Monday, December 28, 2009

Renewed Focus for 2010

October 22, 2007 - On this day, I began a journey. I didn't know it at the time, but the journey was to be a life changing one. On this day, I typed a small story about my children and submitted it to DivineCaroline. And then I submitted several more. And then, someone commented that I was their "favorite new writer".

I was hooked.

My early writing was not very good. It was cute, but not good. Looking back now, I can see that it lacked something fundamental to good writing - a purpose.

September 3, 2008 - I wrote my very first political article and with shaking hands and a pounding heart I hit the "publish" button.

And just like that - Kristi the purposeful writer was born.

My political writing is the writing of which I am the most proud. The best piece I believe I have ever written was political and extremely personal. A feat that, in my limited writing experience, is very difficult to pull off. A feat, I've not yet been able to repeat.

My writing has been a bit distracted from the political realm as of late. This is an oversight that I intend to correct in 2010. The health care debate and President Obama's nuanced governing style has been difficult for me to get my arms around. And if I'm being totally honest, I also needed a break from the crazy train the conservatives are currently conducting.

At the end of 2008, I vowed that in 2009 I would write. Just write. And I did -a lot. Now it's time to move that writing to the next level and not just write, but write well - and with a purpose - my purpose.

As 2009 draws to a close, I leave you with what will be the guiding ideals behind in this blog in 2010.

I believe in the power of a singular voice.

I believe a singular voice, when properly focused, can change a heart, a mind, and a community.

I believe a singular voice can turn into a collective one.

And I believe there has never been any positive change in the world that was not initiated first by a singular voice and then by a collective one.

I have a voice. If you're interested, I'll be using it in 2010.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

My Christmas Miracle

Something miraculous happened in Stepford on Christmas Eve. (No, I didn't stay out of the vodka.) Something I've waited forty-two years to see. Something I thought I would never see unless I broke my own self-imposed rule about never traveling on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

We had a White Christmas. This is my backyard at 3 P.M. on Christmas Eve.

I don't know if it was watching the kids enjoy a pre-present opening melee romp in the snow...

Or if it was watching a yellow dog, who hates the rain, fall in love with the snow...

Or if it was having my brother and his family in my home... (Here is my brother letting me know that I if I haven't already decided that my current Champagne martini is my last, it should be.)

...but this was the Best.Christmas.Ever. This was the Christmas that I will always remember - the one I've been waiting upon my whole life. The one where an overwhelming sense of sadness was not right beneath the tinseled surface. The one where I laughed easily, gave of myself freely, relaxed and just let it be. I don't know if I've crossed some sort of Christmas chasm and this year signals a beginning of Christmases to come. I don't know if this Christmas was a once in a lifetime deal.

And I don't care.

Either way, I had this Christmas. And it was miraculous.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Naughty or Nice

When I was a child, my mom threatened me with every imaginary character and wives tale imaginable.

(I may have been a handful.)

If I made an ugly face, she told me I had better stop lest my face get "stuck like that".

(The thought of walking around with my tongue permanently stuck out of my mouth nipped me sticking my tongue out at her right in the bud.)

If she suspected I were lying, she would feign shock at my growing nose.

(I always gave my dishonesty away by reaching up to check that my nose had not suddenly grown three inches.)

And if it were Christmastime? She would play the Santa card.

(I think we can all agree we don't need Dr. Freud to figure out where my Grinchyness got it's start.)

Because of my mother's parenting style (child abuse), I've always been really careful with my own children to reinforce the positive aspects of Santa Claus.

Despite my efforts, something went awry with my daughter.

The year she turned three, the trouble began. One evening I was driving my minivan down Stepford's Main Street past the Fire Station that always has a huge inflatable Santa on it's roof. My son says to my daughter, "Hey look! There's Santa up there on the roof!"

My daughter burst into tears.

I adjusted the rear view mirror so I could see her and said, "Honey, what's the matter?"

She sobbed, "I'm so naughty."

I reassured her, "Oh Honey, no you're not".

She screamed, "YES I AM!"

