Dear Younger Carynn- Work Edition

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Dear Younger Carynn,

It’s just a job! It isn’t who you are, what you’re worth, or anything more than a way to support your lifestyle. Do not let it have a single hint of effect on your home-life because it’s not worth it. It will be hard but leave it all at the office every single day. Further, try to surround yourself with friends that are the same way, even if you work with them. Co-workers make good friends but you don’t want to go out and just talk shop when you’re not on the clock.

When people ask you ‘how is work’ just give them an overview and move on. No one actually cares how its going, they’re just being polite and looking for something easy to ask about. Lead the convo to more important things like your hobbies, your kids, and things that bring you joy.

Love,

Grownup Carynn

P.S. You’ll get to work with your husband which is awesome but it won’t last forever so make the most of it : )

The Zen Zone

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Do you ever get irrationally flaming pissed and call your friend that you know will agree with you anyway? You know, the one who is all like… oh no that heifer did NOT wear pink today, you OWN that color! I love that friend but sadly, I’m not as good at being that friend. I mean, I totally can but if you don’t warn me that you need that, I will go all how-do-we-fix-this friend instead.

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I was meant to be a healer and consoler and shoulder to cry on because of what we will call The Zen Zone. The Zone is what happens to me in an emergency/high stress/adrenaline situation. My husband calls me out on it because it makes him laugh. When we totaled our car, it came out. He was in a panic and I was even calmer than usual. When a friend or one of the teenagers calls me crying hysterically, it comes out. When our wedding season came and everyone thought I would be freaking out, I just moved in and stayed a month in The Zone. It’s lovely there.

The physical pieces are easier to spot. My voice lowers and quiets. I use “uh-huh” and “okay…” in a soothing way almost like I’m trying to coax a baby to sleep. I ask a lot of questions that I know the answer to like “do you think he is just scared” or “you think maybe you should breathe a minute”. The mental pieces are not as obvious but are there. I clear my mind, focus on one small thing, give the best level-headed advice I can and try to be super supportive. I can make split-second decisions like a boss. It’s what I do.

But sometimes people don’t warn me that they don’t want The Zone and I piss them off. I get called a bad friend, yelled at, unfriended, you know… all the fun stuff that happens when you tell someone the truth instead of agreeing that girl is obviously fatter. I should have two phone numbers and you call the friend you want. For irrational, supportive friend press 1 and to get Zen Zoned press 2.

Why did I tell you guys this? Because I got hung up on for telling a friend between their sobs that they weren’t going to actually run over someone with their car. Apparently they pressed 2 when they really meant 1 and it was too late to change my answer once I heard the click on the other end of the line. Oops.

Weekends Rule

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I really, really, REALLY love weekends. I could keep myself quite busy if I didn’t have a job. Some of my friends say they actually enjoy work. What? You would rather go to work than do something else? I don’t understand that logic at all. I work so they give me money, don’t you?

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This weekend while our tiny spawns are out of town we are going to live it up! Tonight we are going to pick up Agent K’s 7th grade schedule (what?!) and then go to a fancy dinner at a little place I like to call Taco Bueno. Then we are going home to do laundry and prep our house for the arrival of the girl teenager tomorrow. I MISS HER ADORABLE FACE SO MUCH!! Sorry, I’m missing my teenagers. Anyway, after Husbando and I go to Wingapalooza (yes, its a real and very magical thing) tomorrow she will be moving in for a couple nights of fun! Pitch Perfect 2, pizza, YouTube videos, sleeping, and ice cream are all in the plans. Sunday is for being lazy and maybe some shopping or swimming.

See how busy I could stay? I’m not even getting into scrapbooking, cleaning out closets, helping kids with homework, crafting, home improvements, working in the yard, etc. I could be a Pinterest Professional if I didn’t have to make money! Y’all would get better Christmas gifts so it would be win-win if anyone wants to pitch in to let me have a weekend every day! Really, I’m just excited about this weekend after a hard week and I’m excited to see my teenager. I need to win the lottery :/

Letters To My Younger Self

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When I look back at my life, I wish so much that I could tell my younger self things. I think I’ll start writing those letters down for you to see/laugh at. Today we are going to dive into my biggest regret, ill-fitting underwear. Hold on to your knickers…

Dear Younger Carynn,

PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT I AM SAYING!

Remember when you were in eighth grade and bought your first D-cup bra? Man, that sucked.

Remember when your mom stopped buying your bras and you were in charge of it? It was sweet freedom mixed with the burden of having to decide what you could afford. That sucked but a little less. No more white or tan. No more five-snap closures and wide shoulder straps for comfort. Only pretty and sexy flowers, polka dots and lace. Supportive? SUPPORTIVE?! To hell with that! We only wanted cute and you can’t feel cute in beige.

Fast forward to college. Remember having to try to buy swimsuits that didn’t stick to every roll but were tight at the top to keep the girls reigned in? That wasn’t so awesome either. The cute suits with actual built-in bras were like a million dollars! The alternatives had a sad piece of tan material that was advertised as a ‘bra’ and may as well have not been there at all. You went with those so you could try not to break the bank. That sucked too.

