't get me wrong.  In its design, it oozes convenience and simplicity.  But to create the kind of album I want, it does require a time commitment that I just haven't had available recently. 

After Evan got back from China, I was fortunate enough to be granted a "Mom's Day Off" where I got to close myself off in the bedroom and just attack my Project Life.  There were hundreds of photos to sort through and I planned out 4 weeks worth of layouts before I sent my prints to Walgreens.  Unfortunately, I forgot to upload a handful of my photos.

You guys, I worked for hours.  All day long.

And this is what I have to show you:

I had materials thrown all over my bed and the floor.  It was a mess.  And the only reason I was able to even work on my album at all is because I finally dug my paper trimmer out of a moving box in the basement.  All my materials are still packed away in boxes and I got frustrated when I was pulling out random packages of Thickers, embellishments, and punches that were once neatly organized in their drawers in my scraproom.  Perhaps it was the mindset, the distractions of working at a makeshift folding table desk, or maybe it was just the daunting task of working from so far behind, but I didn't get nearly as far as I wanted to.

Not a single full week was finished.

Now, I'm not linking up with The Mom Creative this week to toss my blog in the ring of the numerous others that provide incredible inspiration for crazy amazing layouts.  Like Jessica's post this morning, mine is more of a reminder that life happens and sometimes we let it get the best of us.  Getting behind is hard and it is frustrating.  The important thing is to keep going.  Keep taking photos.  Keep working on documenting those memories whenever you can, however you can.  Falling behind is understandable, but in my mind quitting is unacceptable.  There are just way too many great memories that are still happening while all that crazy life stuff is taking place!  I'm going to be fighting an uphill battle with my album for a while, especially until I can get my materials organized and a space to work set up. 

Keep at it!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bacteria is Taking Over My Life

I started writing this post while I was eating an apple square (sugar free!) from an apple orchard in my hometown.  I thought it tasted a little off, but I really didn't think a whole lot of it.  I finally really looked down at my plate and realized there were huge spots of mold all over the stupid thing.

And this is why you shouldn't eat late at night.  Not only are you consuming calories that you won't burn off before bed, but the dim lighting makes it tough to see the mold.

Lessons for our lives, people.

Once I scraped the nasty dessert into the garbage can and went to the freezer for a chocolate ice cream bar to wash the taste out of my mouth, I returned to the couch to watch the rest of The Voice on DVR and do some blogging.

But I completely forgot what I was going to write about.  Eating mold will do that to a person, I think.

My little fire chief had kind of a rough week.  He may look tough, but it doesn't take a whole lot more than some nasty bacteria setting up shop in his inner ear to make this happen:

Just in case any of you were considering me as a write-in vote for Mom of the Year, you can go ahead and stick to the safe choices like Michelle Obama or Snooki because I swear to you that I kept looking at this child and telling him to stop crying and shake it off.  It wasn't until my first born was lying on the couch wailing and yelling, "Mommy, I just can't handle it!!!" that I finally accepted that he was really hurting.  I brought him in to the clinic and the doctor took one look in his ear and said, "Whoah.  Buddy, that hurts a lot doesn't it?"  He went on to describe how my boy had a super-nasty ear infection of the variety that causes an extreme amount of pain to the poor souls it afflicts.  So much for my "shake it off" mentality!  A couple doses of Amoxicillin and he was good to go!

Since Isaiah was feeling better, I put him and his brothers to work helping me rake leaves out in the front yard and I'll just share a couple of my favorite little moments from that adventure.

 Needless to say, my attempts to get some Christmas card photos were not without challenges!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Through the Chaos

Oh, you should have seen our attempt to Skype with Evan this morning.  It was absolutely hilarious in a "this will be funny later" kind of way.  The connection was terrible so we could neither see nor hear Evan with any kind of clarity and the kids were getting frustrated because they wanted to talk to him so badly, but it just wasn't working.  Eventually, he called us on the phone and we watched the fractured, pixilated image on the screen while we heard his voice through the phone.  It was just  I was multi-tasking as usual, making pancakes, unloading and re-loading the dishwasher, feeding Thomas, and  making coffee.

