Archive of ‘Sentiments’ category

Cheers to the Do Nothing Weekend


Here's to wonderful weekends of not doing anything | The Champagne Supernova

Long live the “Do Nothing Weekend.”

This was the first weekend in a long time where there was nowhere we HAD to be and nothing we HAD to do. No scheduled birthday parties, volunteer events, kids’ sports games, or social obligations.

The entire weekend was my oyster.

While this type of weekend is some peoples’ Nirvanas, as someone with “ants in the pants” who thrives from being busy, the idea of it initially freaked me out.

I don’t know how to sit still and hate not planning things.

However, it ended up being one of the best weekends of all.

On Friday, we got popsicles with my daughters’ buddies after school and went to the local pool with friends for an impromptu swim and dinner night. On Saturday, I slept in (until 7 am- cut me some slack), went to a circuit class, my mom came over and made lunch, and then we hit up Home Depot for plants to spruce up the front porch. That evening, we made a pretend campground in the living room and watched a cartoon from Red Box. On Sunday, we went to breakfast, ran errands, took the kids bowling, and I put together a jigsaw puzzle with my dad. (I also went to the tire store to get a screw removed from my brand new tire, but we will omit that part from my weekend utopia.) Tonight before bed, my kids and I laughed and laughed making iPhone videos of ourselves doing Pee-Wee Herman impressions. (If you know me, text me and I’ll send them to you.)

Yes, that sounds like a lot, but everything I did was on my OWN terms. I was only at places I wanted to be, when I wanted to be there. I got to enjoy the weekend with the people I love and be in the moment. It was pretty great.

Being parents automatically means we are going to be busy. But we also live in a world that perpetuates business where everything is go-go-go.

“Go here.”
“Buy these tickets.”
“Do That.”

It’s nearly at the point where you feel guilty for sitting around and being still.

But here’s a secret. It’s better when you do less and slow the heck down.

Cheers to the “Do Nothing Weekend.”

    To My Low Maintenance Friends


    Why it's best to have easy friendships without drama | The Champagne Supernova

    This week I’m having dinner with one of my best friends from college.

    She lives in Westchase and I live in South Tampa and when you’re married with a husband and a stressful career and young children and one of you is still breastfeeding, the distance between Westchase and South Tampa, while only fifteen miles or so, may as well be different continents.

    It’s okay. We understand each other is busy and going literally months without speaking isn’t personal and, to be honest, isn’t noticed. We are so excited to catch up. 

    Time goes so fast at this stage. Our free time is consumed with dance class and soccer practice and school activities and birthday parties and when we have true time to ourselves, sometimes we just want to sit in our beds and read a book without having to talk to anyone or go anywhere.  (more…)

      Stop Believing Lies about Yourself and Start Believing What God Says About You


      You are who god says you are | The Champagne Supernova

      I meet all sorts of people at work.

      A couple years ago, I deposed a woman who was a plaintiff in a wrongful death case. She was suing my client, the manufacturer of a doggie door. One day when she wasn’t paying attention, her two year old child crawled through a doggie door of the family home, went into the back yard, fell into the swimming pool, and drowned.

      The woman was overcome with grief and anger that was directed at both at herself and my client. She blamed herself for not paying attention during those few critical minutes when she left her son alone because she was distracted by something else. She blamed my client for not being able to foresee that a human being, and not just a dog, could crawl through the door and face danger.

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        A Mother’s Job is Never Done


        A Mother's Job is Never Done | The Champagne Supernova

        A mother’s job is never done.

        It’s waking up early in the morning to make breakfast and school lunches. It’s getting the kids out of bed, fed, teeth brushed, and out of the house looking “presentable.” All while getting yourself ready to go about your day.

        It’s making appointments. There are so many appointments. Dental screenings. Updated vaccinations. School assessments. Mole checks at the dermatologist. Physicals for sports.

        It’s signing forms. Permission slips. School volunteer sign-up sheets. Liability waivers. Contracts. Insurance documents.