Well let me let you in on a little secret… ALWAYS go with the lift and separate no matter the price! You can afford it, I swear. Well, mostly you can’t afford not to buy it. Your boobs will thank you and you will look so much better. For years you will have to live through beige but around 1996 they will start making pretty bras that fit like a glove. Invest and enjoy! Your pictures, your back and your future self will all thank you too : )

Oh, and buy any undies you want, just make sure they’re super comfy and make you feel cute. No need for the granny panties though, you’ve been better than that for 33 years strong so don’t give in.

Love,

Future Carynn

 

P.S. Don’t wait a week, just call him. Things get good ; )

Jurisdictions

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If you come over to my house, and I LOVE when people do, don’t look around, ok? Don’t examine my baseboards or dusty shelves because of two main reasons:

1.) It makes you rude so just go home.

2.) I can’t help it, blame the tiny child.

I’ve been trying for a year to keep up with the mess but it has been getting to me recently. This summer day camp is kicking my butt. Every day they have to wear something specific, I have to pack specific things in their bag, we have to pack a sack lunch, and then when we finally walk in the door at 6:00pm, they come home like a hot stormy mess tearing through our home like the Tasmanian Devil. I GIVE UP!

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I decided tonight, after a two-hour-all-hands-on-deck cleaning session, that I’m giving in to the Duggar style of cleaning. In their family, each child gets a “jurisdiction”. The jurisdiction isn’t a specific task as much as it is an area of the house that needs to be cleaned and taken care of. My tiny child is now in charge of anything that is a wood surface like a shelf, coffee table, or the wall-to-wall wood floor. She will dust and sweep on a weekly basis to keep them looking nice. My middle kiddo is in charge of the bathrooms. She loves cleaning them (for now) so more power to her! The boy is in charge of the trash/recycle area and the video game room. He spends the most time in it, why not?

There is an obvious learning curve with this and even though they have been taught how to clean these areas more than once, there was still quite a bit of me going back and re-cleaning things myself. That should get less and less so that when I’m cleaning my own jurisdictions (kitchen, laundry area, etc), I’m not getting interrupted a million times about how to work the vacuum. I think this is going to work. It HAS to work. I have to get some relief ASAP.

At the very least, I’m going to thin out the amount of things in the house. With the kids leaving for the next two weeks, there is about to be a mega purge. Just Between Friends and Goodwill are about to prosper! Their closets will hopefully be empty shells of what they are now. I’m thinning the toys, the clothes, the books, everything! If it can’t be used up, it better get used all the dang time. That reminds me, I need to go set the DVR to record Hoarders so that I can be inspired…

My Respite Care Birthday

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Husbando and I have birthdays four days apart. We are both a Gemini (the twins) so we’re practically twins. Bam. See what I did there? Anyway, we decided to take off our birthday week because, duh. What is a better gift?! We originally chose the week as FMLA ‘bonding time’ but later decided that after almost a year, we may benefit even more from a week apart. The girlies went off to Nana’s, Agent K went to do good in Louisiana and we hit the open road to Branson. Yup, we decided on a geriatric slow-paced time away. We took in a few shows, had way too much to eat (more on that in a moment) and did whatever the heck we wanted. I mean seriously it was just what we needed. A few highlights (and lowlights) are below:

 

  • On my birthday we got to go to the Dixie Stampede. Have you been? You should go. Think redneck version of Medieval Times based around a rodeo. You eat a tiny rotisserie chicken with your hands while sitting around a horse arena watching all kinds of shenanigans. Where you sit dictates if you are the ‘North’ or the ‘South’. We were the North and we lost. Boo.
  • The Groupon we purchased for the Lodge of the Ozarks included a free breakfast buffet for each day and a free Golden Corral buffet and drink per day. That’s right, TWO buffets for free every day. That actually was a little much and the night of Dixie Stampede we ‘wasted’ the Golden Corral vouchers but found a nice older couple that used them for us. It was a great deal and really made the vacation possible for us so we could afford the other things we wanted to do.
  • It rained the entire time we were there.
  • We did get to go shopping, on two winery tours, to two more shows within walking distance of the lodge, had pedicures done, and watched a ton of adult HBO.
  • BOTH my tv husbands died off in ONE day. After my Game of Thrones husband got killed, the True Blood husband got shot! Then I switched to Entourage because no one dies in that show and I love the cursing.

IMG_2716When we returned, we had a night at the house alone before we picked up the girlies. We cleaned up, did laundry and prepared to be back in our normal routine. While playing one last night of video games we sat there talking about the guilt we were having that we had spent a week alone and didn’t necessarily feel bad. We joked that we hadn’t been fetal and crying that our kids weren’t with us and did that make us monsters. Then I woke up and remembered that less than a year ago we got to do whatever we wanted whenever we wanted and that to miss that precious time with my husband wasn’t wrong. I would assume that everyone thinks back to a simpler time when they got to have 100% of their spouse’s attention and why wouldn’t I long for that back? It doesn’t make me less of a parent, it just means I have a time in my life that I miss. Our kids are a great blessing but the change has been long and hard. It is for sure worth it but I’m going to take any respite care I can get : )

BFF

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First, a little math:

Today my BFF turns 33 just 11 days before I do.

