Monday, November 30, 2009

Cyber Monday, Naked Blogs and Two Movie Reviews

I have so many blog posts swimming around in the few brain cells I have left after this loooong weekend that I think I just need to purge a bit. Won't you come along for this random ride?

First of all, this weekend was awesome. Not only did we get tons of family time in but I also got to hang out with friends, too, which always makes me happy. And Miles was in a rock-star good mood for most of it. Most of it until he decided to turn into a pint-sized Godzilla yesterday and be a huge pill. But that's typical for him after being cooped up with us for a long time. I go stir-crazy, too. So, Monday and his new daycare friends came just in time. Whew!

Happy Cyber Monday everyone! Black Friday is not my cup of tea. Cyber Monday is definitely more my style. No waiting in lines, no screaming kids (and I mean my own), no crabby store workers, no chicken-fights for parking spots, ... I just get to sit on my ass and push buttons. Cyber Monday is the lazy woman's Black Friday. here I come.

I must excuse my obscenely naked blogs. It's vulgar, really. I promise to clothe them very soon. We (as in myself and my fabulous bloggy friend who is doing my dirty work for me) will reveal the new blog looks shortly!

SO, I have seen two movies this week. I know, how is that possible?? I have gone months and months without so much as stepping foot in a theater and now I have been there twice in one week. Making up for lost time, I guess?

New Moon: Loved it. Two thumbs up. Better than the first one. And guess what? I am temporarily on Team Jacob until, of course, Eclipse comes out. Those of us who have read the books know how it ends, and in the grand scheme of things I am Team Edward. But for right now I have jumped on the Team Jacob bandwagon because ... well, I just love him. And not because of his 6-pack abs and the fact that he spends most of the film shirtless. No, those things did not sway me (that much). It's the fact that he is so protective, so in love with Bella. He is so friggin' sweet to her. C'mon, you can't tell me that isn't endearing and sexy all at the same time. Edward isn't in this one much and when he is in a scene he is doing that brooding, unsmiling bit that kinda drives me batty. The books were good at revealing the other sides of this personality, like his wit and sense of humor. But the movies are void of much of that, which is too bad. You sometimes wonder if Bella and Edward ever just have a good laugh together, don't you? Anyway, Jacob's character steals the show, IMHO. There were some scenes that were laughably cheesy and I didn't really like the Volturi casting, especially little Dakota Fanning as Jane. She couldn't scare a bunny out of its hole. Seriously. But otherwise I thoroughly enjoyed it and am plotting to see it again before it leaves the theaters.

Seeing The Blind Side was a spontaneous event. Yes, I said spontaneous. (I haven't heard, said or even thought that word in so long I had to look up how to spell it.) A couple of friends (also with small children) called me at 8 p.m. Friday night and asked me if I would like to come to a late movie with them. HELL YES. So, thanks to two husbands who were willing to play along (the kids were sleeping, it's not that hard!) I ventured out way past my bedtime to see The Blind Side. Totally worth it! I didn't feel as emotionally connected to the characters as I thought I might so I used less tissues than I anticipated. But it was still an excellent film. I obviously could relate to many of the major themes of the movie (adoption, racism, trans-racial families) so I appreciated the messages for what they were--powerful and at times gut-wrenching portraits of what families have to go through and sacrifice for the love of their children. Adopted or not. I have been reading some reviews like this one and have taken those to heart, too. But overall I tend to think that The Blind Side is worth a viewing if you have time!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

You Bet Your "Bottom" Dollar, I'm Thankful!

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for many, many things: my wonderful son and husband, our amazing extended family and friends, our health, a toddler who takes long naps and sleeps through the night (I just jinxed it), the recovery of my dad after his triple bypass, the fact that I didn't actually get killed by lightning when it hit our house, insurance companies, etc...

But the thing I am most grateful for this week is something unexpected: I am grateful that Miles got booted from daycare. Our new daycare provider is truly a gift from God. She is infinitely patient with Miles. She is kind in her words to us at the end of the day ("We are working on sharing."). But the BEST thing about her is that she says things like "sit on your bottom" and "he had a BM". HA! I haven't heard that stuff since my mom used to say those things to us as kids. Ancient language in my book...but appropriate, nonetheless. We say butt and poop in our house. That's just how we roll. Poor Miles has naughty parents. Maybe she will teach him some manners.

