All About the Husband!

Over the last few weeks, emails and messages have flooded my inbox.  It has been a while since I’ve blogged, but I intend to do several this week.  Do not fear.  I am alive and well. 

Today, I thought I’d answer some of the questions that relate to my husband, Jackie.  There were some really good questions!  The answers are below, and they are in no particular order.

1.       When did you get married?  March 11 of last year.  So we are approaching the 1 year mark as husband and wife.

2.       How long did you date?  We started dating in November of 2015.  We moved in together in February 2016.  He proposed in July 2016.  And we got married March 2017.  So we dated for about 8 months, and we were engaged for about 8 months.

3.       When did it become serious?  I am not sure.  I think he was all in immediately, while I was still very guarded by being hurt in previous relationships.  He quickly changed my mind, though.

4.       Any regrets while you dated?  A couple.  I hurt him two times while we dated and I still feel guilty about it. 

5.       Does he snore?  He does.  But so do I.

6.       Does he cook?  Of course.  He does probably a third of the cooking, especially if he is off of work on any particular day.

7.       Does he collect anything?  Knives.  Flashlights.  Guns.  Socks.  White t-shirts.  Tablets (only because he never seems satisfied with what we buy and they just pile up).

8.       What does he do for a living?  He’s a nurse.  He works at a hospital a parish away full time and then the small hospital in town about one night a week as well.

9.       Is he a good listener?  Most of the time.  There are times I need to vent and he will interrupt and chime in with a story about the similar thing that happened to him.  But generally, he does listen to me.

10.   What cologne does he wear?  He has a little of everything.  Nautica Voyage is my favorite.  But he can’t wear cologne to work due to their “no fragrance” policy, so he’s been using a beard balm to smooth out his facial hair.  It’s from Reign Beard Care, the Governor’s scent.  It smells so good – like pipe tobacco.

11.   Do his kids like you?  I am sure I’m more annoying to them than anything.  Just someone they tolerate while they visit their dad.  But they are grown, so I try not to get too upset about it anymore.  I’m here if they need me.  I actually heard from his son today out of the blue, so maybe things are looking up.

12.   What romantic things has he done for you?  When we worked together, he used to bring me little snacks during the day – a pack of Oreos or M&Ms, and that was really sweet.  These days, if he grows a wild hair, he will clean the house and cook dinner and have the kids bathed so that I don’t have to do anything when I get home, and those are the best nights we have as a family.  I so appreciate that.

13.   What are his bad habits?  Well, he dips and leaves his spit cups/bottles laying around.  He can’t seem to put his shoes away – he just sort of kicks them off and they stay there until I pick them up.  He leaves spare change, his wallet, and work paraphernalia laying on counters and tables, but I don’t know if that’s a bad habit or if it just annoys me to no end.  He’s a good husband.  I shouldn’t complain as much as I do.

14.   What do you have in common?  We both like to have fun and play and laugh.  We both have backgrounds in the healthcare industry so we can talk about our workdays without confusing each other.  We both have a fondness for animals, babies, movies, shopping, the mountains, fishing, bowling, steaks and cold weather.  We also dislike similar things like hunting, dishonesty, arrogance, opossums, and nosey neighbors.

15.   How do you differ?  He’s tall, I’m, uhhh, less tall.  He draws, I write.  He is a lot more laid back than I am.  He handles bad days differently than I do – he gets angry while I just cry.  He would prefer to walk away from a fight while I will always confront the issue, no matter what words are said.  He’s a much better bowler than me.  I’m a much better fisherman than him (he has a hard time admitting that).  I think we complement each other very well.

16.   Why haven’t you had a baby yet?  We “can’t.”  My tubes are tied.  But I would be pregnant right now if it was possible.  I want another one so bad.

17.   What do you all do for fun?  I think, with Jack, it’s not about the “what we do,” but more about the “who it’s with.”  I can have fun with Jackie just watching t.v.  As far as activities, we like to go to movies.  We enjoy fishing and bowling.  We like staying up late playing cards.  We play with our dog.  Sometimes we’ll tag team a nice dinner and sit together and eat.  When you’re married to your best friend, it doesn’t really matter what you do.  It’s all fun.

18.   When did you all meet each other’s kids?  Pretty quickly after we started dating.  A couple of weeks, maybe?  I knew Jackie was going to be a part of my life and my kids’ lives for a long time, so there were no hesitations.

19.   When did you know he was Mr. Right?  Immediately.  I knew because God told me.  I know that sounds strange.  And you can call it timing or fate or whatever, but I knew Jackie was the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with.

