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, May 27, 2015

Memorial Day, the Tverdy way...

Every year on Memorial Day, we head to Buhl to help Mark's parents clean up the family grave sites. I know this day generally is for honoring those who served in the military and we have always stressed this with the girls. We generally try to find a grave marker for someone that was in the military that needs some attention and tend to it as well. We are so thankful for those who serve and have served for us. It is always so humbling to see the flags placed on so many of the markers.

But for us, it is also an opportunity to share the girls extended family with them. There are a lot of people who influenced their lives, people they will never meet.

The first person we always talk with them about is Mark's sister Debbie. She passed away when Mark was in college, so I never got to meet her either. According to stories I've heard, Peyton especially shares a lot of Deb's characteristics. The girls always try to find their favorite flowers for her.


Next are Grandma Grace (where Peyton gets her middle name) and Grandpa Ervin. We never got to meet Grandma Grace either, but oh my, Grandpa Ervin was particularly fond of the girls.

Aunt Rose (Sydney's middle name) and Uncle Albert, another couple we never met. But again, they were significant enough in Mark's life to warrant the middle name.

Grandma Emily died about a year after Syd was born. And Grandpa Tom was gone before Mark and I met. Grandma Emily was one of the coolest ladies I ever met. She had so many stories!

And then, we get to the Tvrdys. You'll notice they have no E. That's the way Tverdy was originally spelled. Marks grandma Emily was not down with that and decided to add the E.

Since I was only two days post-surgery, I had to miss the trip for the first time since we have been married. But, Mark and the girls were able to cut a ton of flowers from our yard to take down. I'd say they did a great job on the arranging!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Pomp and circumstance...


Sydney graduated from 8th grade last night. If you're like me, you didn't realize this was a thing. I can understand it, I guess, since they have gone to school with the same kids since Kindergarten. Syd actually has gone to school with two of the kids since preschool! But, 8th grade graduation...not high school. Incidentally, this is actually her 3rd graduation. She graduated from preschool AND Kindergarten. So, you'll excuse my naivete about the importance of this event.

But look how cute she is!

It really was amazing though. There were several scholarships presented for Bishop Kelly. (When you go to private school, the tuition scholarships are awesome!) The kids looked great in their caps and gowns. Tears were shed. Maybe by me. Perhaps.

Syd graduated with honors and got the Presidents Award for Academic Achievement. She also got one of the scholarships for an essay she wrote! Super cool. She did not get the perfect attendance award this year due to stupid pink eye. It's not the end of the world, obviously, but she's had perfect attendance since Kindergarten for goodness sake! And then to have it wiped out in 8th grade. Bummer.

Here is how excited she looked:

You would think Mark would be looking a little more excited being surrounded by 3 hotties, wouldn't you?

But, in all seriousness, we could NOT be prouder of this kid. She is awesome. In so, so many ways.

Now we start thinking High School.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

"But what would I wear?" ~The Grinch

So, today is the last day this girl will be wearing a uniform to school. Can I just tell you that this makes me sad? Not for the obvious reason that she's growing up, but because now we will have two lunatics every morning lamenting about what to wear!

Uniforms are sooooo easy! Next year will require a dress code outfit, but the options are overwhelming...especially for kids who have always worn a uniform!

I'm pretty sure she won't miss it a bit. 

This is also her last "real" day of school at St. Marks. Sniff, sniff. Tomorrow will be graduation practice and then a class trip to Idaho Ice World for skating. THIS IS IT PEOPLE!

And obviously, she hasn't changed a bit since her first day of Kindy, has she?

Friday, May 15, 2015

A letter to my gallbladder...(alternatively titled "Gallbladders are stupid")

Dear Sir or Madam,

I regret to inform you that due to your long history of being an annoyance, I'm going to have to evict you. As I have been unable to do so myself, I'm going to request that you be forcibly removed as soon as possible. In this case, it truly is you, not me.


So, gallbladders are jerks. At least mine has been lately. After two trips to the ER in one week, I'm still stuck with the stupid thing. Also, I'm not a fan of the ER, or of IV's, or of pain meds. I especially am not a fan of morphine. It was pretty great for the first two hours or so, then I ended up with a headache for the next 6-8 hours. No bueno.

