A Year in Review

This was a year of change for us. Hard, painful, exciting, beautiful growth. Four seasons have passed, three children have grown and a year’s worth of life was lived. This little corner of the web has been a bit of a refuge for me. Scrolling through old posts last night I realized it got a little depressing around here for a time. As we processed the move, I found myself stuck in the contemplative ponderings of change. And so many of you stuck it out as I processed.

Thank you.

I know I’ve already said that, but I need to say it again. I don’t like to get too serious around here. I don’t know why – I guess my ultimate hope is to make you all smile. Life is fun and there is so much joy to be had.

But sometimes life is also hard. Winter settles in and you have to search a bit more for the beauty in the frosty darkness.  A dear friend told me during this more difficult time of transition that she could always tell when things weren’t quite right. “Your writing takes a completely different tone,” said said. “It’s still beautiful, but I just know that your heart is aching a bit more than usual.”

But inevitably winter must thaw and joy breaks through once more. We’re walking toward spring and it’s balmy and sweet. And funny.

So without further ado, I give you 2011 in review:

In January, I laughed until I cried and I beseeched my male readership to please, for the love of all things holy explain to me the obssession with Star Trek. (Best I could tell, Star Trek is to men what Twilight is to women…)

In Feburary, I threw one heck of a pink princess party and lived to tell the tale.

In March I gave you the first sneak peek into my novel (which I will finish in 2012 – hold me to that, internets!).  Oh, and my dorky husband and I made a movie about how hot minivans actually are.

In April my first grader and I debated Creationism and the Big Bang theory. Later Tia and I discussed whether or not she would be able to do handstands in heaven while Landon swore up one side and down the other he saw a kangaroo on the side of the road. My kids are so delightfully weird.

In May I did NOT feel bad about Bin Laden’s death, and I mercilessly mocked my husband’s shoulder shaking dance moves. Oh yeah…and I lost my cool pants. Or maybe I never had them?

In June I gave you all a cavity with the sweetest pictures of childhood ever published.  I also traveled to Montreal and spent the day on a movie set where I interviewed Christine Baransky, died laughing at my husband’s reasoning for why the kids should not touch a bird’s nest and I dug down deep and got more personal than I’ve ever done before.

In July Jennifer Aniston did my hair, we announced our impending move to Florida and my posts got a bit contemplative.

In August people disrespected my smokin’ hot minivan and it was suggested I add ghost flames down the side. I also announced our intention to homeschool and I went to Hollywood and took a million pictures of myself at a movie premiere.

In September I explained why I would not be raising a bimbo of a daughter, then we all rejoiced as she made the most beautiful decision. We also found ourselves finally settling into a home after three months of living like nomads.

In October we worked with our son on toughening up and learning to play with the big boys. Then I humbled myself and admitted to my tendency toward acting like a true blonde.

In November I cried a freakin’ river for a second time, then my daughter and I were scarred for life when we walked in on a man in an airplane bathroom with his pants around his ankles. And I officially coined the phrase “Air Butt.” I also wrote this post, which is another one of my favorites.

Which brings us to December. I found out my eyes have betrayed me this month, I contemplated the value of a man when Albert Pujols left the Cardinals for the Angels, I admitted my aversion to Math (maybe I’m allergic to numbers…) and I died my hair pink.

It’s been quite a year and I couldn’t be more excited to head into 2012. I have big dreams, several goals and a lot of confidence. I think it’s the hair that’s given me a little boost. I hope you’ll join me as we jump into the new year. Perhaps we could all take a lesson from my youngest and leap with reckless abandon and unabashed joy.

Who’s with me? What are you looking forward to and hoping to accomplish this year?

From our family to yours

I pray you all had a lovely, wonderful Christmas filled with joy, laughter and maybe even a bit of silliness. Thanks for taking a journey with me this last year. We’ve covered a lot of ground and so many of you have walked us through this season of change. Seriously…thank you.

I bid you all drive forward in your minivans, proudly entering this new year with your heads held high and your back seats clean.

Here’s to another year of crazy!

I have a confession to make

I need to tell you all something and it may be hard to hear. Maybe you should sit down for this. Wait – what’s that? You’re already sitting? Oh. Um…Great! That’s really…super.

*sigh*

Look I didn’t mean to be deceptive. You must believe me when I say that. I really truly to my core wanted to believe it was true, but the fact of the matter is…

I guess…I mean, what I’m trying to say is…

I don’t always think minivans are hot.

