Cold Feet

Hangout Buddy texted me the other day saying we need to hang out; I have not heard from the man since we had our pseudo date night back in May. Needless to say I was surprised. He wants to do brunch on Sunday and says he is having women issues and needs to vent and wants opinions and advice. While I am a little miffed he is only using me as a part time therapist, I use him too for all expenses paid nights out. We are going to the Mansion on O Street for a brunch buffet followed by a scavenger/treasure hunt and tour of the house which should be fun. Wondering if I can get him to toss in another foot rub.

So I told you guys in the last blog post that a recruiter with a local agency had called with an actual job. Not sure if I told you I was taking it but I did. It was not exactly what I was looking for (open ended assignments can be really good as they can go for long periods of time and even become permanent or they can be very bad and end in 3 days) and low pay but the commute is reasonable ($3.50 round trip), the work is both familiar and challenging and I am engaged enough so I do not get bored but left to my own devices 95% of the time. In my first three days, I was invited to a happy hour with the office, treated to and participated in a group luncheon, signed a farewell card, used Track Changes for the first time in my life and have transcribed a ton of emails.

As we all know, I have worked approximately 3 weeks in the past 9 months; my job search has been frustrating and somewhat fruitless. I did not apply for this job….it happened to land on the right desk and then in my lap. But now that I am working (3 days and counting), some of my previous submissions are starting to surface. The afternoon before I was supposed to start, Department of Transportation called for a face to face to interview the next day. I would have gone except they could not meet early in the morning (8:30am) and there was no way I could ask for nor justify being late or a day off. Then on Day 3, a recruiter called to say I had been shortlisted for Lockheed Martin and have a phone interview scheduled for Monday afternoon.

I am going through with the phone interview simply because I still feel I need to keep options open even though the LM assignment is not one I really wanted; the commute would be horrible, long and expensive. Pay is not that great given the duties and commute and it is a yearlong contract, which means I would always be on the lookout for the next assignment and trying to prove myself everyday hoping for an extension. With the current assignment, even though it has no end date, I feel like I can breathe easy for a minute. I feel like I can slow down and actually enjoy and learn from the experience. Not sure why I feel this way but when I arrive at work, I don’t feel timed or watched or stressed or that I constantly need to prove myself worthy of the job. Everyone is pretty independent so when I take a break, no one is rolling their eyes because they have to cover for me. There are errands to be ran that I don’t mind doing. I am neither overwhelmed nor underwhelmed with work. For the first time in a long time, I can relax and I am thinking this feeling is even better than being understood.

The job is definitely growing on me and I would be more than okay with this one going permanent. With all the other assignments, including The One with The Team, there was something that just made it not the perfect fit for me be it lack of challenges, commute or coworkers. This job is different: decent, low cost commute; the pay will be better if I go perm; great perks and benefits (fully funded healthcare, 401K, vacation time and an all-expense paid trip to the annual convention) and the hours were made for me: 9:30am—6pm! But, I still have NC looming ahead and not sure I am all gung ho about it anymore. I am still trying to figure out when my dream of relocating to Raleigh to be close to family and escape the rat-race that DC has become turned into moving back home with mom and dad. I kinda know the answer: lack of viable employment in both DC and Raleigh, events and incidents outside of my control along with a sense of duty/obligation and here we are. Looking at moving to the Most Boring City in America.

First, it’s going to be culture shock….The City Where Boredom Vacations is not rural living by any means but it cannot be defined as urban living either. The public transportation system sucks so a car is a necessity there; preferably a reliable one. IF I could afford a car, it would have to come from Craigslist and we all know my luck with Craigslist.  They do have movie theaters, comedy clubs, decent dining and a couple of dive bars so I would be okay. AND there is Tiny Human…who wouldn’t want to be close to him? But I like meeting people and eventually will want to date…basically the male population consists of frat boys, married men and widowers older than my father. But that’s fluff…I am sure I could and would adapt and it’s me. I will find someone.

