About Laura

With five kids, one with special needs, a handsome son-in-law, a perfect grandchild (seriously, aren't ALL grandchildren perfect??), a even handsomer husband, my career as a NICU RN....what else would I be doing but juggling?

as September ends

Since June, one of my favorite photographers and writers, Karen Walrond of Chookooloonks, has been sharing at the end of the month her five favorite photographs.

My sweet photographer friends Xanthe & Andrea both share their five favourite photographs they take every month — isn’t that a great habit? Not just because it inspires fans like me from a technical photography perspective (and really, they’re just so talented), but I imagine that the practice of going through their archives to look at their images more critically to pick their favourites helps them get better as well.

And so, of course, I’m copying them.

I was inspired but never got around to it (or a round tuit – nod to my late father in law) until now as September ends.

Is it just me or does September always seem a little endless? It does. At least it does here under The Big Top and, of course, I have this on a loop in my ear pretty much all month long…thanks Green Day!

Sorry. Off topic.

Me when I sit dow to write lately.

Like our friend, Shaun, here I am tripping down memory lane staring at baby pictures…babies with incredibly big hair.

Think what you may about Greek life ladies, but these ones are fierce, driven and super smart…watch out world!

Whatever will Dr. D. do when the last Scarborough living under The Big Top is straight outta braces?

And while the rest of the world seems to be overwrought over a recent news story about a 13th Zodiac sign, it really isn’t news after all. Regardless of the news, I remain Pisces forever!

this week, another photo dump

When you have literally so much, perhaps too much, to say, it’s probably best to just dump photos and maybe some words too…but not too many.

You are working the night of that first Presidential Debate you literally find yourself praying that it won’t be on the TV in the break room because you literally can not drink when you are at work and honest to goodness it just might be the only way one can get through this scary clusterfuck you imagine. But just in case, you bring an appropriate substitute because Skittles are indeed a delicious candy. Every one else thought so too as we discovered that they do pair well with the Food Network.

Better to watch it the next day with your son; who you discover has very strong, thoughtful opinions on this election and who he would vote for. That would be the moment when you suddenly realize that he will be voting IN FOUR YEARS!!!! So I will throw it out there and ask everyone to vote, vote carefully. Don’t fuck this up so that in four years there won’t be an America for him to live in and vote.

Until then…

He is typically your typical teenager.

Did you really just take my picture, Mom?

Yes.

:::eye roll:::

Typical.

A good visit with his endocrinologist. Definitely time to take a selfie.

Also typical.

He’s growing y’all! Growing in a bigly way.

:::eye roll:::

photo dump: the “momsoon” edition

No autocorrect, it is not monsoon, it is MOMsoon. Just accept it, okay?

Family weekend at ASU with Jodie.

Aside from the massive thunderstorm that soaked me upon arrival, Tempe weather was glorious with a high only up to 90 degrees. We won’t discuss the humidity that created the ball of frizz that was my hair…the low humidity they tell me. My hair vehemently disagreed.

Oh well. I was spending the weekend with my 4th darling daughter.

At the movies.

And the obligatory Costco re-stocking run followed by lots of eating together.

Plus a little politics too including this discussion which I wholeheartedly support.

Followed by bowling.

Bowling with the roommate and her family.

Twins versus DG Twins.

The DG Twins win…the right twins they tell me.

The next day brings football and the call to wear maroon for the Maroon Monsoon which is what we do. But first, tailgating.

Tailgating Greek-life style, a first for me and where I become acquainted with the Maroon MOMsoon and that the Greek guys love the moms.

We shall imagine that it was the MOMsoon that brought it for ASU’s victory over Cal and not their now 4-0 season.

And as the MOMsoon recedes, it is back to the books and studies and work and bringing back out all the stuff hidden from the parents for the kids. Thanks, kids! This mom had fun!

teach them well

You know when you have those conversations with your child about respect for authority, for those who are called to Protect and Serve their community…and those who protect and serve this community 70 or more miles from their own homes because the pay scale and benefits are better? Every opportunity you have, you teach them that they are our helpers and they are here to protect and help us when we are in trouble and all we really need to remember is to always follow their instructions doing exactly what they tell us to do and we have nothing ever to worry about (as long as we have done nothing wrong) because they are here to protect us and serve us. They deserve our honor, our respect, our trust as they bravely serve us and protect us and we talk about this with our kids, all the time…

I know, Mom. What about my friends J and A and my friend R?