I’M SO SORRY!

I know you’re disappointed. I know that I have been steadily convincing all of you over the last couple of years that they are, indeed, a sexy means of transportation but-

Hmmm?

What now?

You didn’t believe me?

You don’t think minivans are hot either?!

*hangs head in shame*

I went to the salon yesterday with my hair piled in a bun on top of my head where it has remained for the past year and a half. I sat down dramatically in the chair and yanked out the ponytail holder, letting the golden orange locks spill onto my shoulders.

“I was trying to save money,” I said pitifully as she gingerly combed through the brassy gold locks. “The box said my hair would turn a dark blonde.”

“The box lied,” she said.

“Well, I need you to fix it and I need you to give me a total hair makeover. Drastic. Edgy. Fun.”

And then, friends, I uttered the words that revealed the deception of my heart.

“I do not want to look like I drive a minivan.”

OH THE SHAME!

Forgive me?

She fixed my hair, then she chopped it off. Waaaaaaayyyyyy off. And she covered up the brass up top. Then we made it just a tiny bit more fun.

PINK!

Just a little pink...for fun.

 

When I first mentioned to Lee that I wanted to put pink highlights in my hair, I told him that the only thing holding me back was the fact that I’m a mom who drives a minivan.

“I don’t want the kids to end up taking me on Maury Povich someday under the unfortuante title MY MOM DOESN’T DRESS HER AGE!” I moaned.

But I have to tell you that as I strutted out to the parking lot, my van glinting in the afternoon sun, I suddenly felt a surge of confidence. I’m a minivan mom, yes. But I’m a minivan mom with pink in her hair and I happen to really love it. And suddenly I didn’t feel so bad about being said minivan mom.

Even my van felt a bit edgier and more fun! With all the scratches running down the sides from the kids’ bikes, I’d venture to say my van is down right punk.

Lest you should worry that my pink highlights are going to my head, I bid you fear not. I do retain the humbling necessity that will ever remind me of my minivan mom (and ever aging) status and that is the pair of the glasses that I have to wear now because my eyes are wearing down on me.

They do give me a respectable minivan mom look, though, don’t they?

I’m sorry I let you down, dear readers, but I hereby pledge to continue the valiant fight to erase the stigma of the dreaded minivan. I will say it over and over until I believe it to my core.

Minivans are hot, minivans are hot, minivans are hot…

Say it with me?

Minivans are hot, minivans are hot, minivans are hot…

My laziness knows no bounds

It was a beautiful December day here in the Sunshine State. Days like today are why people spend their winters in Florida. We spent much of the day soaking in the warm rays of the sun, while also being delighted with a cool breeze.

For those of you who live somewhere cold, please don’t hate me.

The view from my perch.

Around 1:00, the natives grew restless. I didn’t feel right letting them watch a movie on a day like today, and in return they didn’t feel right about letting me sit poolside and read.

Savages.

So after an hour of hearing about the injustice of such imposed boredom and the true cruelty of expecting them to entertain themselves I packed up the antsy brood and off we went to the park where I planned to continue my lounging while they ran off pent up energy.

Upon arriving at the park, I rejoiced to find a long swinging bench mercifully vacant and I settled in for a bit of relaxation only to discover that the smallest of the children had different plans in mind.

“Hey Mom, wanna play house wif us?” Landon asked. I looked over at Tia who widened her eyes pleadingly, which is a completely unfair tactic. Puppy dog eyes are cruel and unusual.

“What do I have to do to play house?” I asked wearily.

“How about you be the Mom and we’ll be the kids,” Tia answered.

Um…

“Okay,” I said. “Kids, go play and let Mommy rest for a bit!”

“No, Mom! That’s not how you play!” Foot stomp.

Seriously?! Puppy dog eyes and a foot stomp? She’s good, ladies and gentlemen.

“But I’m the Mom so I can tell you what to do, right?”

“No, Mom. You have to get up and come over here and drive us to school. Then you have to take us to the store and then you have to take us to Chuck E Cheese. That’s how you play!”

Funny. I always assumed that playing pretend actually took us out of real life.

“Okay,” I said. “But this swinging bench is my car so hop in.” And away we drove. I dropped them off at school, then picked them up, then we headed to the store.

“C’Mon, let’s go shop.”