Going even further with the Reasons to Go to NC list is that I am interviewing (kinda sorta) with a major employer there; they like my skills set, I apparently aced their assessments and the HR rep and I have hit it off. Some positions are coming open that I would be perfect for and they are coming up quick. Start dates for them are October 23rd, positions are permanent but pay is low. By anyone’s standards but the cost of living where I am going is also low and factor in my outgoing bills will be drastically reduced and I can make it work. Their perks and benefits are amazing: employer pays majority of healthcare; 10% employer match of every dollar deposited in 401K; double pay on holidays (varying schedules associated with the job); FREE premium/premier cable package/high speed internet/home phone for your HOUSEHOLD (up to 5 televisions) and after 6 months, employees can telework. Forever. Which works out on so many levels but most importantly, what is the point of moving in to take care of parents when you will be at a job 10 hours a day?

The NC job sounds great but….here are the buts.  I am not moving to a new city by myself; I am going to be living with my parents so we can help each other out. We all know I need to work on replenishing my savings along with purchasing a car; they are older, not as much energy (stairs ain’t what they used to be) and need help with cooking, housework and laundry. And with the free (!!) cable, we all get to save money. And here is what you need to know: my parents are stubborn, prideful, have control issues and my father at least has no idea what personal space is. My mother gets pissed if I go out after work and come home at 10pm. Mind you, I am a year shy of 50 and living on my own in DC…matters not to this chick. Where was I? I should be home. Mom also thinks I can’t do anything on my own. She swears I can’t drive (forget I have a legally issued, valid license) because she says I have not been behind the wheel in forever. She thinks I cannot dress myself in a fashionable, flattering way. She hates my lipstick shades. She hates my wigs. Do you see where I am going with this? The criticism alone would drive me bonkers. And the dinners I sometimes cook at 9pm? Not going to happen in NC…they have a schedule and a routine. No one is breaking that. Sleeping in may happen sometimes. But walking around all day in nothing but a pair of underpants while catching up on my favorite shows is over. Smoking indoors is over. Overnight company? They have never heard of that.

Moving on and next chapters for me have always been emotional and mental, never physical and a part of me is asking if I move away, how will Prince Charming find me should he want to return? I know, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever: not saying we don’t/didn’t mean anything to each other but we no longer have anything together. The man has moved on in all ways and is building, living and enjoying his new chapter in life. I have moved on a lot (in my own way) and have no desire to relive the past with any of my exes. Not saying I won’t be heartbroken or go through dumb drama and bullshit again but it won’t be with the same person. I do not want the man back and that is the truth; based on what I have seen of him and how/what he is as a Mormon, I am thinking the man is either in need of intelligent, adult conversation or he married Mexican Girlfriend just to get next to her daughters. In either case, the man is juvenile, immature and childish…in addition to all the other negative traits he has shown me.

So yeah, using the most recent ex and my unresolved, where-do-I-put-them-until-they-fade-away feelings as a copout because I have been dealing with too much change lately that is mostly out of my control. Not in the mood for anymore change. Not in the mood for compromise. Not in the mood to start over while having to look out for/take care of older parents. I don’t want to be tied down. I want family time, normalcy (my version of it), stability and consistency. I want my freedoms along with some of the familiar in a strange environment. Not sure if I can get that in NC. It’s one thing to go down for a visit…you can put up with stuff if you know there is a definite time period to do so; this is going to be a long term arrangement bundled with culture shock and lifestyle changes. I feel selfish for wanting to put me first and keep my life/lifestyle. I feel like a bad daughter for making partial nudity and indoor smoking a priority. Honoring your parents is one of the 10 commandments…I don’t want to go to hell.

As usual, I am overthinking everything. Right now, my job is in DC, not NC. Right now, my parents seem to be both living and faring very well without me being there to take care of things. I am back trying to control things that I cannot and not enjoying the present moment. So now that I have put everything out there, going to leave it there. Things will sort themselves out and however the pieces land, I will be okay with it. For now, going to clean up a little, catch up on Suits and get ready for a fun brunch and a full week of work.

As always, thanks for stopping past and reading and as usual….enjoy your day!

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The Unexpected

To sum up last week and weekend in one word, it was unexpected. Bear with me as I have no idea how this post will turn out.  More often than not, I already have a post written out in my head but not this time. It is a bunch of random thoughts and events that are still rolling around in my head with no cohesive pattern.  And it may be a little long. You have been warned.