20.   About what do you “agree to disagree?”  I think our two biggest disagreements are the condition of the house and the way I raise the kids.  Jackie does not prioritize cleaning the way I do, and I will admit, I am very anal about it.  My eye goes to one speck of dust on a table and I immediate start to panic.  Jackie sees that the floor is picked up and the dishes are done and he thinks it’s good enough.  I think it has more do with our personalities than the house itself.  He’s a “coast through life” kind of guy – very laid back, not letting much bother him.  And I’m the opposite.  Everything bothers me, nothing is ever good enough and I need to have something to complain about.  As far as the kids go, I am often too soft when it comes to discipline and punishment.  I prefer to talk to my kids and compromise with them.  Jackie is more of a “my way or the highway” parent – what he says is Scripture, and there’s no straying.  Granted, I always have the final say, and we never actually fight about it.  It’s just sort of an unspoken thing.  It would be interesting to see how we’d parent a new baby.

21.   Is he a leader or a follower?  Who’s the boss?  You must be single.  Anybody who is part of a successful marriage will tell you that no one should be the “boss.”  Jackie and I are a team.  We both contribute to every aspect of our lives – cleaning, cooking, taking care of the kids, working and earning money.  We support each other.  We don’t make any decisions without talking to the other person.  That’s what marriage is all about, at least in my opinion.

22.   How has your husband changed you?  That’s a really good question.  He wouldn’t know this, because he still thinks I’m pretty high strung, but he has made me a much calmer person.  I don’t freak out nearly as much as I used to, especially about little things.  I have a better filter, holding my tongue more often.  He has made me a more loyal person.  I used to consider significant others “disposable,” because no one had ever met my needs the way Jackie does.  And it did take me a while to change that about myself.  But I did.  Jackie and I are committed to each other and only each other – nobody else in and nobody out.  Jackie has made me a better mom.  With his help, I can worry less about the house or dinner or homework or baths, and I can actually enjoy my time with Lexi and Jameson.  And that is such a relief.  Jackie has taught me a lot about myself – that I can do what I set my mind to, that I am a genuinely good person and that I deserve to be loved.  But I think more than anything, he has made me aware of my worth.  I know I am of value now, and that’s something no one except him has helped me understand.  For that, I am forever grateful.

Good questions, Y’all! 

Tune in tomorrow for a blog about the benefits of being a one-car family.

XOXO!

Meg / cC

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New Year, New Me?

2017 has finally ended, and my family and I are embarking on a new year. It seems like 2017 flew by, and I didn’t have time to think back on everything that happened.
Recapping 2017 (the good):

• I beat cancer. A pulmonary nodule was found on my left lung in February 2017. Many dollars and procedures and anxiety attacks later, it was concluded that the nodule was benign. And that is great news, because I don’t have time to be sick!

• I got married. Jackie is my best bud, and I am very blessed to have found him and to have married him last year. He’s been so good to the kids and me, and we intend to live happily ever after.

• My daughter turned 11 and my son turned 8. Those two are my reasons for breathing. To see them turn a year older, while sad for their mom, is just evidence that they are happy, healthy, thriving little humans, and that makes my heart smile.

• I lost about 40 pounds by quitting an anxiety medication. My goal was to learn how to function without depending on this particular medication, but losing weight was a huge bonus. And I’m happy to say that, not including one occasional pill for panic attacks, I am medication free. And that’s exciting.

• I finished the entire series of Friends. Twice. And yes, this was worth mentioning.
I could get into the horrible things that happened to me in 2017, but in an effort to conquer one of my 2018 resolutions, I’m going to skip that part and get right into what I have resolved to accomplish this year.

Part of me feels like you all need to miss me with that “New Year, New Me” bullshit. The other part of me feels like 2018 is going to be one of the best years of my life. And so I’ve compiled my own list of resolutions that hopefully I can cross off by December 31, 2018.
2018 Resolutions:

• Practice positivity. I spent a lot of time last year complaining about things that didn’t really matter. One of my goals this year is to focus more on the good, while stressing less about the bad. In five years, the things I’ve complained about won’t make a difference in the world. And at times, my crumby attitude has brought down the atmosphere in my house, the moods of my family and even the dog’s energy. I won’t smile fakely, but I will try, every day, to make a choice to focus more on the good and less on the not-so-good. Now do you understand why I don’t want to get into the drama of 2017?

• Quit smoking. Yes, it is time. I spend $50.00 a week on cigarettes. And I spent a lot of last year sick because my poor lungs and throat can’t handle nicotine. I should’ve known better than to start – I have an addictive personality. The good news is that I work for a company who provides fantastic insurance, and my insurance will pay for whatever is necessary to help me quit. So I’m starting Chantix and I’m going to kick this habit once and for all. No more smelling like smoke (I can finally wear perfume again!). No more late nights standing outside in the cold sucking on a white tube of death. No more coughing. No more impromptu trips to the store because I “just can’t handle it.” Science tells us that it takes 3 days for nicotine to leave your system. After that, it’s just about the habit. I can do this. I know I can do this.