All kidding aside, she is wonderful and the transition has been blessedly smooth. When we dropped him off that first day he just waved and said "bub bye" and that was that. Don't let the door hit you in the "bottom" on the way out, mama. Hmmm. Maybe this isn't going to be so hard?

Well, at about 1 p.m. when I knew he was going to be going down for a nap I had a breakdown of sorts. I had been anxious all day. I had even called once to check in. "Everything's fine." But then at naptime I pictured him looking for me, or anyone familiar really. I wondered if he would sleep ok in a brand new place. I thought about him waking up in that strange new place with all new people and being upset about it. And I thought about me not being there to comfort him, hold him, give him a kiss. OH THE TEARS. Mine, of course, not his. I sat at my desk and cried. I called Grant, and he didn't help any. He said he was missing him something awful, too, and thinking about him a lot. Crying harder now. So I emailed a friend and she said comforting things back...and then I collected myself. *sniff sniff*

Of course all of our worry was for nothing. He was fine. He had a pretty good day. Slept well and ate well. She said he screams when he is happy and we said "Really?" hee hee

So far so good.

The thing that is killing me softly, though, is that each day he asks for his old daycare friends. Ella bub-bye? Josh bub-bye? Cripes. That hurts. I know he will forget. Soon and very soon. But for now it's sort of heartbreaking. The memory of a 20 month old is a lot longer that one might think...

I hope that this time next year we will be able to say how thankful we are that Miles has had a good year at Sharon's. I hope, I hope, I hope.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! Let the overeating begin!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'm Honored

All of the Above has received its very first award! I say "first" hoping it won't be the last ;)

This award comes from my new friend over at The Girl Next Door Grows Up. Her blog is one that I want to emulate: it's funny, smart, honest, and the blog's got style! It's a lot to live up to. She has been so very kind and supportive of my new blog adventure, and I can't thank her enough for her advice and generosity.

Ok, enough gushing. On with the award.

One Lovely Blog Award

Link to the giver of the award.

Link to the nominees of the award.

Comment on the award winners' blogs to let them know you gave them the award.

Put the award on your blog post.

This lovely award is to be given to up to 15 you have newly discovered and, of course, think are just lovely!

I am inspired by (and frankly just jealous of) all of the fabulous blogs out there! Thanks for keeping the bar high and thanks for putting yourselves out there for all to read.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Why We Are In Love With Edward Cullen

I am Team Edward.

Now you know where I stand. ;)

If you have read the books (I have read them all--twice) or seen the movie (I've seen it, uh, let's say "more than once") you have an infatuation with Edward Cullen on some level. Admit it. He is the perfect man. It's not just Robert Pattinson's smoldering, other-worldly good looks. It's not how Stephenie Meyer wrote the character (let's face it--it's not high literature). But there's something about Edward.

Robert P. made an appearance at The Today Show this morning. I guess people had started lining up yesterday to get a glimpse of him. There were signs that read "I am in love with a fictional character". It's CRAZY. Even being a huge Twilight fan myself I still think all of the hoopla is over the top. Granted, I am going to see New Moon on Monday night with my bookclub (we read and discussed the books together) and I But I don't have my vampire teeth or Edward t-shirt lined up and ready to wear. I'm excited but I'm not that excited.