“Uumm…” I stalled. “Let’s pretend I broke my leg and I have to ride in one of the motorized carts at the store. This bench will be my cart.”

“Aw, yeah!” they yelled and away we went. Notice that so far, I haven’t had to move from my bench.

Finally the “errands” were done and we arrived home. ”Alright, you guys go play now,” I said waving them on, stepping out of my role as pretend Mom and into my role as real Mom. It’s all very confusing, I know…

“No, Mom! Now you need to make dinner!”

*sigh*

“Tell you what,” I reasoned. “How about you be the Mom now and I will be the long lost Aunt who came for a visit, okay?”

“Alright! What’s your name?”

“Uh…Toto? Oh and hey – let’s pretend that I came from far, far away and I’m super tired so I have to lay down and sleep. How does that sound?”

“Hey, yeah!” they cried. “And this bench can be your bed and we will rock you while you sleep!”

Deal!

So I laid down, closed my eyes and they rocked me back and forth, back and forth until I literally began dozing off.

“Mom. Hey Mom!” They shook me and I squinted up into their displeased eyes.

“This game is boring,” Tia said with a frown. “We don’t want to play anymore.”

“Yeah,” echoed Landon. “It’s bowing.”

“Can we go play on the playground?” Tia asked.

I looked at them for a silent moment then let out a small sigh. “Well, alright. If you really want to go play, I guess I don’t mind.” And off they ran, forgetting all about needing my entertainment. I laid back down then, my swing moving slowly back and forth in the afternoon breeze. Alone.

Seriously. I should get some kind of award for that…

 

Dreams of revenge are just as sweet

Alternately titled: Payback is a Beast

Imagine this scene: You’re lying on a cloud buried beneathe warm, fluffy blankets made of the finest wool. The dark air around you is cool as the nighttime air slow begins to burn off. The sun hasn’t graced the sky with her rays  just yet and you relish that dreamy moment between sleep and consciousness. It is peaceful. It is comfortable. It is blissful.

Now imagine that a spindly, gangly child jumps on the cloud with you. He burrows beneathe your blankets, bursting through your warm cocoon with his icy feet and shivering body. He tucks his toes underneath your legs causing you to yelp in surprise and yanking you, rather rudely, out of dreamland in one fell swoop.

Then he turns on the lamp and your eyes, still not fully prepared for wakefulness and accustomed only to the serenity of the dark, go blind. The light pierces through the room with such forcefulness that you wonder if perhaps you will ever be able to see again.

After this he turns to you with his eight year old morning breath and begins talking. Not whispering, mind you, but full out gabbing as if he’s in Grand Central Station during rush hour. Your senses are overwhelmed what with the light and the noise and the icy feet underneath.

Imagine he pulls out a photo album that he wants to look at with you and he wants to discuss every photo from seven years ago down to the very detail.

“I was cute wasn’t I?”

“Oh look how small I was!”

“What were we doing here?”

“How much did you love me then?”

And you want to engage, you really do.  But you’re blind…and deaf…and paralyzed.

“Mom, open your eyes and look at this one! Wasn’t that fun? Tell me about it?”

You hear him but you don’t compute. Partly because you’re wondering how on Earth it happened that minutes ago you were sleeping on a cloud and now you’re being attacked before the sun is even lighting the sky an early morning grey. Plus, you’re too busy thinking about other things.

You’re dreaming about the coming day when he’s a teenager and rising before the crack of dawn is no longer exciting. He will long to spend a few extra hours in bed, wrapped in his own cocoon of warmth and then?

Then it’s going to be your turn.

*insert manaical laugh here*

You think of that moment when you can flip on his light and start chattering incessantly about how much you miss him being little and what a sweet baby he was and look at these old pictures, honey!

Maybe you’ll want to stick your icy feet under his covers and watch him gasp and try and get away. Although he’ll probably be bigger than you so that may not be wise, but you could at least yank off the covers and flip on the lamp sitting beside his bed causing light to pierce his eyeballs like hot daggars. You know…just for kicks.

This is all hypothetical, of course.

Or maybe it’s not.

Truthfully, as you envision this blessed payback you know that in reality you will likely never have the opportunity, or the guts, to be so cruel to your child. As the fog of sleep slowly lifts, you change your tactic and instead of dreaming of the day when you can exact sweet revenge, you instead begin praying with an urgency that you haven’t felt or experienced in a long, long time.

