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birthday, Kids, Life is beautiful, mommy blog

And we’ve survived another birthday season!

Ben had his 9th birthday party at Chuck E Cheese yesterday. It was great. All of his best buddies showed up and they played a bunch of games and got a ton prize tickets and stuff.

Ava is finally not scared of Chuck E. bc she realized he gives out tickets. My little people are almost all grown up. This is probably one of our last Chuck E. Cheese parties…tho Ava says she wants hers there next year…

They’re growing up so fast and it’s hard to believe that these little people were my little roly poly babies.

This was my first public birthday party that I’ve hosted alone. Their dad showed up, more of as a guest. It’s weird…and not…it’s been over 4 years since we were a functional couple, so it’s somewhat normal but it always leaves me feeling like a failure a little. So it makes every milestone a little gut wrenching…this isn’t the way anyone intended things to be…but they’re pretty good anyway. My kids are loved and brilliant, and at the end of the day, that’s what matters.

I don’t want to go back to anywhere we’ve been. I’ve found love and happiness. But there will always be a part of me that will wish the kids didn’t see me struggle financially and emotionally. And I will forever hope that their dad continues to work on himself until maybe one day he resembles the person I met. He owes that to himself.

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Inspiration, Kids, Life is beautiful, mommy blog, Uncategorized

Reflecting on 2017…

2017 made me brave. I definitely made mistakes and by mid year I was ready to quit…but I didn’t and the last six months of the year turned out to be pretty amazing…tho not without trials.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, in July I met the man of my dreams. And things were going amazingly, I’d worked on 3 wonderful movie projects with 3 more in the wings, I was in the best shape of my life, everything was falling in place and then something happened that knocked the wind out of me.

It’s not something that’s really easy to talk about. But Just before Halloween I found out that I had severe cervical dysplasia…highly aggressive precancerous cells. It’s something that’s common for women in my age group. It’s ok. It’s treatable…but this was me. And things like that don’t happen to me.

I had surgery in early November. My margins look good. My doctor says cancer isn’t gonna get me but…it was the waiting that drove me insane…waiting for path results, waiting for surgery, waiting for more results…just imagining evil little wonky cells dividing and multiplying…knowing that I wasn’t in control of my own body…regretting anything that contributed to this, worrying, wondering, looking at my kids and just knowing that they need me…it was HARD.

And now I wait for my 4 month checkup to make sure everything still looks good…and I’m struggling with getting my diet & fitness back on track but I know that I will. And I’m lucky in all respects…I have my family, my health, my job, and through all of this, I still have my amazing boyfriend.

This was a heavy thing for an early relationship to handle but Michael loves me. He really freaking loves me…and with him by my side, I feel like there’s nothing I can’t face.

2017 also was the year my Ben finally really pulled it together academically. I’m SO incredibly proud of him. And my Ava started guitar lessons…they’re both showing interest in arts and science and…they’re really cool kids.

So…here’s to hoping we carry the love and enthusiasm and into 2018. There is SO much to be grateful for. ❤️

Filmmaking, Fundraising, Inspiration, Life is beautiful, mommy blog, movies, Uncategorized

You can make excuses or you can make movies…

So…there’s this thing I did this year…I somehow started kind of acting. And how I did it, & the way it evolved and what it’s developed into kind of sounds like a movie in itself.

See…for like, nearly 2 decades I managed to talk myself out of getting involved in “Hollywood South”. I was busy. I had a demanding day job, then I had kids…I was the breadwinner and…I’m benandavasmom, I wasn’t an actress or anything like that…there was always a “valid” excuse as to why I couldn’t commit to being on a set, even though it’s something I’d wanted to do since I could talk and I’d done theatre and taken classes & workshops, even taught classes myself…but nope. I was reliable and stable…and as boring as I was bored. Continue reading “You can make excuses or you can make movies…”

Inspiration, Kids, Life is beautiful, mommy blog, Music, Uncategorized

Twinkle Twinkle Little Rockstar

Yesterday my baby girl took the stage and played “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” on her guitar. And then she had her first sleepover.

At her sleepover, she began forming her first girl band. I know this all sounds at least a little silly, but I’ve gotta say, when she was 3 she asked for a guitar for Christmas so she could “smash it like a rockstar” so…even if it’s nothing more than silly, it brings me joy to know that she’s to some extent living her dream.

My children inspire me every day. They are so very intuitive. As much as I try to portray the superhero mom every mom wants to be, they have seen my struggles, my mistakes, my fears…and I feel like it’s made them strong.

They are not going to be meek in ways that I was. I spent many years making safe choices at the expense of my talents. And anyone with degrees in science but a soul full of art knows how agonizing it can be. As Ani DiFranco once said, “if you don’t ask the right questions, every answer feels wrong…” and it took me the greater part of 37 years to start asking myself the right questions.

So…I’m not exactly sure where I’m going with this, but I feel like my kids ask the right questions. They seek what they love, & difficult as they can be to deal with sometimes, they’re good little humans.