• Lose 40 pounds. This would put me right at my goal weight. And I don’t know how I’m going to do this, but I did break it down. 40 pounds is about 3.5 pounds a month. And that is much more doable than looking at 40 pounds as a whole. 3.5 pounds a month is less than 1 pound a week. That may mean skipping the fries one day and opting for a salad instead. That may mean choosing water over Dr. Pepper. That may mean walking Zeek to the end of the street instead of just the stop sign. I can do this, though. It’s not an unrealistic goal.

o Side note – I am EXTREMELY nervous about juggling the goals of weight loss and kicking nicotine. I have heard that laying off of cigarettes makes people “snacky.” So it will be interesting to see how this works. It’s a matter of willpower at this point, I think. I’m 30. I am an adult. I have to gain some sense of self control.

• Read one book a month. This may be a silly goal to some, but in all of my running around – cleaning, cooking, taking care of kids, my spouse and my dog, I forget to read. And there are a ton of books that I’d like to cross off of my “need to read” list. One book a month is not going to be a hard thing to do, but it will keep me on track when I’m trying to take better care of myself – physically and mentally. I can’t remember the last time I just read a book for fun! So we’ll start with these:

o Wonder by R.J. Palacio;
o Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon;
o The Fault in Our Stars by John Green;
o Paper Towns by John Green;
o Looking for Alaska by John Green;
o 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher;
o The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (I read this book in high school but not since then, and it was a favorite);
o The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls;
o Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls;
o Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn;
o Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst;
o The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich.

• Get out of debt/Get our budget under control. I am tired of living paycheck to paycheck. I’m even more tired of borrowing against future checks just to be able to put gas in my car. I want to get rid of some of the debt that we’ve accumulated since Jack and I moved in together. And there are a few ways to do that. Jack has already picked up a part time job to cover some expenses, and the goal is to get rid of some of these bills so that he can quit that job before too long. We have furniture that needs to be paid off, a child support bill that needs to go away, a car loan, car repairs that need to be made, student loans, and a few other odds and ends that we need to deal with. I have done the budget from now till July, and I think I’ve figured out a way to cross this debt off of our credit and save a little money in the meantime. It’s time to get a handle on our bank accounts. I hate living in the hole.

• Declutter. Soon and VERY soon, I will be going through closets, cleaning out cabinets, scrubbing all the little crevices that are missed during regular cleanings, donating clothes and toys. I may even take a toothbrush to the baseboards – don’t judge me. In a world of clutter, my mind is also cluttered and I can’t stand it. So the better part of my time at home next week will be spent decluttering the apartment. I’m already excited.

• Grow out my hair. I cut my hair off about a year ago, and I shouldn’t have. So I’ve spent the last year trying to grow it out, and it’s been a challenge. Sometimes I’ll get sick of trying to style it and I’ll just trim it myself. Or I’ll try to thin it out with sheers and end up doing more harm than good. I have pretty hair when I take care of it, and I would like to grow it out long (long as in mid-back length) and dye it navy blue with possible silver highlights.

• Take better care of my skin and master my make-up routine. I am no longer a Spring Chicken. I’m 30 now. And my face looks it. Of course, smoking hasn’t helped. But I’d like to put a skincare and make-up routine in place so that I tighten what’s loose and wrinkly, even out what’s freckly, and correct bumps and blemishes. Again, not shooting for the moon here, but I need to start taking better care of myself.

• Be on time. I am late for work every single day. And it’s annoying because I always worry about what my boss is going to say, I can never find a good parking spot, and I feel like I’m behind the whole day. Waking up at 6 instead of 6:45 would help me a lot, I think, so I’m going to try to go to bed earlier, wake up earlier, do my make-up at home instead of in the car on my way to the office and clock in by 8:00 every morning. It’s all about developing a habit, and it’s high time I stop rushing myself. It makes me anxious and I hate it.

Additionally, I have created a 2018 Bucket List – things I’d like to do this year. I didn’t feel like they were “resolutions,” per se, so I made a different list for them. There aren’t many:

• Take my kids on a beach vacation. We’ve been on a few little weekend trips out of town, but we have yet to take an actual vacation as a family. I haven’t taken the kids to the mountains or the beach or anywhere fun in a very long time. So I’m going to be saving my vacation time at work and around Memorial Day, it’s going down. We will be at the beach the whole week, going shopping, hitting gift shops and aquariums and pools, going out to dinner at night, sleeping late, sitting on balconies and drinking coffee. It’s going to be great.

• Go to the New Orleans Zoo. I’ve heard that it’s great, and I just want to see for myself.

• Visit Tut in Arizona. “Tut Tut” is Jackie’s mama, and we haven’t seen her since our wedding. It will be fun to rent a car, take a couple of days to get there while we see the sites in between stops, visit for a few days, and then come back home. I miss her. We all miss her.

• Finish Christmas shopping early. We were down to the wire this year and it stressed me out. With money being freed up, we will have less debt, which means right after Jameson’s birthday (August 20), we can start buying Christmas stuff. There was some discussion of “where are we going to put these things,” so Jackie and I decided that we are going to get a storage building so that we have a place to put things we aren’t using. Fishing supplies, bowling gear, Jack’s guns, furniture odds and ends, crafts and seasonal decorations. It’ll just be easier to if we have an extra building. That is the plan.