Lord, give this boy a child just like him some day.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go have another cup of coffee. After all, I was up before the sun this morning…

Four is More

Four.

It all just happened really…

Really…

Really…

Reeeeaaallllyyy…

Fast.

No longer a baby.

Loaded with personality.

“Wiggle your nipples, Dad!” he begged last night.

Different day. Different blog. Definately a story that needs to be told.

Part of me longs for one more day with this baby.

Probably the same part of me that wishes I was still in my twenties…

But mostly, I just really adore this amazing little boy.

This boy who turns FOUR today.

Happy Birthday, Landon.

Visual proof of the personality that keeps us in stiches. Man, I love this kid…

 

A slow death by numbers

Eight grade Pre-Algebra was not kind to me.  In fact I remember roughly three things from that class:

1.) You can never have too much blue eye shadow as was evidenced by Pam Whats-her-Face who sat across from me.

2.) Kissing boys was apparently an amazing experience that I needed to start trying out.

3.) Somehow, some way the alphabet was supposed to be divided, subracted, added and compressed, which would then magically turn the letters into numbers and if organized just so could ultimately bring about World Peace.

I did not receive a passing grade in Pre-Algebra, but I did get a rather unfortunate sex education from Pam Whats-her-Face.  So I had that going for me.

Listen, I’ve seen the statistics about how girls tend to do poorly in Math and Science simply because they’re female and are expected to be bad with numbers.  I want you to know that that is not what happened to me.  I just suck at Math.  Plain and simple and heartbreakingly true.  I still don’t understand algebraic equations.  I have long since forgotten how to do long division and most days I cannot do basic addition without using my fingers.

Feel sorry for me.

I can, however, sit and daydream for hours and I’m not too shabby at finding shapes in the clouds.

So it was with no small amount of fear and trepidation that I embarked upon the business of homeschooling my children because I knew that in so doing I would, indeed, need to conquer the evil numbers.  I mean, granted Sloan is only in second grade and Tia is in Kindergarten so really, how hard could it be?

Turns out it can be flat out torterous, folks.  It’s Chinese water torture by SUBTRACTION!

Lawdy.

We started the year out fine.  Basic addition facts were covered.  Ordinal numbers, Odds and Evens, Counting by 5′s, 10′s and so on…Cake, ladies and gentleman.  I began to see addition facts in the clouds.

Somewhere around our fifth week in, however, things took a turn for the worse.  Just for Sloan.  Tia has taken off in Math.  In fact, I’m pretty sure we’re going to be buzzing into a first grade Math book before year end because she not only enjoys Math, but she asks to do several lessons at a time.

So TAKE THAT statistics!  My daughter rocks the numbers.  BOOM!  In yo face!

Ahem…

Early last month, I decided to take a different approach to the cruelty of Math.  Instead of tackling it every day, I declared Tuesday and Thursday to be Math days and every other day would remain number free.  I figured this to be a happy compromise and a fair way to hopefully give Math more of an appeal.

It took us two hours to finish one short lesson today.

*hangs head*

So here’s how this Math thing goes down.  ( I don’t know why I’m capitilizing Math.  I think it’s because I’m scared of it and maybe if I show a little respect, the numbers won’t infiltrate my brain, thus turning me into some kind of mad woman who lives alone with a hundred and fifty cats and wanders around mumbling equations nonsensically.)  I say, “It’s Tuesday guys.  Math day!  Yay!”

Tia: “Can I do three lessons today?  Please?”

Sloan: ”What?!  No, it can’t be Tuesday.  It’s only Monday!  I know it.  I’m only doing half of a lesson today.  And no adding.  Or subtracting.”  This is usually said after he’s collapsed his head dramatically into his arms.

Landon: “Wait, what?!  We have to do school AGAIN today?!”  School is a surprise every day.

I understand my son’s anguish, I really do.  I lived his anguish every day until I finally managed to choose a major with the least amount of Math required (English Professional Writing, baby!  Boom! Pick out shapes in the clouds all day if you want.  It makes for more creative writing…)

But alas, I must pretend to be horrified at his disdain for numbers and tell him what fun it is to know and learn Math.  “Math is lots of fun!” I exclaim as I open up the dreaded book.

Did you hear that?  Math makes me lie to my children.  Eeeeeeeevvvviiiiiiilllllllll.