At one point, Evan had to say to me, "Sarah, just stop for a second so I can see you!"  I completely forgot that Evan could see us through the web cam just fine.  It never occurred to me that Evan would actually want to see me when his kids were more than enthusiastic about showing off their half-eaten pancakes, reward charts filled with stickers, and drawings. 

Sometimes I forget that Evan is really missing this.  I feel somewhat drowned in the noise, the mess, and the chaos.  I find myself overwhelmed by the constant clutter that follows me everywhere and the incessant chattering/whining/bickering/crying. 

It can be easy to forget that he doesn't get to see this

 or this

  or even this.

While I look around and see chaos, he looks around and sees a barren hotel, lonely hotel room.  While I yearn for a few stolen moments of peace and quiet, he surfs TV channels in Chinese just to get some noise.  While I get to start and end each day with hugs and kisses from my sweet boys, Evan wakes and falls asleep on his own. 

Sure, I'm lonely without him.  But even through the chaos, I am still home.  I need to keep reminding myself that Evan really, truly, wishes he were too. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

New Design is LIVE!

The new design is up and running!  If you're reading my blog in a RSS feed or Google Reader, just take a quick hop over to the website to take a peek at the new look and let me know what you think.  I still have a couple kinks to work out, but overall I really like the new sleek look that this design brings to the blog.  

Five Days Down

Holy cow, is it seriously Friday already?  I have officially discovered the secret to making these weeks without Evan go as quickly as possible.  Just keep really, REALLY busy.  Today is the first day all week that we haven't had something going on.  Between church, work, and visits from Grandma and the boys' new BFF (my friend Rachael who babysat the kids for me last night and by some miracle still wants to be friends with me this morning), we haven't really had a day without something on the agenda.

Today we're just going to kind of be homebodies, I think.  I might actually do some laundry or sweep the floor or something wild like that.  If I get really ambitious, I might even try to make my bed, but let's not get carried away. 

Here's what our week has looked like while Evan is in China.

On Sunday we went back to my hometown for a birthday celebration for my Grandma.  I ate way too many foods that were really bad for my Points total (i.e. Peanut Butter M&Ms, chips & dip, chocolate cake), but I was trying to drown my sorrows about the Packers losing in embarrassing fashion to the Colts.  Plus, I was trapped in the chair because this was happening.

After the party, my kids left their mark in a new concrete slab at my parents' house.

On Monday afternoon, a new toy arrived in the mail!  We cashed in Evan's airline miles to get this for free and I fully intend to keep it a secret from the kids for as long as possible.
I ran out of coffee, which became very problematic when Thomas was waking up in the middle of the night and then refusing to nap while his big brothers helped make things look like this:

Isaiah took a trip to the fire station with his 4K class (see his cool new hat above), Micah pooped his pants, and I bought more coffee.  Most nights, I've been getting home from work with just enough energy left to crash into bed and watch a little Game of Thrones on the iPad before I find myself passing out.  Seriously, the coffee consumption this week has been pretty ridiculous.

This morning, I slept until 7:15.  Why?  Because the kids let me.  I dropped Isaiah off at 4K without a stitch of makeup on and I didn't even care.

I did do a teeny little happy dance when I saw this pop up on my phone though:

Young House Love tweeted me!!!  Yes, I'm a dork.

Speaking of dorks, check out how Micah goes grocery shopping.

For a split second, I really thought he was going to try to climb up into that tunnel he dug on that shelf of pancake mix.  Oh, would that have been a fun one to explain to the manager.
How is your week going?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Letter to Me

Dear Sarah in October 2007,

Hey honey, how are you doing?  I know it's a little on the strange side to be reading a letter from - well - yourself, but I think if you'll just hear me out you will realize that there are some important lessons to be learned here.  As you're reading this letter, you are just weeks away from giving birth to your first child, an incredible and darling little boy.  Are you scared?  Of course you are.  And that excruciating pain you're feeling in your hips and in your vajayjay?  It will go away soon, I swear. 

There are a few things that I want you to know, however.

Return the Diaper Genie and use the money to stock up on TUCKS and Preparation H.  You'll thank me later.

