Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lessons Learned from Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons

I've shared before things I've learned in books. Like The Divine Secrets I've learned from the YaYa Sisterhood. And I thought I'd do it again. I've just finished reading Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by: Lorna Landvik. it's such a fun read. It's about 5 young mothers who all move into a couldusac in the 1960's and decide to start a Book Club! They go through many books, & decades of life together! It's probably not an appropriate book for my book club to read (we have a few teenagers who attend) but I still wanted to talk about it! After all I love books & I love to talk! :) So, here are some things I picked up from these Angry Houswives along the way:

Good Posture and an attitude let you get away with anything.
The type of person who got away with a lot simply because
she refused to ask permission for the privilege of being herself.

Life is like a bowl of spaghetti, it's still good even when it's all tangled up.

What I had come to love about book club was how in hearing so many opinions about the same book, your own opinion expanded, as if you'd read the book several times instead of just once.

There are outlaws inside all of us -
ready to break rules that need to be broken.
But society doesn't want its wives and mothers to be outlaws,
so most of the time we repress that voice that tells us to break rules.

I believe God can be found just as easily in a bowling alley as in a pew.

If you don't like where you're at, move.

What I don't like is when feminism tries to do away with what's feminine.

I was taught in Sunday School that "In the beginning there was light,"
but to me, it was always an incomplete sentence, which God should have known to amend:
in the beginning God created light . . . to read by.

If you think that it's true, that you can't judge a book by its cover,
then why do you choose to dress the way you do?

Bossy girls might be a pain, but they get whay they want.

Mothers united would be a powerful force.

Isn't that what friends are for,
hearing about the things that don't make you perfect
and loving you anyway?

By the end of the book, you feel like these are your friends, & you don't want to say goodbye to them. It was sad to have to put this book down. But, of course there are many fish in the sea! Or in this case, many books in the book store! :) My Husband snaped this picture of me, below, on his Iphone in Half Price Books looking for my next read! I picked up Best Friends Forever & Eat, Pray, Love! Which I thought were great selections, until my 18 year old son, Zach, showed me his selections; War and Peace & Schindler's List! (Can you tell who the smart one in the family is?!) Well, at least he got his love for books from his Mother! :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Letter to My High School Self

Recently I was having a conversation with my son Zach, who just graduated from High School, and we were talking about how you spend so much time in High School worrying about what everyone thinks about you & trying to fit in, then when you graduate you may never really see those people again. And he said but Mom, with Facebook it's kind of changing that now. It's a lot easier for people to stay in touch with each other. And I realized how true that is. The world really is getting smaller!

People I knew in High School and haven't really seen since then, or at least since our 10 year reunion (I lived out of state for our 20th, and didn't go) have started to find each other on Facebook. And someone had the brilliant idea of inviting everyone to meet for lunch. So last week I went & met some people from High School for lunch. How much fun is that?! Some of these people lived in the same neighborhood as I did, and we went to Elementary School, Jr. High and High School together.

It's so funny, some people you see & even though it's been a lot of years, (28 years to be exact, but who's counting?) you know exactly who they are. They haven't changed at all. Others, look familiar, but you can't quite place them, until you get their name. Then it clicks in your brain. And some even after looking them up in the yearbook, look so different it's hard to believe they are the same person! And I wonder which of those scenarios I am for other people.

Most people told me I look just the same as I did in High School. (I think they were just being polite! I certainly don't feel like I look the same! Wish I did. I hate this aging thing, for myself as well as my kids!) Here's some of my High School pictures, you can judge for yourself. Please be kind. I do have the power to delete any of your comments. :)

Me in High School:

My Jr. Year of High School, 1981

My Senior Portrait
Maryvale High School class of 1982

As I was sitting there having lunch, I said to the girls at my table (and yes, I still consider us girls!) that I don't really know how people would remember me from High School. I was just kind of there, in the background. Believe it or not, I was actually kind of shy (I know hard to believe for those of you who know me now). And I said I wish I had the self confidence that I have now, back then. And that got me thinking.

