Dear Alabama: Vote Your Conscience

Dear Alabama,

The eyes of the world will be on you on Tuesday.  Not just the US, but the world.  You have a choice to make that will illustrate to citizens in the US and beyond what “real Americans” truly feel is important – party or people.

I am not writing this to judge you. Many of you will never read this. I am writing this for me. Because I’m incredibly disturbed and saddened that your special election has captured the headlines in the US and internationally.

I will disclose from the beginning that I’m a democrat. Many of you will consider me a ridiculous liberal. And for some of you, because I know it may matter, I am half Mexican-American. If anything the last two years has shown me, one or all of those three things will make you dismiss me entirely.

For those still reading, I am also come from a mixed-party family. I can name many people who I love that voted for Trump, and though I don’t agree with them, I love them and respect them for sticking to what they believe.

I will not get in to the logistics of your election. You know the candidates better than me. You know what they stand for, and you know whether they are people who you can be proud are representing you and your state to the country, and maybe to the world.

What I ask you is this: 

If you are a Republican and you can’t vote for Roy Moore, then DON’T! Learn from the 2016 election. Republicans AND Democrats walked to the polls and wrote in who they believed should be there. Some didn’t show up.  Ultimately, people couldn’t vote for Hillary OR Trump, and they used their voice in a different way.

I am not writing this as a Democrat or a Republican. I am writing this as a proud American. I am writing this as the sister and the daughter and the niece and the cousin and the friend of service members. I am writing this as woman and as a mother.

Vote your conscience, and answer the very simple question. Does party matter more than people?

You are the first state of many in the coming year that will have to show if “Make America Great” means “America has lost its moral compass.” 

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Rainy Day Mondays

Nothing like a changing season to help you realize how quickly your kids have grown. After unseasonably warm weather, it was finally time to track down the fall coats this morning.

However, in normal Monday fashion, of course nothing was where and how it should be. It’s a rainy day Monday, just a few days from the time change for the season, so incredibly dark.  Continue reading “Rainy Day Mondays”

Working Mom Diary: Leaning In and Letting Go

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Greetings from Santiago, Chile!

Hello, my friends! It’s been too long. This blog is an outlet for me to think, vent and deal, in a very complicated life, and yet I tend to fail to take care of myself all of the time.

I want to say that I’ve not written for a good reason. The truth is that there is never a good reason not to take care of yourself. “I’ve been busy” feels a bit weak. “I’ve been traveling” is true, but again not an excuse for eight weeks of taking time to do something that I truly enjoy.

Ultimately, I’m not here to bash myself. I’m writing again and it feels amazing. Continue reading “Working Mom Diary: Leaning In and Letting Go”

Summer Break Sucks Sometimes

Full disclosure, I’ve been stalking the idyllic social media posts that most of my friends are posting for summer break with a mix of envy, joy (happy for them), and a tiny bit of rage.  Beaches, boat rides, water parks, even Disney.  Every day, someone seems to be doing something spectacular, while I race kids from one camp they hate to another, fight non-stop, and say “I’m bored” five million times. At moments, I feel like swearing off Facebook.

I found an article yesterday on Facebook that suggests working moms average a 98 hour work week. Ironically, I’d suggest that summer breaks force that number up by about 10 hours a week.

I have the good fortune to work from home full-time when I don’t travel. I do travel about 50% of the time, so being home for school pick up and drop off when I am home is amazing.  During the school year, this model is absolutely amazing. However, summer break adds a new dimension.  Even with camps and babysitters, how do you focus on work when three kids, aged 10, 8 and 4, are all walking around next to you most of the day.

The reality is – you can’t. From June to August, I’m stretched in so many different directions that I feel like I’m losing my mind. I don’t think I’m alone.

Camps don’t start at the same time. Kids don’t want to do the same camps. Work never seems to slow down. It is absolutely and unbelievably overwhelming.

Today – after the kids got to stay up last night, nobody woke up on time. In between conference calls and email responses, I was dragging cranky kids out of bed to get dressed.  Rushing to get them out the door. Forgetting breakfast, forgetting backpacks. And to make matters even better, in the complete chaos of physically walking two children in to two locations with two sets of camps counselors, I noticed some strange and sad looks from the people I passed….BECAUSE my clothes were inside out!!!

The truth is that in these moments, I have to laugh. I know so many parents are in the same boat, desperately counting down the days until you can return to a routine and structured day without extra effort.

And I honestly don’t hate summer break, just the tough moments.

Can someone please just remind me that I’m not alone today? Because I need a break from summer break!

The Gift of Girlfriends

Last night, I had the good fortune to reconnect with some amazing girlfriends. We are a group of pre-school moms that “grew up” together as our girls grew up together, sharing the pains, joys, frustrations and ridiculousness of raising children, working, crazy husbands, and life.  Continue reading “The Gift of Girlfriends”