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Next Life, NO Kids: December 2013

December 31, 2013

A Year In The Life Of NLNK

It's been an amazing, insane, thought-provoking, terrifying, pain-in-the-ass, tearful, hysterical year. Honestly, it feels like it's been longer than 365 days because of all that's happened. In order to reflect and celebrate the year properly, I decided to do a little gratitude list to mark some of my favorite and not so favorite moments. 

Here goes.

The beginning of something wonderful

Shit got real with a teenager in the house, and I did some personal reflection

I almost lost my mind after the 4yo created a masterpiece on the hardwood

I called for back up

I got called "HUGE" at Walmart

I realized that Molly Ringwald is mostly to blame for much of my terrible relationship choices

We attempted to potty train during the election, neither of which were very successful

Preschool started and I had to leave my little man in the hands of assholes

I wanted to give up, and you saved my life

I experienced and celebrated some huge gifts of sobriety

We challenged negativity together with BEAUTY 

We judged some young girls

I decided I didn't want my marriage

Once again, I called for back up, and you were there. 

I am so grateful to all of you for your support, shoulders, humor, and cyber hugs. I know that I would not be here without you and I am so blessed to have you. Special thanks to so many wonderful women that have given me permission to breathe again by sharing themselves so freely in their blogs and our friendship. Here are just a few that have helped me more than they know...

Lizzi @ Considerings 
Lucy @ My Life As Lucille
Jeanette @ Mommy Needs A Martini
Molley @ A Mother Life
Jean @ MamaSchmama
Jen @ My Skewed View
Lori @ The Next Step
Tracy @ Crazy As Normal
Lea @ Becoming Supermommy
Alyson @ The Shitastrophy
Dana @ Kiss My List
Nancy @ The Calibamamom
Lisa @ Lisa Nolan
Michelle @ They Call Me Mummy
Kathy @ My Dishwasher's Possessed
JD @ Honest Mom
Jenn @ Something Clever 2.0
Allison @ MotherhoodWTF

There are so many more amazing human beings IRL and online who have lifted me up when I was falling, and brought me back to life. This year has been wonderful because of you and I love you SO much.


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December 28, 2013

O Christmas Tree (unedited)

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December 20, 2013

Christmas Cards Are Stupid

Sending Christmas cards has been an ongoing tradition since my family started. Each year, as cards come in, I tuck the return addressed envelopes into a pile to make sure we get everyone back. Every year we dress the kids up in fancy, uncomfortable clothes they never wear and attempt to pose them each to look cute, happy, and perfect. 

Twenty or so pictures are taken and it becomes increasingly clear how often our children are not cute, happy, and/or perfect. The picture with hairs and smiles in place is chosen as winner and uploaded to our Walgreens/CVS account as we carefully choose the card and and words to greet you. Something that says, "Taking this once a year opportunity to let you know you're important to us!" 

Of course the longer we wait to take the picture, the more stressed and overwhelmed we feel and the more pressure we put on ourselves; all in the name of Christmas...obviously.

What a terrific waste of time. Why do we torture ourselves? I'll tell you why...GUILT. Sure, maybe that's not how it started. I'm sure at some point we all sent cards with fantastic intentions. Perhaps some of you still do. I'm speaking for myself here. 

Last year, I shit you not, after all was said and done, I remember bitching to Nick about how many cards we sent out vs. how many we received. I'll be totally honest and even let it slip that I totally sent cards to people I wouldn't have thought about that year because they sent us one and I didn't want anyone to judge me as harshly. 

Because, HOW DARE YOU?! Merry Christmas, Assholes.

What the hell? When did sending Christmas cards become about getting Christmas cards? This can't be right. 


It's possible I feel guilty about not being a great friend to you this year, so I send you a card to let you know you're still important to me. Maybe I send you a Christmas card every year to make myself feel better about the fact that I haven't seen you in over six, and can't for the life of me remember the names of all your children. 

Maybe I send you a card because you sent me one and I don't want you to think I don't appreciate it. Whatever the reason, it is clear that my intentions aren't always just a holiday high-five. 

This year I'm making a conscious decision not to send you a Christmas card. Not because I don't love you, but rather because I do. Let's make plans this year and really make the effort. Let's chat on the phone or via carrier pigeon.

Let's connect for fuck's sake!! 

The relationships I wish to foster are those that continue year round, even if it's just through email. I don't need a card from you once a year if that's all you have to offer me. We're all super busy, but let's commit to make time for each other. 

I don't mean to offend. I totally appreciate you taking the time to stress, stamp, and lick an envelope for me, I really do! I'm just suggesting that as a gift to you, next year I'm giving you permission to skip it. Instead, please spend that time with the ones that mean the most to you or doing something you actually want to do. If that's sending a card, so be it. If it's not, please know that there will be no hurt feelings over here. Save a tree or some shit!

Oh, and yes, I do feel totally guilty writing this as I stare at the pile of envelopes from cards we've received already that won't be reciprocated. I worry that you won't know that I love and appreciate you because you won't get a card back from us.

Guilt sucks. 

Whether you love what you just read or hated everything about it, let's connect and talk about it! I'm always open to honest feedback. Come be social with me!

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