You will not always be this fat.  Right now, you feel like you are literally the size of a barn and photos taken of you are not going to do much to change that opinion.  Trust me when I tell you that you will look somewhat normal again soon, but it's going to take way more work that you realize.  Just don't let that stop you from enjoying your new baby and, for the love of cookie dough, getting in the photos with him!  You are going to look back on this time and cringe at how puffy you look, but that's not what really matters.  What's important is that you document the memories you have with that sweet boy as he completely changes your world.

The hemorrhoids will go away, I promise.  Just hang in there.

Unfortunately, the stretch marks will not.  Sorry about that.  Stop spending the money on the cocoa butter because it won't do jack diddly.

Sweetie, there are so many things about being a Mommy that are not written about in What to Expect When You're Expecting.  If I spewed all of them out at you right now, you might hop right in the car and speed to the nearest adoption agency, so I'll just ease you into a few things you're going to want to know. 

First, newborn poop comes shooting out of there like a fully-pumped Super Soaker.  If you take that diaper off, be ready to slap another diaper on pronto in the style of Indiana Jones putting the bag of sand in place of the golden idol.  If you don't execute this maneuver properly, there's going to be just as much running for the hills and way more screaming. 

Second, the birthing experience is going to SUCK.  All those stories you've heard about these beautiful births where the mother pushes for ten minutes and out pops a perfectly formed newborn child....yup, not for you.  Prepare yourself for a grueling, difficult, exhausting birth that is going to subject you to a level of exposure you never thought possible.  Keep a sense of humor about it and you'll make it.  At the end of all that work, you do end up with a pretty amazing final product, but don't freak out at the shape of his head.  You'd look like an alien too if you had a vacuum stuck to your skull like that.

Third, for what will probably be the first time in your life since you were a toddler, pooping is going to be the scariest thing on the planet.  Eat stool softeners like candy and you'll get through it.  Nothing is going to rip you to pieces any worse than that 7 pound, 11 ounce baby did so just get 'er done.

Finally, you should know that you will FREAK OUT when you bring that baby home.  All that help you had at the hospital?  Gone.  Every ounce of knowledge you tried to soak up from reading books and chatting for hours on  Worthless.  There is no instruction manual for that little buggar and you're going to find yourself bawling your eyes out as you rock back and forth in a corner, convinced you just made the biggest mistake of your life.  When that happens, here's what you need to do.  BREATHE.  PRAY.  CALL GINA.  Snapping like a twig and losing your mind does not make you a bad mom; it makes you normal.  What matters is that you handle it in a healthy way.  Hand the baby off whenever you can and do your best to get some alone time with a big glass of wine and a good book.

Down the road you will learn things like the fact that after you have a baby, an alarm gets secretly installed on your toilet seat so they know when you sit down.  Get used to having company in there!  If you lock the door, be prepared to hear the sounds of catastrophe as soon as your butt hits the seat.  You will discover that sleep is one of the most precious things in the world and coffee is a blessing from God. 

More than anything else, you will fall in love with that baby....and his brothers later on.  You were born to do this, sweet girl.  God has chosen these children specifically for you and Evan and you are going to be AWESOME.  Enjoy the next few weeks and try to relax. 

I'll see you in a few years.  And good news.....we're totally skinny now.  :)

Monday, October 8, 2012


It's time for a little update around here at The Arena Update.  Considering that the photos in the header are now more than a year old and we no longer can "update" anyone on the town of Arena, I figured it is the perfect time to tweak a few things.

Here's what you can expect.

1.  Name Change
I want to keep the word "Arena" just for the sake of continuity, but I had to figure out how to make it a bit more.....metaphorical.  So, the new name of the blog will be Arena Five.  Under this roof, I feel like there are days when I live in a gladiator arena.  There's dirt everywhere, someone is always trying to kill someone else, and nobody really gets too riled up unless someone sheds blood.  Ah, the joys of raising sons.  So, life is a battleground....and we're on the front lines.  And since there are five of us, it seemed to fit.  Welcome to our arena!  (Good news: the website address will still bring you here!)

2.  A New Look!
You know us girls; we'll take any excuse to get a makeover!  I knew I had to change the name and the header, but I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to blog design, so there wasn't much I could do to tweak my design.  I've got a new design on order and I'm really looking forward to seeing the look.