However, I can obviously pull of the hospital gown look, right?

I do have an appointment with the surgeon. If he doesn't agree that the gallbladder has over-stayed it's welcome, I may cry. I'm sure my family and my co-workers are over it as well.

Mark was pretty funny at our last ER trip, though. We were sitting there and all of a sudden, he lowered the rail on the bed. I thought "Oh, that's sweet, he's going to hold my hand." Then he put the rail back up. Then down, then up, down, up, down. I was looking at him and he looks up and says "This is the coolest linkage. It doesn't move at all like you would expect." Then, "What?" I told him I thought he was lowering it to hold my hand or something. He looks at me and deadpans "What kind of drugs did they give you again?" Engineers, sigh...all that charm. Am I right?

And somehow, I thought "drinking my lunch" would be a lot more glamorous...

So far, this has been the worst weight loss program EVER! But the actual gallbladder should give me another 10-15 pounds, right? And without feeling terrible.

No? Well, that's just lame.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Every day is Mother's day

Mother's day was pretty uneventful for us. Honestly, this is exactly how I like it. It's great to have a day to honor hard-working moms (so just moms really), but even if they don't realize it, my people show me how much I mean to them often.

When I'm sitting next to my 16 year-old at church and she leans her head on my shoulder. (In public!) When my 13 year old sits sooooo close to me when we are in a restaurant booth. (So close that it can be difficult to get my food in my mouth.) When my husband brings me coffee in bed every morning. (For real.)

 But, it's more than that. Our goal as parents is to put ourselves out of a job, right? So, even as they are asking me questions about certain things (laundry, chores, what to wear, etc.) they are getting to the point where they are actually listening to me. Not all the time. But, I can see it starting to transition.

They are pretty self-sufficient. They have good morals. They make relatively sound decisions. They are so, so much better than I could ever hope to be. And I had a part in that. We set the expectations. I helped give them the tools. But, let's be honest. They chose how to utilize those tools.

And that is my greatest accomplishment. And the best gift of all.

Monday, May 4, 2015

"Everybody likes a compliment." - Abraham Lincoln

I can live for two months on a good compliment. - Mark Twain

I think there is something very powerful about being able to accept a compliment. One of the things that I've tried to teach the girls is that a simple "Thank you" can go a long way. As women, we tend to shy away from, or downplay a compliment. Someone tells us they love our dress? Our response tends to be one of embarrassment. "Oh this? It's just from Gap. Nothing special. I got it on sale." When in fact, we could just reply with a thank you.

Thank you can work wonders on a back-handed compliment as well. I still can't figure out why someone would go out of their way to give a "compliment" like that, but that's another post all together! I've been on the receiving end more times than I can count. I admit, I do love to see their face when I reply with a "Thanks, that's so nice of you" and a smile. It can be very confusing for a mean spirited, small mind. Terrible of me, I know.

Imagine the times you've given an ill-received compliment. It can feel as minor as can be, or really feel insulting. And then imagine the times when you give a sincere compliment that truly hits the mark. You can see the joy radiating from the other person. Even if they try to brush it off. What a gift for both parties.

I remember being a counselor at summer camp in high school. One of my friends was with me. This girl is beautiful on the inside and out. In fact, she probably has the purest, most generous and kind spirit of anyone I have ever met...even to this day. Someone complimented her and she got embarrassed and shy. They called her out. They did it in the gentlest way possible, but I'll never forget the impact it had. She was devastated that the way she was behaving towards a compliment might actually hurt someone else. It's tough to see the internal struggle she was having. I know it has stuck with me and probably her all these years later.

I have to make sure to fight my natural urge to negate a compliment still. Sometimes are better than others. Some days are better than others. And some compliments are easier to accept than others. I can see the girls struggle with this too. We are all a work in progress. All day, every day. But, we need to appreciate the things about ourselves that others appreciate.

We need to remember that we are worthy of the compliment. Because we just are. Believe it.

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch,
a smile, a kind word, a listening ear,
an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring,
all which have the potential to turn a life around.
-Leo Buscaglia