• Buy a car. We’re supposed to be giving Jackie’s daughter his car so that she can go to college this year. So the plan is to fix every vehicle we have and then purchase a new vehicle for our family. Jackie has been looking at trucks, but I think a mid-sized sedan or even SUV would better fit the bill. We just want something that is clean, sturdy and runs well.

• Create a capsule wardrobe, once and for all. I’ve used Pinterest to look for different ways to do this, but in the end, here’s the deal: you need a certain amount/grouping of well-fitting shoes, pants and shirts, and you can spend any amount of money on these items because they become your “staples.” Then, you accessorize with cheaper add-ons like cardigans, scarves, and jewelry. This is supposed to create endless options when deciding what to wear to work, school, on a play date, out on date night, etc. So my goal is to minimize my wardrobe, while maximizing my options as well as my closet space. Stay tuned. I’ll blog about it when I get it done.

So there you have it. If you have any tips for how I can conquer this year and make it my best year ever, comment below. Or comment with your own resolutions!

XOXO!

Meg / cC

My Mother Doesn’t Love Me

I can’t pinpoint a time in my life – an actual day or week or even year – when I realized my mother didn’t love me. 

Maybe it was one night, in a series of nights, that I woke up and heard her on the phone, talking to men that I knew were not my daddy.  Daddy worked the graveyard shift at a place an hour and a half away from our house, and I knew, just from my mother’s tone, that the person/people she talked to at 1 or 2 in the morning were not Daddy.  She’d have never talked to Daddy with such affection or flirtation.

Maybe it one of the days, of several, she locked herself in her bedroom.  And I remember, so vividly, Daddy coming home from working all night and getting us girls off to school since my mother wouldn’t come out of her room “because she was so sad.”  I remember coming home from school and eating the dinner that Daddy had made and put in the fridge for us to warm up, while, once again, my mother was in her room.  I remember Daddy picking my mother up, putting her in the tub and shaving her legs for her because she was too sad to do it.  She wouldn’t talk to us for days and days.

Maybe it was when I figured out she actually was having an affair (mind you, I figured it out way before other members of my family did).  And I couldn’t for the life of me understand why someone else would be more important than my Daddy and her three daughters.

Maybe it was when she and Daddy decided we need to move from Kentucky to North Carolina to “start over,” except my mother thought it would be best for Daddy, the middle sister and me to go ahead without her and my youngest sister, so that we could go ahead and get settled.  Guess what?  She never came to North Carolina, and instead, plotted her escape and got pregnant with another man’s baby.

Maybe it was the weekend I spent with my Aunt Sharon while Daddy, who by then had grown suspicious of my mother’s behavior, drove to my mother’s apartment in Kentucky and discovered said plotted escape.  And then he came home and relayed that information to us girls.

Maybe it was on my 12th birthday, when we got home from a beach vacation and Daddy’s divorce papers were in our mailbox.  That’s when I knew she was never coming back.

Maybe it was the fact that she never called.  Maybe it was the fact that she rarely visited, and when she did, all she and I did was fight.  Or maybe it was the fact that I resented her for choosing her new husband and new baby (babies) over the family she already had.  Maybe it was the fact that she took my youngest sister away from me to be with her new family.

Or maybe it was when I got older and had to teach myself how to dress, how to put on make-up, how to shave, how to curl my hair, how to paint my nails, even how to properly use tampons.  I learned to drive without her, I went on my first date without her, I learned to kiss without her, I got ready for all four (4) proms without her and got my heart broken by a boy without her.  I was inducted into the National Honors Society without her and I finished high school without her.

Maybe it was when I got pregnant and she sent me back to Daddy because she “just couldn’t deal” after Lexi’s father and I parted ways.

Maybe it was when I heard every lie she told when she testified against me in custody court when the kids’ father and I were going through our terrible divorce.

Maybe I finally figured it out in May of this year when I caught her having another affair, in betrayal of her second husband (whose baby she had that broke up her original family) and all of her biological daughters and stepdaughters, and also her best friend, since it was her best friend’s boyfriend she was fucking.  When I confronted her about the affair, she acted quickly, lying to everyone in the family, saying that it was actually ME that got busted talking to this guy by Jackie, and that I was just trying to cover my tracks.  Maybe it was the fact that her level of persuasion worked, and my stepdad, sisters and aunts and uncles all turned against me and I went from May to Christmas without feeling accepted by anyone in my family – and worse – she ignored my children during that time as well, while they were too little to understand why this was happening to our family.

Any or all of those moments, or even some I am not yet brave enough to write about, could have played a part in my realizing that my mother does not love any part of me.  Not the human part, not the daughter part, not the friend part.  None.

Over Christmas, after 8 months of being ignored and ostracized, Jackie, the kids and I were invited to my grandfather’s house for Christmas dinner, and we went.  I popped a Xanax, knowing full well that my mother would be there, because it’s the “not knowing” that kills me.  Not knowing what level of awkwardness I’d be walking into.  Not knowing what kind of drama would break out, as that is not uncommon during our family get-togethers.  Not knowing if I was invited to be confronted or questioned.  I wasn’t sure.