Why does Edward get us so hot and bothered? Let me try and tackle this one:

Why We Are In Love With Edward Cullen

1. He probably never has BO or bad breath. That's hot.

2. He never sleeps so that leaves more time for, ahem....other things. Enough said.

3. He is eternally ripped.

4. He always has time for you because, well, time is all he has. Attentive. That's also hot.

5. He has a gorgeous house and expensive cars.

6. He is wicked smart, polite, witty and uses proper grammar. Sexy.

7. He knows how to rock the hair gel.

8. He loves his family and is super protective of them. Endearing.

9. He can kick anyone's ass.

10. He is mysterious. Alluringly mysterious.

The fantasy is fun. But in the end would you really want to spend an eternity with a perfect man? Might get a bit boring. Unless, of course, you are perfect, too. But again: Boring. I am ok with MY perfect man. He not boring. And I got to marry him! Lucky me ;)

Any other Twilight fans out there? Do you have your tickets pre-purchased?? Are you Team Edward or Team Jacob, and why??? Just curious...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Own Personal Field of Dreams

Do you ever feel like you are on the verge of something big?

A friend of mine recently posed that question, and it struck a chord with me. A deep chord. Because the answer is a resounding YES! I constantly feel like there is something just around the corner, just around the next bend in the road, that will be huge and life-changing for me. Maybe it's a product of the adoption process. While you are waiting for your child it feels like your life could change at any moment. Because it can. And it does. And it DID.

But this feeling is a little different. It hits me mostly when I am at work. I feel like there is someone standing behind me (not in a creepy way), tapping me on the shoulder all day long, saying, "There are other things you should be doing! Why are you wasting your time? You shouldn't be here!" And then the inevitable question comes from me in response: "What am I supposed to be doing??" And then....silence.

Help a girl out here, I want to scream! Why is it that I constantly feel like I am destined for bigger and better things in my work life but I have no idea how to get there or even what that bigger and better destination might be?

I seriously feel like Kevin Kostner in Field of Dreams. I'm not hallucinating dead baseball players, thank God. But I do feel a longing for something I can't yet see. In that way it IS a whole lot like the adoption process. Your heart longs for a child you have never met. That isn't so crazy, is it? So why do I feel like I am going nuts here?

I think it's perfectly logical to have dreams and goals. And I have written about that a lot on this blog already. But this is different, somehow...

I envy people who have CLEAR goals and a vision for what they want to be when they grow up. I envy people who have definable skills, too. As a product of a liberal arts education I feel like I have missed out on the opportunity to have a specific skill set. Don't get me wrong, there are lots of great things about a liberal arts education. It's a well-rounded education, they say. But I often think that I might have been better off and saved my parents thousands of dollars by getting a 2-year technical degree. But no, I went with the expensive and, by and large, more general education. English writing major. Hmmmm. And now, I can do lots of things. Lots of things that don't get me the jobs I want or make the money that I am worth. I'm frustrated by my complete lack of professional focus. Can you tell??? ;)

More than anything I want to work for myself. Doesn't everybody? I will dare to keep dreaming that dream.

I feel like I am on the verge of something big. How about you?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Who Knew?

Can I just say...WOW. Sometimes I am amazed at how things turn out for the best. I am a big believer in the ever-gratuitous "Everything happens for a reason" mantra. But this takes the cake. I am one happy and grateful mama today.

I am happy to say that we have found a fabulous new daycare provider for Miles. Not only did we find this new person, we also found out that there are LOTS of fabulous daycare providers in our town, and in our neighborhood for that matter. Who knew? Joanie and Uncle kind of fell in our lap right after Miles was born and we never even looked to see what was out there. Boy, has Miles been missing out. I mean REALLY missing out. Crafts, Spanish lessons, music lessons??? What are those??? They didn't have those in 1876 when Joanie became a daycare provider. (Oops. Can you tell I'm still a little, shall we say, not over it?? Yep, still snarky.) I have always been a fan of in-home daycare but now I am a solid gold, card-carrying member of the In-home Daycare Fan Club. You would not believe the three wonderful and passionate and amazing women we interviewed last week. Holy crow, they have more patience, energy and love for kids in their pinkie finger than I do in my entire being. I bow down and worship these women for what they do every single day. I couldn't do it. It was truly a hard decision to make after seeing three places where I would feel perfectly comfortable taking Miles. I expected there to be a stinker in the bunch--but that is not the case at all. They were all loving, well-qualified caretakers.

But after lots of thought and discussion we decided that there was one place that felt the best to us. So that is where Miles will start on Monday! Hooray!