The job search has been exhausting…even more tiring than hating an ex. It is a lot of effort involved and little to no reward. But I do it because THIS job posting….THIS could be the one. Discouragement is not a useful tool in the job searching process, so I tend to view each viable opening as THE ONE. Each recruiter who finds my resume online with an opportunity I would be a GREAT fit for becomes my BFF of the day. Usually, I end up with no responses or being dropped quicker than a hot potato after the initial conversation but sometimes, interest is sparked. Such is what happened Monday. I applied for a job that seemed a good fit. Front Desk Admin which would be more than sitting there answering phones and smiling hello. It was long term and of course, they needed someone IMMEDIATELY. (That is such a lie. Trust me on that)

So I apply for this job at 6am. Quick aside: my job search begins between 6am-8am and lasts until about 2pm-3pm and is 7 days a week. The only days off from it I make myself take so I can do other work: cleaning, cooking, and laundry. Okay, back to story: I hear back from the recruiter for the position at 9 am. He is interested but the position is part time…a fact that was not stated in the description. But I am okay with part time (the wage is very livable); however, he needs a face to face with me and I need to TEST. Was he serious? Yes, he was…so I agree to meet the next day and spent $6 commuting (doesn’t sound like a lot but I have nothing coming in and too much that needs to be paid out) for him to be late. Extremely late. But the interview went well, and the testing was amazing. I still got it: over 80% with all MS applications but only 72% with Internet Explorer. I may need to brush up on my Facebook stalking skills. I have been submitted and should hear back sometime this week.

While doing my job search this week, I also fielded responses to my ads. Except the responses were respectful, from men who were not trolls or midgets and dare I say it…promising. In fact, they were more than promising…..they were both serious and sincere and I actually made money this week! Then this happened: a guy responded telling me how beautiful my body was, how I was just what he was looking for and he wanted to see me. I respond with particulars and details and the man called me a cow shaped Caitlyn Jenner….never mind that before he found out I was out of his price range, my body was so beautiful and I was all he wanted. Strange thing, that statement bothered me. Like, really bothered me and I knew it was time to get out of the house…time to disconnect from the electronic and reconnect with the reality. And I had the most social weekend I have had in awhile. Of course it required me to abandon being a responsible adult (I did pay off Downstairs Neighbor, paid next month’s cell bill and paid enough on this month’s cable/internet/phone bill that it brought it down to a manageable 2 digit amount due) but it was time to do something for me.

Friday: the day I decide to it’s time to break away and treat myself to something that would boost my spirits and I would not need a job or special occasion to wear it. Within 2 hours of that awful comment from that unknown loser, I had straightened the apartment (basically just enough to get rid of any strange odors), showered, dressed and ordered an Uber to take me to Chinatown. I treated myself to dinner at Legal Seafood (clam chowder and fried shrimp platter) where I ended up sharing my table with a married white guy. He drank merlot by the glass and ate some type of seafood goulash while complaining about his 24 year old marriage and wondering if his wife’s happy hour was job related since it wasn’t over until 11pm. I said nothing to that but was thinking his wife was having a different kind of happy hour.  I offered generic sympathetic advice while scarfing down on food like a starving person. Seriously, I never stopped chewing the entire meal. When I mentioned I had to go as I wanted to catch an 8:25 movie, he offered to accompany me AND buy the tickets!  And no, he did not want sex…just company while being entertained by the big screen. Not one to turn down free and unexpected gifts, I said SURE. We saw Ant-Man in 3D (not my first choice) but for sure the most fun and entertaining film I have seen in a very long time.

Saturday: Feisty One had invited me to a Supper Club for a comedy show on Thursday, so this plan was already in place but ask anyone who knows me….I am notorious for bailing last minute on plans. And Saturday’s job search was long, frustrating and filled with pop-up assessments and tests. But I was determined to go out for 2 reasons: I absolutely lovelovelove hanging with Feisty One (and totally random, but how can one be so pretty and sexy and NOT know it?) and she had already purchased the tickets. She brought along a girlfriend of hers I have dubbed City Mouse and for the most part, I had a great time. The comedy was gut-busting funny, the company was great and the food was decent but the service was horribly disgusting. Best part was even though I had budgeted for my dinner, Feisty One split the cost with me which freed up some cash for cigarettes. She isn’t going to like that part.