3.  Some Hiccups.
Of course, these things don't usually happen as smoothly as we would like.  I apologize in advance for any wonky mishaps that may occur during the change-over.  Just bear with me and we'll get get it worked out!

Yay!  So excited!  The new design should be up and running in about a week or so!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

While the Man's Away....

....this girl's gonna PLAY!

Ok, so not really.  But, I do plan on making sure to take care of some orders of business while I'm the head honcho around here and Evan's off gallivanting on the other side of the planet. 

Stuff I'm Going to Do While Evan is in China:

1.  Take up the entire bed and not even feel bad about it.

2.  Give myself some grace when it comes to maintaining the house.  When Evan is home, I feel like it is my "wifely duty" to make sure the kids' crap is picked up, the counters are wiped and clear, the bed is made, and things are in a a fair degree of order.  Until he gets back, it's just me, the kids, and some babysitters who love us all to death.  Dust bunnies be darned.  Mama's cutting herself some slack, peeps.
3.  Watch my bed....with a bowl of chocolate frozen yogurt.  And no, I am absolutely NOT doing this right now as I write this post.  You can't prove anything!!!!
4.  Put together outfits that would make my husband scratch his head.  I'm working on rebuilding my wardrobe and I'm bound and determined to not be Frumpy Mommy anymore.  I just a pair of skinny jeans hemmed and I found a new belt on sale so I'm busting out some crazy combos to see how I like it.  For your consideration, I give you the outfit I wore to my grandmother's birthday party:
Turquoise straight cords (LOFT), Polka Dot Blouse (The Limited), Leopard print belt (The Limited), black flats (Payless from a LONG time ago).  See what I mean?  WILD!!!  This outfit is a big step out of the box for me, but I have found I am OBSESSED with those turquoise cords and I am just looking for an excuse to wear them again.  I'm glad we can have this talk.  I certainly can't chat about fashion when Evan's around.
5.  Work on Project Life.  I have two weeks sketched out of planning pages, but I have a long way to go.  I would love to get 2 more weeks down on paper before I print the photos and get to work on assembling them.
6.  Send out invitations to the Big's birthday party.  Oh my word, you guys.  I ordered the most darling invites for their superhero birthday party.  You are just going to die when you see them.  Can't wait to set them in the mail!
7.  Play with a new toy that should be arriving on my doorstep Monday morning.  No spoilers for right now though!
8.  Work my butt off, keep up with my church schedule, and enjoy some time with my Mommy group! 
9.  Miss my man like crazy because pretty much all of this stuff is way more fun with him around. 
And here's your obligatory "Cute Kid Photo" for today's post:
Happy Sunday evening, everyone.  Hope you have a wonderful week!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Double Batch Pumpkin Pancakes

I'm not sure if I've posted this recipe before, but I love it so much that it's worth repeating even if I have.  Please tell me I'm not the only one who goes a little pumpkin crazy once fall hits.  In my book, nothing ushers autumn in better than the comforting flavor and smell of pumpkin.

Pumpkin Spice Lattes.
Pumpkin Bars.
Pumpkin Muffins.

Yup, I'm hungry.

But my favorite pumpkin recipe of all time is easily this one for pumpkin pancakes.  I affectionately call it Double Batch Pumpkin Pancakes because I absolutely MUST make a double batch every time because we eat them so fast!  This will yield you more than enough pancakes to feed your hungry brood at breakfast with plenty to spare for freezing....if you double it

2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups milk
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree

**If you want enough to freeze....DOUBLE IT!**

STEP #1 - Before you do anything else, melt the butter and set it out on the counter to cool off while you assemble the remaining ingredients!  If you pour the butter into your batter while it's fresh out of the microwave, it curdles and makes your pancake batter all wonky.  It works much better if you give it a chance to cool off a bit.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and spice in a large bowl.  Once combined, make a "well" in the middle.  In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and milk.  Add pumpkin puree and whisk until well combined.  Add melted butter and whisk again.  Pour the wet ingredients into the well in the dry ingredients and stir gently until just blended.  The batter will be slightly lumpy, but you don't want to over-mix.