Turns out I got worked up over nothing.  Christmas went well.  The kids got presents from my mother and she and I even had a conversation.  Not “the” conversation – the one where I tell her what a piece of shit she is for fucking someone and blaming it on me to save her own ass – but just a light-hearted, somewhat forced, “let’s never talk about what happened” conversation.  I let the kids accept their gifts from her.  I even hugged her goodbye. 

And when I got home, I texted her to tell her thank you for the kids’ gifts.  I reminded her that she is my mother and that I love her.  The text that was returned just said, “Thank you for bringing the kids today.  I am not wasting anymore time away from you guys.  I love you.”

The little girl in me – the girl who grew up without a mother – forgives my mother for everything I’ve mentioned in this post, and more.  The little girl in me understands that you only get one mother and you have the make the best of the hand you’re dealt.  The little girl in me wants to sweep the past under the rug and start over, because every little girl should think that their mother is the BEST mother.

But the adult side of me knows every bit of Christmas day, every bit of that text, and every bit of the conversations therein are completely fake.  The adult in me holds a deep, dark grudge that can’t let go of ANYTHING I’ve mentioned in this post.  The adult in me knows that I don’t NEED someone who would cheat, lie, manipulate and neglect, even if that someone is my own mother.  The adult in me wants to flip her, my sisters, stepfather and aunts and uncles (who believed “her side” of the story) the double bird and scream, “PEACE OUT!”  The adult in me can’t figure out what I didn’t do to deserve love from the low-life piece of white trash that is my mother.

I’m just not sure which side of the fence to lean on at this point.  And that leaves me in a state of emotional instability, depression, anxiety and worse – self-hatred.  Because if your own mother can’t love you, who can?

Wonder, Review

Jameson had a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday with whom I believed to have been the slowest ear, nose and throat physician this side of the Pacific. So I decided to take a full day off of work, just in case we were at the doctor all day.

We arrived at 8:00 in the morning and we were out by 11:00. I took Jameson to lunch and then we decided to go see a movie. When he was given the choice between CoCo and Wonder, my boy chose Wonder, which made me happy, as I’d been wanting to see it for a while.

In today’s blog, I’ll be reviewing this movie, while also tying it into my life and how the themes of this movie apply therein.

Note – no, I have not read the book, though after seeing this film, I intend to purchase it.

A quick summary – Auggie Pullman is a ten-year-old who was born with a facial deformity. Even after multiple surgeries, he looks very different than other fifth graders. Having kept him sheltered and homeschooled, his parents finally decide it is time for Auggie to go to a real school. And the story centers around Auggie’s struggles as he joins other kids his age, while battling the fact that he is so physically different. And not just his own struggles – the struggles of his parents, big sister, classmates and even dog.

The movie is quite a tear jerker. My eight-year-old and I both cried off and on during the 2-hour film, and I have to say, I drew a few parallels from the movie into the lives of my own family members.

Theme #1 – Playing favorites.

Auggie’s big sister, Via, is a healthy, normal, beautiful 14-year-old freshman. Throughout the movie, while Via (short for Olivia) is happy when her family seems to be functioning, she also resents her brother for demanding so much attention, as well as her parents for giving it.

I can draw a parallel from this story, because I also have an older daughter and younger son. I love both of my children equally, I probably do show more attention to my son, while also expecting a great deal out of my daughter. Lexi is a good kid, and I am very hard on her. I probably should reward her more for her good behavior than I do these days. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to spend more one-on-one time with her so that she doesn’t feel like Jameson gets more attention that she does. Stay tuned for posts about our adventures together.

Theme #2 – It’s not always about you.

Throughout the movie, Via tells Auggie that the world doesn’t revolve around his illness and his deformities. When the family dog, Daisy, dies of old age, Via tells Auggie, “It’s not always about you.” She also tells him that school sucks for everyone, not just him, and that she has bad days, too.

I think I have a habit of complaining about things that, in the grand scheme of things, matter very little. Dog hair on my area rug. My make-up looking terrible. Jameson leaving his dirty laundry on the floor. Someone sending me a text with spelling errors. But when I take the time to look at the facts, I realize that I have a fantastic husband who eats, sleeps and breathes “What will make Meg happy?” I have children who were created by God Himself and were gifted specifically to and specially for me. I have a tiny but adequate home, a job that I love, food in my big belly, shoes on my narrow feet and a group of friends who would crucify themselves for me. What in the world do I have to complain about?! Yes, life is hard. For everyone. But it is high time I start focusing on the bigger picture.

Theme #3 – Accept criticism with grace.