Anyway…it’s been a long weekend. Little Ava has been asleep since 5:30 pm. I’ve got their clothes laid out, backpacks packed, and we’re ready for another Monday. And as we careen ever closer to Christmas, I’m just so grateful for healthy, happy kids with dreams that haven’t been stifled yet. They can be whatever they want to be…and if it’s up to me, they will.

Inspiration, Kids, Life is beautiful, mommy blog, Music, Uncategorized

Life is an adventure.

As I was typing the headline of this post, I realized that I finally have taught my predictive text feature most bad words that I use…bc when I went to type “adventure”, I accidentally hit, “as” instead of “ad” and the third predictive choice was a**hole.

But life’s not an a**hole. It’s definitely an adventure. And tomorrow my sweet little girl will have both her first guitar recital AND then her first sleepover. Adventures will be aplenty, I’m sure.

Yep. I’m hosting a little girl’s sleepover…at my condo. If you know me, you know that’s a pretty big deal because I’m crazy private and my house is perpetually messy. It wasn’t always…I used to be pretty tidy, & I’m gradually getting back to that but…the past year or two have been interesting, to say the least. Life’s been both an adventure and at times also an a**hole. And especially over the past year or so I think I kind of pack ratted myself into a rut where basically I didn’t want to let anyone in. Not in my house. Barely in my life. I’m skittish by nature. I’m weird. And yet I have this uncanny knack for seeing the best in people who have no good at all in them…it’s a blessing and a curse and it just about made me lose my faith in people. Myself included.

But then something happened. At my worst, at my lowest, I managed to meet the most amazing man. And you hear it said that sometimes people’s eyes meet and the world just sort of stops spinning…and I’d thought I’d even possibly experienced that before, but no. Not even close. When my eyes met Michael’s, it was like I was finally home. And I just knew he was going to play a big part in my life. Skittish as I am, I wasn’t sure exactly how, but I guess when you know, you just know.

Anyway…yeah, despite my past endeavors, I never really believed anyone would or could ever really love me correctly. I was kind of born into the idea that I was hard to love and had been told on more than one occasion that I wasn’t the worth the trouble.

But I also grew up on fairy tales and a tiny little part of me never lost hope that there was somebody out there for me…bc I mean, I knew good men existed, I was raised by one. And one day, clad in leather, covered in dirt and sweat, I met my Prince Charming.

It took a bit to get used to, even though we were pretty much inseparable from the start. I really am not the easiest person to get close to, but Mike has been patient. He gets me. He handles me beautifully, in full Merp-mode.

And…I’ve managed to let him into my life in ways I didn’t think I was really capable of. I don’t second guess what I text him. I don’t sugarcoat things. I’m just me. And he lets me and we fit together.

But I digress…back to this whole sleepover thing. No one outside my immediate family (& yes, this has included my amazing, Prince Charming boyfriend) has been allowed inside my house in nearly a year. I think I kept it messy on purpose…but tomorrow, I’m hosting little giggly girls…& I’m done being a packrat recluse.

I’ll always be a little messy. My life hasn’t gone as planned. But…it’s beautiful. And it’s definitely an adventure. And I’m so very thankful for where it’s led me. I never dreamed I’d actually be happy or really be loved. But here I am. I am so lucky and so loved and I am in awe of the wonderful adventure my life is turning out to be.

So…bring on the seven year olds. I’m ready for new adventures and new beginnings and…all of the wonderful stuff that lies ahead. 💕💫

Inspiration, Kids, Life is beautiful, mommy blog, Uncategorized

It’s Birthday Season!!

How fun is it to have both of your children celebrating a birthday in December?!  December comes with a level of overwhelmth (yes, I made that word up, but it’s a wonderful, wonderful word) that I can’t properly convey to you.  It’s the end of the year.  It’s Christmastime, and…oh by the way, your kids, who still by some amazing miracle, believe in Santa, both were born BEFORE the 25th.

The holidays take strategy and a lot of hustle, and hosting birthday party(ies) in the midst of the holiday madness is not for the timid.  It’s the time of year that I wish I didn’t live in suburbia, where I feel the nagging need to compete.  It’s the time of year that I wish I’d have invested more money in my 20’s and was independently wealthy.  But when all of the craziness and mommy guilt dies down, I don’t know if I’d have planned it our any differently than it fell.

I’m Ben & Ava’s mom. (Ok. I have a name, it’s Katie…) This is what we do.  Benjamin was born on December 22, 2008.  Ava came along as a little force of nature just shy of two years later (she’s on the 11th).  And every December is the same.  It always feels like I can’t get them enough, and it’s too much to do.  And it ends up that I get them too much, and I do too much, and I think they appreciate it.  I hope they do.  I really can’t imagine baking cakes or making pinatas or throwing them parties in the summer or any other time.  So…while everybody else is celebrating holidays, in December, I celebrate my babies…which is why it feels appropriate for this to be my first post.

Birthday season is underway.  Ava turned 7 this past Monday–which means for 11 days she’s only a year younger than her big brother.  This is serious stuff.  Before the New Year, my first born will be 9.  I have no idea where the time has gone, but…it’s flying by.  And when I look at my life, I like that December is this big finale for the year.  And there’s nothing I’m more proud to be than Ben and Ava’s mom.