Thanks to a friend of ours, we found said Wonder Woman very near our home. You should have seen Grant and I last night when we called Sharon to tell her we would like Miles to come to her daycare. We were practically giddy. We had just put Miles to bed and then raced downstairs to call her. I can't tell you what a relief it was to hear her say that she would LOVE to have Miles. I hope she knows what she is getting into ;)

I have to admit in the midst of being excited about this new situation for Miles, there is a small part of me who is still pessimistic. I am gun-shy now. I think there will be a part of me waiting for the other shoe to drop, for that grim phone call that says come and pick up your son he is too much for me too handle. Now that I have heard it once, I will never be able to purge it from my memory. There is no amount of optimism that can delete those words after they have been heard.

Am I wrong to be skeptical? I never doubt the incredible little person that Miles is, but I also know what a handful he can be. I know his quirks and they are sometimes even hard for ME to handle.

But I have to have faith that this will work out.

And if not, we do have a few contingency plans in our back pocket. Just in case... ;)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

And now for the rest of the story

We are going to be ok.

I just had to get that out there. Yes, getting booted from daycare was probably my lowest moment as a parent thus far. I cried a lot. I got pissed (meaning mad AND drunk....ok, so I had a little wine). I was sad. My husband (who I often call Pollyanna Sunshine) was instantly optimistic that this was a good thing and that there is nothing to be upset about. Typical. But that's not how I roll. I need to process. I need time...

I was most upset that this whole thing made me question my parenting abilities. (Have I already screwed him up so badly?) It also made me question, if only for a moment, who my son really is. Was he the "mean" child that our current daycare provider has labeled him? Can a not-yet 20 month old really BE mean intentionally? I have never seen it. But I questioned. For the first time ever I had to really take my mommy blinders off and try to see the whole picture clearly.

And what did I see? I see a normal, healthy and active toddler who is exploring and learning and growing. There is nothing mean about him. I am here to tell you that I know my son better than anyone in the world and he is AMAZING. He is an incredible little person and I will not let anyone make me question that ever again. That is my solemn vow.

I really appreciate all of your comments. I read every word and took them all to heart. You, my dear readers, are wise. And I thank you for your kindness.

Here is the story behind the story: Our daycare provider is 77 years old. Yes, I said 77 years old. She has been doing daycare for over 50 years. She does this with the help of her husband who is a retired phy ed teacher. Together they watch about 6 kids in their home that is just 4 blocks from ours. They are friends from church.

Now, before you go thinking we are crazy for even sending him to a 77 year old, let me fill you in on a few things. She is a young 77 year old. She seemingly has more energy than I do and appears to be much younger than she actually is. They live a VERY healthy lifestyle. She makes home cooked meals from scratch with low fat and salt for the kids every single day. She keeps her house impeccably clean (which is important to us). And the kids seem to love Joanie and Uncle (as they call them).

But things aren't always as they seem. I realized very early on that this was not a situation in which we were going to get much communication and feedback on, well, anything. We rarely knew much about what he did in his day. Did he poop? I don't know. Did he nap well? I don't know. Because she would never communicate anything to us. We would ask, "How was his day?" and she would always say, "Good. Real good." We would then have to ask more probing questions and would sometimes get little tidbits. It's not that she was trying to be secretive or that she didn't want us to know, my sense is that she thought we should just trust her and leave it at that. We got the feeling that the kids and families that she selects to be in her care are NOT Type A personalities. She wants the "easy" kids that will just play on their own all day long with no structure and be happy about it. She wants the parents that don't ask any questions. We strike out on both counts.

In her defense: they took very good care of Miles and he loves it there. His little friends are precious to him and he says their names all the time. "Ella bub-bye?" he will ask in the evenings after we are home. It's really cute. The kids are well cared for. They are read to, they sing songs, they play outside. But the flip side is that they are also very hands-off. The fact that Miles might need to be redirected once in a while or might need to be disciplined or might just want to be held and snuggle (which he often does) was way too much for them to handle. Ok. Whatever. I can see now that it is very much time for us to move on. And it's way past time for her to retire.