I wish I could write a letter to myself and send it back to the High School me! I would tell myself to go for it! I mean what was I so afraid of anyway? I wanted to try out for the Pom line, but couldn't do the splits, so I never even tried. And why was I so afraid to talk to the boy I had a crush on? Look at me now, I've sustained a good marriage for almost 23 years now! Who cares if that one boy from High School didn't like me? And maybe he would have if I'd given him a chance! The me now would have done school plays, and joined different groups! I've found I have a love for writing by doing this Blog! I should have been writing for the school paper! But, instead I was just there. Got average grades. I didn't party! (not that the me now does either, I'm just saying!) I was a goody two shoes! I believed I was the last American virgin! (That is one thing I wouldn't change no matter how much I was teased!) I was in Dance in High School & I just loved it! Dance class that is, Ballet, Jazz, Modern, etc. (I didn't really go to school dances, but I should have!) We did Dance concerts, and those were some of my best High School memories I have. I did ditch class occasionally, some friends & I would go to the mall or just take a long lunch! I do still like to do those things! :) On Senior Ditch Day I went to Big Surf, a water park right here in the Arizona desert! High School was a lot of fun! I just think how much better it could have been if I had been braver?! If I had been the me I am now?!

So, as a Mother, I try to encourage my kids to get involved in school activities. Sports, Band, clubs, anything they might be interested in. It's worth it to try! I mean why not? Go for it! I do now! And I kind of like this person I've become, does it really matter if someone else might not? And I think you will find, that if you like you, others will to! (How cliche was that? I think I am getting old!)

Maryvale High School, class of 82 Lunch:

At lunch: (lft. side of table) Larry, me, Maria,
(rt. side of table) Laurie, Reine

Me with Judy, Katie across the table

Maryann & Me

Some of the Highschoolers, 28 years latter! :)
It really was a lot of fun, seeing them again.

So, if you could write a letter to yourself
back in High School,
what would you say?

And hopefully we'd only have to pay postage for back then, not today's!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Friendship Between Women

Last night was our Book Club meeting, and we were discussing the book Firefly Lane by: Kristin Hannah. It is such a good book. It's about 2 girls who become friends in the 70's in Jr. High School, and vow to be forever friends! Firefly Lane is the name of the street they grew up on, where they learned to dream! (And to scheme!)

It's so much fun to travel through the decades with these two. Starting in the 70's, and going through the 80's, the 90's & into the new Millennium. To reminisce about the clothes we all wore, (and some we wish we hadn't) the music that spoke so profoundly into our lives! To live again the Royal Wedding of Princess Diana. (For which I stayed up until all hours of the night to see the entire thing!) Luke & Laura getting married! ('nuf said on that one!) The fear that followed 9/11, and how it changed our entire country!

"That was what a best friend did:
hold up a mirror and show you your heart."

The friendship between Tully & Kate is powerful, full of fun & racked by tragedy: "The problem with forever friends is they know too much." "The thing about best friends, like sisters and mothers, they could piss you off and make you cry and break your heart, but in the end, when the chips were down, they were there, making you laugh even in your darkest hour."

This book is almost as much about Mothers and Daughters, as it is about Friendship. And as the mother of two girls about to enter their teenage years it was a bit scary for me in that aspect. You will definitely be reminded through this book that life is short & can change without warning at any moment!

We talked a lot about the choices we as women are faced with. These characters are part of the first generation really, that believed girls could grow up to be whatever they wanted to be! They could have it all! One wants to be a wife & mother, the other wants to be successful and have a career! And like I've Blogged before about the Stay-at-Home mom verses the Working Mom. (I have been both) And we had both, the mom who's at home & the mom who worked and made a career for herself while raising her kids, both who are really great moms, represented in our Book Club. And I wondered aloud again; Why can't we as women just support each other and the choices we each make? And I had an "Aha" moment thanks to this book! We see both sides of the coin here, they choose different paths that are each right for them, yet they both question if they've made the right choice, the one who gave up her career to stay home & raise her kids, misses being productive in her field. The one who chooses success & her career, is lonely and at times wonder's if she's missing something. And I realized that's why women belittle each other, they are questioning there own choices, and to make themselves feel better about their life choices, they put down others who have chosen differently! We each have so much to offer, we should be supporting each other, not tearing each other down. I can't believe I didn't see this before! We are not our label, we are Women!

We all really liked this book. If you read it have tissue handy, You will cry. You will laugh. You will get angry. You will be horrified. I will leave it at that . . .