A 1/4 cup measuring cup works perfectly for portioning out the perfect pancake size.  When I make a double batch, I usually have enough left to fill 2 gallon freezer bags when the pancakes are laid flat. 

Once frozen, these pancakes make a fabulous quick and healthy breakfast for the kids.  Why spend money on Eggo waffles when you can just pop a couple of these in the toaster on the Defrost setting and you've got breakfast!  My kids don't even use syrup on their pumpkin pancakes half the time.  They're content to just eat them with their hands plain!

And if you want to really amp up the pumpkin goodness, make a batch of Pumpkin Butter and smear it all over a piping hot Pumpkin Pancake.

You can thank me later.  :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

For Jessica

My freshman year of college, I took a journalism class to explore some options for what I wanted to do in my academic career.  Now, I couldn't tell you a single iota of information that I learned in that class, but I can tell you about a remarkable young woman I met - Jessica Arp.

If you are a local reader, you may recognize this gorgeous girl from seeing her face plastered all over your TV screen on the WISC news, especially during the times of political fervor here in Wisconsin (see: Recall, Paul Ryan) since she is the political reporter. 

Jessica posted the video below on her Facebook page and I couldn't resist sharing it here and taking the opportunity to throw my two cents in about the topic of criticism.  A while back, I wrote a blog post on a particularly frustrating day where Micah was really pushing my buttons.  I received a comment from someone who told me that perhaps my children would be better off if they were adopted by someone else because I clearly was not a fit parent for them.  I cried my eyes out and was this close to shutting down my blog because I was so upset.  Among others, Jessica swooped in and came to my rescue.  She wrote me an uplifting message of encouragement that helped me realize that I didn't need to bow to the bullying of one mean spirit and I was able to respond to the woman who had hurt me. 

Her letter also opened my eyes to the harsh reality that her job entails.  She has had such cruel things said to her, friends.  Jessica works tirelessly to deliver viewers a well-researched report with the facts presented as clearly as possible.  When I'm working my day job, I really don't have to get dressed in real clothes if I don't want to!  My kids don't really give a hoot if I'm making their pancakes wearing pajama pants and an over sized sweatshirt, but my girl Jess has to do her job on camera.  She wears cute jackets, sassy necklaces, and has to *gasp* do her hair and makeup every day!  In my book, she deserves a medal just for that!  (Can I get an amen, mamas?)  There was that one time that President Obama came to visit Madison and she made the mistake of rocking brand new heels (despite the fact that no one was going to see them on camera).  Oh, her Tweets after a very long day were lamenting the status of her poor feet, but I'm sure she learned from that experience....right Jess?

Anyway, Jess is good at her job.  Very good.  And she looks cute doing it.  But since she has a job in the public eye, she has to deal with the kind of garbage that would send me running for the hills with a pint of Ben & Jerry's.  I commend her for being a strong woman with a thick skin who was sweet enough to reassure me that I was a good mom, despite what my rogue commenter had to say.  I have tried to Tweet her little nuggets of love from time to time as well, especially on election days and the like, when I know she's likely to have been putting in a CRAZY day. 

But, it's not okay that she should have to take that kind of abuse.  It doesn't matter if we are twelve, twenty, or ninety.  Bullying is still bullying and it's wrong no matter how it's packaged.  Check out how this journalist from a LaCrosse station responded to her bully:

As women, we are constantly fighting that nagging voice that tells us we aren't ENOUGH.  We aren't thin enough, smart enough, old enough, young enough, strong enough, good enough, pretty enough to do what we are trying to do.  The enemy loves to cultivate this self-doubt within us and there always seems to be someone out there who just loves to point out our faults to us. 

It's all lies, sisters.

Take a moment today to lift a woman up somehow, won't you?  Tell her she looks fabulous.  Make a phone call to a mother with young children and let her know she's doing a great job.  Email a colleague who has been stressed about a big project and encourage her to stick to it.  Text a girlfriend you haven't spoken to in a while to let her know you're thinking of her.  Or maybe Tweet my girl Jessica or email her at and give her a word of encouragement.  We appreciate you, ladies.  You are awesome.  You are beautiful.  You are ENOUGH. 

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