Here's the good news: With the help of some local classifieds and the help of my awesome friends we have some good leads. We are actually really excited about the possibility of getting Miles into a more structured setting and into a place where they let kids be kids!

The moment I knew we were going to be ok happened yesterday afternoon. I was talking to a nice daycare provider (who we are going to interview this week) and she was gushing about how much she loves little boys and "how naughty they can be". Music to my ears. We will be fine. Just fine.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Let the Truth Be Told, On Tuesday

I'm not sure you're ready for this truth, because I am not.

The truth? Our son is being kicked out of daycare.

We just learned this little fact yesterday. We have TWO WEEKS to find him new care.

He is "too active", requires too much attention and they can't handle him anymore.

Apparently he knocks over toys that the other (older) kids set up. He jumps off of furniture. He is too rough with the one year old girl they watch.

He doesn't bite. He naps well. He eats well. He loves his daycare friends, gives them hugs and kisses when we say goodbye every day. But apparently knocking over the other kids' Lego towers crosses the line.

I didn't realize his offenses require expulsion. I was under the impression that instead of getting kicked out of daycare we might try to work on these things as a team with patience, discipline, time, communication ... but I must be wrong.

It's apparently no warnings and you're OUT. After 15 months with barely a peep about his behavior.

The message we got is that our son is not worthy to be at their home for care. He's not good enough.

This is the moment in parenthood that you dread. The moment where your fears about not doing a good enough job look like they are being validated. Someone is telling you to your face that they don't like spending time with your child.

I feel like I have failed...

We are the first to admit that Miles is a spirited child. He can be difficult. But he is far from the bad kid that he is being labeled. He is a good kid.

I guess I imagined this past weekend where he didn't have one bad moment. Not one meltdown. I must have made that up in my mind. It must not be possible.

I feel like shit. There's the truth.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Worst Blog Ever

I realize I have the most boring-looking blog ever. No cute little header. No badges on the sidebar. No fun links to check out. No bling whatsoever. Actually, I have done nothing except import my posts and plop on a free background to get me by for the time-being. I get the "Worst Blog Ever" Award for the moment. HOWEVER, I am working on it so bear with me!!! I promise to have a super fabulous looking (can't vouch for the writing) blog soon enough. I am making some decisions about my next steps so please don't go away yet. And thanks for following me to my new address. Blogger is my first love. Sorry Wordpress lovers but I just GET Blogger. I have used it now for over 3 years so I am going back to the familiar. Ahhh. Home again, home again. Jiggity Jig.

Now, if anyone can find me the time that I need to actually "Pimp My Blog" let me know. ;)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Stop glaring at my son and go back to pretending your kids are perfect

I guess the title of the post pretty much sums it up. Maybe you've never experienced this, and if not consider yourself lucky. You must have a child that is nothing like mine. I get those "looks" from other mothers all.the.time. You know, the "Why can't you control your child" or the "Make him shut up" looks. Still don't know what I'm talking about? Have you ever been in a church service where your child might make the smallest peep and you suddenly have the wrath of God upon you? I've been there. I've done that. Why is it that other mothers are always the ones to make you feel the worst in those situations? Aren't we supposed to have each other's back??

We went to the public library last night for storytime. I know, we are crazy. We like to live on the edge. Taking our 19 month old spirited boy to a place where he will be required to listen and sit still is like going on a suicide mission. But we were desperate. It gets dark at 5:30 p.m. now, and that makes the evenings very looooong. So, we do what we can to entertain ourselves, even if that means taking some huge chances.

We quickly discovered some things at storytime: 1) Most of the kids (like 80%--honestly) that were at storytime were GIRLS (hmmmm.....wonder why.....); 2) Miles' activity level is apparently about a thousand times higher than the majority of all other children in the world; and 3) He actually did VERY well and tried very hard to listen...he clapped along to the songs and did the actions with the other kids. We were very proud.