        It’s planning birthday parties. Ordering the food, cake, and decorations. Reserving the event space. Setting up the bounce house and keeping your fingers crossed nobody breaks a bone. Cleaning up. Sending thank-you notes. It’s also sending your kids to their friends’ parties on the weekends, which means planning carpools and buying presents (Cha-ching $).

        It’s being a house manager. Taking out the trash and emptying the dishwasher (or delegating others to do it.) Folding endless piles of laundry. Making beds only to have them undone several hours later. Calling the plumber because your shower’s been clogged for a week. Paying bills.

        It’s being a therapist. You’re a referee to sibling and friend drama. Helping your kids navigate social situations and learning how to cope with life’s disappointments by being a good example yourself (even when you sometimes fail and that’s okay.) It’s dealing with a child’s tantrums why trying not to lose your mind.

        It’s being a teacher. Forcing your kids to do their homework when they don’t want to and you’ve had a long day yourself. It’s re-learning things like fractions and long addition and all the other things you forgot in elementary school so you can explain it to your child.

        It’s being a beautician. Combing knots out of hair. Watching YouTube videos so you can learn how to french braid. Brushing and flossing teeth when your kids are too young to do it themselves.

        It’s being a zombie. Learning how to function after getting only a couple hours of sleep the night before because you couldn’t go back to sleep after your child woke you up in the middle of the night and told you they wet the bed. Oh, and insomnia, too. REM sleep? You haven’t had that since you were in your twenties.

        It’s being a planner. Extracurricular activities. Sports. Summer camp. Spring break. What to do with your kids during holidays and teacher workdays when they don’t have school. Remembering to send a card to your grandparents for their birthdays. Remembering to respond to texts and emails.

        It’s being an accountant because HAVING KIDS IS SO DANG EXPENSIVE and you have to budget. Health insurance. Diapers and formula. Clothes and uniforms. Daycare and school. More mouths to feed. Vacations and staycations.

        It’s being a role model. Keeping your mouth shut about someone when you don’t have anything kind to say (or, at least, saying that unkind thing when your child isn’t around to hear it.) Turning the other cheek. Looking at the big picture instead of being petty. Keeping secrets. Trying not to obsess about your weight. Showing gratitude to service providers like store clerks and waitstaff.

        It’s being a life saver. Holding hands in public parking lots so nobody gets run over by a car. Sitting on the steps of the pool to make sure nobody drowns. Knowing when an illness is serious enough to call a doctor.

        It’s being a chauffeur. Sports. Parties. School. Dance. Gymnastics. Vacations and the beach on weekends. The grocery store and drugstore. Medical and dental appointments.

        It’s being a soldier. Allowing yourself to get back up and try again after you defeatedly cried in your car after school drop-off because your mental resources are depleted.

        It’s trying to do all of these things and still keep romance alive in your marriage, maintaining closeness with your friends, working out, eating healthy, and practicing self care.

        Don’t let anyone make you feel like you aren’t allowed to be exhausted.

        Being a parent is a job. It is the most important job.

        You are doing a great job. Soldier on.

        Cheers!

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          Cheers to Cousins


          Cheers to the cousins | The Champagne Supernova

          Me (white dress and knee-high socks) and some of my cousin crew in 1985.

          I come from a big family and have 23 first cousins.

          My parents always made an effort to bring us around them. This wasn’t like my grandparents’ generation where family members stayed in the same town and often lived only streets away from each other. In our case, there had to be an effort.

          Most of my childhood summers were spent with my cousins at our grandparents’ house in Eustis. We made roadside lemonade stands, went to the beach at the family timeshare, rode rides together at Disney (a perk of living in Central Florida), and put on plays during get-togethers my aunts and uncles humored us and watched.

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            You Are Enough


            Stop comparing yourselves to other moms because you are enough | The Champagne Supernova

            I stalked her Instagram account for weeks in preparation for her deposition.

            I was hired to represent a local company where the plaintiff, a former TV personality and “Instafamous” social media influencer, was seeking damages for injuries associated with a highly publicized car accident.

