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

Parenting alone sucks.

There. I said it. It’s something I’ve been feeling for…well over 5 years because…you see, after Ava was born her dad started being home less and less frequently. And then it started only really being for special occasions and what felt like public appearances.

It got so bad that my dad came from Michigan to help me because I had two tiny kids and a demanding job and…little help. And then my dad up and died. And since then I’ve struggled. I’ve struggled with emotions and finances and careers and kid stuff. And…I’m tired. And I’m often scared. And frequently lonely in a way that I can’t describe. But I try not to let on bc…I’m a strong, independent woman. And I know things like when people ask how your day is they rarely really give a crap.

For the past three years in a row I’ve taken the kids to Mardi Gras parades by myself. Because I can. But this past Friday, as I was struggling with the wagon and chairs and the bags by myself, something just hit me. I can do this. I CAN. but i don’t know for how long.

I look at happy families and I wonder where my life went wrong. Why don’t I have that? Could I ever have that? What’s wrong with me? And it hurts. I always feel like there’s something wrong with me. And maybe there is. I don’t even know.

But there are some things I do know. I love my kids. And I’m trying to do my best. And I think they know that. I know the next 10 or 12 years are gonna fly by and when they do, they’re gonna look back and know it was me that made sure they went to parades and turned in their projects on time and got them to school and wrote them Santa letters and worked odd jobs to afford their hobbies and….someday they’ll thank me. I think.

And there will be days like this morning where I sing to them and get them to school on time and everything goes smoothly even tho we slept through our first alarm. And the principal gives me a nod and a smile as I walk them to class, and I feel like maybe I can pull this all off.

But last Friday I felt more alone than I have in a very, very long time…and it’s those moments that lurk in the background like a cold dampness and remind me that even tho I’ve been doing this awhile, I have no freaking clue what I’m doing. But then I have to remind myself that maybe all that matters is that I just do whatever I can. So I do…and so far we’ve survived. ❤️

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.

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.