But, Miles is Miles. He likes to yell "Yaaaaaayyy!" whenever he can. What can I say, he's just happy! So, when the other kids were sitting quietly with their hands in their laps Miles was (literally) jumping up and down, doing somersaults, clapping, laughing and yelling "Yaaaaaayyy!" at the top of his lungs. How can we scold him for being happy?? How, I ask you???? We can't. We told him "Shhhhh". We tried to calm him down. We tried many things. But really he was just having FUN. How dare he.

And then came the glares.

I tried to ignore them. Their kids were sitting quietly, trying to enjoy the storytime. I understand. I can sympathize. But we are at storytime for kids, for God sake. We weren't at a funeral.

As time passed and Miles' enthusiasm level increased, I could feel the eyes of the other moms borring holes in my skull. Thankfully there was one mom there who was smiling and giving me the "He's just having fun, let him do it" look. Thank goodness for the sweet moms that DO truly understand. And thank goodness for my darling husband who was patiently trying to corral our boy.

Overall, the storytime was actually a good experience. If it hadn't been for the few bitches (sorry, but it's true) that were pretending their children's poop smells like roses it would have been a completely positive evening.

I think the bottom line for me is this: Never, ever judge other mothers. We all know how hard it is to be a parent. We all know that there are moments when your kids do not act perfectly. We all parent differently. We all make different judgment calls in situations. But in my mind we are also all in this together! It makes me sad that we have to draw lines in the sand with each other. Didn't breastfeed? There should be no judgment. Let your kid watch Sesame Street while you check your email? There should be no judgment. Allow your child to show joy in his own way in public? There should be no judgment.

And I especially think I need to turn this around on myself. I am my own worst critic. I should not judge myself. I often think "Ugh! Why can't you handle this better?" I am so hard on myself. I beat myself up. I think we all do that from time to time. But we shouldn't. It's like we are always trying to teach Miles: GENTLE. Be gentle to yourself. And be gentle to others.

Granted, Miles is sometimes the kid throwing the temper tantrum. He is often the one stealing the toys from other kids. He hits. He is naughty. But we're working on it, and doing the best we can. He is not the kid who sits quietly, or sits at all. He is who is he, and he is awesome! I refuse to squelch his enthusiasm for life because other moms think he should be quiet. I only wish I were half as smart, funny and engaged in life as Miles. I think I can learn a lot from him.

I just think next time we will do a tumbling class and leave storytime for the girls ;)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Let the Truth Be Told, On Tuesday

(This one is for Christine and Emily)

I have often laughed at comments people have made on our blog for Miles. Not because they are ridiculous or I think they are dumb, but so many times I think "If you only knew!" I get comments like "OMG, what a little angel he is!" or "You guys look so perfectly happy!". And yes, he is our angel (we wouldn't have given him a middle name of Gabriel if we didn't think so) and yes some of the time we are blissfully happy. But let's face it: we don't live in La La Land. We live in the real world where there are hard days, yelling, tantrums and tears.

Our life is not perfect.

This is not a revelation. It's just the truth.

Like many people who frequent blogs of those with young children, most of what I see is happy faces. Perfectly dressed and well-behaved children. But do you know what my favorite blogs are?? Not the ones with picture after picture of their cute kids. [Although, that is what MY blog is--I am super surprised that anyone still looks at it, to be honest. It's all fluff--but fluff that I love!] My favorite blogs are the ones where TRUTH is told. I'm not talking about airing dirty laundry or throwing all of your skeletons out of your closet (because blogs that share TMI are, in a word, annoying): I am talking about truth. Moms who admit to having bad days are my heroes. Women who talk about how they haven't had a date with their husbands in 6 months and can't remember the last time they shaved their legs are a breath of fresh air to me. I love that stuff. I have always, always wished I could be that honest about my life as it is. But for reasons that I think I have already thoroughly explained (mostly because I don't want to complain and think people don't really care what I think) I have not written down all of the stuff I have wanted to.

Well, now I am here to do that!

If there is a truth to be told that I think might be helpful to share, I will do that from now on. "Let the Truth Be Told, on Tuesday" shall henceforth be a staple of this blog.

So, thank you to all of my fellow bloggers who put the truth out there every day. You are brave and strong and I aspire to be more like you. Keep it up!