Sunday: Let me say I woke up with plans for the day. A job search and dinner and movies with Downstairs Neighbor. She had asked me out Friday night for Saturday but because of the comedy show with Feisty One, we agreed on Sunday afternoon. I had to pretty much pinky swear not to stand her up, so the plan was to job search in the morning, nap and be ready to meet in the lobby between 3:30-3:45. Except when I  wake up and go to Facebook to see what I missed, I find out a longtime friend and unofficial family member (you know how your mom has that BFF you call Aunt? Same thing, except she got the title of Cousin) had unexpectedly DIED. I wasn’t devastated but that news kinda fucked my whole day up. The woman was younger than me, active, vibrant and was in NC tending to her sick mother in between her mini vacations. Seriously, she had just had trips to NYC and Atlanta; was planning a trip to Florida this coming weekend and had a cookout to attend after that. I was at loose ends the entire day and still a little shook up behind it. BUT, I went out with Downstairs Neighbor and the movie did lift my spirits some and the dinner and conversation was great.

So that was my weekend and it turns out my Monday was the most unexpected day of all. The only thing that would top this day is if some guy showed up on my doorstep saying he has given birth to my baby and was taking me to child support court. I was lying in bed trying to nap when the phone rang; it was a recruiter with the one local agency that seems to take my job search as seriously as I do and she had a job. Not interest, not an interview….a JOB! It’s an open-ended assignment which bodes well for long- term/permanent; the pay is on the lowest end of my pay range scale but transportation will be reasonable since it is right downtown and it will be a steady paycheck. All good things at this point. Then this happened: one of my job application submissions on Saturday emailed. A perm (I think) job, paying damned decent money wants to submit me an offer. Except the job is in NC and would start August 14th. After some emailing with the HR rep, I find out I can join the last orientation class of the year which starts October 9th (which is really a better time frame for saving money, moving, and adjusting to the fact that I would be moving outside my comfort zone for a fresh start). I will find out more tomorrow and if the offer comes through….I think I will take it. Lots of reasons to do so which I will get into in future posts.

For now, it is time for bed so I can spend Tuesday getting me and the apartment ready for another foray into the working world. As always, thanks for stopping past and reading and as usual….enjoy your day!

Square One

There has to be more to life than stupid cowardly men, bad sex, chronic unemployment and financial struggles although I think I have pretty much nailed it. Some of us can replace the chronic unemployment with something else and swap out the men for women, but pretty much…this is life. I simply hold out hope that there has to be something more. In 4weeks, I go from chronically unemployed to employed back to unemployed. The rent is again 2 months behind, but I was able to rescue the cable/internet/landline bill from cutoff status, the credit card bills are paid (minimum payment only but it saves my floundering credit score) and I have groceries and medications. Finally!!! to both. After all is said and done, I am sitting here with a glorious $100 to my name. Period. With no idea when my next assignment/check/date is coming through the door.

Not going to vent or lament about the situation…we have been before and all the negativity will come soon enough. It’s Square One (again) and I am currently in fight mode. I am applying to jobs all day, every day…I am talking to any and all the recruiters who call me. I have even bit the bullet and applied for the job I really don’t want: low pay, long commute and sucky hours. BUT, it offers longevity, paid training and A+ certification testing and fully funded medical/dental benefits.  (So far, no answer) I am applying in DC and NC, have done my best on phone interviews and even the shortest of short term assignments I am available for. I am doing all I can to the best of my ability…going to have faith and stop worrying. Seriously, worst case scenario is I pack my bags, go home to my mama and smoke cigarettes outside. Thanking the Lord I have living parents to return home to.

The ads…I still place them because even though they really haven’t worked since my time with The Mormon, every once in a while I do come across a nugget of gold. And if ever I thought the Lord was sending me signs to drop the foolishness, I got it the other day. Mastercard, Visa AND American Express have all agreed to no longer process transactions places on the website I utilize citing that the transactions are both illegal and immoral. The website is offering folks to post for free and it is just a matter of time before their servers crash. The amount of ads on there are ridiculous at the moment.