And we then spend the next two hours trying to simply tackle one short lesson.  And here’s the kicker – he’s actually really good at the Math.  As in, when he switches off the tyrant in his brain raging against the injustice of learning, he generally whizzes through the equations and he doesn’t even need to use his fingers!

Clearly he possesses a bit of his father’s genes.

And thus the story goes.  I pull out the Math books.  He thinks he’s going to die.  I think that trying to teach him the basics is going to kill me.  And around and around we go.

However…

Ask the kid to write you a poem.  I dare you.  Because he will sit for as long as it takes to craft the perfect poem with nary a complaint.

And today I caught him staring at the clouds.  “That one is shaped like a blue whale,” he said, pointing.

I am so proud…

Fear not, good people.  We are surviving the Maths and I do think he is learning a bit.  There’s a good chance, though, that should we continue down this homeschooling path, I will be hiring a Math tutor to manage the crazy.

The End.

When Life Gives You Lemons

Make Lemonade, right?

Or in our case, when Target gives you a Gingerbread House that refuses to stay together…

Eat it.

While our annual Gingerbread House construction did not go quite as planned, we did partake in what I can only hope will be a new tradition over the weekend when we attended the boat parade in Clearwater.

The perks to living minutes from the ocean keep adding up.

It was even chilly enough to necessitate the wearing of the coats for the first time!  It felt downright Christmasy…

 

Our friends, Mike and Carol, joined us on the water.  One year ago at this time we were all sledding down the hill in their back yard.  Now we congregate at the beach, instead.  It’s so good to have familiar faces nearby.

So how about you?  What traditions, new and old, are you enjoying this holiday season?

Read with Kleenex

Today I want to give you a few links to some of the most powerful words I’ve read on the internet these last few months.  These writers are real, honest and have an incredible knack for weaving word pictures in such a way that makes you stop cold and think deep.

Refreshing.

The pastor of the church we have been visiting preached a sermon this morning titled Come Before Winter.  Apparently it is an annual tradition for him to preach this message and I really wish someone would have warned me ahead of time how emotional this message would be.  Although, it’s probably best I didn’t know, because I may have been tempted to skip it altogether.

The theme was centered around Paul’s final letter to Timothy when he urged him to come back to Rome quickly, before winter set in and travel across the Mediteranean would be impossible.  Paul knew he had little time left and there were still words he wanted to say to his beloved Timothy.

The message?  Life is short and goes by in an instant.  What are we doing to seize every opportunity while we are here on this Earth to glorify and honor God with our relationships, our gifts and talents and the tasks set before us?  He finished his message by reading something he wrote about his youngest child, who will graduate from high school this spring.  This was written days before he would watch his son play his final football game.

Get your Kleenex handy.

He was born on an October weekend 18 autumns ago. I was proud then. I am proud now. He has graced my life and blessed me in immeasurable ways.  And now it’s his senior year. It’s the last week, the last game. It was bound to happen. Where did the time go?

Read the entire story here.

Folks, there were grown men throughout the sanctuary blubbering like small children, most of them crowned with silver hair.  It was the kind of morning where you walk around with a burning lump lodged in your throat and you laugh inappropriately just to keep from crying.

Or maybe that was just me…

The next two ladies are hands down two of the most amazing bloggers to grace the internet and I’m not just saying that because I happen to know and love each one of them dearly.

Okay maybe I’m a tiny bit biased.

Becke’ not only has an amazing, God-given gift for photography, but she also has a deep and profound love of scripture and understanding of grace.  Oh, and she just so happens to be my sister-in-law.  If you’re not reading her blog, I really encourage you to do so.  You will be blessed.  And you might be slightly jealous of her pictures….

God wants light in His house so we could see.  The seeing would enable generations to hope for the one Good Olive, the one who would be beaten in that Garden of Gethsamene (garden of oil press), in order to bring true light.

Read the full post here.  And then look at the rest of her posts.  Just be prepared to go deep because Becke’ takes you to church when she writes.  You can also go ooh and aah over her pictures here.

And then there’s Wendy.  I’ve mentioned her a time or two…because she’s awesome.  And she may write one of the most refreshingly honest blogs on all the interwebs.  She’s sincere and real and bold and she writes with a humility that is like a breath of fresh air.  Wendy is an actress and a writer and she oozes creativity.  But more than that, she is a wife and a mom and she embraces those roles fully and completely.

