for reals...

for reals...

A blog about parenting teens and other things. There are a lot of "mommy blogs" out there. I love many of them. However, they aren't really applicable at this stage in our parenting. A blog about parenting teens? Now that is something I can get behind!

Although, I will say, if you are looking for advice on parenting, I can mostly offer the things I've found that DON'T work. I'm not an expert. AT. ALL . Unless we're talking about eyerolls. And then, I've got that shizzle nailed...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Birthday girl!

Today, my first baby is 16! Below are 16 of my favorite things about her.

1. Her smile. It lights up the room. And not just because she's had these braces FOREVER.

 2. Her crazy hair. I personally love red hair, not everyone does. I think she loves hers too.  Mostly.

3. Her generosity and kindness. She is always willing to help those in need. As long as it's not the peeps at our house.

4. Her sense of humor. She's funny, and witty, and sarcastic. Awesome traits, until they are aimed at me.

5. Her temper. Weird, yes. But sometimes I think she takes so much after the Tverdy side, it's nice to see a little of myself in there.

6. Her love of her little sister. Amazing. Most of the time.

7.  Her intelligence. And the fact that she doesn't try to hide it. Even if she beats me at Jeopardy now.

8. Her willingness to try new things. Not a trait she gets from me. At all. Ever.

9. Her toughness. Physically, and mentally. I think it will serve her well in life.

10. Her ability to laugh at herself. It goes along with the great sense of humor, but just because you're funny, doesn't mean you also have this trait.  She does...even if she doesn't like to admit it.

11. Her compassion.  Whether it's animals, little kids, the elderly, or anyone else.  She's got the feels.

12. Her love for her mama.  Even when she doesn't like me very much, she can't help but show that she loves me.

13. Her singing voice. Totally gets this from me. (Where is the sarcasm emoji?)

14. Her lack of grace. She falls down, trips, etc. And is able to brush it off. And laugh. Usually.

Way to break your kid, Tverdys

15. Her similarities to her dad. This makes her crazy. But he's pretty awesome.

16. Her determination. She may not use it all the time, but when she does, watch out.

When she was graduating from 8th grade, there was a poem I found for her page:

There's something about 
a red-haired girl.
She makes you crazy,
and shakes up your world.

True and true. And we wouldn't have it any other way.

Love you, dude!  Happy sixteenth Georgio Armani!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Following in her sisters footsteps...

Syd had her last ever St. Mark's choir concert Wednesday. She had a solo singing "Summertime". I can tell you that my dad and I were both a wreck as this is one of the songs he used to sing to me when I was little.

Syd's version was an extremely high soprano. (Which is probably not at all what you actually say when talking about it.  But Meg = no musical knowledge.)  And like usual, she nailed it.

You can listen to part of it here (thanks to my sister-in-law for actually recording it WITH sound...unlike me):

This isn't even my favorite part of the song. I do have a recording of the whole thing, but apparently, I'm not smart enough to get that on here since it's too big of a file. And of course, the recording doesn't do it justice. She sounds even better in person. But, I am her mom, so...

She also had a solo as a Descant. I didn't know what it was either...don't worry.

des·cant (dĕs′kănt′)

1. also dis·cant (dĭs′-) Music
     a. An ornamental melody or counterpoint sung or played above a theme.
     b. The highest part sung in part music.

So, basically, she just sang an extra part with the choir. But different than what they were singing. Again, she sounded great. Mr. Galvin, the music teacher has done a good job focusing on the strength of each individual singer. He knows how to showcase Syd for sure. I think he likes letting the audience see the range she has.

Sometimes, I think (or realize) that my kids are succeeding in spite of our parenting. I'm also realizing how fast the time is going. After 11 years at St. Mark's, we will be done in May. On to Bishop Kelly, and both girls in High School. Next year will be full of college tours for Peyton.

How does that happen so quickly???

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Academic Awards? Yes, please!

Peyton came home Tuesday with an academic award for Theology. She was pretty excited. She got the same thing last year. THIS year, they gave them medals...with an Aladdin's lamp on the front.  Looking for a connection? Me too. But, whatever.

The best part of the whole thing for me was the note from Deacon Rick, her Theology teacher.

Gosh I love this girl! I will admit at first that I thought he spelled her name wrong, but realized it's just his penmanship. Pretty funny, actually.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Good times + Crazy friends = Great memories

I spent this weekend on a girls trip to Walla Walla, Washington to go wine tasting. I'm not the greatest when it comes to new or unfamiliar situations. But, I think I did okay this time. My friend Amanda is clearly amazing at planning a trip!

Below is a list of things I learned. This list is by no means the extent of things I learned. But I also know that somethings are better left un-shared and without photographic evidence.

1. 8 women can share a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom house.  I was a little nervous about this, but it was seamless.

2. I'm still not a wine girl. I found one that I could take a few sips of, but I'm still not a fan.  Thankfully, the other girls didn't hold it against me.   

3. Sharing a bed with someone you met earlier in the day isn't always as terrible or creepy as it sounds.

4. Nearly running out of gas on the trip home makes for an okay story. Truly running out of gas would not have. Also, my car will go A LOT further than I imagined after the fuel light goes on.

5. Jamie and Tiffany are awesome travel buddies. And if you do nearly run out of gas in the middle of nowhere, they are your girls.

6. If a restaurant tells you to call for a reservation at a later time, and then when you call they tell you they don't take reservations, you have Hadley call them. You will get a reservation.

7. When your food sucks, Amanda will take care of it. As an aside, avoid the chicken satay from the food truck.

8. If you own a winery that holds public tastings, you should sell snacks. For real.

9. Badminton is a lot more fun if you don't use rackets. Or rules.

10. Girls weekends should happen no less often than every six months.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What we have here, is a failure to communicate.