Speaking of the ads, it’s official: I am a whore for real. My last/latest date (the first in a long, long time) totally catfished me and I went through with the session because I needed to put some food in my house. The man said he was 6 feet tall, athletic and quite handsome…what showed up at my door (and I kid you not) was a 400 pound, one legged midget. A real live midget….the man was slightly taller than my kneecap. With one leg (I may have mentioned that). And he wasn’t that handsome. His saving grace (which I think is a cruel joke) is that underneath those 400 pounds of fat, the man is hung like a horse. For real. I am gonna need the Catholics to pray to the saints and light candles, gonna need the Baptists to hold a revival and all other religions and denominations to just pray for my soul.

Went Facebook stalking but not with The Mormon/Prince Charming (thinking of calling him Prince Harming)….nope, I went looking for the Big Tittied Hooker/Big Tittied Gold Digger. That chick is always good for a laugh and for making me feel just a little bit better about myself and my life. She did not disappoint although nothing will top her bathroom selfie while wearing bra and panties and making it her Facebook profile pic. She has posted a picture that states that she is about to be the proud recipient of a Master in Business Administration. The chick who ran a porno website, claims to be an erotic novelist (the book and tour is coming soon!) now has a Master’s degree. Okay. Not saying it isn’t possible but thinking it isn’t probable. It’s her.  But the best part of the picture is: it has her personal email address on it and she has it publicly displayed on Facebook. No words.

Of course it wouldn’t be me or my life if there wasn’t some stupidity, especially from men. But first, some crazy for you: #CrazyNeighbor is back! NOT a happy camper over here. She knocked on my door 3 consecutive days asking if I were hungry and to please share her food with her. Let me break right here to tell you all that the last time I ate that chick’s food, I passed out asleep for 4 hours straight and the last time I let her in my house (after I ignored her knocks, she slid a dollar bill back and forth underneath my door, so of course I HAD to see what was so important), I suffered the food poisoning attack. So no, I am not going into her house, she cannot come in mine and NO WAY am I eating anything she has. So for three days, I am politely declining her offerings. On Day 4, she knocks and asks me not only for food but for cigarettes! What. The. Hell?? But I gave her food (my cupboards were sparse but I try really hard not to deny anyone food or water) which she happily accepted. Since then, she has stayed on her end of the hall and I have stayed on mine. It won’t last.

Now, on to the stupidity…why is it when men return (or try to), it is NEVER the one(s) you want to return? I was inboxing via Facebook with Nipples who was bragging about some fwb he had over. It is almost comical how the man still tries to hurt me or make me jealous…he refuses to believe I truthfully do not give a fuck who he is with or what he is doing. Then in the middle of how great a lover he is (and how I should know….20 years later), he says I told him during our relationship I was on crack but he was not part of my crack habit and why can’t I just admit I loved him? I need to admit that along with him being the one that got away. After all, I am the one that got away for him.  I just stopped talking because that was the stupidest and most random thing I have heard in quite a while…still not talking.

Does anyone here remember The Old Man? If you don’t or have no idea who/what I am talking about, click the link. Trust me, you will not be disappointed! Well, he is back or at least trying to come back after leaving me for the drug addict. By the way, he is still seeing the drug addict but now that she is full blown addiction, he has no one to talk to. The thing with his coming back is that, like most men, he has not changed at all. He is questioning me as to who helped me financially while he was away, trying to set me up with other men (even gave a 28 year old African my email address so he could contact me directly) and generally meddling in my life and beyond the ads. He was amazed at the weight loss Dottie has been helping me with and now all of a sudden, he is telling me what I need to be eating, exercises I should be doing and my inbox has been flooded with diabetes support group links. HOLD UP….I was not just diagnosed with Dottie (and where were you when I was??)….The Old Man may be late to the party but it’s been going on quite awhile. I do not need you telling me what I can/cannot, should/shouldn’t be eating…I can handle this without your help. Been doing it. And have all the support groups I need. He says he is concerned for me financially…my response to him was to either step up your money game or send hiring managers my way instead of potential johns. He says he is concerned with my health….my response is to stop being stupid, nosy and assumptive…that would help LOTS with my blood pressure and migraines. Please and thank you.

