damned if they do, damned if they don’t

So there I was, sitting in the outpatient registration waiting room of a local hospital with Hazel Faye.

Don’t ask. It was no big deal. Really. But yes, there Hazel and I were sitting in the waiting room with the Fox News Network blaring shrilly as it does in the waiting room of outpatient registration of our local hospital. I’m not sure why it must be Fox News, but it is.. Maybe because we are quite possibly in the fifth circle of Hell sitting in an outpatient waiting room.

Trust me, the last thing a five year old wants to do while waiting endlessly in a boring waiting room is to listen to some shrill pundit kvetch and moan and tear at their clothes worrying about why the President would appear with Zach Galifnianakis on Between Two Ferns. She also doesn’t find other people in the waiting room shouting at the tv entertaining at all. She’s five. All this is boring; especially sitting in a waiting room.



Don’t worry. I’ve got this.

Frozen on Mima’s iPad! You are welcome everyone waiting endlessly in the outpatient waiting room! Hazel is happy. Hazel is entertained. Hazel is sitting still. Hazel is occupied. And save for her quietly singing “Let It Go” (with perfect pitch and sounding great), she is not bothering anyone.




Except the three older people sitting in the corner aren’t so sure.

Is that a game or something?“, a little old lady shouts out at Hazel.

Hazel looks up briefly and answers back, politely, “No, it’s an iPad.

The little old lady clucks her tongue and looks to her two companions, “Kids! They just can’t do anything but stare at some screen.

“They’re spoiled. Parents can’t be bothered so they give them cellphones and smart computers and games and those ‘Pads’ and tvs.

Yup, they’re spoiled!“:

Parents just don’t care.

The three of them nod together as they look up at Hazel then at me glaring.

Oh for crying out loud!

The first old lady nods in my direction, “How lucky she is her mother can buy her such an expensive thing like an iPad.

Hazel looks up again, rolls her eyes and says matter of factly, “I don’t have an iPad. This is my Mima’s.

I put my arm protectively around Hazel and say out loud, to no one in particular, “Well I guess a kid like you is darned if you do and darned if you don’t.

And Hazel answers back, “Yup!

For the record, I did say darn.

Idina Menzel is my Spirit Animal

Or is she really Adele Dazeem? Regardless, she is bad-ass and by far my favorite vocalist EVERTake Me or Leave MeDefying GravityLet It Go…and so much, much more.

And this, this is perfection.

But paired up with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots, how could it be anything but?

In case you are wondering, my Travoltified name is “Lara Stewaeert”

light and fluffy

Although Hazel has absolutely no patience while sitting in a very slow drive thru line at our friendly, neighborhood Starbucks with her Mima, she did discover this week that her hot chocolate is even more delicious with one pump raspberry syrup.

Inspired by The Lego Movie, which he has managed to see twice already, Daniel handled the assault to his senses during the dance preview creating this awesomeness with his Legos.

Meanwhile I found myself identifying with Tresa Edmunds here about living with our “magical burdens”.

Yes…blah, blah, blah…and laughing until I cried.

In other news, I sent off my submission to audition for Listen To Your Mother because dear Kizz encouraged me to try again because she thinks I have plenty of stories to tell.

Meanwhile this girl attended her first Stockton Thunder hockey game.

Truth be told, it actually was not her first hockey game. But this time she was not a sleeping, swaddled infant. No, she was right there cheering and yelling and people watching with her family. She probably liked it best because she could yell like crazy.

My daughter, Hollie Austa, is a pretty awesome person. One thing most parents wish and hope for is that their kids are better people than they are/were. Yes, she is a great mother. I’ve already talked about that. Today she just confirmed what I already knew about her (and her sisters and brother). She has a very kind heart. Not everybody would have come alongside someone to offer the kind of patience, kindness and help that she did for someone we know today. But my kid did. Proud of you Hollie!

And lastly, right now this is one of my favorite songs on my running playlists for so many reasons.

I don’t always listen to Gangsta Rap when I run.

it’s a wonderful life. because…

Being the pessimist who desperately tries to see the glass as half full kind of girl that I am, I have been trying hard to see the good and enjoy the good of this holiday season because if I don’t try it is just another day and week and month in another year. Plus there is the children. I must try for the children. So I settled down last night under my cozy, cuddly green blanket that a friend made me for one Christmas ago and watch It’s A Wonderful Life; which is, hands down, my favorite go-to holiday movie. Capra-corny as it is, I know. What can I say? I sometimes identify with good ol’ George Bailey sometimes wishing that I had never been born especially when things are especially sucky. Melodramatic, yes it is. But it’s who I am. I’m not the first self-sacrificing giver with big, fat feelings who has ever felt that in my lowest of low moments. Still being the self-sacrificing giver with big, fat feelings that I am, I do try to find good…especially when I feel weighed down by too much bad. So I play Christmas music as much as I can (except for Mariah Carey- sorry, not sorry), I visit Santa with my favorite son, I watch happy, happy children sing their hearts out at Christmas concerts. I smile when I’d much rather cry and I just keep trying to find the wonderful because it is out there.

So curled up with my new Zelda-kitty, I find myself watching It’s A Wonderful Life reciting the dialogue and I just have to share…on social media…

of course…

because it is 2013 and hey, anything to turn down the Phil Robertson – Duck Dynasty and Justine Sacco noise because there is so much more important things to think about and talk about rather than two people freely expressing their bigoted views while on their companies’ dime and time. So I put it out there simply saying:

It’s A Wonderful Life. Because…

and then it happened…

Friends began to answer:

I have two healthy and happy kids!!

All of my adult daughters are home for the holidays…and we’re only fighting a little!

Our whole family will be together for 5 days this Christmas

I know you…

Each person’s life touches so many other’s.

I have good friends that distance doesn’t matter with.

My children are in good places in their lives!

My brother is coming for Christmas today!!

We live, we breathe, we love, we’re loved, and we can still do good in the world.

Aw, you guys! I swear I could feel my heart grow three sizes bigger as I read all the replies. I know! That’s a totally different story.


It’s a wonderful life!

Thank you! Thank you, dear friends, for helping me appreciate so much more than just the Capra-corn.