Marriage is hard folks. For real.

Over our several years of being parenting/marriage experts (Just kidding), we have realized time and again that we do not communicate the same. Such a revelation, huh?

Case in point, we have these outbuildings on the property. They have lots of cool treasures inside, left by the previous owners. They also have super cool, weathered wood. And amazing corrugated metal. And rustic windows and doors.

They are coming down so Mark can build his shop. Our disagreement comes with what to do with all these items.

My take is:

Mark has a different opinion:

So, we are going to be mature adults and compromise. By keeping all the stuff. Clearly you can see who the adult is at our house. And who is better at compromising. 

Syd took these pictures from the house. They made me laugh because you can almost see the tension! Truthfully, this was after he agreed we could keep everything we hadn't already promised to our nephew. And poor Mark looks so resigned to his fate in the middle one. The third almost looks like we like each other. We do, I promise. And honestly, our property doesn't look as terrible as it does in these photos. The building in the photo looks much worse than it did before he tore down the front part. I will admit that we won't be winning any landscape awards with the state of things currently.

We've had many people over the years offer to help tear down our barn and the other buildings in exchange for the wood. Below is me on these occasions:

I'm SO mature. Whatever. I'm keeping my stuff...

Monday, April 13, 2015

Sometimes you've just gotta get away...

I'm a big fan of girlfriend weekends away. In fact, I'm such a big fan of them that I agreed to go on a wine tasting weekend. If you know me at all, you will know that I 100% do not drink wine.

I have friends who have tried everything to get me to like it. It all tastes the same to me, and to me, it all tastes awful. Sad, I know.

But, I love these girls that are going. I mean, I love the ones I know. Out of 8 of us, I know 4. Well, 3 plus me, of course. STRANGER DANGER!!!! I actually get a little freaked out when I think about it. I'm terrible at meeting new people!

I really believe strongly that as moms, and women, we need these friendships. To remember that we are something beyond the day-to-day. We need those crazy conversations that inevitably happen.  (And that we all swear we won't tell our husbands about.) We need to be able to let our hair down, get a teeny bit crazy, and just be.

So, I'm putting on my big girl panties, and I'm going. This Friday! I'm probably a little less excited about it than when we originally planned going with just the 4 of us. But I'm going. And I'm going to like it. Right?!?

Maybe I'll even write an exciting blog post about all the ways I grew as a human being over the weekend. It could happen you know! Or, I'll take funny pictures of them as they get sloshed. It could probably go either way. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

What did I get myself into?

As we were driving to Buhl to spend Sunday with Mark's family, we realized that 20 years ago on Easter was the first time I met his extended family.  20 years.  So, I was like 9.  Ha to the ha ha.

He comes from a REALLY BIG family. And I do not. For instance, I have 4 first cousins. Mark has 17. Seventeen! (Incidentally, the girls have 9.)

I remember the day pretty vividly. I met his parents and Grandma a few weeks earlier. The day after my 21st birthday. Which is a post for another day never. But on the Easter day I'm referring to, his relatives started arriving in droves. And they just kept coming! As an introvert, I can only handle this much stimulation in small doses. Oh, and did I mention that his family is loud? Like really, really loud. Also, I am not a fan of being the center of attention. But, when the 28 year old bachelor actually brings a girl home for a holiday, she is bound to be the center of attention.

I ended up with a migraine and had to go lie down. No joke. And this was before everyone had even arrived! A little while later, one of his Aunt's peeked in the room where I was taking a nap. She told Mark she was just making sure I was real. So funny!

Over the years, I've learned to embrace the big family. That's not to say that I don't sometimes still get overwhelmed. I do. But it's a lot different when I actually know who is who. That first meeting was a blur of names and faces. I was thinking about this while watching everyone interact. I still tend to gravitate to the fringe of the group. I spend a lot of the time talking with one or two other people at a time. And if I can do this while being partially occupied by one of the babies, I'm set! 

I noticed that the girls fit right in to this big, crazy, lovable family. They were outside with their cousins (whom they only see a few times a year) almost the whole day. It's nice to know that I haven't passed on ALL of my bad traits to them!

I am actually so grateful for Mark's family. I moved 450 miles away from home to a city where I knew 4 people. I slowly started to make friends, but I still missed my family so much. Mark's crazy peeps made me feel like part of the family from day one. I'm so proud I get to claim them as my own now. I wouldn't change a thing. Especially now that I know exactly what I got myself into. Because now, they're OUR family.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I'm that mom...

You know, the one who cussed in front of the kids at youth group?  Yeah, that was me.

We were doing an exercise with them the other night.  We broke up into small groups and walked the mile and a half or so to the grocery store.  Each team had $20 to spend and were trying to get the most food/meals for the money.  All the items were then donated to the foodbank.

So, a positive experience, right?  Yay teens!  And then, right there in the aisle, I said a curse word.  Surprisingly, if you know me, it wasn't the Big Dog Daddy

It was in reference to buying ramen.  Seems legit, right?  I simply meant to say that it was worth throwing some in our basket since it was an inexpensive item and we had a little bit of money left over to get close to $20.  One of the kids had joked that ramen could be a "meal itself" and I replied "Maybe, but it sure is a crappy one."  Only I didn't say crappy.  Oops.

Peyton was in my group, so I know I didn't shock her...she's probably definitely heard worse from me.  And I know at least one other kid whose mom cusses like me.  Especially evident after she and I sat together at a baseball game.  So, he's probably not scarred for life. The other two might have been a little more shocked.  And thankfully, it was the High School kids and not the Jr. High.

Mark and I keep talking about how maybe we aren't cut out for being youth leaders.  I think he's just lumping himself in with me so he doesn't hurt my feelings. And it's always good to have something to work on to improve yourself, right?