Honestly, I didn't know what to do with that. Neither of my children have ever been particularly naughty. They've had their moments, sure. Like the time I told my son he couldn't have Rolos in the checkout line only to turn around and see chocolate and gold foil covering his chin. Or like the time my daughter was so angry with me she yelled, "THAT'S IT! YOU.ARE.FIRED!"

(Seriously? Who fires their mother? I mean, hell, even my mother hasn't managed to get herself removed from her post.)

The next year, when my daughter was four, same problem. She would cry and carry on about being naughty every time Santa was even mentioned.

And the year she was five, same issue.

Then the year she turned six, we had a break through. One afternoon I scolded my daughter about something minor. The infraction was so minor that I cannot for the life of me even remember what it was. A short time later I walked into her room with some laundry to put away and found her crying on her bed.

I asked, "Honey, what's wrong? I'm not mad at you."

She said, "I'm so naughty."

By this time, we had a pretty set dialogue for how this conversation was going to go... except this time after I said, "No Honey, you're not...."

She said, "YES! YES I AM! Mom, you have no idea what I say about you to myself. I say bad things about you and I use bad words. REALLY bad words. I'm not nice to you when you can't hear me. I'M NAUGHTY."

I was speechless. I mean, cussing me behind my back is kind of, you know, naughty. If she had done that to my face, all hell would have certainly broken loose. And she knew this. So she... she... had been covertly cussing my very name. And for years. Years.

Years, people.

Nothing in my prior parenting experience could have prepared me for this. To make matters worse my son entered the room to find out what exactly had busted loose in our house. Because I was unable to speak, my daughter filled him in.

My son says, rolling his eyes "GAWD. You ruin everything. Don't you know by now you're not supposed to tell Mom what we say about her? It will hurt her feelings!"

(WE??????????? Both of my angelic children have been cussing me behind my back?)

At this, my daughter throws herself onto the floor and begins to wail, "Now I'm naughty because I've hurt your feelings!"

Well, it was banner day to say the least. However, it was also very cathartic.

My daughter learned that no matter what egregious sin she committed I would love her anyway.

My son learned not to confess to said egregious sins before confirming he had been implicated therein.

And I learned that I'm not a perfect mom. I learned that my kids do indeed sometimes not like me.

And most importantly, I learned that I can live with that imperfection.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

This time next month our family will be in Florida...

doing something I swore we would never do...

traveling for a soccer tournament...
for a nine year old...

I've come to the realization that I will eat every word
I have ever spoken regarding motherhood.

And this face? Totally worth it.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Political MMQ

I love this image. Because baby, it is some kind of satirific.

I mean, it's got it all.

Jesus in a suit with a dollar sign lapel pin.

An automatic weapon being held at the ready by Christ the King.

War planes in the background.

All set against the back drop of a confederate flag.


Now this is not a liberal Jesus. Certainly not a Democratic one. Or, dare I say, an accurate one?

This is a Jesus that the Southern Republican Leadership Conference can rally behind. I mean, after all, could the location of their upcoming 2010 Convention be more ironic than the Republican Jesus?

Friday, December 11, 2009

And The Grinch's Heart Grew Three Sizes That Day

This morning my nine year old daughter handed me an envelope with this written on the back. She asked that I please put it in the mail to the North Pole - TODAY.

I opened the letter to verify there was nothing surprising on her list.

What I couldn't have known was that the best Christmas present I'll receive this year was contained inside.

I am blessed beyond anything I could ever deserve.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Oh Yeah, I've Added Pink to the Blog

When deciding upon a blog design I purposely avoided pink. Or any derivation thereof. Contrary to my love of shoes, martinis, and mani/pedi's, I'm not really a super girly girl. I'd take a day with no make up, sweats, and ball cap anytime.

(Just ask any Stepford Wife that has ever seen me on the weekends and pretended not to know me. Yeah, you know who you are.)


When given the opportunity for Stepford Stories to have a review blog, pink seemed just the right color.

So today, I'm launching the Stepford Stories Review Blog and in a BIG way.

If you're interested in hearing another one of my funny stories (and I know you are) and interested in winning a $200 gift card (because who isn't?) then get your mouse clicking over on those shopping bags on the side bar or just click below. Leave a comment, tweet it up, facebook it, or blog about it to be entered to win.


Good Luck!

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