I met this BFF when I was just 8 and in 3rd grade.

That means we’ve been friends just shy of 25 years.

I drove 4 hours to come visit her for 3 days.

She has 1 son, I have 1 son and 2 daughters and we are working our hardest to let them spend as much time as possible together. We are both from small-ish families and we can use all the ‘cousins’ we can get.

I saw this music video several months ago and stopped dead in my tracks. I was cleaning out my closet and just came out and stood with my heart welling up. This song is so true and I immediately started thinking about all the friends I could call ‘old friends’. It was probably a hormonal day. Moving on… besides the BFF, I have a handful of friends from high school I still see and one or two from my college years. Of course, I’m Facebook friends with people I don’t even remember speaking to in school but these people are real friends involved in my life and people I still see on a semi-frequent basis.

Then, as usual, I got to thinking about how this goes along with the adoption of our children. Will they make old friends? Right now Agent K is going into 7th grade and has no friends from before he moved in with us. That means when he is out of high school, the oldest friend he could have is one he met this year, half way thorough his school career. I’ve been trying to get him to have sleepovers and playdates but he just seems uninterested. However, when anyone mentions hanging out, he is the first one in the car hollering at us to go drop him off. I think the disappointment has kept him from getting excited and putting himself out there but when he thinks he is really getting included, he is like a giddy schoolgirl. To be honest, we get excited for him just as much. We are worried about relationships and friends and bonding and all that stuff therapists have told us to make sure to help him with.

The girls are going into 3rd grade and I am praying they make some friends by having sleepovers and playdates like I did. My best memories are going to BFF’s house for the weekend and being included into their family like I was part of it. Her brother was older and out of the house so it was almost as if they just had us, the fraternal twins, to tote around everywhere with them. The mall, the dollar movies, Waffle House, it was just always a party of four and I loved it. I wish that fun on my daughters. I also hope they start to venture into separate friends because the co-friends never work out well with us. Friends always pick a side down to what bunk they are going to sleep in and someone feels left out and sad.

Now I know the fact that they were in DHS custody doesn’t automatically mean that they will have trouble making old friends but I will try my best to form and nurture those relationships if they arise. I am not even 33 and I have an old friend for 25 years. I am not naive enough to think that is the ‘norm’ but I also asked around the office and its not unheard of. Some people are just in your life forever and not because of any DNA. I have chosen her, and her wild family, as my own family for a quarter century and hope that when we are Kenny & Dolly’s age we can go karaoke this song to our grandkids.

 

 

Introducing The “Plano Baby”

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Ladies and gentlemen, I finally have a niece to play with! Plano Baby and I got to spend a few days together and mostly she lays on the floor but we did get to practice our selfie skills (seriously, she took like 4 of these all on her own). I got to watch her roll over from her tummy to her back once and either parenting has changed me or I’m losing my mind because I def got excited enough to clap. Anyway, we had a fun time together and I think we are going to be best friends!

 

My First Mother’s Day

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IMG_1983My very first Mother’s Day! I mean, I’ve been celebrating every year of my life as the person drawing bad pictures and giving lame gifts but its finally my turn. I’ve mentioned previously that when I find a positive to adoption, I feel like I HAVE to share it. Well here is one, no lame cards or gifts that my husband has to pretend are from an infant. Hello! My kids are 8, 9, and almost 12 so I can read, distinguish and cherish all the gifts I get. In fact, I can hint at what I want and my kids can effectively get their daddy to buy it. I mean, in the slim chance he didn’t get the hint when I slid him a very specific note in church. He told me twice that he was worried about Mother’s Day being before Father’s Day and was worried he would screw it up. I can see where that would be worrisome because we want all our “first” to be perfect so the list was to ease his mind. The kids also made things at school for me so we’re covered.

The weather kept us from going out of town but we had a nice day just the five us us. Madre came over Saturday and babysat while Husbando and I went on the best date ever. We went to Red Robin and I had a BOMB lunch (hooray goat cheese grilled chicken sandwich) followed by a movie and a pedicure. Then we went home and grilled. The kids gave Madre their cards and she opened her photo and necklace we picked out for her. Sunday I woke up to a beautiful tablescape of Legos and ‘confetti’ that Agent K stayed up late making. I made everyone eggs and pancakes before we watched church on TV. The kids played games, I opened my cards and charm bracelet/charms and it was just a great time. We got cleaned up and went to a dollar movie because ours is closing and we wanted one last hoorah before it is no more. The kids really went above and beyond to wait on me and even though it took twice as long to get everything done, their effort was adorable.

Also, dearest three followers, I’m sorry for getting behind. I’ll work on it.