The last of the stupidity comes from a Craigslist guy. Apparently way back in 2011 while wrestling with the Him fiasco, I reached out to some guy’s CL ad in an attempt to soothe my hurt and pain and to boost my self-esteem. Yeah, I was delusional and on some type of medication at the time. In any case, I sent a detailed response and got absolutely nothing in return. So I go about my life and at some point, this man’s ad slipped away into nothingness….and last week, guess who finally answers that 4 year old response?? Yep, the CL dude….he says he has been overseas for the past 4 years (he went the day after he posted the ad) and he wants to know if I am still interested. I tell him NO (in no uncertain terms) and wish him luck in his search. And he emailed me for 3 days straight, asking why I wasn’t interested and how much he liked me. Give him a chance!! NO idea what he is drinking and/or smoking but I finally just blocked him. What else could I do? Indulge him in the utter stupidity and futility games he was playing? Oh, his last email to me: “Why do you frustrate me? And just so you know, ignoring people is not nice! “

There is a reason I am back at Square One both personally and professionally….I am about to enter a new phase of my life. I am calling this phase New Shoes and already I see it at work in my life and feel it working through me. I no longer have time for stupidity and drama (you cause it, you allow it…I can’t help you. Got my own), people pleasing (unless that person is me) and I no longer have time for folks who do not belong in my life…and you can tell who doesn’t belong because their presence feels like an intrusion. Hearing from them/seeing them does not make you happy, they offer nothing of positive value to you and your goals and most of all, you realize how happy you were/are without them in your life. When it comes to Prince Charming, I no longer want him, I no longer care to know the reasonings and excuses behind his actions. However, I do still have lingering feelings and I cannot find the words to describe them; while I finish processing them out, I choose to call it love and caring. More than likely it’s indifference but for now, the ghost of the man continues to fill a void, so not ready to admit that just yet. It isn’t hate…hate is so exhausting and implies passion…there is no passion there any longer. In fact, he is pretty much in the Him category: an intrusion. I no longer feel the need to reach out to either one to say anything because…for what? It would be unwanted for both parties.

I am ready to meet and see new people (not necessarily for romantic purposes), I am ready to do new things, I am ready to not be for sale and to not be bought. I am ready for a new environment (been ready since January 1st) but apparently I need to create a new internal before I can change the external. I have to say I am enjoying it. Not the unemployment part or the part where the only jobs showing serious interest are in Utah (of all places) or even the part where all signs are pointing to NC and me having to drop out of the job market for at least 6 months, but it isn’t my plan any longer and may as well enjoy the entire ride and not just the comfortable parts.

Hopefully my posts for the foreseeable future reflect this new phase and you will stick around to see where my New Shoes take me. Since it’s me, it probably will not be boring. Okay, gotta go cook some dinner and get ready for Big Brother (the BEST part of summer!)….will return sooner than later with new posts. As always, thanks for stopping past and reading and as usual….enjoy your day!

Tiny Human

My Dearest, Sweetest, Most Precious Tiny Human:

I love you. I love you in a way I did not know existed. I want to hold you all.the.time. and I want to make you smile and I don’t want you to ever cry (except when hungry or wet) and I want life for you to be a smooth road with no hurt, heartache or pain. Of course, that won’t happen but that is my wish for you. Have to admit, I am surprised I feel this way. We all know how I feel about children: they are cute and fun in small doses. AND you are a late in life baby for all of us (fun fact: your mommy gave birth to you at the same age her mommy was when she gave birth to her) and you were supposed to be a girl! But that doesn’t matter now that you are here. You are here and you are perfect.

I want you to know that you were prayed for, wanted and loved long before you got here. Your mommy has always wanted a family of her own…a husband she could love and children she could love, raise, teach and play with. You are the answer to so many prayers for her. She wanted everything to be perfect for your arrival: she ate right, she read books, she prayed and she really thought she had time left to get your room ready for you and all the stuff babies need. However, you came one month prematurely and she was ready to cry because this wasn’t how it was supposed to go….but you taught her the first lesson of parenthood: you are never prepared for parenthood…you just dive in and do the best you can. Another fun fact: she went into labor with you the day of her baby shower!