In this movie, the depiction of adolescent honesty is delivered with 100% accuracy.
Kids are brutally honest, in a way that is sometimes hurtful, and Auggie is met with questions like, “What happened to your face?” “Do you have the plague?” “Do you eat special food?” “Why are you so short?” And while Auggie may lose his composure in the privacy of his own bedroom, he answers all questions posed to him during the movie maturely, directly and matter-of-factly.

My first instinct is to jump to my own defense every time I am criticized. Who does he/she think he/she is? They don’t know me. They have no idea why I am the way that I am. But sometimes, in my opinion, it is so important to step back and think twice before jumping on the defense.

Theme #4 – Hate is learned, not automatically known.

Auggie’s nemesis, Julian, abominably bullies Auggie. And because Julian is popular, his friends get in line as well. In one instance, Julian tapes the class picture to Auggie’s locker, where Auggie has been photoshopped out, and at the bottom, the picture was captioned, “NO FREAKS ALLOWED!!” Julian is, of course, called into the principal’s office where Julian’s parents admit to editing the class picture because it upset them to see Auggie in it. The parents threaten to pull Julian out the school and ‘take their money with them.’ In that scene, it is clear that Julian learned to treat others the way his parents treat others – as disposable, unequal, lesser classed people.

My kids have experienced bullying first hand at the school they attend now. It’s a private school. The $400 base tuition we pay every month (for just one child) also comes with a yearly $200 registration fee, $125 sports fee (per sport), monthly $20 t-shirt fees, $5 per day lunch fee, field trip costs, fundraisers and raffles, and any other thing they can send home to nickel and dime us to death. Naturally, the kids that go to school with mine have had a “silver spoon” raising, where they look down on people who do not have new Nike sneakers or the IPhone X, whose parents don’t drive a 2017 black Suburban. My kids go to school with doctors’ and lawyers’ kids. We sacrificed so that they could have a good education. But Lexi and Jameson don’t fit it in, and they know it. I don’t fit in with the other parents, and I know it. When parents act like they’re better than everybody, their children are somehow convinced that it’s okay to act like they’re better than everybody as well, and my kids have experienced bullying to a massive degree at their school. It’s a hard thing to deal with, because my kids are awesome kids.

Theme #5 – Family is everything.

Auggie’s parents are supportive, involved and always available. When Auggie has a bad day in the movie, his mom and dad, expertly played by Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson, respectively, are there to make him feel better. They remind him that deformities don’t mean ugly, that different doesn’t mean unworthy and that the goal to just be ordinary is among the worst of agendas.

In my life, there have been members of my family who have really hurt me, which is why I have tried so hard, for years, to be “enough” for my kids.  Children need to know that their parents are supportive, encouraging and will be there through any hardship, trauma or mistake.  I hope that when I leave this world my kids will at least know how much I loved them.

Theme #6 – Where opportunity meets loyalty, always choose loyalty.

In a few scenes in this film, students are nice to Auggie out of “obligation,” and they use Auggie as a resource in his science class, where everyone quickly learns that Auggie knows WAY more about science than anyone else. Auggie helps the students who ask, without question or consideration of his fellow students’ “agendas.”

Some people will only love you as long as they can use you. When opportunity runs out, you’ll often find that the relationship will fizzle out quickly. Those are the kinds of people you want to avoid. That is also the type of person you do not want to be.

Go see “Wonder.” It’s a great movie – entertaining but also filled with life lessons. I can’t wait to read the book!

XOXO!
Meg / cC

Commonly Used Phrases Proven Bologna as told by Cursed Cursive

Cursed to the rescue again, busting common myths in today’s society.  Disclaimer – if you don’t like controversial posts, don’t read this.

Myth #1 – Good things come to those who wait.

No.  Good things come to those who work their asses off and earn them.  I don’t understand the sense of entitlement that seems to have taken over my generation.  Nothing is “coming” to you except for heartache if you continue to let the world run over your life.  Get up, dust off, and get to work.  That’s the only way you’ll ever be anybody.

Myth #2 – People from the South are dumb.

I know lots of Southerners, myself included, who are educated, hardworking and intelligent.  If you look hard enough, you can find stupidity anywhere.  It has nothing to do with what the GPS says.

Myth #3 – A snake is a snake no matter how many times it sheds its skin.

An idiom commonly used in the South, this statement implies that people don’t change.  I disagree.  I am an example of a person who has truly changed over the last few years.  Physically, I have lost about 40 pounds.  Emotionally, I am happier.  Behaviorally, I have improved to the point that I don’t remember the old me – manipulative and dishonest with an “always the victim” attitude.  Now, there are some people who choose not to change, but it’s just that – a choice.  People absolutely can change if they want to.

Myth #4 – Dinosaurs are extinct.

WRONG.  No, Rex isn’t invading suburban neighborhoods.  And you probably won’t see a pterodactyl perched on your fence post this evening.  But until we can reach the bottom of the deepest part of the ocean, technologically, no one can prove to me that dinosaurs have completely disappeared from the Earth.  I don’t care what people say – there’s all kinds of shit down there we don’t know about.

Myth #5 – Skinnier = Prettier.