What about them?

Well, J and A are Mexican and R is Black and…well, on the news…

:::sigh:::

On the news…

So…

What then do you say?

I mean, you remind your son not all Cops and not all Brown people and not all Black people…

And you see your White Privilege right there  glaring at you because you are not having the same conversation with your teenaged son as J’s mom, or A’s mom or R’s mom is having right now.

Of course you are not.

But right now what we really need to worry about are professional athletes expressing their First Amendment Rights as American citizens in a way that in our humble opinion is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Teach them.

Teach them well.

They will teach you too.

I’m not going to answer any questions today and it’s no offense to you guys. I think the state of things in the world today is very interesting. I think you have players that are trying to take a stand and trying to be aware of social issue and try to make a stand an increase people’s awareness and put a spotlight on it and they’re being ignored. Whether they’re taking a knee or whether they’re locking arms, they’re trying to bring people together and unite them for a cause. I think the last couple days a couple more guys have gotten shot and killed in the middle of the street. More videos have come out of guys getting killed, and I think people are still missing the point. The reason these guys are kneeling, the reason we’re locking arms is to bring people together to make people aware that this is not right. It’s not right for people to get killed in the street.

I do a lot of community service. I go out there and try to help kids and try to encourage them to be better and to aspire to more. And when you tell a kid, “When you’re dealing with police, just put your hands up and comply with everything,” and there’s still a chance of them getting shot and no repercussions for anyone, that’s an unfortunate time to be living. It’s an unfortunate place to be in. There’s not a lot you can tell a kid. There’s not a lot you can try to inspire… a person when you say, “We need black fathers to be in the community to stay their for your kids,” but they’re getting killed in the street for nothing, for putting their hands on their cars. And I think that’s the unfortunate part, that’s the unfortunate place that we’re living in. And something needs to be done. And so when a guy takes a knee, you can ignore it. You can say he’s not being patriotic, he’s not honoring the flag. I’m doing none of those things. I’m saying, straight up, this is wrong and we need to do something. So thank you guys, have a blessed day.

~ Richard Sherman, cornerback, Seattle Seahawks

and just when we imagine we know everything

As my darling 4th daughter, Jodie, turned 20 this year, I was fairly confident that we have this parenting teenagers down. After all, ask any of our family, friends, acquaintances, people we pass shopping at Target and they will GO OUT OF THERE WAY TO TELL YOU HOW PAINFULLY DIFFICULT IT IS TO RAISE TEENAGE GIRLS!

No, really.

‘They have. Literally any and every chance that came along.

And they have been right…well, sometimes.

My darling husband and I have four amazing daughters, who as teenagers challenged us in ways that made us certain that our mothers’ curses upon us were very real…and in ways that we could have never, ever imagined. Raising teenagers in the brave new world of social media? Did we really see that coming?

But we survived.

We did not die.

None of us.

And now, with four young adult women making their way in this world in their own way, we have imagined that we might actually know what we are doing raising teenagers because pseudo-experts told us girls are hard and boys are easy.

Heh!

All y’all know nothing!

Nothing!

Believe me.

But one thing, as parents of teenagers, remains true still. We are really, really good at embarrassing our adolescent children.

 

Taking your teenaged son to a Styx Tribute Band concert might seem to be a perfect way to provoke the best of eye rolls and more and because of all the eye rolls, heavy sighs and never mind, Mom. 

This should be easy. One would think so, but no. Although joking about wearing an old Styx concert tee might be too meta did result in a half eye roll coupled with a really, Mom.

You’re going to write about this, aren’t you, Mom?

Well, maybe.

Fine. Make sure they know I had fun, because I did.

Of course.

:::he rolls his eyes:::

He did have fun hanging out with Mom, Dad and all those old people.

Yeah, he is also suddenly so much taller!!!

He’s rolling his eyes again right now.