the misses independent

In spite of the mundane and drudge that is cleaning and organizing The Big Top, it can be fun when I happen upon little treasures like this.

Oh these two youngest daughters in my life!

I probably should thank Jodie for leaving these in the most random of places that I might find a few days after she headed back to school except I know that she gave these photos to Fallon after they took them New Year’s Day. I’ll thank Fallon for leaving them behind to make me smile while I was dusting and vacuuming when I return them to her.

Both of these young ladies are something else. So fiercely independent they are. Then again, so are all the daughters and grand daughters in my life. I’ve always admired the I do what I want quality in all of my girls. I do what I want within reason and parental guidance until they grow up, of course.

I won’t lie though; that same Miss Independent quality my girls possess can be exhausting, frustrating, sometimes a little bit hurtful when they are doing what they want that I don’t want. It’s okay though. It’s part of the process of becoming truly independent. Part of my heart wants them to always be here, always need me, always want to be with me but another part of my heart knows that no matter how independent these Misses (and Mrs.) are I will always have their love…and because of their love that is as strong as their independent streaks, I get to vicariously enjoy so many adventures that I could never, ever imagine. Added bonus: when we are together it is so much sweeter.

Of course, because I am human and a little bit selfish, I can still wish for more face time…something I also wish that I could tell the young mother me when all I wanted was alone time…while on the phone…in the shower…in the bathroom…

My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

this weekend’s moment of Dan

Tae Kwon Do belt testing all weekend long means lots of awesome like this:

and this

and this

but not so much this

:::sigh:::

Just like in dance and cheer, there is always that one (or more) parent or grandparent who could care less that there are perhaps ten or more people behind him or her who can not watch their pride and joy…BECAUSE YOU ARE BLOCKING THE VIEW!!! And often they will literally do this through the entire performance/presentation because, yes, that is how they roll. They’ll use their flash too because they either:
(a) do not understand the REPEATED requests from the kids’ teachers/coaches to NOT use flash photography for the safety of the kids.
(b) just don’t give a fuck

Given the fact that several people asked this dad to please move or sit down so they could enjoy their kid’s testing too and he remained standing, I’m guessing it is b. Definitely b.

Oh well!

I have a long lens. And I was lucky to get there early enough to get a good seat away from this dad photog.

Back to my Tae Kwon Dan.

Yeah, I’m pretty proud of him.

Even better, he is proud, very proud of his hard work.

Brown belt, black stripe for the win!

And that, my friends, is your moment of Dan!

our sacred exchange

Today being National Adoption Day, we pause to give thanks for the son who completed this family circus and for those who stood along side us nearly 14 years ago…supporting us, encouraging us, holding us up especially when it was hard because, in the beginning, it was hard in so many ways. Today we celebrate our family and every other family created and completed thanks to adoption.

We look at adoption as a very sacred exchange. It was not done lightly on either side. I would dedicate my life to this child. – Jamie Lee Curtis,

NaPhoPoMo

no tricks and different treats

Ah, teenagers!

For so many reasons, Daniel just was not feeling Halloween; and like so much that is right now my youngest child, my only son as a teenager, I just wasn’t sure how to feel about it all. But rather than wallow in the sadness and melancholic feels that come when your babies grow up I decided to punt because any mom of teens knows that is what you do a lot when you’re raising up these teens.

That doesn’t mean that there was no candy.

Ya gotta have candy…it’s Halloween.

But for something completely different, tourists were our chosen costumes.

Tourists in San Francisco.

As touristy as we wanted to be all day long!

Perfect day in the City by the Bay.

I’m a damn good punter.

Meanwhile, the grand ghouls represented the Family Circus well in the Trick or Treat trenches

…as Marceline, the Vampire Queen from Adventure Time…

…and Dorothy Gale.

the privileged

In the header above this post it says, “living this circus life what else would I be doing but juggling”. I say that all the time about this life of mine. Of course I am not the only one out there trying to juggle with work, life and family. We all do. Even Paul Ryan struggles with work/life balance.

Yes.

Yes he does.

When tapped for consideration to take on the job that no one seems to want, The Speaker of the House, Mr. Ryan presented a list of conditions. Given that it has become such a thankless job monitoring a legislative body that can’t seem to get anything done that doesn’t involve yet another investigation on Benghazi or Planned Parenthood who could blame the guy? Among other things, as the father of three young children who flies back to Wisconsin from Washington D.C. almost every weekend to be with his family, he made it very clear that he is not willing to accept the expectation of the extra time that he must devote to travel and campaigning for other Republican Party members.

I cannot and I will not give up my family. I may not be on the road as often as previous speakers, but I pledge to make up for it with more time communicating our vision, our message.

Of course he received praise for making such a bold statement as a man in a position of national power because that’s not how it is usually done. Sheryl Sandberg praised him on her Facebook page:

The Lean In Award of the day goes to Paul Ryan, for saying he worries how becoming House Speaker would affect his children, “who are in the formative, foundational years of their lives” – and that he won’t do the job unless he can still make them a top priority.

We need work to work for parents – and having leaders who weigh responsibilities as fathers as much as their responsibilities to their jobs shows all of us what is possible. ‪#‎LeanIn‬

What a guy! Family first.

Except for the facts that are Paul Ryan’s politics. In 2009, Ryan voted against a bill that would have given federal employees four weeks of paid paternity leave. Ryan has also proposed cuts to child care subsidies for poor parents. At the same time, however, he’s often said that more poor people need to be in the workforce and combat what he sees as a “culture problem” where they don’t value work. Ryan’s GOP caucus blocked President Obama’s attempt to mandate paid parental leave in both the public and private sectors here in the US. We’re one of only three countries in the world that doesn’t guarantee new parents paid time off from work to care for their offspring.

What a guy indeed!

If Ryan is tapped for the Speaker’s job, I am sure that he will be able to enjoy the privilege of maintaining a work/life balance that many Americans can not even try to imagine. While he is attending his kids’ school functions or enjoying sporting events with them, many parents will be at work while they balance focus on their job with the guilt that they are missing their kids’ soccer game or not being at home caring for their sick child or anything else that working American parents must juggle while trying to maintain a sense of work/life balance that is nothing like Mr. Ryan’s, Ms Sandberg’s or anyone else in their circles who can make such a bold statement to their employer before they head home early to hang out with the kids.

Sorry Mr. Ryan, you just might be a really awesome husband and father but I can not applaud you; not when millions of working Americans are denied the very privilege you enjoy because of your politics and voting record.