I have had a weight problem my entire life, but I can tell you that there’s no bony bitch this side of Heaven I wouldn’t put myself against.  Just because you’re tiny does not mean you are better looking than me or any other full-figured woman who enjoys cheeseburgers and pizza.  In my opinion, it comes down to confidence and attitude.  In fact, a recent study showed that men who are married to curvy women are happier.  And it may be because they’d choose a bubbly, beautiful, sweet girl with a few rolls than a stuck-up, tiny little thing who doesn’t have her priorities in line.  Of course, there are delightful and personable Skinny Minnies and there are also fat girls who are raging bitches – there are exceptions to every rule.  But I’m hot even if I’m not a size 2 and no one is going to tell me differently.  I have just as much play as anyone who doesn’t shop on the plus size clearance rack.

Myth #6 – We say things we don’t mean when we are angry.

I have heard this little phrase my whole life, even by pastors and counselors.  Sorry, I think you’re wrong.  If anything, anger gives us the balls to say EXACTLY what we’re thinking – our truth.  I don’t think anger makes us careless with our words.  I think anger makes us brave.

Myth #7 – Blood is thicker than water.

It depends.  I know some families (again, mine included) whose ideas on love are so warped that they aren’t sure how to be loyal.  Blood means nothing to some.  Narcissists, chronic liars, hypochondriacs, martyrs, opportunists.  Actually, perhaps the reason I am so loyal is because I’ve seen that water can be, in fact, thicker than the most similar forms of blood.

Myth #8 – There is no cure for AIDS/cancer.

You mean to tell me that we have put a man on the moon, built fully functioning robots and invented things like electricity and hybrid cars, but we haven’t come up with a pill or a vaccine that prevents or cures the world’s most awful illnesses?!  Cancer treatments have become a multi-billion dollar business.  Finding a cure or preventative for cancer means cutting those profits and that “just won’t do.”

Myth #9 – Time heals all wounds.

No it doesn’t.  For some, time gives us room to think about the past, and honestly, that can be worse.  And this applies to any kind of “wound,” really.  Diabetic foot ulcers only get worse overtime and they can cause more problems the longer they exist.  People wounded by gunshots always feel pain, even years and years later.  Heartache is wound from which we can learn, but the hurt never goes away, and as time goes on, certain things will trigger the memory of heartache and you turn into a basket case all over again.  And grieving over the death of a loved one hurts forever, especially when all you have left of that person are memories and dreams.

Myth #10 – Relationships/Marriage are hard work.

I’ve always been told that love is complicated, that marriage is hard work and that romantic relationships require lots of sacrifice and compromise.  I completely disagree.  If you have to work hard to not fight with your spouse, or really make a huge sacrifice to refrain from cheating on your spouse or even can’t wait to get away from your spouse because they’re on your nerves, you are NOT married to the right person.  “The One” will never make you work hard for their love.  Relationships that are right are not difficult.  When you’re with the person you should be, it’s easy.  Sure, everybody’s going to disagree sometimes, but those little issues aren’t deal breakers.  I agree more with the analogy my daddy uses – relationships are like farts.  If you have to force them, they’re probably shit.

XOXO!

Meg / cC

All About Cursed, Volume Sarcasm

I thought this was a fun little tag.  And it gave me a good excuse to practice my handwriting!

Enjoy!!

All About Cursed 1

All About Cursed 2

XOXO!

Meg / cC

20 Types of People who GET ON MY NERVES

I’m breaking up the monotony of Christmas spirit by going over the types of people who really cream my corn.  You’re welcome.

1.       The neglectful parent (who usually think he/she is an AWESOME parent).  Stop staring at your phone.  Stop crying that your boyfriend just broke up with you.  Stop hanging out with friends all night.  Get your ass off of your couch, clean your house, cook dinner, sing songs at bath time, read a book and tuck your little ones into bed.  You only get ONE chance.  When you have kids, it’s not about YOU anymore.  Deal with it.  Invest in your kids’ lives.

2.       The “look at my money” guy.  Oh, you spent $60k on a new truck?  You’re texting on the $1,000.00 IPhone?  And your jeans were really $175.00 and you just got back from a vacation in The Bahamas?  I.  Don’t.  Care.  You’re not impressive – you’re in debt.  I don’t even want to be around you if you have more money than sense.

3.       The hourly selfie taker.  Guess what?  You look exactly the same in that one.  And that one.  Oh, wow, and this one.  Yep.  Still ugly.  Stop it.

4.       The skinny bitch who obsesses about being “too fat.”  Honey, you are starving for both attention and carbohydrates.  Knock it off.

5.       The early bird.  Just don’t talk to me before I’m awake.  Like, after my shower and after my teeth are brushed.  My brain is not ready for conversation before coffee.

6.       The martyr.  I am very closely tied to someone whose problems are always just a little worse than mine.  She also exaggerates her problems to make you feel bad for saying you’ve had a bad day.  If I tell you that I have a problem, do not irritate me by retorting, “Oh, yeah, that’s nothing, listen to what happened to me…”  I didn’t really want to talk to you anyway.  I just needed to vent.