Joy is not dependent upon our circumstances, the health of those we love, or how physically well-rested we are; JOY comes from abiding in Him, ever thankful that He abides in us.

Read the rest of this post here and then go read some more of her posts.  I actually had a difficult time choosing which post to highlight.

Speaking of life moving quickly - this kid is going to be FOUR this week!

There are a lot of places where you could spend your time online.  But I hope that by reading the words of these bloggers you find yourself encouraged as you see their genuine authenticity.  And I pray that as you head into your week, you find yourself feeling blessed and renewed.

I pray the same for myself.  A word to the wise – don’t drink caffinated tea at night.  You could just find yourself up and kickin’ at 2:00 am.  Not that I would know anything about that…

Blessings, friends.

The value of a man

Earlier today, Albert Pujols signed a massive deal that took him out of the Cardinals uniform and put him into an Angels uniform….and all hell broke loose.  I heard the wailing all the way down here.  Mournful weeping.

Gnashing of teeth.

As I heard the details, I was struck by only one thing: how has the value of one man become so displaced?

This is not a question of Albert Pujol’s character.  While I do not know him personally, I know several people who do and I know that he is the real deal.  He gives more than he takes, he isn’t looking for attention and he constantly deflects praise.  If I had to pick someone who I felt could handle the responsibility of $250 million dollars, I would choose Albert Pujols.

“He’s greedy!”

“So I guess it is all about the money!”

“Backstabber!”

“Don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!”

All of these sentiments popped up online as everyone lashed out at the surprise last minute deal.  And I get it…sort of.  Pujols is a hometown hero.  Not only is the he face of baseball, but he’s an amazing person and who wouldn’t want to keep him around?  I understand the disappointment, but let’s keep perspective.

He is just one man.

The truth is, none of us know everything that went into Albert’s decision to move his family across country.  Was it the money?  Well, probably to a degree it was.  How many of us would have turned down $34 million for loyalty’s sake?  At the end of the day I don’t believe this was greed so much as business.  Can it be argued that there comes a point where enough is enough?  Sure.  But it can also be argued that a lot of good could be done with $34 million and to simply walk away out of principle is kind of foolish.

In other words, Pujols was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t.

To claim that it was solely the money that brought him to this decision simplifies things far too much.  As my super smart (and freakishly handsome) husband explained to me, Albert Pujols is thinking about his career as a whole.  Where can he establish himself that gives him the best opportunity to finish out his years as a baseball player?

St. Louis wasn’t the place.  And that is okay.

So I do not begrudge Albert Pujols.  And I fully trust that he will give away more money than most of us will ever know or comprehend.  This bigger deal gives him the opportunity to give above and beyond what he is already doing.  If I’m being totally honest, I’d tell you that I’d rather see $250 million in the hands of Albert Pujols than in the hands of the US Government.

Ouch.

Honestly, my initial and gut reation to the news today was not anger toward Pujols but rather toward our society as a whole.  I felt a heap of righteous indignation at the thought that we as a nation have placed such an enormous value upon a man who swings a stick and hits a ball.  I do not say that disrespectfully by any means.  I hope I’ve established that I have nothing but respect for Albert Pujols.  But the fact remains, he’s just a guy with a bat.

Why is the value of a baseball player so high, yet the value of a teacher so low?  Is it a wonder our school system is failing, our economy tanking?  Does it not seem that the value we as a society have placed upon man is only slightly off kilter?

This is not Albert’s fault.  This has nothing to do with him and everything to do with a society that has drastically lost perspective on the value of influence.  Or does it?

Is one man worth $250 million dollars? Well, though my first response is a resounding HECK NO, the truth is that’s not really for me to judge or decide.  I really believe that God Himself ordains some to be stewards of much and for others to be stewards of little (Matthew 25).  It’s not for me to decide how much a man is worth, but rather to be responsible with that which I’ve been given.  This is where my criticism for the amount Pujols has been promised gets shattered into a thousand tiny pieces and my writing starts to sounds schizophrenic so I find myself simply needing to wrap things up.

I’m happy for Albert Pujols.  Truly and completely, I am happy that a man of his character has found favor in such a way.  And for my part, I will continue to cheer him on, not because I value what he does on the field, but rather what he does off of it.

I am, however, still a bit shocked at the priorities of our nation and the value we place on those who entertain.  I am afraid I feel both emotions equally, though they are a bit conflicting.

Your thoughts?

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