Your family isn’t rich and we are not geniuses but we do have love, we aren’t dumb and your family background is one of strength as you have already exhibited. Born a month early and slightly underweight, in less than 6 weeks, you are now over 8 pounds, have grown 2 more inches, holding your little head up and trying to roll over!! You are growing up so fast!!! Please slow down….let us revel in your innocence and dependency a little while longer. Oh, we are pretty good looking so you have that in your favor.

And already you are displaying your personality: oh, so serious (for real, it is like you were born and went straight to adulthood…smile, Tiny Human!) and pretty adamant in what you like and don’t like. You throw your pacifier when you don’t want it, you fight sleep as if you were a teenager with a bedtime curfew and bath time is a nightmare…until Mommy washes your hair. Then, you are in heaven.

So now I guess it is time to introduce you to your family (as if you have not had enough of us already). And I know everyone has a different name for you…roll with it. You know we are talking to you, especially when it is said in those weird high pitched voices we use when talking to you.

Your Parents: They are both reformed and transformed. No lie. They were both kick ass, hard ass, take no prisoners single folks. Your daddy was a player and your mama had no problem kicking ass and getting loud when she felt disrespected. But God transformed them into quiet, compromising, responsible adults who first had to be ready for each other before they could be ready for you. They are hardworking people with a healthy fear of the Lord and an attitude of gratitude for all their blessings.  They have love and respect for themselves and others. They love you so very, very much and all they now do….they do for you.

Your Grandparents: They are older and not as active but that does not change their love for you. They never expected a grandchild, and now that you are here, it brings an incredible joy to them. Your grandmother’s arms are not as stable or secure now but they are filled with just as much love and protection as they were when they first held me so very long ago. She will hold you, sing to you and read to you. She will tell you how happy you make her. She will change your diapers (even the stinky ones) with a smile on her face because you are her new blessing.  You will be the one who will be the glue to keep her children together long after she and Daddy are gone…at least, that is her hope. Your granddaddy is not a demonstrative man…he does say I love you but not often. Instead, he will talk to you, he will teach you, he will impart his knowledge, wisdom and experiences to you. He may not play ball or catch with you but he will tell you all about nature and the universe and how to be both respectful and respectable. He will make sure that when you are visiting, that you are a part of all family activities including meals, even if we have to take turns holding you while we eat.

Your Uncle: He isn’t around much as he has a severe case of wanderlust and tends to work overseas. He is generous, smart but very stubborn and opinionated. To defuse future arguments with him, just nod along but he won’t tell you anything wrong. None of us will. It will probably just come out wrong. He is unsure around you as he needs to interact with and be interacted with, so he says he will wait until you are bigger/older. But we both know he sneaks in to hold you and talk to you. He ain’t slick.

Auntie #1: She loves you more than anything or anyone and wants only the best for you. You need to know this because sometimes she will come off a little too strong, especially if she is worried or concerned. She has dreams and plans for you (as we all do) but if they don’t align with what you want to do in life/with your life, don’t be afraid to tell her so. At the end of the day, it IS your life. And she will both respect and encourage that.

Me: Don’t tell anyone, but I am going to be your favorite. I am going to be the fun one, the one whose door you will be knocking on when you run away from home. I will be the one with pizza, junk food and outings to the movies, museums and State Fair. I will be a little controlling, a lot impatient and will probably pop that butt when you misbehave but I will love you so much and tell you all the time how amazing, handsome and smart you are. I am not the one with a lot of money or even the one who can guarantee you an uncle to play with you and take you to sporting events, but I will move out of my comfort zone for you and pony up for trips to amusement parks, circuses and yes, even a baseball game. Because you are so worth it.

So in closing, welcome to the world Tiny Human! It can be big and scary but also amazing and wonderful and filled with surprises. It isn’t all heartache and struggles, neither is it all rainbows and happy endings but a wonderful mix of both. Prayers to the Higher Power and the Universe that we, your family, will raise you to appreciate both and navigate your way with honesty, respect, courage and strength.

Love you to pieces and to the moon and back,

The (Future) Favorite Aunt