7.       The creamer thief.  If someone labels their food in the office refrigerator, do not take it upon yourself to use it anyway.  It’s rude.  My very large bottle of creamer, purchased last week, is nearly gone because someone else is using it.  I’m pretty sure we all make the same money around here.  Get your own!

8.       The bully.  I don’t care if you are an adult, a teenager or a child.  If you are a bully, you deserve to have your teeth knocked in.  My kids have both had horrible experiences with bullies, so much, in fact, that I’ve had my fat, angry ass up at the school in yoga pants just raising hell.  Upon observation, I have noticed that a lot of children who are bullies also have parents who are bullies.  Something my daddy taught me is that none of us are better than anyone else.  All of our graves will be the same size.  Break the cycle, People.

9.       The excluder.  Adding to #6, excluding is a form of emotional abuse and it is considered bullying.  I know WAY too many adults who do this, and let me tell you from personal experience, there isn’t anything that hurts worse than to want to be a part of something, and then not being invited.  I have stayed up many, many nights crying because I don’t feel like I have any family members or friends who give a damn.  Don’t do this.  Don’t leave people out.  You never know what someone is going through.

10.   The hypocrite.  I don’t think I should or need to go into a lot of detail here.  I could write about hypocrisy for days, giving example after example after example.  But nothing would change.  The thing is that hypocrites don’t realize that they do have a large set of double standards.  To them, it’s justified.  I just can’t be around people like that.

11.   The silver spoon somebodies.  Honey, the only thing this life owes you is death.  Like I said, nobody is better than anybody.  We all have to work for what we want.  You are not special in that regard.

12.   The armed and dangerous baby mama.  Your children are NOT leverage.  You’re going to run out of ammo eventually, Sweetie, and your kids will resent you for what you’ve done.  Good luck to all of those deadbeat mothers out there who think that holding your children hostage is your way to control your ex.

13.   The grown-up gamer.  I don’t mind a video game every once in a while, but I cannot understand thirty or forty-something year old people whose lives center around Halo or Call of Duty or whatever.  Get a job, pay some bills.  Or find a new hobby.  It’s not attractive, either, by the way.

14.   The diet diva.  If I don’t ask for your diet tips, that means I don’t want them.  And I certainly don’t need to know how many calories my half-devoured cheeseburger contains.  If it’s something that makes you happy, then by all means, knock yourself out.  But I am not convicted by Oreos and your bitching about it isn’t going to change my mind.

15.   The gym Jim.  On a related note, stop taking selfies at the gym.  All I notice is that you’ve skipped leg day a few dozen times.  Besides, those “back on the grind” posts are annoying.  Even if your bod was a 10, you’re still ugly and you have absolutely ZERO personality.

16.   The oversharer.  I have almost deactivated my social media accounts hundreds of times, because there are people out there who feel it necessary to post every aspect of their lives on Facebook or Twitter or whatever.  “OMG he broke up with me again!  What am I going to do?!”  Or “If you’re a Republican you’re a moron!” or “Y’all please pray for me, I have period cramps.”  Lord have mercy, give me a break with all of that!  Post a meme or a picture of your kids or pet.  Hell, I’d even take chain messages over the person who posts TMIs.

17.   The gossip girl.  I would call this person a nosey Nancy, but it’s a little more complicated than that.  It’s not enough for this particular woman to know someone else’s business.  This person, upon learning said business, spreads it like wildfire.  I’ve lived in this stupid small town off and on for 10 years total, and I swear, Miranda Lambert is right – everybody’s famous here.  Famous because these gossip girl’s don’t mind telling everyone what’s going on – and if they don’t know all of it, they just make it up as they go.  This is one of the many reasons why I can’t wait to get out of this hell hole.

18.   The moocher.  No, you’re not getting a cigarette.  No, I don’t have 75 cents to help you catch the bus.  No, I’m not paying your water deposit.  Those who really need or want something figure out a way to make it work, and again, I do not owe you anything.  So stop asking.

19.   The special orderer.  Please do not go through a drive through if you need to special order a cheeseburger.  You are the reason why fast food is not actually fast anymore.  Don’t like pickles?  Want extra tomato?  Would you prefer wheat bread instead of white?  Go inside and stop holding up the line.

20.   The cameltoe queen.  It is absolutely disgusting to see a woman who wears clothes that are too small for her.  I don’t care if you’re 120 pounds or 400 pounds.  Have more respect for yourself.  It is not cute.  Nobody wants to see your rolls, your cleavage or the outline of your vagina, and if they do, it’s not for the right reasons.  Dress for your body size.  As my daddy says, “stop trying to fit 10 pounds in a 5 pound bag.”  It’s gross.

Tune in Monday for pictures from our weekend together – we’re hitting some local Christmas parades and going for family pictures!

XOXO!
Meg / cC