            The woman seemed perfect. She was in her early 40s but looked ten years younger. She’d post photos of herself in swimsuits and her body was flawless. She had a handsome husband and three beautiful boys and their home looked like something out of MTV Cribs. They went on exotic vacations. This woman was highly educated with a Ph.D. in history. She’d written two books and one was on the New York Times best seller list. She seemed popular- her Instastories featured photos with herself and friends and she seemed to get tons of likes and comments on every post. This lady was also “supermom”- photographing herself sitting along the sidelines of her sons’ soccer games and knitting them scarves in the winter.

            I was intimidated at the idea of meeting her in person and then interrogating her.  (more…)

              Cheers to the “Easy Friends”


              Cheers to the friendships that come easy | The Champagne Supernova

              I recently went for a walk with a girlfriend who has a son in Kindergarten.

              Despite the young age, there was already “drama” in the Kindergarten class among the boys.

              This was typical six year-old drama: excluding someone on the playground, not sharing snacks at lunch, and threatening to disinvite a classmate to a birthday party.

              Sigh.

              My friend’s son is laid back and easily makes friends. However, because the ongoing drama involved his small circle of buddies in his class, it was hard for him to get away from it.

              One of the little boys constantly stirred up drama. His name was Mark. Mark was moody and my friend’s son was always worried Mark would get mad at him about something dumb. The other boys walked on eggshells around Mark.

              Also involved in this circle of friends was a kid named Owen. Owen was easygoing and fun. Owen and my friend’s son had a lot in common. Owen wasn’t dramatic.

              One day, my friend asked her son what the deal was with Mark and why there was so much drama.

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                There is Magic in the Mundane


                Each night before bed, my kids and I share with each other our best and worst parts of the day.

                We call this tradition “best part, worst part.”

                We never miss “best part, worst part,” not even when we’re away on vacation.

                Usual worst parts: getting stuck in traffic, getting to the carpool line late, and having a meltdown (the kids, not me.)

                Usual best parts: playing outside, eating pizza for dinner, and “camping out” in the living room.

                Here’s the thing.

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                  Signing Up to Volunteer Doesn’t Mean I’m Signing Up to Be a Slave


                  Me signing up to volunteer for an organization doesn't mean I want to be a slave | The Champagne Supernova

                  I love volunteering.

                  Love it, love it, love it.

                  Unfortunately, there is sometimes a poison that comes from the top that makes it less fun.

                  People who run volunteer organizations, PTA events, and other organizations where the members are donating their time and money take heed:

                  Volunteers are not slaves.

                  After college, I joined a bunch of local volunteer and professional organizations because I was crazy I didn’t have kids or a family and, therefore, plenty of time on my hands.

                  I made rich friendships and wonderful memories. It felt good to give back to the community and learn from civic leaders.

                  However.

                  While I certainly didn’t need a pat on the back, it would have been nice for some of the higher-ups at the organizations to once say “thank you” or acknowledge everyone else’s hard work instead of clogging my social media feed with self-indulgent posts about how awesome they are.

                  For them to remember the volunteers who were gratuitously donating their time and opening their wallets and essentially the backbones of the organization.

                  But no.

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                    Dear World: I Will Not Be Shamed Because I’m a Woman Who Likes to Work


                    I am a women who works because I like to and not because I have to | The Champagne Supernova

                     

                    I was at a meeting for a volunteer organization last month when I met a woman we’ll call Kristen. She was assigned to my small group and she was new to the area. Kristen was outgoing but loud, and it was obvious she was trying to make friends, which nobody could blame her. We went around the circle and briefly introduced ourselves so Kristen could get acquainted.

                    I went last.

                    “I’m Jen. I’m married with two young daughters and I live in Tampa. I work part time as an attorney and part time as a blogger. I joined this organization to meet like-minded women and give back to the community.” 

                    Kristen looked at me and scoffed. Then she snorted.  (more…)

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