Monday, November 2, 2009


My child is brilliant. But that's not what this post is going to be about. Just wanted to get that out there ;)

What's really brilliant and shiny and exciting to me today is this article that I read on Hybrid Mom. Did you read the first two paragraphs? They express exactly where I am at in my career right now:

I’ve always been able to get pretty good jobs: I’m smart, articulate, I have a strong work ethic, take initiative, a pretty good problem solver and a team player, willing to lead with or without a title. Despite the hard work I put in, I still found myself in a job that was unfulfilling and that failed to provide the challenge and opportunity I sought after. It was a pretty good job, but I was just bored. I wanted more; I knew that – I just had no clue of how to get it. Have you ever been in that place? Or maybe you are there now.

As a working mother, and definitely as a single mother, there is every excuse as to why our ambition gets put on pause: We are doing everything by ourselves, there’s not enough time, money, support, _______ you fill in the blank. But the excuses don’t stop our heart from wanting. There’s a proverb that says, “a dream deferred makes the heart sick.” It is unhealthy to put off and dismiss the things your heart wants – regardless of the reason. I’ve often wondered if the reason so many of us are depressed or tired is because of the energy it takes to mask and bury our true desires so we can get through the day to day grind that requires less and less of our true brilliance.

This is my work life right now in a nutshell. I am B.O.R.E.D. And I know it. I could do so much more. I could be so much more.

I was recently talking with one of my brilliant BFFs who shall remain nameless (except her name rhymes with Fawna) about this very thing. It's a frequent and welcome topic of conversation for us. She is always my sounding board for our (and by our I also mean Grant's) business ideas and how we are going to take over the world. Or at least change it. We have LOTS of good ideas. Some are actually really feasible. And I think that any one of us if we put our minds to it could absolutely be successful in a business enterprise if we fully committed ourselves to it. So why are we such chickens???

It takes guts--lots and lots of guts--to cut and run. To break from the "norm" and strike out on your own adventure. Many of us want to do it. But we just can't. There are so many things that tie us down. Mortgages. Kids. You name it. There are many reasons why, especially in this economy, we should be fearful of leaving our cushy jobs to pursue our dreams.

But what are the consequences of our inability to act on our goals and dreams?

The strange thing is that we have actually done this very thing and have been successful at it! I always forget this little fact. Right after we were married Grant left his good job as an accountant at a local credit union to start his own business. From scratch. Yikes, when I think about it now I practically break out in hives. But back then I truly believe we felt invincible somehow. What the hell were we thinking?? He quit his job, started his lawn care business and worked his ass off. And it was a HUGE success! It was so successful that 2 years later we sold the business for nearly 10 times what we put into it initially.

At first glance I think, well, that was then and this is now. Now we have Miles. Now our mortgage is bigger. Now we have other dreams to think about (like a second adoption, perhaps??). We can't just quit our jobs and strike out on paths that could eventually lead us to financial ruin.

But, again, I wonder what are the consequences if we DON'T act on our dreams? Do we end up denying ourselves the chance to be truly fulfilled in a career path of our own design and choosing? Maybe. Are we better off staying in our safety zone, even though it might ultimately hurt our hearts to do so? Maybe.

Here are some questions to ask yourself if you come upon this crossroads in life:

- Will this opportunity ever come around again?

- If you pass up this opportunity how will you feel about your decision in one year? Five years?

- Have you taken a look (a REALLY good look) at your current financial situation, and do you know what changes or contingency plans you would need to make if you were to peruse your dream? (Don't say "I can't" if you don't know that for sure....maybe you can!)

- Do you have a well thought out business plan?

- Do you have the passion and work-ethic to make it happen?

Brilliant. It think we are all brilliant at something. Some of us are brilliant photographers. Some of us are brilliant writers. Some of us are brilliant rollerskaters. Whatever it might be, I am hoping that many more of us working moms take a chance on our own brilliance. Let our lights shine, so to speak. I haven't quite figured out what I am brilliant at yet, but when I do you can be sure I will be asking myself these exact questions.  Because you never know what direction your life can take if you allow your brilliance to shine.