So, our book club has read 5 books now. And in every single one so far someone has died. :( We're not morbid, really we're not, it's just that deep, moving books tend to deal with issues such as death and tragedy. So we've decided that for our next selection we would look for some lighthearted, fun summer reading. And I think we've found it:

Life on the same page Book club is reading Bikini Season by: Shiela Roberts. We will be meeting in August to discuss it. Get your giggle on & Happy Reading!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A day that changed my life forever: 7/11/90

20 years ago today, I became a Mother for the first time!
A whole new world opened up for me then.
My heart growing.

With my baby boy, so full of life & wonder.
Expectation & Questions!
Teaching him, while learning myself.

Kyle, always such a fun, and funny kid,
Except that first year,
when he NEVER slept through the night!

Trying my patience, which I discovered I didn't have!

Out going & happy as could be.
Every person he ever met, young or old,
was a potential new friend.
And he would win them all over!

Even now, still so full of life & fun!
No longer a boy, but a man!
Where has the time gone?

How is it possible?
That my Baby Boy is now no longer a kid?
No longer a Teenager, but 20 years old today?

I am Blessed to be His Mom!
My little Man!
Happy Birthday Baby Boy!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Senior Year II - Celebrating your Graduate!

I love throwing a great party! And I love Celebrating my kids! And Graduation is a great time to do both! I try to keep it simple in planning, and with the decor & the food, and keep the focus on the student! In this case my son, Zach:

Zach hamming it up with his Cake!

I put together picture boards, with lots of fun pictures from throughout my sons life! Back when Zach was so cute with his little bowl hair cut! That people love to tease him about now! :) I had even printed some extras of his Senior Pictures for people to take. I set out some awards he's received in academics, sports, band, choir, etc. Including a certificate for when he was Student of the Month in Kindergarten! :)

Honoring the Graduate!

I even used his pictures for the center pieces on all the tables! I just laid out a few, along with his name cards from his Graduation Invitations, and then had either a little plastic Graduation Cap, or a balloon holder thingy (That it's technical name, I'm sure!) as seen here, below:

Just one of the 9 round tables we had set up
that seat up to 8 guests each!

We held Zach's party at our Church Office Building. John & I both have pretty big families & being on staff at a Church, we had a lot of people to invite! And we could never have fit them all into our house! This way Zach could invite all his friends from school as well. We did it Open House style, where people could just come & go.

If a picture is worth a thousand words,
then this table is a big talker!

My Husband, John had the brilliant idea of doing his Graduation Party Invitation via Facebook! He created the Invite and that way Zach could send it out to all his friends. Between the three of us, that Facebook Event Invitation went out to over 500 of our Facebook family & friends! And we didn't have to use a single stamp! :)

Zach hanging out with a few of his friends at the party!

We had Zach put together a "Play List" of songs he liked, that we had playing throughout the entire party! And for food, we just did finger food that are easy to eat, Vegetable & Fruit trays, Chips with dips & salsa, Cheese & Crackers, Cookies & of course a huge cake! We got ours from Sams Club, they taste great & are reasonably priced! And for fun we had a room set up with a Ping Pong Table people could play.

Turn out the Lights, the Party's over! :(

Whats so sad to me, is that this is my last Senior Year Blog Post for a long time! Last year my oldest son, Kyle, Graduated from High School, and this year my second son, Zach did. I have Blogged through out both their Senior Years, all the highs & hi-jinks! (If you'd like to read back through them, just click on the word School in my list of Labels on the right.) Now my boys are in College and my girls will be heading off to Jr. High school! It's a big scary world out there for a Mom like me! I sure hope I survive it all!

Our 2009 Graduate: Kyle

And the 2010 Graduate: Zach

And yes, since my boys are only a year a part in school, (as you can tell from the above two pictures) I saved a lot of the decorations from last years party, and just added to them for this years! After all I knew the theme would be Graduation! :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday America

Happy Birthday to the greatest country in the world!
Happy 4th of July!

I hope you are spending time with friends & family that you love today,
these pictures are of us, just a few "short" 4th of July's ago! :)
Be safe.

And let us always remember:
This is the Home of The Free,
Because of The Brave.